New PM Articles for the Week of January 28 – February 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 28 – February 3. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler coaches us on facilitating a meeting. Focused on the first-timers but still worth a look even if you’ve been facilitating for years. 6 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Mark McNamee and Athanasia Kokkinogeni observe, “In the eyes of businesses, the UK has come to resemble an emerging market.” Brexit is driving volatility. 6 minutes to read.
  • Steve Blank explains why McKinsey’s Three Horizons model for managing and budgeting for innovation and research is no longer applicable. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joel Manner explores Eric Schmidt’s prediction that the internet is dividing into three politically-defined regions: US-led, China-led, and EU-led. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Sylvia Moses describes the X-shaped skills of a highly capable project manager. 10 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths covers the what, how, and why of project charters. 11 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gives us a deep tutorial on project scheduling, from defining and sequencing activities through estimating durations and developing a schedule. 12 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares his slide presentation on preparing a request for proposal. 4 minutes to read, plus the slides.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Douglas Knutzen on leveraging scheduling, execution, and team techniques to increase speed on your projects. Podcast, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Jesse Fewell on the evolving role of the PMO in an agile organization. Podcast, 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jan Schiller recaps twelve habits that she has observed in successful project portfolio managers. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Scrum limits to exemplary agile to the Scrum Master Trends Report 2019. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Cohn makes it clear why software development teams have learned to focus on being done rather than estimating progress. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave West points out the key nuggets in the 2019 Scrum mater Trends Report. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nandhini Saravanan explains the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling of databases and what each approach is useful for. 5 minutes to read.
  • Fio Dossetto extols the virtues of a heat map in analyzing the effectiveness of a user interface design. 6 minutes to read.
  • Joep Schuurkes tells us why we should have a test strategy and what it should cover. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Simone Stolzoff tells how engineer Satya Nadella turned Microsoft, “From a culture of know-it-alls to a culture of learn-it-alls.” 9 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Wade Foster, CEO of Zapier—a 100% remote company with over 200 people—on the future of work. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy sells us on problem-solving skills as a key part of career development. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Greg Satell sees inflection points in energy, synthetic biology, and computation that are about to dramatically transform society. 5 minutes to read.
  • Karen Hao updates us on facial recognition software. Accuracy is improving for women and minorities, but the potential for abuse still exists. 4 minutes to read.
  • Roamy suggests a low-tech alternative to a creepy RFID implant under the skin or an easily-lost card. It’s obvious, once you read it. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Andy Silber advocates for Inbox Zero. 4 minutes to read.
  • Corrine Purtill reports on one of the key messages at the Davos conference: the four-day work week. 2 minutes to read.
  • Alex Reardon argues that when we’re sick, we should take an actual sick day—not just work from home. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of November 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of November 19 – 25. And this week’s video: Apple CEO Time Cook explains where his ethical compass comes from and what it means to be an ethical leader. 3 minutes, safe for work.

This week only! The Kindle version of my book, The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records, for system implementation teams, will be discounted to a mere $1.99 starting at 08:00 PST on Monday, November 26. It will return to the regular price at 17:00 PST on November 30. For those who prefer Dead Tree books, the paperback version is available for $6.99. Help the business SME’s on your team get ready for the New Year!

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Joshua Brustein reports that growth at the big tech companies is slowing, stock prices are down, and some think regulation is coming. Call it “Peak Tech.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Robert Reich, former US Secretary of Labor, argues that it’s time to start taking anti-trust actions against Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell notes that automation doesn’t replace jobs; it changes how tasks are performed. A sustainable competitive edge still requires people. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Harry Hall shares twelve tips to improve your delivery when speaking to a group. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andy Makar points out five things you can do to thank your team, even on a tiny budget. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tzvi Zucker argues that scheduling should be driven by people who will perform the work, not the tasks to be assigned. 8 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman describes the relationship between cost management and value management. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton presents his updated list of the 52 best project management blogs. 15 minutes to read.
  • Dharam Singh reports that Dr. Ginger Levin, author, trainer, and long-time thought leader in the project management community, has passed away. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from “agile trust” to healthy product debates to continuous alignment of product management. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale addresses a question from a learner: “Won’t the ideas from a retrospective use up some of the team’s capacity in the next sprint?” 2 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung had to develop a test strategy from scratch, in a hurry. Here are the seven steps she followed. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony shares her thoughts on how to prioritize what to test when there’s not enough time to test everything thoroughly. 6 minutes to read.
  • Pawel Brodzinski notes that self-organizing must be implemented throughout the hierarchy, not just at the lowest (team) level. 5 minutes to read.
  • Edwin Dando points out the need for increased accountability when increasing autonomy. 4 minutes to read.
  • Amir Ghahrai lists his choices for the top ten open source performance testing tools, with links. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from leading an inexperienced team of junior developers to why analog still matters to finding strength in ambiguity. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Rich Mironov provides a list of thoughtful responses to the ultimatum, “I’ll quit unless …” 7 minutes to read.
  • Lila MacLellan notes that we can have more of an impact in asking than we can in telling. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Aisha Hassan summarizes key points from the World Talent Ranking 2018 report. The US and UK trail western Europe in attracting, developing, and retaining talent. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mark McGranaghan presents findings from the Ink & Switch research lab’s study of the sources of slow software response (which isn’t always about the software). 15 minutes to read.
  • Keith Foote identifies trends for Big Data in 2019. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elise Stevens interviews Paul Pelletier on disrespect in the workplace, from gossip to bullying and harassment. Podcast, 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Ananya Bhattacharya reports that tightening restrictions on H-1B visas are leading Indian IT firms with a presence in Canada and Mexico to bring in workers from those countries on TN visas. 2 minutes to read.
  • Adriana Girdler tells us how to be confident at work. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 2 – 8

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 2 – 8. And this week’s video: Bones and a full reconstruction of the largest pterosaur (flying dinosaur) ever found are now on display at the Altmuehltal Dinosaur Museum, in a suburb of Stuttgart, Germany. Hey, even if you are tired of Jurassic Park sequels, this is cool!

Must read!

  • Greg Satell explains how General Electric got disrupted—by getting better and better at delivering things their customers needed less and less. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tim Fernholz notes the huge difference between getting good at mass production (Tesla) and getting reliable at reusability (SpaceX). Transitioning to production can be the biggest business risk of all. 5 minutes to read.
  • Graham Kenny clarifies the relationships between objectives, strategies, and actions. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin provides the questions you need to ask about GDPR implications before starting a new project. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy points out the ways in which software development projects are managed differently from other types of projects. 4 minutes to read.
  • Karin Hurt shares the INSPIRE model for project management accountability conversations. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on project procurement management, as described in the PMBOK and practiced in the public and private sector. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton begins a series on creating custom reports in Microsoft Project, beginning with changes to a delivered report. 7 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Redbooth explain how to conduct a project pre-mortem and post-mortem. And your project doesn’t even have to be dead! 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Scrum master end game to the way Scrum and DevOps fit together to the cost of decision making. 2 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Johanna Rothman makes a distinction between being data-driven and data-informed. Good decision makers should note the difference. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung points out the problems with limiting work in progress (WIP) with creative work—in her example, writing. But it has other applications. 6 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton provides a decision tree on when to move to a different format for retrospectives. 2 minutes to read.
  • Luis Goncalves makes his recommendation for an Agile retrospective format, based on Esther Derby and Diana Larsen’s book on the subject. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kent McDonald posts an overview of Liftoff: Start and sustain successful agile teams, by Ainsley Nies and Diana Larsen. Just over a minute to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of project leadership articles, from statistics to servant leadership to expressing your team’s feelings. 3 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Adam Grant interviews Daniel Coyle, author of The Culture Code: The secrets of highly successful groups. He says that trust is built in a way you wouldn’t expect. 4 minutes to read.
  • Sam begins a series on the way we define “purpose” to achieve alignment within the organization. Part 2 expands that to the customer. Each around 2 minutes.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Rich Rogers explores two testing cultures: testing as an adaptive investigation and testing as a factory process, or confirmation culture. 6 minutes to read.
  • Simon Schrijver does a deep dive into the details of pair testing. 7 minutes to read.
  • Paul Seaman talks about alternatives to the “given, when, then” acceptance criteria format, specifically conditions of satisfaction. 4 minutes to read.
  • Thomas Redman notes that machine learning tools are only as valuable as the quality of your data. Garbage in, algorithmic garbage out. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Eric Torrence examines the ways that Detail-oriented People and Big-picture People need to communicate with each other. 4 minutes to read.
  • Farah Mohammed tries to answer the rhetorical question: What makes a company worth working for? 3 minutes to read.
  • Karen Bridges reviews research linking sleep deprivation to reduced productivity and health problems and then suggests some positive sleep habits. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!