New PM Articles for the Week of November 23 – 29

Yellow BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Tom McFarlin recalls Dwight D. Eisenhower’s clarification on the difference between important and urgent. Knowing the difference will help you prioritize your tasks.
  • Bertrand Duperrin points out an interesting development reflected in Jane McConnell’s annual study: your intranet and your organization are the two sides of a single reality.
  • Dick Weisinger reports on a Gartner Group estimate that 2018, half of all ethics violations will arise from improper use of Big Data.

Established Methods

  • Nick Pisano begins a series describing a general theory of projects as complex adaptive systems, based on systems theory.
  • Henny Portman reviews the second edition of “Project Sponsorship,” by Randall Englund and Alfonso Bucero, from PMI.
  • Mike Clayton explains how to lead your project sponsor. Yes, you have to lead up, or you’ll let them down.
  • Todd Williams provides a top-level look at organization change models, noting that they don’t all address the same things.
  • Thomas Carney describes the trade-offs of push processes versus pull process in issue management.
  • Harry Hall explains how to improve the quality of your risk statements.
  • Matthew Squair identifies a problem with the way that the Federal Aviation Administration defines risk severity classifications.
  • Sarah Hood tells how to include risk management into communications planning.
  • Kevin Coleman notes that everything from social media to business participation in development has raised the stakes for proper testing.
  • John Goodpasture points out an inescapable fact: most projects run on “little data,” which is mostly tracked in Excel.
  • Glen Alleman differentiates between a system and the products that comprise or deploy the system. Important distinctions for estimating cost and schedule!

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths looks at managing program benefits from an Agile perspective.
  • Derek Huether uses the experience of renewing his driver’s license to illustrate two important Lean metrics: Lead Time and Cycle Time.
  • Dele Oluwole suggests pairings of Scrum, XP, DSDM, and Lean. Sort of an Agile sommelier…

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin expounds on that most practical skill: leadership.
  • Bruce Harpham reflects on his positive experience as an active member of Toastmasters.
  • Art Petty describes the behavior of a negative manager type he calls the “hyper-rooster.” And the cure involves more than just switching to decaf.
  • Liane Davey concludes her analysis of what’s missing from executive teams, and how to bridge the gap.
  • Ravindra Wankar offers some advice for Millenial project managers.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Frank Saladis on his 2015 PMI Global Congress presentation, ”The Indispensable Project Manager.” Just 21 minutes, safe for work.
  • Allen Ruddock illustrates how to analyze a business problem to ensure you are doing the right project. Just ten minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni explains how to diffuse anger. Just two minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 26 – November 1

Blue BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 26 – November 1. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. And don’t forget: Thursday, November 5, is International Project Management Day.

Must Read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the changes to the PMP exam, coming in January 2016. The changes reflect the findings of the most recent role delineation survey.
  • Peter Landau summarizes current trends in the online project management community, from International Project Management Day (November 5) to project leadership.
  • The October 2015 edition of Women Testers is now available, with articles on everything from mind mapping to stress and work, to the conclusion in their series about testing in the cloud. If you haven’t discovered this great online magazine, it’s time to catch up!

Established Methods

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Simona Fallavolita, who manages the PMP certification program, on the changes coming in January. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Pat Weaver tutors us on the differences between Critical Path Method (CPM) and Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT).
  • Yasser Mahmud describes a methodology for assessing the maturity level of your PMO, and determining where to make improvements.
  • Mario Trentim has compiled a different sort of FAQ: Frequently Avoided Questions about PMO’s.
  • Harry Hall shows us how to complete a stakeholder register. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Ryan Ogilvie tells how to collect feedback, from deciding what you’ll do with it to closing the loop with the people who participated.
  • Linky van der Merwe takes the pulse of the Accidental Project Manager. Yup, still living…
  • Kenneth Darter examines the transition to production, or as he puts it,” The art of letting go.”

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski suggests a Kanban alternative to limiting work in progress: find the next task by working from right to left, backward from “done.”
  • Jared Smith shares a web site designer’s point of view on budgeting and estimating.
  • Mike Cohn on doing without a design phase: “Designers need to think holistically but work incrementally.”
  • Tom McFarlin contemplates the social nature of a software development team.
  • Thomas Carney shares a nice history of Scrum, plus links to other articles, resources and reference material. Highly recommended!

Applied Leadership

  • Liane Davey reflects on the delicate balance between “confident, capable, and solution-oriented” and being approachable.
  • Sarah Hood explains why saying “no” can be good for your career. And it’s not just about opportunity cost.
  • Art Petty continues his “Next Act” series for us older folks, with an interesting charge: focus on your superpower, meaning what you do best.
  • Melanie Pinola lists ten “soft skills” and provide links to resources that will help you develop them.
  • William Guinan tell us how to manage negative emotions.
  • Richard Lepsinger summarizes recent research into generational differences.
  • Coert Vissar: “Research suggests that performance goals in education are less effective than mastery goals.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of December 15 – 21

Balloon SunriseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of December 15 – 21. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin describes Project Management as a Service. Not outsourcing, but a change in approach.
  • Johanna Rothman debunks the notion that competition among teams produces better products.
  • Glen Alleman debunks a debunking of myths and half-truths about estimating.
  • John Goodpasture explores the idea of cascading risks: where one damned thing leads to another.
  • Ron Rosenhead reflects on what he’s learned over the past year.
  • Harry Hall shares the lessons learned from this year’s Christmas tree disaster. Yes, even the Nativity Celebration needs a risk management plan …
  • Gary Booker illustrates a model of accountability, as a governance and operating practice.
  • Ryan Ogilvie considers whether communication is more effective when more structured or more personalized.
  • Ulf Eriksson gives us his recommendations for writing more effective test cases.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn recommends that product owners should expect the development team to make a few adjustments to the sequence that they work the backlog.
  • Joanne Wortman argues that the key to success in an Agile initiative is taking the time to get the architecture right.
  • Michiko Diby is noticing that Agile values and methods are creeping into her off-duty life.
  • Kam Zaman reports on his success in implementing the elusive “dual-track Scrum.”

Looking Ahead

  • Carleton Chinner outlines three critical trends that will directly impact the practice of project management.
  • Michel Dion reflects on the evolution of project management, as the wall between operations and projects melts away.
  • Jennifer Zaino projects the future of cognitive computing, for 2015 and beyond, in health care, retail, and other industries.
  • Kent Schneider traces four critical trends related to data breaches and security that will affect our projects in 2015.
  • Seth Godin contributes his “annual plan construction set” of meaning-free buzzwords and phrases, to help you prepare for the coming year [face palm].

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews The Risk Doctor, David Hillson, on the risks you didn’t even know you were taking. Just 21 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Smith and Tony Ponton interview Rachel Tempest Wood on why project management is still useful. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Here’s a YouTube video explaining the origins and principles of Kanban, as developed and practiced at Toyota. Just 3 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Tony Adams notes the viral nature of cranky behavior at work: we are “emotional conductors” who bring our emotions to work every day.
  • Lynda Bourne describes a recent scientific study of idiotic risk, e.g. that class of risks where the payoff is negligible and the downside is extreme. Key finding: elect women.
  • Kerry Wills gives us the key bullet points from the 2014 Standish Report. If I thought it was a statistically sound survey, I’d look for other work.
  • Alex LuPon identifies the underlying project management methodology followed by The Hobbit Trilogy. Take THAT, Joseph Campbell!

Enjoy!