New PM Articles for the Week of July 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Scott Wadsworth and Cy Swan revive the old American tradition of shooting an anvil into the air on Independence Day. Just three minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Joanna Plucinska reports that the G20 will collaborate with the private sector to fight terrorism online.
  • Anshu Sharma describes Amazon as “the company with 100 CEOs” and explains why that model lets them do anything. Anything.
  • Deepali Uppal explores coming trends in organizational structure. It’s not just Holocracy.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture explains the concept of “the most valuable milestone” and why we should protect it.
  • Leigh Espy provides a decision guide for choosing between Agile methods and detailed planning methods, based on characteristics of the project and the team. Sorry, I can’t bring myself to use the epithet “waterfall.”
  • Stuart Easton contemplates the most common complaint from PMOs: “We have too many projects!”
  • Kerry Wills describes that annual corporate game of gambling and bluffing: Budget Poker.
  • Lynda Bourne uses the Sydney Opera House as an example of a project that may or may not have been successful, depending on what success criteria you use.
  • Harry Hall details three of his favorite techniques for identifying risks.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly Agile content list, from hiring Scrum Masters, to applying the Theory of Constraints to Agile, to a list of 113 mental models.
  • Mike Cohn share a few recommendations for your summer reading list (and leaves the door open for commenters to add their recommendations).
  • Puja Nigam describes the current state of the quality manager role in an Agile world.
  • Ryan Ripley shares an audio recording of his Advanced Scrum presentation at the Path to Agility conference in Ohio. About an hour and twenty minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Jesse Lynn Stoner makes the case against team alignment.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Mike Clayton on the importance of building resilience in advance of running into challenges. Just 19 minutes, safe for work.
  • Suzanne Lucas tells how to manage people you don’t like.
  • Richard Lannon explains why coaching skills should be part of your professional development plan.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Elle Mirman summarizes the top five trends found in Crayon’s analysis of the top 1,000 landing pages.
  • David Pierce updates us on why and how we need to protect our phones from exploits.
  • Adam Shostack points out the potential commercial impact of the Presidential Advisory Commission’s commitment to release voter data (including the last four of SSN) to the public.
  • Shannon Kempe reveals the most popular posts published by Dataversity in the first half of 2017.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin recaps the “four sins of meetings” described by Gerry Lewis in his book, “Shine.”
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Lily Snyder, COO at Doghead Simulations, on their new virtual reality collaboration software for remote teams. Just 37 minutes, safe for work.
  • Art Petty explains why (and how) we should remove the negative influences from our life and career.


The Data Conversion Cycle – Now Available on

My new book, “The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records, for system implementation teams,” is now available on in both Kindle format for $4.49 and paperback for $6.99. If you buy the paperback version, you can also buy the Kindle version for 99 cents in what Amazon calls “matchbook” pricing.

When asked for the most common sources of problems for software system implementation projects, experienced system implementers and consultants always list data conversion among their top three. Converting from one production record-keeping system to another is a challenge because you not only have a moving target; you also have a moving origin, as records are created and updated each day while the project is in progress. This book expands on a series of blog posts on The Practicing IT Project Manager website. Originally written for my project manager following, I extensively revised the content for a general business audience.

This book was designed to be a resource for project teams comprised of not just project managers and IT specialists, but the people working in the business areas who own and maintain the data records and will use the new systems. The goal was to provide a clear model expressed in a common language for a cross-functional team.
The first six chapters explain data conversion as an iterative process, from defining the scope to mapping source system records to the target system, to extraction and loading, to validation. This methodology works well with Agile methods, especially those involving iterative prototyping. However, it can also be used with more traditional planning-intensive approaches.

I also include a chapter on incorporating data conversion into the project planning process and a chapter on risk management. The risk management chapter starts with the basics and goes into considerable detail in identifying risks applicable to data conversion. The book includes an Appendix with an example output of a risk identification meeting and the types of information to include in a risk register. There is also a chapter on measuring progress when using this iterative approach, and a Glossary.

As always, thanks for reading my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of February 13 – 19

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 13 – 19. And this week’s video: Jochen Menges explains how charismatic leaders speak to our emotions, and why we defer to them. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Vicki Wrona concludes her four-part series on project management obstacles with her reflections on unrealistic expectations and micro-management.
  • Mike Griffiths explains how to apply Lean Thinking precepts to your PMO, to deliver the most value with the least waste and highest utilization of available talent.
  • Cornelius Fichtner extracts the answer to one question he asked in each of 14 interviews at the PMI Global Congress 2016: Which is the interpersonal skill that you attribute the most of our success in your career to? Just 24 minutes, safe for work.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy provides a complete, concise, and actionable tutorial on software project requirements.
  • Mark Mulally contemplates project management as a service function, and what that means to stakeholders, sponsors, and project managers.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Michel Dion on rescuing troubled projects with a brutal assessment and a new plan, followed by execution and intense monitoring. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Barry Hodge explains how to tailor Prince2 to each project. And yes, that’s an integral part of the method!
  • Harry Hall identifies seven common quality management failure modes.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile tribes to the learning value of prototyping, to the Goldilocks product development timeframe.
  • Johanna Rothman shows how to maintain visibility over the work you postpone with a Parking Lot.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Bryan Beecham on the importance of simplicity, psychological safety, and continuous improvement. Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Jay Melone addresses the big question on Design sprints: how do you get from validation to execution?
  • Tamás Török links us to the best Slack integrations for distributed software teams.

Applied Leadership

  • John Goodpasture ruminates on the fiduciary nature of the project manager role.
  • Art Petty catalogs some of the awkward moments—the ones that trigger our negative emotions—and advises on how to handle them.
  • Grace Windsor explores ways to apply emotional intelligence techniques to enhance team collaboration.

Technology and Techniques

  • Mordaxus starts a series where he will complain about information security practices with a short didactic on security models.
  • Cathy Nolan reports on the growing use of Internet of Things technology by retailers, as they watch us shop and try to understand (and influence) our behavior.
  • Joe Wynne starts a series on managing robotic process automation projects for CRM applications. The fact that I can type this, you get what it means, and we both treat it as A Thing astounds me to no end.
  • Bill Gates wants us to tax the robots who take human jobs. Even the ones shaped like paper clips? OK, maybe that’s an obscure reference …

Working and the Workplace

  • Brendan Toner touts OneNote as the ultimate tool for blogging (I use it for just about all of my writing and note taking these days).
  • Bertrand Duperrin points to recent studies that found needlessly complex processes kill productivity and reduce employee engagement.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a long list of the small strategies that help her to be efficient in her multiple roles.
  • Lolly Daskal reminds us that time management is only one piece of the productivity and effectiveness puzzle.
  • Lisette Sutherland focuses on maintaining our health when working remotely by being mobile. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.