New PM Articles for the Week of December 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Jim Whitehurst, former COO of Delta Airlines and CEO of Red Hat Software, explains what he learned from giving up everything he knew about being a leader. 11 minutes, safe for work.

Also: I received feedback from Reddit member dennythecoder, who said that the hyperlinks on my pages were too hard to read. As of this week, I’ve changed the color scheme. Please let me know in the comments if this makes things better or worse.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Mark Muro and Robert Maxim go a bit deeper into the story of GM’s coming layoffs: digitalization will lead to a very different automaker workforce. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mark Wilson assess the biggest challenge for engineers working on self-driving cars: the user experience. The targets are mundane, familiar, and non-threatening. 14 minutes to read.
  • Will Knight summarizes a report from AI Now Institute which identifies facial recognition as a key challenge for society and policymakers.
  • Tessa Sproule advocates for making ethics much more visible in our decisions about artificial intelligence—even to the point of bringing in ethicists. 8 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • PMI has released three new reports on how disruptive technologies are impacting the project management profession. 3 minutes to read this quick overview.
  • Ben Howard provides a detailed tutorial on how to import a list of tasks from Excel into MS Project. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale considers the cost-benefit justification of having a project manager dedicated to a project. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton proposes an eight-step process for decision making, pulling influences from four widely-used methodologies. 10 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Clarizen explain how vendor management fits into project management. 3 minutes to read.
  • Deb Schaffer rounded up a few appropriate holiday gifts for the project managers on your shopping list (or you can print it out and leave it for your Significant Other). 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from current trends in corporate transformation to lessons learned from Nextflix’ failures to a team charter workshop. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Jonathan Creenaune describes the management approach taken for a truly enormous software engineering project—rearchitecting Confluence and Jira to be stateless, multi-tenant cloud applications. 15 minutes to read and well worth it.
  • Anne-Marie Charrett makes the point that quality is an emergent behavior of complex systems. 3 minutes to read.
  • Edyta Korona and Arjun Saksena interview Rich Mironov on the evolution of tech product management Podcast, 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Llewellyn Falco lays out a process for identifying root causes and correcting the problems that allowed a bug to be created in the first place. 3 minutes to read.
  • Maaret Pyhäjärvi notes that, in testing. There’s more going on than what gets typed in at the keyboard. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from false dichotomies to meeting dysfunctions to setting and achieving business goals. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell shares the key insights from General Stanley McChrystal’s new book, Leaders: Myth and Reality. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills reminds us that we don’t need to ask permission to do the work we are held accountable for. Less than a minute to read.

Research and Insights

  • Mercedes Thomas gives us a tight but thorough explanation of quantum computing, from entangled states to superposition to interference. 11 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Desjardins shares an infographic giving brief explanations of 24 common cognitive biases. Maybe 5 minutes to read, if you don’t keep Googling …
  • Paramita Ghosh predicts the top ten data management trends to expect in 2019. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin posted a career planner in PDF format to help you plan for 2019. 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy provides her guidance on keeping remote colleagues feel connected during the holiday season. 6 minutes to read.
  • Simon Knight shares his techniques for working remotely as effectively as possible. 6 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 26 – March 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 26 – March 4. And this week’s video: And this week’s video: The Band of Heathens perform “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” on Austin City Limits, from 2011. Six minutes to watch; turn it up!

Must read!

  • Tim Fernholz reports that a start-up is designing a satellite to deliver internet access from geosynchronous orbit. The technology tradeoffs and decisions here are fascinating. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Wehner briefs us on a new AI-powered assistant for the astronauts on the International Space Station, in the form of a floating, basketball-sized device with an animated face. 2 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson uses the occasion of a failed Russian satellite launch to remind us that managers who make technical decisions without input from the technical experts own the results. Just a minute to read.

Established Methods

  • Donna Fitzgerald previews the role of the project manager in the corporate Strategy Realization Office. You’ll need business acumen and you’ll need to be the right kind of agile. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gives us a ten-minute course on how to be a confident project manager.
  • John Goodpasture explores Pareto, Exponential, and Poisson distributions, and explains why we seem to use Normal distributions even when not applicable. 3 minutes to read.
  • Roger Swannell addresses the question of compiling documentation over the project life cycle. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale shares the questions he asks in project manager interviews. 2 minutes to read.
  • Maya Bernstein and Rae Ringel explain how to plan a better meeting using Design Thinking. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from Launching an Agile transformation to distributed Agile leadership to product management trends. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • John Yorke examines successful Agile software development and finds three underlying pillars. 6 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Kanban Guide for Scrum Teams, by Daniel Vacaniti and Scrum.org. less than 2 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Langr notes that Behavior Driven Development (BDD), like TDD, can generate more tests than benefits. Aside: false positives consume scarce resources! 5 minutes to read.
  • Ron Jeffries suggests that we can’t wait until the deadline to be done. 6 minutes to read.
  • Justin Rohrman shares some observations from working with a group that practices pair programming about 95% of the time. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • David Rock shares the leadership lesson that Microsoft learned: tell employees what you want them to strive for, in as few words as possible. 5 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk describes the Netflix culture in terms of qualities and behaviors it values. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jim Taggert points out the importance of our mental models and their underlying assumptions. 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Avery Phillips gets us up to speed on how to deal with national and medical security breaches. The more sensitive the data, the more valuable the target. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ham Vocke concludes his lengthy reference on the practical test pyramid. An excellent resource, nearly an hour to read but worth your time.
  • Khe Hy describes his approach to making better use of everything he reads. 6 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rosie Spinks reports that Estonia will soon be offering a visa for “digital nomads” who want to park there for up to a year while working online. About half of the population speaks English. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy points out some of the behaviors that sabotage our careers. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dorie Clark explains how women can develop and promote their personal brand. Excellent advice for men in here, too. 6 minutes to read.
  • LaRae Quy articulates what it means to be positive in terms of what positive people never do. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of December 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 18 – 24. Happy holidays to you and your families and teams! May 2018 be the year that you aspire for it to be, rather than the one you fear it might be. And this week’s video: First Aid Kit sings their homage to Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons with Emmylou in the audience. Just over five minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Jeff Stibel explains that the brain needs sleep to remove toxic waste by-products. If you go about 200 hours without sleeping you’ll probably die. Take THAT, Warren Zevon! 5 minutes to read.
  • Karen Frances Eng summarizes recent research into the way the enteric nervous system works. As it turns out, we really do think with our gut. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kristen Wong reveals the keys top being a better listener—asking questions and empathy. 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Drew Davison examines the Canadian federal government payroll replacement project as an example of a huge initiative that didn’t go as well as expected and generated more problems than savings. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jigs Gaton identifies a key learning from the Equifax breach—find the overdue tasks—and then shares a technique for flagging them in MS Project. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale shares a few thoughts on effective processes for risk identification. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton lists what he feels are the best project management books, from beginner intros to specialized topics and the really technical stuff. 12 minutes to read.
  • Harold Kerzner makes his predictions for how project management will continue to evolve in 2018. 5 minutes to read.
  • Amy Hamilton looks back at 2017 and ahead to 2018 from the intersection of cybersecurity and project management. 3 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Data ConversionCornelius Fichtner interviews Betsy Stockdale on the life cycle of Agile requirements, writing better user stories and testable acceptance criteria. Podcast, 31 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Agile teams must become comfortable with a degree of uncertainty. “You need an answer, but do you need the answer before starting?” 5 minutes to read.
  • Ringo Thomas interviews Alistair Cockburn on the Heart of Agile, his updated approach to Agile methods. Video, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior and Derek Huether review two student questions from students who have recently taken a CSM or CSPO course. Video, 20 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bob Martin notes, “The parallels between double-entry accounting and test-driven development deep end Plentiful.” 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Mike Griffiths recounts an anecdote that illustrates the need to understand the organizational culture before attempting to introduce changes.
  • Johanna Rothman concludes her series on building an organizational culture on respect and safety. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy reminds us that project managers, as much as visionaries and dreamers, change the world. 2 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall explores three decision-making models and explains why decision management should be part of our project management plan. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Magnifying Glass ManSuzanne Lucas considers the pros and cons of facial recognition technology in accessing (and securing) corporate data. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jaime Green describes divergent brainstorming, where the goal is quantity, rather than quality. 2 minutes to read.
  • Antonio Uncal applies two key principles from quantum physics to project management: superposition and complementarity. It’s a nerdy metaphor, but it beats that pig-and-chicken Agile meme. 4 minutes to read.
  • Connor Forrest summarizes an editorial from a Homeland Security official that attributes the WannaCry attack earlier this year (and many others going back to 2009) to North Korea. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Priya Sanjeevi Raja identifies useful techniques for managing virtual teams. 6 minutes to read.
  • Matt Plummer notes both the dysfunctional and effective approaches to feeling refreshed after the holiday season. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tiffanie Wen collates the data from job sites and recruiting experts to find the optimal time to search for a new job. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!