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!

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.

Enjoy!