New PM Articles for the Week of October 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 1 – 7. And this week’s video: Chris Forsberg makes the business case for a serverless architecture: namely, reducing the need for an Operations staff to nearly zero. 2 minutes, safe for work.

Also: Hussain Bandukwala has organized a PMO Virtual Summit, to be conducted October 16 – 18. The Summit will allow aspiring and first-time PMO leaders to hear from thought leaders like Bill Dow, Laura Barnard, and Andy Jordan. And it’s free—all you have to do is register. There’s also a free eBook with contributions from many of the speakers and Cornelius Fichtner did a quick interview podcast with Hussain. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Michelle Gelfand describes the problems arising from a merger of organizations with incompatible cultures. Case in point: Amazon and Whole Foods markets. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Murphy reports on the struggles (and closures) of several US-based robotics firms. Competition is building, although the market isn’t expanding very quickly. 2 minutes to read.
  • Uzma Barlaskar tells us how to develop a data-informed culture, rather than falling into a data-driven culture. The difference is more than semantics. 7 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin tutors us on programs (or programmes, in the UK), from the basics through three common types. 5 minutes to read.
  • Glenn Alleman gives us a clear explanation of the cone of uncertainty for projects and shares an extensive reading list. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy shows us how to apply the Delphi Technique in a real project management example. 4 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall persuades us to investigate the PMI-RMP risk management professional credential. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Naomi Caietti on her new book, Transform Your Leadership: Getting unstuck and jumpstarting your career. Podcast, 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tim Runcie explains master projects in MS Project: what they are and when and how to use them. 6 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kris Hughes has rounded up 25 quotes that illustrate important aspects of project management. And none of those quoted are project managers! 8 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from prescriptive practices (bad) to becoming more strategic (good) to why commitment cultures always win. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a series on designing a product-oriented organization. Here are parts two, three, with part four coming soon. About 12 minutes to read these three.
  • Roman Pichler tells us how to establish an effective product strategy process, from vision to the product backlog. 5 minutes to read.
  • Erik Dietrich walks us through seven types of testing so we might spot the holes in our testing strategy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alex Punnen presents a diagram of software quality in the shape of an iceberg because bug testing is only the most visible element. 13 minutes to read.
  • Tim Bunter summarizes three core principles from James Wickett’s webinar on DevSecOps, but a link is included if you want to hear for yourself. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from implementing OKR to being too productive to running your business barefoot. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • George Jucan examines the ethical aspects of influencing (as opposed to manipulating) stakeholders. 6 minutes to read.
  • Payson Hall presents five principles for effective mentoring (and coaching). 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • MIT Technology Review reports on research that has created the first network of brain-to-brain thought exchange. Three people playing Tetris is just the beginning. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Krebs alerts us to a new trend in voice phishing: calls that credibly imitate contacts from your financial institution. 10 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome on CareerBuilder’s new study: the US will add 8 million jobs over the next five years. Software developers and support specialists will be among the fastest-growing categories. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Rebecca Knight explains how to cope with second-hand stress. 8 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on a new law in Massachusetts that mandates employers who require a non-compete agreement to continue to pay you after you leave. 2 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Sáez recaps advice from Chip and Dan Heath on how we can change our own behavior. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 17 – 23

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 17 – 23. And this week’s video: an animation featuring the late Studs Terkel, as he ruminates on the comforting sound of the human voice, in a story about the machine-generated voice of the tram at the Atlanta airport. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Dave Gershgorn reports that some US Senators are asking whether AI algorithms could violate civil rights laws by perpetuating biases. 2 minutes to read.
  • Stephen Blyth notes that big data and machine learning won’t prevent the next financial crisis. The principal driver is irreducible uncertainty. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kasia Wezowski notes that while body language varies significantly across cultures, microexpressions are remarkably consistent. Just a minute to read but study the photos.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman does a deep dive into Monte Carlo simulation and includes a truly massive list of references. 11 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture contrasts Monte Carlo simulations with PERT. 6 minutes to read.
  • Jory MacKay tutors us on stakeholders and how to identify and engage them. 11 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin speaks out on allocating resources to tasks: “Availability is not a skill set!” 4 minutes to read.
  • Nenad Trajkovski addresses the question: do we need to assign a resource to a milestone task? If so, under what conditions? 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman philosophizes on the differences between project work and product work. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from whiteboarding skills to Monte Carlo forecasting to a new survey. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton presents a complete guide to the bewildering list of credentials available to Agile practitioners. 12 minutes to read.
  • Chee-Hong Hsia explains why architecture will emerge and evolve, even though you should take the time to start with a good design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andy Makar describes three real-world Agile team challenges and recommends ways to deal with them. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Bernstein shares some pointers on pair and mob programming. Great minds don’t always think alike; sometimes they fill in each other’s gaps. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony describes the critical elements to consider in localization testing. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from failing at your goals to protecting from human errors to choosing which advice to follow. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty describes a presentation to senior managers that could have gone badly but benefitted from a calm response to strong objections. 6 minutes to read.
  • Pawel Brodzinski extols the virtues of flat organizations and distributed decision-making in the context of autonomy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills notes that there is a formula for transparency. Just a minute to read.

Research and Insights

  • Thomas Hornigold reports on MIT research: robotic arms that taught themselves to pick up objects the way people do. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mark Wilson cites research into career peaks—it seems that you can do your best work at any time in your professional career, and “hot streaks” are a real thing. 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Van De Ven and Steven Van Dalen explain the impact of dedicated chips like the Bionic A12 in the new iPhone which are only engaged for specific tasks. Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.

Working and the Workplace

  • Dominic Price shares some vital signs that can help you determine whether your office culture is healthy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Maura Thomas examines the impact of Email on company culture. Some ground rules are needed! 5 minutes to read.
  • Geoffrey Morrison shares some advice on simple things to pack along on any business trip. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 10 – 16

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 10 – 16. And this week’s video: Elizabeth Harrin recommends three books for project managers who are new to Agile methods. Two and a half minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Paul Mee describes some of the ways that a cyber attack could cause the next financial crisis. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell clarifies four key things we should know about the business use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alessandro Di Fiore opines that strategic planning doesn’t have to be the enemy of agility. There is a sweet spot in the Venn diagram to aim for. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • John Goodpasture notes that the more detail we add to an item on the risk register, the more specific the event, thus lowering the probability of it happening. 3 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy shows how to create a SIPOC (suppliers / inputs / processes / outputs / customers) model to facilitate process improvement. 5 minutes to read.
  • Gina Abudi tells us how to identify key stakeholders for business process improvement projects. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale addresses an interesting question: are projects requiring non-discretionary compliance with external requirements a good fit for adaptive methods? 2 minutes to read.
  • Donna Fitzgerald explains why you need project management discipline—not just Agile methods—in order to go fast. 4 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman recaps the principles of the Beyond Budgeting movement. Just a minute to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the Agile Industrial Complex to continuous product discovery to agile sensemaking. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Alan Page helps us get to the right question for a Scrum stand-up: “What needs to be done to move this task to the right?“ 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bas Vodde on Large-Scale Scrum at the 3rd annual LeSS conference. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Agile teams should estimate both the product backlog and the sprint backlog but in different units. 6 minutes to read.
  • Erick Dietrich looks at the way we manage regression defects—the ones we introduce to a system already in production. 5 minutes to read.
  • Paige Watson shares his notes from David Scott Bernstein’s talk on unit tests as specifications, in the context of TDD. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from making yourself unnecessary to getting past fear to OKRs within the team. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gets into the differences between project manager and project leader. 12 minutes to read.
  • Andy Kaufman contemplates whether indecision is worse than no decision. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Simone Stolzoff reports on Melinda Gates’ coalition to bring more women of color into STEM fields. 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Linus Chang shares several ransomware scenarios that demonstrate there’s more than just encryption to worry about. 6 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome identifies the ten countries with the most patents per capita, an excellent metric for innovation. 2 minutes to read. Also, a 5-minute video on the impact of the tariff wars on technology firms.
  • C. Pan gives us the history of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as described in Merve Emre’s book, The Personality Brokers. 10 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Oliver Staley reports that Microsoft has replaced feedback with “perspectives,” a system of soliciting opinions from peers in a structured way. Terminology matters in this case. 2 minutes to read.
  • Seth Godin offers some tips that will help us be more effective on video conference calls with more than three people. Just 1 minute to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland tells how to set boundaries with the other people in the house when working from home. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!