New PM Articles for the Week of August 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 6 – 12. And this week’s video: James Hamilton explains how to bore a proper pilot hole for a wood screw. I just finished prying out nearly 2,000 wood screws and nails from the old 600 square foot deck on the back of my house, and I can say for certain that the guy who built it did not use this technique. 4 minutes, safe for work or home workshop.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Ali Montag recaps a three-question “litmus test” for new employees, created by Jeff Bezos in 1998 and still a part of their recruitment process today. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ashish Sharma describes the next big target for exploitation: hacking motor vehicles, and through your car, your phone and the data on it. 7 minutes to read.
  • Peter Diamandis reports on the rapid growth of venture capital investment sourced from China, including the technologies they are funding. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Niraj Kuma on leading a project in the midst of chaos—in this case, a flood. Podcast, 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares some guidance on prioritizing and focusing for a project manager who also wears several other hats. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mohamed Amer analyzes the selection of a project status “data date.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale waxes poetic on the need for an effective product owner, and then pivots to review Eric Uyttewaal’s new book, “Forecasting Programs.” 3 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall points out the three most common failure mores for IT-led software projects to fail. 3 minutes to read.
  • Christopher Cook interprets the old military expression, “Two is one and one is none.” 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the Business Agility report to the new Professional Scrum Master II class to cognitive biases. 8 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley tells us that it isn’t OK to demo work that isn’t “done” yet. With some exceptions when you really should. 5 minutes to read both articles.
  • Oleksii Fedorov addresses the critical software technical decision maker question: When is the time to pay off technical debt? And where to start? 5 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam uses the “user experience” of a watermelon to explain secure design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Sebastian Boyer gives an overview of eight tools and techniques for conducting a Scrum retrospective. 6 minutes to read.
  • Rich Rogers and James Bach each remember Jerry Weinberg, called by some “The grandfather of Agile,” who passed away on August 7 at the age of 84. 3 minutes to read, each.

Applied Leadership

  • Kim Peters and Alex Haslam review the research: to be a good leader, start by being a good follower. 4 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy argues that small doses of micromanagement can be beneficial. 6 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson notes that data is only actionable if it helps you tell a compelling story to an audience that finds it interesting. 3 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy advocates for applying emotional intelligence in the workplace. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Steve Ragan explains phishing kits—the exploit code delivered in a successful phishing Email attack. Video, 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Daniel Oberhaus reports on new research that links sleep deprivation to high-speed internet access. Yes, I’m writing this after 10:00 PM. 3 minutes to read.
  • Noa Kageyama recaps recent research into the effect that stress has on our ability to recall. The twist: the way you learn something matters. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy explains how you can “win friends and influence people” when you work remotely. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leah Fessler notes the value that “cultural brokers” bring to their culturally diverse teams. 3 minutes to read.
  • Anna Quito shares statistics, history, and fun facts to know and shout about our closest companion: the office chair. Charles Darwin—seriously? 6 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 30 – August 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 30 – August 5. And this week’s video: engineer and ethicist Braden Allenby and biomedical engineer Conor Walsh consider how a coming wave of automation, robotics, and biomedical enhancements could fundamentally alter the trajectory of our species. Cool animations and lots of ethical issues in only 3 minutes. 

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell says it’s time to be skeptical about The Lean Startup. There are many paths to innovation; “No strategy fits every problem.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas has some suggestions for the strategic selection of an outsourcing partner. There’s more involved than just delegation. 3 minutes to read.
  • Ruturaj Kohok points out useful applications for augmented reality in five industries. I’ll bet you can think of at least two more after reading this. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Dale Howard explains why those question marks appear in the Duration column when you add a new task to Microsoft Project. 4 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall notes ten common failure modes for managing risk responses. 3 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shares some content describing the NASA approach to risk management, together with some principles on uncertainty, risks, and estimates. 2 minutes to read.
  • Darren Chait coaches us on the bane of the project manager’s existence: meeting notes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely describes a life cycle for consensus decision making, from down-selecting alternatives to testing consensus—excellent techniques! 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agnostic agile to #NoCeremonies and #NoProjects to team building. 7 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • Andre Helderman points out the need for unbiased algorithms and thus transparency in their design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between how well we understand the customer’s problem and the roadmap to deliver it. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andrey Salomatin goes into the details of prototyping with code: why, how, and what to expect when iterating on a product idea. 11 minutes to read.
  • Emma Lilliestam tells us why penetration testing should include exploit development—in other words, getting into the system. 2 minutes to read.
  • Carol Brands recounts her introduction to SAML (security assertion markup language) and how she realized what it meant for code maintenance as user roles proliferate. 4 minutes to read.
  • Noah Weiss clarifies some potential misconceptions about the product manager role. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from pursuing OKR’s to the benefits of weekly reporting to the likelihood of failure. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Nancy Koehn describes Abraham Lincoln’s approach to leadership using key events in his presidency. 6 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the power of helping people to re-frame who they think they are in moments of doubt or fear. 4 minutes to read.
  • Robert Noggle explains how to tell the difference between persuasion and manipulation. 6 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Shelly Fan recaps research into multi-tasking with a mind-controlled robotic limb. Yes, this really is a thing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ephrat Livni summarizes findings from research into how the brain manages learning: it seems that uncertainty enhances the process. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Fishbein explains how to master any skill. You just need to learn how to learn. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Brian de Haaf explains why remote workers are out-performing office workers. 2 minutes to read.
  • Eric Torrence describes the rare skill of disarming a tense situation. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus shares some ideas about changing the way you look at the people who annoy you. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!                   

New PM Articles for the Week of July 16 – 22

New project management articles published on the web during the week of July 16 – 22. And this week’s video: a quick review of recent changes to Microsoft Visio, followed by a demonstration of how to integrate Visio with Microsoft Project. 26 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Bill Taylor focuses our attention on three reasons why Netflix is successful. And focus is the key word here. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell revisits the failures of Blockbuster, Kodak, and Xerox. The root cause of each of their failures was not just disruption. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dan Kopf summarizes a report from the OECD on what higher tariffs might mean for economic growth. It’s not all about the retail price of manufactured goods. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Satya Narayan Dash tutors us on contingency reserve and management reserve. 9 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture explains David Hulett’s approach to integrating the risk register and the project plan. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Karlene Agard on value management in mega-projects—reducing cost without reducing value. Podcast, 16 minutes.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy delivers a very detailed mini-course on project stakeholder management, from identification to creating a Register. 16 minutes.
  • Mike Clayton provides detailed instructions on how to get the most from our next “lessons learned” meeting. 12 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Clarizen share their thoughts on milestones—on both good and bad practices. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Beyond Budgeting to why open floor plans suck to results of the scrum master survey. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Raffaela Rein describes inclusive design as removing barriers to access for the disabled, from the deaf to the color blind and beyond. 5 minutes to read.
  • Erik Dietrich describes seven types of testing (beyond functional testing) that you should be doing. 5 minutes to read.
  • James Kobelius considers what it might mean to certify an AI product as “safe.” 6 minutes to read.
  • Janelle Shane gives us a practitioner’s view of why artificial narrow intelligence is more achievable than artificial general 5 minutes to read.
  • Alex Aitken questions the predictive value of velocity. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from fairy tales and fables to accurate data to being compassionate. 5 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke explains the concepts exemplified by Herbie, a key character in The Goal, by Eliyahu Goldratt. This is a novel that introduces the Theory of Constraints. 7 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus points out some of the upsides to delegating. 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Mike Griffiths catalogs some of the AI assistant applications we should look forward to as project managers. 7 minutes to read.
  • Max Steinmetz collates some recent statistics on Agile adoption and results. 3 minutes to read.
  • Alison Coleman previews a new report from PMI: Next Practices: Maximizing the Benefits of Disruptive Technologies on Projects. 5 minutes to read.
  • Oliver Staley reports on a new study from a business school in Madrid which compared formal and automated communication with informal communications at work. 2 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares an extract from her excellent new book, Project Manager, which describes three ways to get that first job as a PM. 5 minutes to read.
  • Berta Melder explains why serotonin is important to our happiness and productivity and identifies daily activities that can help us produce more of it. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills reminds us to observe a few simple workplace courtesies—like keeping your calendar updated. A minute to read.

Enjoy!