New PM Articles for the Week of May 4 – 10

Sydney Opera HouseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of May 4 – 10. We give you a venue for discovery of new ideas, so you can find what interests you. I took this picture on my recent business trip to Sydney, during a short respite from the rain. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Lynda Bourne explains the difference between change and transformation. And yes, they are as different as waterfall and Agile.
  • Don Kim preaches a little heresy: the more an organization needs effective project management, right now, the less ardently they should pursue it.
  • Penelope Trunk presents some shortcuts to apply when reinventing yourself. The key is to change the context and presentation, rather than your essential identity.

PM Best Practices

  • Michel Dion challenges the traditional “triple constraint” perspective in defining project success, with a new trinity of considerations that look outside the project.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the slide deck from her PMXPO talk, “Ten Ways to Market Your Project.” Great stuff on connecting with your stakeholders.
  • Rich Maltzman presents the story of coffee roaster Equal Exchange as an example of the purpose-driven approach that project managers should emulate.
  • Paul Ritchie advocates for imbedding benefits realization in the project plan, and links to a great old Hoyt Axton song, “Where Did the Money Go?”
  • Nick Pisano lays the groundwork for a generalized theory of managing software development and acquisition, with a supporting rebar web of physics and economics.
  • John Goodpasture introduces a presentation by Matthew Squair, “Software Partitioning Integrity.” Even if you aren’t a software development manager, the vocabulary is worth developing, from a risk management perspective.
  • Harry Hall reviews the key knowledge elements of risk identification. Educate your project team and stakeholders, and they will embrace risk management.
  • Bill Nichols argues for documenting requirements, despite Agilista claims. Just because they’re emerging doesn’t mean we shouldn’t capture them.
  • Ray Frohnhoefer on Extreme Planning. “As we’ve learned from projects like gov, Agile isn’t always the best method to follow for software development.”
  • Paul Baumgartner describes the project manager’s role of “knowledge broker,” redirecting inquiries to the right expert, as essential to the success of complex projects.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn shares his thoughts on whether it is better for team members to commit to specific tasks, or the entire team to commit to the sprint plan.
  • Mike Griffiths points out the abundance of non-traditional knowledge sharing on Agile projects, with a focus on Extreme Programming practices.
  • Neil Killick examines some of the motivations for a decision maker to request an estimate, with an eye toward producing better answers.

Management Without the Pointy Hair

  • Venkat Krishnamurthy proposes a novel approach: instead of trying to replicate success, study and learn from companies who failed.
  • Susanne Madsen reviews Hertzberg’s theory of hygiene and motivators and a bit of self-determination theory to make an important point: you can’t buy retention.
  • Suzanne Lucas recommends five actions you can take to improve retention of your best employees.
  • Glen Alleman notes that in order to use data from past performance to project future results, you need to be able to make some quantified adjustments.
  • Bruce Harpham applies David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” personal productivity principles with a weekly review.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 30 – April 5

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 30 – April 5. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Seth Godin takes a systems-level view of the cost of panic. “Systems under severe stress degrade.” I don’t care what else you do today, read this.
  • Lynda Bourne gives an overview of the Salience Model of stakeholder assessment, which balances power, urgency, and legitimacy.
  • Coert Visser confirms what parents of teenagers have long suspected: demanding compliance is counter-productive.

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a graphic prepared by the KeyedIn Projects blog team, after a recent chat. If the Boss’s hair were more pointy, it would be a Dilbert cartoon.
  • Glen Alleman ties together some of the thoughts in his recent posts on making decisions in the presence of uncertainty.
  • John Goodpasture conducts a cost / benefit analysis of a new insurance product, and when it makes sense to transfer risk.
  • Harry Hall lists some of the ways we fail to ensure our projects meet quality requirements.
  • Wanda Curlee considers ways in which the CEO can use portfolio management to drive the organization in a desired direction.
  • Johanna Rothman presents an example of how to present your personal workload as a response to add to your queue.
  • Ryan Ogilvie conducts an analysis of comments posted to a problem management product website, and uncovers some trends.
  • Dan Furlong concludes his series on preparing for and facilitating meetings.
  • Charmaine Richman lists some guidelines for preparing and conducting conference calls.

Agile Methods

  • Projects At Work shares the results of the ninth annual State of Agile survey from VersionOne.
  • Emanuele Passera gets us ready for swimming season, with a demonstration of how to use story points for estimation.
  • Mike Cohn notes that transparency is the ideal when sharing details from a retrospective, but there are legitimate exceptions.
  • Jesse Fewell shares his retrospective from his first full year as an independent Agile coach and trainer.
  • Deepak Joshi identifies roadblocks to building cross-functional teams.

Leading

  • Michael Lopp identifies two leadership strengths that are more common in introverts.
  • Bruce Harpham reviews the most basic, most effective, and most frequently overlooked behavioral motivator – showing appreciation.
  • Michel Dion reviews Susanne Madsen’s book, “The Power of Project Leadership.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews engineering-and-hard-science project management master Glen Alleman. Just over an hour, worth every minutes, and safe for work.
  • Sven Johann and Eberhard Wolff define technical debt and discuss alternative approaches to managing it. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.

Enjoy!