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!

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!