There is generally a strong correlation between risk and reward, and complexity tends to drive risk. Consequently, project managers often find themselves with endeavors that push the boundaries of their organizations’ ability to deliver. While Agile methods have been shown to help deal with ambiguity, they aren’t a cure-all for complex problems. A rigorous approach to risk management, from early identification and assessment to aggressive development of containment strategies, is the key to realizing those rewards.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 4 – 10. And this week’s video: Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen perform “Rock That Boogie” somewhere in Europe. I reference a line from this song in one of my comments below, so I figured some of you under age 60 might want to hear it in context. Less than 3 minutes, more-or-less safe for work.
Mike Murphy reports the details of Microsoft’s $7.5B deal to buy GitHub. 2 minutes to read.
Adrien Book examines the impact AI-driven content might be having on our children. Case in point: Youtube for kids. 5 minutes to read.
Elad Sherf reports on research that indicates overworked managers treat their employees less fairly, to the detriment of the organization. 6 minutes to read.
Robert Wysocki describes Hybrid Project Management—a mix of traditional, Agile, and Extreme methods. 5 minutes to read.
Walter Stinnett offers some tips on how to ensure the project status data you get from Microsoft Project is as accurate as possible. 3 minutes to read.
Adam Knight explains why testers and management have very different perceptions of risk to software under test. 7 minutes to read.
Andy Silber explains how to assess project risks using a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. 6 minutes to read.
Glen Alleman reviews some of the principle biases that impact our decision making and how that affects our projects and estimates. 4 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton tells us how to hand over the project to the operational team when it comes to an end. Video, 4 minutes, safe for work. When Mike mentions “snagging list,” US project managers should think “punch list.”
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from using graphics to improve your facilitation skills to organizational analysis to Kanban Cadences. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
Dave Prior interviews Agile heretic and thought leader Jim Benson on why Agile is going off the rails and what should be done about it. Podcast, a little over an hour.
Valerie Senyk shares her notes from a presentation by Esther Derby: six rules for driving complex change, as an Agile coach. 2 minutes to read.
Radoslaw Orszewski answers your questions about Kanban Cadences, a more structured approach. 5 minutes to read.
Neil Killick lists eight ways to implement the Agile mindset and methods without putting the organization through an “Agile Transformation.” 4 minutes to read.
Luis Goncalves defines Agile project portfolio management. 5 minutes to read, plus a 2-minute video.
Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from innovation programs to pushing back against shame and failure to acting when your employees are losing focus. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
Guy Itzchakov and Avraham Kluger explain the powerful that listening plays in helping people to change their behavior. Your listening, not just theirs! 8 minutes to read.
Mary Jo Asmus imagines how it would work if we valued good questions as much as knowledge. 2 minutes to read.
John Goodpasture passes along some good advice on staying prepared for the opportunity to speak to a group about your project. 2 minutes to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Erik Dietrich identifies the seven sins of unit testing. Be aware of these worst-practices and ask the right questions. 6 minutes to read.
Erin Wildermuth expounds on science proving the benefits of talking to yourself. 4 minutes to read. “Sittin’ on a bench down in the park, talkin’ to myself alone in the dark.”—Billy C. Farlow
Julie Giulioni shares a strategy for enhancing your ability to learn and succeed over time. 3 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Poornima Vijayashanker interviews Holly Cardew on how to recruit and interview remote workers, and why you should. Video, 13 minutes, safe for work.
Aytekin Tank explains the difference between a manager’s schedule and a maker’s schedule. You can mix both into your day if you understand the difference. 7 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin shares some ways to stay motivated and productive at work during summertime, when you’d rather be outside. 6 minutes to read.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 28 – June 3. And this week’s video: Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker presents her annual internet trends report at the 2018 Code Conference. 33 minutes but well worth your time. Her 294-slide deck is here.
Mark Johnson tells how Ford is transitioning from auto manufacturer to mobility provider. Noted business disruptor Henry Ford would be very impressed. 6 minutes to read.
Mike Murphy reports that Alphabet’s Waymo division is about to put around 62,000 autonomous minivans into a commercialized ride-hailing service. Take a moment to imagine the logistics for this rollout and how these vehicles will be serviced. 2 minutes to read.
Alex Hern reports that the first GDPR complaint lawsuits have been filed against Facebook and Google. If upheld, fines could run into the billions of Euros. 3 minutes to read.
Esther Cohen provides a detailed set of tips for preparing and conducting exceptionally effective project kickoff meetings. 10 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton goes into details of the various risk response strategies, as expanded in the PMBOK 6th 8 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin describes the role and duties of project steering groups, sometimes called the Governance Committee. 5 minutes to read.
Lindsay Curtis lists the Do’s and Don’ts of project management communications, from plan to delivery. 4 minutes to read.
Heikki Hellgren tutors us on proper software requirements. 7 minutes to read.
Nick Pisano proposes a software customer Bill of Rights—commercial practices that apply ethics to the process of marketing and selling software. 8 minutes to read.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the iceberg of ignorance to misunderstanding Kanban to how amazon quantified the benefits of Amazon Prime. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
John Yorke observes that the enemy of Agile is ego—a belief that we have achieved perfect knowledge and there is no need to learn anything else. 4 minutes to read.
Pawel Brodzinski examines the related concepts of autonomy and alignment and emergent purpose. 5 minutes to read.
Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy and Leigh Espy discuss the challenges of IT project management when working with complex technologies and Agile methods. Video, 10 minutes, safe for work.
John Goodpasture gives a detailed response to a reader who challenged his statement that firm fixed-price contracts are inappropriate for contracting Agile. 4 minutes to read.
Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from walking out of bad meetings to minding feedback to making better decisions. 4 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
Alicia Liu shares a comprehensive guide to influencing behavior, from developing self-awareness and modeling desired behavior to giving actionable feedback. 13 minutes to read.
Kiron Bondale examines the three common temporal preferences—larks, owls, and third-birds—to suggest ways we can optimize our team’s work schedule. 2 minutes to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Darius Foroux explains Price’s Law—sort of a variation on the Pareto Principle. 4 minutes to read.
Raul Popa posts an FAQ for TypingDNA, a biometric technology that identifies users by the way they type. Useful for two-factor authentication. 4 minutes to read.
Igor Ilunin describes two rapidly evolving means of human-computer interaction: voice, and soon thought recognition. 3 minutes to read.
Gina Abudi shows how to create and refine a mind map to organize your ideas. 2 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Andrew Rundle has analyzed health data to quantify how much impact frequent business travel has on our health. Spoiler: a lot. 5 minutes to read.
Michael Deane gives us the marketing executive’s view of how to optimize our use of social media to raise our professional visibility. 2 minutes to read.
Hugh Beaulac explains how to procrastinate productively. 3 minutes to read.
Gerald Weinberg unpacks the “Anti-esteem toolkit,” a set of tactics people use to maintain low self-esteem. 2 minutes to read.