New PM Articles for the Week of March 26 – April 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 26 – April 1. And this week’s video: Seth Godin suggests that we can benefit from thinking backwards—flipping the point of view on which our assumptions are based. 19 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Christian Stewart notes some significant data privacy concerns for this of us who use Google’s services and products. 5 minutes to read. Nervous yet?
  • Todd Haselton tells how to download a copy of everything Google knows about you. 3 minutes to read, much longer to download. And if this doesn’t creep you out:
  • A 2016 memo by Facebook VP Andrew Bosworth acknowledges that the company’s relentless pursuit of growth via data collection could get people killed. Ethics matter, even when you’re popular. 8 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Kailash Awati provides a very detailed tutorial on using a Monte Carlo simulation to calculate a distribution of probable completion times, using a simple project with four tasks and three-point estimates. 20 minutes to read, but well worth it.
  • John Goodpasture extracts some key principles from Nate Silver’s book, The Signal and the Noise: why so many predictions fail – and some don’t. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews SaaS project resource management TeamDeck. 5 minutes to read.
  • Katrine Kavli gives us a crib sheet on test plans, useful for everyone from project managers to end users recruited for UAT. With templates! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains how (and why) to create your own project management templates, rather than download one from some PM site. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brian Anthony O’Malley recommends a few ways to make your status reports more effective in a way that promotes your personal brand. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from agile ecology to scaling with Lean and DevOps to problematic management principles. 3 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Brendan Connolly expands on Test Driven Development to provide an entry point for testers to perform their QA—start with objectives. 4 minutes to read.
  • Joe Colantonio interviews Michael Bolton on rapid software testing. Podcast, 38 minutes, safe for work.
  • Gojko Adzic notes that as more SaaS applications run in complex combinations, we will need to do more testing in the production environment. 7 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton explains how he found a bug—not by testing conformance to specifications, but by testing conformance to expectations. 2 minutes to read.
  • Martin Fowler announces the second edition of “Refactoring.” 7 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from the importance of self-improvement to improving your KPI’s to the difference between marketing, advertising, and branding. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton points out the top priorities for project leaders, using the acronym LEAD. 10 minutes to read.
  • Marcia Reynolds explains the difference between convincing and influencing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale notes that psychological safety must be cultivated one person at a time.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Daniel Bourke notes that we may have already invented artificial general intelligence. Maybe we just haven’t noticed. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Nield shares eleven tell-tale signs your accounts and devices have been hacked. 8 minutes to read.
  • Dan Kopf charts the history of the scatter plot (OK, that was nerd humor—so sue me). 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • John Yorke philosophizes on feedback—one can be the beneficiary of feedback or the victim. 5 minutes to read.
  • Francisco Saez explains why you need a daily action plan to let you focus on what’s important. 3 minutes to read.
  • Laura Guillen reports on recent research that casts serious doubt on the existence of a “confidence gap” between men and women. 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Crazy Russian Hacker explains that we’ve been splitting firewood wrong all these years. “Safety is number one priority.” Spasibo, moy drug …

Must read!

  • Donald Charles Wynes suggests an interesting way to identify risks: pretend the project is over, and you’re trying to analyze why it failed.
  • Mike Clayton recommends eight techniques for identifying risks. I especially like Brainwriting and Pre-Mortem.
  • Andy Jordan points out another source of risk: a change in leadership.

Established Methods

  • Harry Hall shares a checklist that should help you understand your project, which is the first step in managing it.
  • Glen Alleman presents the Project Breathalyzer: should your project even be on the road?
  • Women Testers has released the April edition of their quarterly online magazine.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates managing schedule slack, based on a TED talk by Tim Urban on procrastination. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Simon Moore’s book, “Strategic Portfolio Management.”
  • Elise Stevens interviews Emma Arnaz-Pemberton on how PMO’s can become trusted partners to the business. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Alistair Cockburn gives an excellent talk, “The Heart of Agile.” Just 50 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joshua Taylor makes a good point: designers shouldn’t focus on code – they should focus on the business.
  • Henny Portman returns from class with a nice summary of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0.
  • Emanuele Passera begins a series on Kanban, with a brief introduction to the terminology.
  • Angela Wick explains the difference between use cases and user stories, and why you should use one or the other but not both.
  • Sandeep Paudel posts a brief user story FAQ. Part one of two.

Applied Leadership

  • Cameron Conaway gets a few ideas about vision from Patti Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer at Duarte, Inc, a “visual storytelling company” in Silicon Valley.
  • Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, explains why hiring is so much more difficult than you might expect.
  • Liane Davey tells us how to deal with chronic complainers.
  • Art Petty explains how to succeed in high-pressure conversations.
  • Allen Ruddock contemplates the nature of motivation.

Pot Pouri

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a comprehensive approach to winning that next promotion.
  • Project Journal has rounded up 30 of the best interview questions to ask of applicants for a project management position.
  • Derek Huether explains how to triage meeting requests.
  • Thomas Carney summarizes six highly regarded productivity systems, and identifies roles that they might work best for (and not).
  • Seth Godin makes the (quality) case for not using free software.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 7 – 13

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 7 – 13. And this week’s video: David Letterman’s classic photo-identification quiz, “Trump or Monkey?” Four minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Mike Griffiths expounds on whether certification should indicate a ceiling or a floor of professional learning, and illustrates his point with historical examples.
  • Seth Godin explains the difference between confidence and arrogance, when making the case for change.
  • Lynda Bourne continues her examination of Practical Ethics. “The ethical standards of an organization are set by the actionsof its leaders.”

Established Methods

  • Samad Aidane interviews Suzie Blaszkiewicz, market analyst at GetApp, on their new report: 2016’s Top Project Management Apps.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews CEO, project manager, and entrepreneur Monica Borrell.
  • Douglas Brown on making process changes stick: “Best practices are a destination, not a starting point.”
  • Susanne Madsen explains the importance of positive relationships with project stakeholders, and how to develop them.
  • Brad Egeland offers five ideas for making meetings more productive that probably run counter to other advice you’ve seen.
  • Harry Hall explains the difference between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, and offers suggestions on how to improve your approach.

Agile Methods

  • Neil Killick looks for a patch of common ground between #Estimates and #NoEstimates.
  • Glen Alleman responds to Neil on that common ground between #Estimates and #NoEstimates.
  • Johanna Rothman posted a four-part series on how Agile approaches influence the way we test, from our expectations to our practices to metrics. Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
  • Mike Cohn recommends some alternatives approaches when developing reports that are too complex to deliver in one sprint.
  • Fernando Paloma Garcia explains how to stabilize quality and prepare to evolve the features of legacy applications by establishing a base of automated tests.
  • Shashank Sinha describes an example of how Agile methods were applied to the evolution of an enterprise legacy system.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty notes that good managers focus on what the people are doing, not just the tasks.
  • John Goodpasture considers un-delegation, based on the Principle of Subsidiarity.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy addresses three questions from her Wall Street Journal interview, on dealing with issues between the remote worker and a problematic boss.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains how to develop a project management dream team.
  • Lisa Earle McLeod extols the virtues of Essentialism, “the disciplined pursuit of Less.”

Pot Pouri

  • Bruce Harpham offers some guidance for making remote work productive.
  • Brendan Toner shares an eclectic list of techniques for improving productivity.
  • Yanna Vogiazou gets us up to date on gestural interaction – think Kinect games – and our multi-modal future.
  • Bertrand Duperrin thinks that the speed of Saas deployment may already exceed the speed at which organizations can change to adopt them.
  • Dalton Hooper provides some post-interview feedback: why I didn’t hire you, even though you were the most qualified.

Enjoy!