New project management articles published on the web during the week of August 31 – September 6. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:
Julie Bort summarizes the myths and science of lies, liars, and a few ways to identify when someone is hiding something.
Scott Adams lists some of the “tells,” or involuntary actions, for cognitive dissonance, the human reaction to facts that conflict with one’s beliefs. Be careful, because you won’t be able to un-read this.
Coert Visser describes a 2 by 2 matrix, modest /arrogant and ignorant / knowledgeable, and suggests some strategies for dealing with the arrogant-yet-ignorant state of mind.
Moira Alexander shares her strategic alignment checklist for project managers, because it’s not just about being on schedule, on budget, and on the quality target.
Gary Nelson uses a woodworking metaphor for getting a project completed without cutting corners (or sanding them off).
Phil Weinzimer reflects on his interviews of Proctor and Gamble’s CIO, Filippo Passerini, who was so impressive that he rates an entire chapter in Phil’s new book.
Glen Alleman makes the case for using source lines of code as a measure of system and project performance.
And in response, Nick Pisano argues the case against using SLOC as a measure of performance. I agree with Nick on this one.
Matthew Squair looks at technical debt through his safety engineering and risk management lens.
BrenDt imagines the perfect project management tool; it’s just not commercially available, yet.
Kathleen O’Connor interviews Brian Manning, co-founder of Centric Digital, on the balance between project management and creativity.
Parag Tipnis finds the intersection of scope management and stakeholder management, where diplomacy is required to keep perfection from preventing progress.
Neel Patel reports on what the AI and security communities say about the prospect of software beating hackers in the near term: not likely.
Pawel Brodzinski explains the effect that the Zeigarnik Effect has on context switching – one more reason to limit work in progress.
John Goodpasture notes with approval the role of the enterprise architect in Disciplined Agile Delivery.
Mike Cohn makes the case for budgeting, as an alternative for teams that don’t feel capable of estimating well.
Neil Killick argues for product management, as a long-term replacement for project, program, and portfolio management. He didn’t convince me, but it’s worth a read.
I normally include references to articles and blog posts in my weekly round-up, but in this case, I wanted to go into more depth than my usual one or two sentences. Nick Pisano’s article at AITS this week looks like the capstone of his argument that IT project failure is less about unknown and unknowable risks than about poor management processes. His analysis runs from Black Swans to Babe Ruth, and from studies by Rand and McKinsey to his previous posts on the physics and economics of software development.
Nick concludes with nine very specific principles that should be the basis of every software development project selection and execution process. His underlying theme: improving the success rate of software projects lies not in the cryptozoology of unforeseeable events, but in the application of modern management techniques and evidence-based decision making. Projects should not be begun without clear objectives and success metrics, and they should be terminated when evidence of impending failure is identified.
It’s a long read, but well worth your time. Great job, Nick.