New PM Articles for the Week of December 1 – 7

Just OverheadNew project management articles published on the web during the week of December 1 – 7. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Dominika Chambon provides the “how-to” for preventing scope creep and other profitability failure modes on a fixed-price project.
  • Glen Alleman puts systems engineering the in the enterprise IT domain into context, with examples of capabilities that drive the effort.
  • Kathleen O’Connor explore the difference between a project and a strategic initiative.
  • Michael Lopp on why so many software bugs are discovered in the wild, rather than in the QA lab: “Humans do strange shit to software …” Still, the QA mentality has value.
  • Ron Rosenhead notes that lesson learned are only valuable to the extent that we actually do something to implement what we’ve learned.
  • Harry Hall illustrates the strategy of risk avoidance with an embarrassing story.
  • Ryan Ogilvie takes a lesson from Star Trek on managing the risk of exceeding your scheduled maintenance down time window.
  • Nick Pisano reviews our current state of fragmented digitized project information management tools and describes what the integrated future state should be.
  • Gus Lawson shares an anecdote about helping a team improve their ability to collaborate with others, and summarizes the lessons learned.
  • Robert Martinez outlines an approach for building effective teams.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn makes the case for Scrum Master and Product Owner being two different people, not just different roles.
  • Johanna Rothman asks an interesting question: Who removes your obstacles?
  • John Goodpasture gets philosophical on the relationship between retrospection and management.
  • Sameer Patil reviews several alternative models for ordering your product backlog.
  • Sam Barnes provides the transcript of a Q&A he gave on managing digital projects.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Samad Aidane interviews Todd Williams on how to buy project management consulting service. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior sits down with Personal Kanban guru Jim Benson to talk about matching work in progress (WIP) with capacity. Part 1 is just 11 minutes, all are safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joseph Flahiff on getting your team to be a rock band! Or at least, one that rocks. Just 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy and his two brothers compare notes on the practice of leadership in their respective industries. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.

Being Effective

  • Cheri Baker ditched her Outlook, Kanban board, Evernote, Toodledo, and Onenote for … uh, a paper planner. Hey, organization is about the skills, not the tools!
  • Peter Saddington shares an infographic on how set a daily routine that will improve your effectiveness.
  • Seth Godin clarifies the relationships between goals, strategies, and tactics.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 31 – April 6

Cartoon NewsboyNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 31 – April 6. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! And Elizabeth Harrin was kind enough to give me a guest spot on her blog, PM4Girls – thanks, Mum! Also recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman explores the clever phrase, “Do it right or do it twice.”
  • Gary Nelson notes that there is an appropriate window of opportunity for change. After that, everything gets expensive or impossible.
  • Bruce Benson sings the praises of arguments, disputes, and debates.
  • Barry Hodge argues that Nozbe is the best “to do” list app for project managers, and gives five excellent reasons. I’m still not ditching Trello, though …
  • Dick Billows notes the advantages of using a software-based project scheduling tool, and shoots down the arguments against it.
  • Marian Haus recaps the three “traditional” techniques for overcoming project schedule constraints.
  • John Goodpasture shares a challenge question he puts to his risk management students, on how to assess the impact of a new technology, process, or vendor.
  • Tony Adams traces the link between the project charter and the engagement of the project sponsor.
  • Henny Portman links us to some great how-to videos for Excel – the project manager’s Swiss Army Knife.
  • Sue Geuens notes that incorrect data records can lead to some pretty serious consequences.

Agile Methods

  • Jeff Pierce addresses requirements gathering for those development projects with a lot of constraints.
  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on designing your own Agile project, with a look at dealing with the unknowns.
  • Cheri Baker looks into the post-success bounce, and why success is so often temporary.
  • Soma Bhattacharya talks about what to do once you’ve succeeded, and your Scrum team is successful, productive, and stable.
  • Dave Prior reflects on how he’s using (and benefiting from) his personal Kanban, as a follow-up to his interviews with Jim Benson.
  • Paulo Dias looks at the down side of starting a Sprint on a Monday.

Strategy and Governance

  • Martin Webster asks an interesting question: “Does strategy emerge or is it planned?”
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell’s new book, “Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future .”
  • Michael Wood notes that the maxim “simpler is better” also applies to project portfolio management.

Your Career

  • Dennis McCafferty shares a slide deck that shows compensation and career prospects for experience project managers are looking very good, indeed.
  • Linky van der Merwe links us to a few resources for project managers looking to make a career move.
  • Michel Dion provides some tips for those preparing for a job interview.

Enjoy!

PMI Publishes Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide

Navigating ComplexityLast week, PMI announced availability of a new publication on managing complexity in projects, programs, and project portfolios. Called “Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide,” it is now available for download in PDF format at no cost, for a limited time. The print version will be available in mid-March.

The Guide organizes the causes of complexity into three categories, including human behavior, system behavior, and ambiguity. The need to align people, programs, and projects to manage complexity is addressed through organizational support structures, and useful practices in four areas: scope, communications, stakeholders, and risk. Principles are demonstrated via several scenarios, each with suggested actions. Key considerations in developing, implementing, and managing an action plan are included. An extensive literature review is included as an appendix, along with a glossary.

The PDF file is 113 pages, and includes an assessment questionnaire. The questionnaire is available as a separate download, along with a companion resource gap analysis and skills assessment. Additional resources, including white papers and case studies, are available on the same complexity program page as the downloadable files.