New PM Articles for the Week of August 17 – 23

Cape MearsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 17 – 23. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ezra Klein analyzes last Sunday’s New York Times’ expose of the demands of white-collar life at Amazon, and finds the evidence less than compelling.
  • Suzanne Lucas counters the New York Times Amazon profile with her observation that many people are looking for exactly that sort of demanding, big-league career.
  • Sarah Greene Carmichael reviews the research: those long hours are counterproductive for both the employee and the company.

Established Methods

  • Glen Alleman on anecdotes and statistics: “An anecdote is a statistic with a sample size of one.”
  • Elizabeth Harrin describes “Advances in Project Management,” as edited by Darren Dalcher. Sort of a PM Reader’s Digest …
  • Kailash Awati summarizes Russell Ackoff’s type classification of managerial attitudes toward planning. And it’s not necessarily about dysfunction.
  • Coert Vissar reviews Richard Nisbett’s, “Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking.”
  • Seth Godin notes that the first step in addressing a complex problem is agreeing on the definition of the problem and how it impacts us.
  • Robert T. reflects on the science supporting the value of intuitive decision-making.
  • Bruce Harpham collates eight habits of highly effective communicators.
  • Art Petty helps us overcome our fear of sharing feedback.
  • Harry Hall reviews the core principles and terminology of scope management.
  • Alex Lu-Pon profiles Adam Wright, who manages the construction of personal submarines, one boat at a time.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths looks into a problem with Agile methods: resistance to innovation and change, among some of the thought leaders!
  • Johanna Rothman follows up on her recent post, explaining how to use continuous planning.
  • Len Lagestee lists seven characteristics that sum up what an increasingly Agile organization should “feel like.”
  • Derek Huether has identified an amusing divergence: the Big Design Up Front of Agile2015 seems less valuable than informal gatherings, e.g. Emergent Design.

Work Isn’t a Place You Go But Something You Do

  • Thomas Carney gets the skinny on working remotely, from eleven project management thought leaders.
  • Patrick Gray shares some tips for the traveling IT worker, also known as the migrant computer worker, road hog, and so on …
  • A.W. also known as Gulliver the business traveler, trots out the unhealthy consequences of a life spent on the road. Now you tell me …
  • Tom Barnett looks at what should drive our decision to move on to the next opportunity.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Errette Dunn on his journeys to become the Lean influence at Wrike. Just 53 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner continues his recent interview of Susanne Madsen, with a deeper dive into coaching techniques. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Dan Galorath on the fine art of estimating. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.



Special Mention: Nick Pisano’s Post at AITS

Nick PisanoI 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.

New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.