New PM Articles for the Week of February 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 1 – 7. And this week’s video is Survivorman Les Stroud and his buddy Bob with a deep woods harmonica duet.

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas summarizes recent research into what make us appear to be stupid. Three behaviors dominated – and you can change your behavior!
  • John Goodpasture gets us back to the numerical basics of counting, measuring, and positioning. Elegant + simple = profound.
  • Michael Wood provides a comprehensive introduction to ethics, as it applies to project management. With lots of links to excellent topical content!

Established Methods

  • Mark Langley, CEO of the Project Management Institute, advises CFO’s on how to optimize project portfolio management in their organization.
  • Glen Alleman notes that the first step in estimating work to be done is simple research: has this been done before?
  • Harry Hall describes the Nominal Group Technique for risk identification.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that optimizing our designs for use is more important than optimizing them to prevent abuse.
  • Bob Tarne presents another idea from Change by Design: experimenting.
  • Nick Pisoni attacks some lingering false assumptions related to use of hard data to assess project performance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman contrasts the Burndown and Burnup charts, to make the point that what matter is what action the data drives you to take.
  • Richard DeFrancesco adds flow and Cycle Time charts from Lean to Burn Up charts, to help his team better visualize work completed and in progress.
  • Bernd Schiffer wants us to view retrospectives as an investment, that pays off over time.
  • Derek Huether promotes his three favorite Agile apps for the iPhone.
  • Nilesh Shah enumerates the Seven Sins of Scrum.

Applied Leadership

  • Cameron Conaway notes that silos have a function; eliminating them altogether might be counter-productive.
  • Susanne Madsen shares some advice for forming and managing geographically distributed teams.
  • Liane Davey offers some ideas for moving from argument and confrontation to collaboration.
  • Art Petty recommends we widen our field of view, especially when developing strategy.
  • The Clever PM opines that the true test of our values comes when face adversity.
  • Deb Schaffer recaps the steps to putting together a project team.

Pot Pouri

  • Danielle Kohler begins an interview series with IT recruiter extraordinaire, Gail Rolls on how to success in a job interview.
  • Elizabeth Harrin advises new folks – especially young women – what behaviors will help them be taken seriously at work.
  • Shikha Menwal observes the inverse relationship between “busy” and “productive.”
  • Mathieu Noiville points us toward five excellent project management blogs.
  • Bruce Harpham recommends 16(!) podcasts for career development, project management, and more.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 25 – 31

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 25 – 31. And this week’s video, in memory of Paul Kantner, who passed away on January 28: Wooden Ships, live in 1988.

Must read!

  • Corinne Purtill reports on a new study that indicates high-powered individuals working in a group can be less effective than a second-tier team. They spend as much energy on competition as on collaboration.
  • Esther Derby tells us how to collect and present both quantitative and qualitative data and present it for use in problem-solving meetings. This article is a keeper!
  • Ian Whittingham helps us apply attentiveness principles and an understanding of our cognitive biases in order to improve our information gathering.

Established Methods

  • Debasis Roy proposes adding task importance as a weight to measuring progress against our project plan.
  • Lynda Bourne notes that, since project risk management depends on historical data, we need to assess whether old data is still dependable.
  • Harry Hall gives us a tutorial on the process of identifying risks.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Gary McGugan on change management. Just 47 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews William Peg on the fine points of managing procurement through contracts. Just 28 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisano argues that it is time for technology decision makers to replace “tools” thinking with “data” thinking.

Agile Methods

  • Martin Abbott and Mike Fisher describe the pros and cons of an Agile Organization, using Spotify as an illustrative case.
  • Daniel Zacarias explains his strategy for dealing with stakeholders who want things done their way: focus on alignment with the organization’s strategy.
  • Mike Cohn reviews the Start Doing / Stop Doing / Continue Doing approach to a Sprint retrospective.
  • Vyom Bharadwaj provides a short description of a product backlog and what items it might contain.
  • Shane Vaz breaks down the steps to replace a traditional project delivery method with Scrum.

Applied Leadership

  • Lisa McLeod retrieves key points on how some leaders exude “presence” from Suzanne Bates’ forthcoming book, “All the Leader You Can Be.”
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “The Confidence Effect,” by Grace Killelea. If you read Elizabeth’s book, “Overcoming Imposter Syndrome,” this is an excellent follow-up.
  • Art Petty enumerates the steps to take in leading your peers.
  • Lindsey Patterson explores good practice in setting expectations early, so employees can be confident that they are delivering what you want.
  • John Goodpasture wants us to get past the stupid question, in order to provide information that the questioner actually needs.

Pot Pouri

  • Nick Heath updates us on how Amazon is using ever larger numbers of robots in pursuit of their goal to reduce order fulfillment time to 30 minutes.
  • Brendan Toner reviews My Life Organized, a hierarchical task manager with an interesting “do this next” algorithm and a Getting Things Done interface.
  • Jonathan Buckley describes some of the biases found in Big Data analytics.
  • Erika Anderson describes a process to decide what skill to work on next.
  • Ted Devine advises contingent workers: the contract is key to your success!
  • Johanna Rothman shares a few questions that help assess the culture of a company – valuable in our job search.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 18 – 24, and we’re just sittin’ on top of the world. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Aaron Smith identifies ten strategy execution trends that will impact the way we manage projects in 2016.
  • Bruce Harpham retrieves six principles for success from Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk. If you’re going to admire a billionaire, this might be the guy.
  • John Goodpasture analyzes the idea that we should make mistakes early and often. Not all mistakes are created equal!

Established Methods

  • Aaron Smith summarizes three critical questions posed by Patrick Stroh, author of “Advancing Innovation,” to assess which ideas are worth pursuing.
  • Henny Portman reviews “Executive Sponsor Research Report,” from The Standish Group.
  • Glen Alleman describes capabilities-based planning, for software-intensive systems to be built for government customers, using Agile methods.
  • Gene Gendel points out the limitations of Red-Amber-Green status reporting.
  • Harry Hall details the operational risk management plan and the various sources of operational risk.
  • Ryan Ogilvie examines the part of IT that faces the customer, the service request system, from both the customer perspective and the IT perspective.
  • Women Testers Magazine for January 2016 is available for download. Not just for women and not just for testers – highly recommended.

Agile Methods

  • Renee Troughton considers a critical question for hiring a Scrum Master: what is the minimum viable Agilist?
  • Mike Cohn addresses the rationale behind the frequent question, “Does a Scrum team need a retrospective every sprint?”
  • Vikram Singh describes the most common methods used to gauge the level of effort required for each story in sprint planning.
  • Bart Gerardi describes the role of the Agile executive in changing the organization’s culture.
  • Kaushik Saha analyzes Kanban as a queue, using Little’s Law.

Applied Leadership

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Sarah Coleman, co-author of “Project Leadership.”
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Don Smith, “The Speech Wiz,” on the life and career value of developing your public speaking and communication skills. Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Liane Davey explains how to create a sense of accountability in the people who report to you.
  • Kailash Awati shares his presentation on improving decision-making in situations with high ambiguity, using IBIS notation for issue mapping. About 48 minutes, safe for work.
  • Art Petty notes that leading drains the spirit, and offers some ideas on how to refuel.
  • Gina Abudi proposes creation of a team charter, articulating the purpose, mission, and goals of the team.

Other

  • Jamie Condliffe lists the 25 most popular passwords, gleaned from over two million stolen and leaked on the internet.
  • Thor Olavsrud reports on efforts to apply artificial intelligence to problems where not all of the information is visible. For example: Heads-up No-limit Texas Hold ’em poker.
  • Brad Rach extols the virtues of a paper notebook. His choice: Moleskine.
  • Johanna Rothman shares a few tips on the process of writing.

Enjoy!