New PM Articles for the Week of January 9 – 15

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 9 – 15. And this week’s video: the Jon Spear Band celebrates risk management (sort of) with “The Second Mouse Gets the Cheese.” Just 3:16 of jump blues, safe for work. Turn it up …

Must read!

  • Michael Lopp contemplates the illusion of productivity, the mindset of busy, and (his proposed cure) the Builder’s Mindset. Think of this as an intervention.
  • Liane Davey advises on managing a team that has been tasked with unrealistic targets. Ethical failures at Wells Fargo, Volkswagen, and so on arose from pressure to deliver, at all costs.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy makes the case for proving that you are trustworthy and then tells you how.

Established Methods

  • Harry Hall gets us back to the basics of cost management. Great example, real life actions.
  • Elizabeth Harrin calendars the project management conferences planned for 2017, including some too far in the future to describe the content.
  • Mike Clayton lists fifty great project management blogs we should be following in 2017, including many new to me.
  • Frederic Lardinois reports that Atlassian Software (Jira and Confluence) is buying Trello in yet another round of consolidation in the project management software market.
  • David Robins points out the downside of online project management and collaboration software: empowering the uninitiated. Think “Jurassic Park.”
  • Glen Alleman goes into deep, technical detail on the Cone of Uncertainty, which is a metaphor for the process of reducing cost and schedule risk on projects.
  • Thomas Carney gives us a detailed course on quality assurance in software engineering.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers shares his weekly Agile roundup: Scrum turns 21, product ownership (not just the role), and whether “priority” can be plural.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews NK Shrivastava on his PMI Global Congress presentation, Warning Signs that Agile Isn’t Working. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Marty Bradley addresses the new Agilista question: should the PMO go away?
  • Matteo Tontini describes learning to work as a team using Scrum, without a full-time product owner. Failure in three, two, one …
  • Moira Alexander posts a beginners FAQ on Agile project management. You almost certainly have a stakeholder that would benefit from this, so pass it along.

Applied Leadership

  • Seth Godin translates a sign at LaGuardia Airport from pompous bureaucratic to conversational English. Yes, you have permission to communicate like an actual person.
  • Coert Visser explains the Mother of All Biases: naïve realism. Includes a “count your fingers” exercise demonstrating how our perception is sharp in only a very narrow field.
  • Elise Stevens curates a list of resources for developing effective leadership skills.
  • Andy Kaufman reflects on influencing through questions. Just over six minutes, safe for work. A bit loud, but if you clicked on the Jon Spear Band tune …

Technology and Techniques

  • Jenna Hogue directs us to a presentation on cognitive computing (51 minutes, safe for work) but mercifully gives us an overview of the content.
  • Carnegie Mellon University has lined up four of the world’s best professional poker players to compete against an AI program. Sounds like “Her” meets “Casino Royale.”
  • Nilanjan Kar tutors us on creating an impactful PMO dashboard using Powerpoint. More interesting for the examples than the techniques, but worth reading.

Working and the Workplace

  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Anna Schlegel, author of “Truly Global: The theory and practice of bringing your company to international markets.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie recounts a conversation with a colleague who was asked to ‘drop the hammer’ on people more often in her new role. Ryan’s counsel: choose your battles wisely.
  • Suzanne Lucas shares demotivating job descriptions penned by the people who do them. “I try to convince people in another time zone to talk to the person two cubicles away.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 2 – 8

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 2 – 8. And this week’s video: Brooke Deterline talks about creating ethical cultures in business. Just eight minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Andy Kaufman asks several project management influencers, what was the most important lesson you learned last year? Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Eamonn McGuinness describes a structured model for adapting your leadership approach to the situation.
  • Ryan Ogilvie expounds on continual service improvement, and the principle of learning by (and while) doing and continually improving while being transparent and inclusive.

Established Methods

  • Mary Shacklett provides examples of how critical thinking (or the lack thereof) can impact a project.
  • Elise Stevens explains how to deal with irrational stakeholders. Or at least, those brief periods where the rationality of their position is less than clear.
  • Rachel Burger identifies the five biggest project management trends of 2017.
  • Shuba Kathikeyan links us to six free online resources to learn about ITIL. But as Rob England reports, the number of folks taking the ITIL exam is shrinking.
  • Amber Lee Dennis has compiled a primer on the Data Warehouse. Well worth reading, even if you’ve been around a while.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile at scale to Hybrid Agile, to principles of Emergent Organizations.
  • Dave Prior interviews Michael Daly and Matt Volpe on how they’re making Agile work at Major League Baseball (not playing; Advanced Media). Just 50 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joy Beatty on scaled Agile in the Large Enterprise. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.
  • Glen Alleman contemplates Scrum roles in the context of accountability and responsibility in the presence of a governance framework that extends beyond the team.
  • Craig Smith and Tony Ponton interview Betty Enyonam Kumahor on the practice of Frugal Innovation in Africa. Just 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Parkin demonstrates how to assess user stories using the definition of done and the SMART criteria.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty explores former Navy SEAL Jocko Willink’s mantra, “Discipline equals freedom.”
  • Grace Windsor lists five New Year’s resolutions to not make and five alternatives that we should try, instead.
  • Johanna Rothman reflects on the failure of Holocracy at Zappos and the way we naturally develop relationships.
  • Karen McGraw writes about the “Bad boss experience,” as a starting point for becoming a good boss.
  • Andy Wolber shows how to make your IT project portfolio more understandable to your customers by grouping them into start, switch, and stop.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland samples answers from various interviewees on the question she always asks: What does your virtual office look like? Just 23 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin tells of her adoption of a “transitions” strategy at the end of her work day. Ah, the things you learn from being a Mum …
  • Jeff Wise reviews the science behind changing our habits, and thus our lives.
  • Coert Visser reflects on moments of spontaneous progress, as opposed to the stuff we work so hard to achieve.
  • Jessica Meher recounts the realization that holding back, not speaking up, was just being selfish. Leadership requires confidence.
  • Jennifer Aldrich shares her list of questions to ask when considering a job offer from a start-up (or from established companies).

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of December 26 – January 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 26 – January 1. And this week’s video: as we start a new sequence of 365, Craig Benzine from Mental Floss explains why there are 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour. Just over two minutes, safe for work, and the various toys on the shelf in the background and framed pictures on the wall are worth the click, all by themselves.

New Year, Ready or Not

  • Sara McCord coaches us on how to efficiently wade through the enormous mound of Email that accumulated like snow on Lake Placid while we were on vacation.
  • Doug Thorpe repeats excellent advice from John Maxwell in planning ahead to improve your execution in the new year, remembered as PLAN AHEAD.
  • Alyse Kalish has curated a list of six TED talks with actionable self-improvement strategies. Don’t just make the usual New Year’s resolutions …

Established Methods

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the guidelines for a credible cost estimate.
  • John Goodpasture explains the Law of Requisite Variety and what it means for designing controls.
  • Joe Wynne completes his two-part series on managing organizational change in HR projects.
  • Michelle Knight tutors us on the data dictionary – useful for everything from data governance to designing reports.
  • Barry Hodge listed his take on the best project management blogs of2016 (including this one – thanks, Barry!).

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths analyzes the role of business analyst in a project using Agile methods.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Neil Killick on a variety of Agile topics, from “Shu-Ha-Ri” to #NoEstimates and “Done.” Just 53 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior and Devin Hedge discuss estimates for bidding projects that will use Agile methods, as opposed to those proposals based on plan-driven methods. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Michael Abehsera asserts the need to design for reality, rather than our aspirations.
  • Craig Smith interviews James Lewis on the principles of microservices architectures. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Erin Griffith reports on the growing list of ethics scandals at various startups in Silicon Valley and elsewhere.
  • Gretchen Reynolds summarizes a recent study into the effects of periodic walking as a positive alternative to the purely sedentary working day.
  • Brendan Toner gets the to-do list app down to two great alternatives – ToDoist and Wunderlist – and shares his reasons for selecting one of them.

Enjoy!