New PM Articles for the Week of August 11 – 17

Balloon Above the TreesNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 11 – 17. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Pawel Brodzinski expands on Jerry Weinberg’s definition, as “a process of creating an environment where people become empowered.”
  • Mike Griffiths considers the limitations of graphical depictions of data, when the information we should be consuming doesn’t graph so well.
  • Ammar Mango plots alternative routes through conflict.
  • Bryan Barrow explains his alternative to Post-It Notes for facilitating a project planning exercise.
  • Michael Girdler extols the virtues of a good scope statement.
  • Roberto Toledo lists his guidelines for fostering innovation.
  • Bruce Harpham begins a series on regulatory project management.
  • Dovilė Misevičiūtė notes that most attempts to institute time tracking fail within the first few months, usually for the same reasons.
  • Rachel Burger spoils “Guardians of the Galaxy,” pointing out the project management lessons. You could have at least waited until the DVD came out …

Agile Methods

  • Kevin Aguanno compares use cases and user stories, and how each can be the right tool for the job.
  • Bart Gerardi explores Bill Wake’s acronym, INVEST, on how to improve the quality of user stories.
  • Mike Cohn reflects on the balance of specialists and generalists in that most Agile team, the sandwich shop.
  • John Goodpasture explores the need for a release sign-off when applying Agile methods. Because it’s not just about software developers.
  • Chuck Morton continues his series of comments on Peter Morris’ article in the October PM Journal. This episode: Agile is not a project management discipline.

Following the Trends

  • Albert Barron explains [whatever] as a service, using pizza. Yes, even your grandmother will understand this one. Admirable, Albert!
  • Marco Visibelli shares recent lessons learned that tell us how companies make (and lose) money on Big Data projects.
  • Rich Maltzman interviews Kim Marotta on how MillerCoors is applying a sustainability strategy to improve performance.
  • Matthew Kosinski interviews Workday’s Liz Dietz on their upcoming Higher Education product.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Rich Maltzman of EarthPM on applying sustainability practices to project management and the PMBOK. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Thomas Juli about integrating personal happiness and focus with project success. Just 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Glen Alleman links us to seven podcasts from Mary Ann Lapham and Suzanne Miller of the Software Engineering Institute on the principles of Agile development.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “Project Management Workflow: A Business Process Approach,” by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman.
  • Henny Portman reviews Alan Ferguson’s new book, “Integrating Prince2.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 28 – August 3

Hot Air BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 28 – August 3. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Contract Management

  • Todd Williams shares some insights gleaned from litigation over failed projects. Unless you only manage internal projects with in-house staff, you need to read this!
  • Glen Alleman articulates the key distinctions between fit for purpose and fit for use, and applies them to project management.
  • Pat Weaver outlines method for preventing, minimizing, or at least making visible, delays due to client inaction.
  • Andy Jordan presents an interesting case study of an outsourced portfolio management office. Or more accurately, outsourced PMO services.

PM Best Practices

  • Pollyanna Pixton notes that it’s easy to get metrics wrong, and explains how to design them to be effective.
  • Craig Brown vents at project management textbooks that get the work breakdown structure wrong.
  • Bryan Barrow points out that there are some things that Kanban software can’t do as well as Gant charting software.
  • Bruce Harpham offers a few stress management best practices.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides an executive summary of PMI’s “Navigating Complexity” practice guide. PMI members can download the guide at no charge.
  • Kailash Awati mines a paper from the British Medical Journal for an understanding of how organizations deal with human error: scapegoats and systems.
  • Kiron Bondale lists the stakeholder questions you want to answer in your project kickoff meeting.
  • Gina Abudi details a set of roles and responsibilities for team decision making.
  • Nick Pisano considers the early stages of project execution, as the team establishes its operating rhythm.
  • Dan Stober shares the Q&A from his recent webinar on the project manager as business analyst.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Burrows recounts his experience with implementing Kanban with a new team, and how they evolved from a generic process to just what they needed.
  • John Goodpasture expounds on the need for Agile methods to take compliance with external requirements (say, auditors and regulatory agencies) into account.
  • Shim Marom considers (and questions) the incremental value of “deeper” retrospectives.

Professional Development

  • Cheri Baker recounts her recent experience with a French client who wasn’t enchanted with her “American cheerfulness.” Time to recalibrate!
  • Scott Berkun provides a master course in refining and delivering your pitch, so that your ideas get the traction they deserve.
  • Lynda Bourne details the steps in building your personal brand, and leveraging your knowledge of your business contact’s brand.
  • Karina Keith shares some factoids about the profession of project management, to help you get a little perspective.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Ky Nichol on the challenges of managing event projects like the World Cup and the Olympics. Just 39 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Magennis on how to apply the lessons from Money Ball to portfolio management. Just 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Wheatley speaks with SAP America VP of Global Operations Tina Rosario on the growing importance of data governance. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley share a video of a presentation on innovation by former Obama administration CTO Aneesh Chopra. Over an hour, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 21 – 27

SaladNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 21 – 27. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

The Project Management Office

  • James Terry begins a new series, outlining a blueprint for creating a technology PMO.
  • Aaron Smith summarizes a research report from PM Solutions on the State of the PMO, 2014.
  • Kiron Bondale asks whether we should centralize measurement and tracking of project benefits realized.
  • Gina Abudi (bullet) points out criteria for assessing the effectiveness of the enterprise PMO.
  • Elizabeth Harrin recounts her experience as a one-woman PMO for a team of four project managers.

PM Best Practices

  • Alan Garvey describes parametric estimating, bottom-up estimating, and analogous estimating.
  • Troy Blake explains the Cone of Uncertainty, which describes the improving accuracy of estimates as the project progresses.
  • Otto Scharmer reports on results from MIT’s IDEAS China program, principally on the difference between Big Data and Deep Data.
  • Steven Levy reminds us that the cool results of our internal projects probably don’t matter all that much to our external clients.
  • Glen Alleman explains project management as a closed-loop control system.
  • John Goodpasture shares a diagram from Jurgen Appelo that intersects reactions to success and failure from mistakes, experiments, and practices. Thinking required!
  • Kerry Wills comes up with yet another sports metaphor. This time: spectators yelling at the team on the field don’t actually change the outcome.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman is assembling the Minimum Agile Reading List, and seeking recommendations.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan have apparently published the first university textbook for a course in Agile methods. Not sure if that is a good sign or a bad sign.
  • Chris Moody critiques the criticism, “That’s not Agile.”
  • Mike Cohn criticizes the now-common two-week sprint, as too short to try anything truly innovative.
  • David Anderson explains how to tell if you are really doing Kanban, or just going through the motions.

Lean Agile Melbourne 2014

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy reports from the Lean Agile Systems Thinking 2014 conference in Melbourne, and shares the slide deck from his Agile Coaching presentation.
  • Craig Brown shares the results of a workshop from the same conference, where the participants used the Six Thinking Hats to examine product backlogs.
  • Shim Marom reflects on the theme of the conference, “embracing disruption,” and wonders if Agile is now too mainstream to be disruptive.

Professional Development

  • Scott Berkun summarizes what we know about changing our habits.
  • Ian Whittingham asks a pointed question: how much experience in project management is required for mastery?
  • Coert Visser shares an interesting presentation on saying “no” effectively, without damaging either the relationship or our own interests.
  • Kevin Kelly tells us that this is just the beginning of the beginning, and that boundless opportunities await us. Just like thirty years ago.

Enjoy!