New PM Articles for the Week of September 17 – 23

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 17 – 23. And this week’s video: an animation featuring the late Studs Terkel, as he ruminates on the comforting sound of the human voice, in a story about the machine-generated voice of the tram at the Atlanta airport. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Dave Gershgorn reports that some US Senators are asking whether AI algorithms could violate civil rights laws by perpetuating biases. 2 minutes to read.
  • Stephen Blyth notes that big data and machine learning won’t prevent the next financial crisis. The principal driver is irreducible uncertainty. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kasia Wezowski notes that while body language varies significantly across cultures, microexpressions are remarkably consistent. Just a minute to read but study the photos.

Managing Projects

  • Glen Alleman does a deep dive into Monte Carlo simulation and includes a truly massive list of references. 11 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture contrasts Monte Carlo simulations with PERT. 6 minutes to read.
  • Jory MacKay tutors us on stakeholders and how to identify and engage them. 11 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin speaks out on allocating resources to tasks: “Availability is not a skill set!” 4 minutes to read.
  • Nenad Trajkovski addresses the question: do we need to assign a resource to a milestone task? If so, under what conditions? 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman philosophizes on the differences between project work and product work. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from whiteboarding skills to Monte Carlo forecasting to a new survey. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton presents a complete guide to the bewildering list of credentials available to Agile practitioners. 12 minutes to read.
  • Chee-Hong Hsia explains why architecture will emerge and evolve, even though you should take the time to start with a good design. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andy Makar describes three real-world Agile team challenges and recommends ways to deal with them. 5 minutes to read.
  • David Bernstein shares some pointers on pair and mob programming. Great minds don’t always think alike; sometimes they fill in each other’s gaps. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kristin Jackvony describes the critical elements to consider in localization testing. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his list of leadership articles, from failing at your goals to protecting from human errors to choosing which advice to follow. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty describes a presentation to senior managers that could have gone badly but benefitted from a calm response to strong objections. 6 minutes to read.
  • Pawel Brodzinski extols the virtues of flat organizations and distributed decision-making in the context of autonomy. 5 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills notes that there is a formula for transparency. Just a minute to read.

Research and Insights

  • Thomas Hornigold reports on MIT research: robotic arms that taught themselves to pick up objects the way people do. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mark Wilson cites research into career peaks—it seems that you can do your best work at any time in your professional career, and “hot streaks” are a real thing. 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Van De Ven and Steven Van Dalen explain the impact of dedicated chips like the Bionic A12 in the new iPhone which are only engaged for specific tasks. Video, 6 minutes, safe for work.

Working and the Workplace

  • Dominic Price shares some vital signs that can help you determine whether your office culture is healthy. 3 minutes to read.
  • Maura Thomas examines the impact of Email on company culture. Some ground rules are needed! 5 minutes to read.
  • Geoffrey Morrison shares some advice on simple things to pack along on any business trip. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 10 – 16

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 10 – 16. And this week’s video: Elizabeth Harrin recommends three books for project managers who are new to Agile methods. Two and a half minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Paul Mee describes some of the ways that a cyber attack could cause the next financial crisis. 4 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell clarifies four key things we should know about the business use of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alessandro Di Fiore opines that strategic planning doesn’t have to be the enemy of agility. There is a sweet spot in the Venn diagram to aim for. 6 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • John Goodpasture notes that the more detail we add to an item on the risk register, the more specific the event, thus lowering the probability of it happening. 3 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy shows how to create a SIPOC (suppliers / inputs / processes / outputs / customers) model to facilitate process improvement. 5 minutes to read.
  • Gina Abudi tells us how to identify key stakeholders for business process improvement projects. 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale addresses an interesting question: are projects requiring non-discretionary compliance with external requirements a good fit for adaptive methods? 2 minutes to read.
  • Donna Fitzgerald explains why you need project management discipline—not just Agile methods—in order to go fast. 4 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman recaps the principles of the Beyond Budgeting movement. Just a minute to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from the Agile Industrial Complex to continuous product discovery to agile sensemaking. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Alan Page helps us get to the right question for a Scrum stand-up: “What needs to be done to move this task to the right?“ 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bas Vodde on Large-Scale Scrum at the 3rd annual LeSS conference. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explains why Agile teams should estimate both the product backlog and the sprint backlog but in different units. 6 minutes to read.
  • Erick Dietrich looks at the way we manage regression defects—the ones we introduce to a system already in production. 5 minutes to read.
  • Paige Watson shares his notes from David Scott Bernstein’s talk on unit tests as specifications, in the context of TDD. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from making yourself unnecessary to getting past fear to OKRs within the team. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton gets into the differences between project manager and project leader. 12 minutes to read.
  • Andy Kaufman contemplates whether indecision is worse than no decision. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Simone Stolzoff reports on Melinda Gates’ coalition to bring more women of color into STEM fields. 2 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Linus Chang shares several ransomware scenarios that demonstrate there’s more than just encryption to worry about. 6 minutes to read.
  • Alison DeNisco Rayome identifies the ten countries with the most patents per capita, an excellent metric for innovation. 2 minutes to read. Also, a 5-minute video on the impact of the tariff wars on technology firms.
  • C. Pan gives us the history of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, as described in Merve Emre’s book, The Personality Brokers. 10 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Oliver Staley reports that Microsoft has replaced feedback with “perspectives,” a system of soliciting opinions from peers in a structured way. Terminology matters in this case. 2 minutes to read.
  • Seth Godin offers some tips that will help us be more effective on video conference calls with more than three people. Just 1 minute to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland tells how to set boundaries with the other people in the house when working from home. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 3 – 9. And this week’s video: the Martin Jetpack—not really a jet and not really something you wear on your back—might soon be a practical solution for personal flight, with a 30 minute flight time. 5 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • The Verge staff notes the 20th anniversary of the founding of Google with an extensive timeline of significant events. This is how you grow from a research project into a trillion-dollar business! 15 minutes to read.
  • Blair Levin analyzes Google Fiber, the initiative which triggered massive investment in high-speed internet technologies by competing ISP’s. 7 minutes to read.
  • Russell Brandom summarizes the antitrust law case against de facto monopolies Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Uber. 9 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Clayton tutors us on the essentials of project cost management. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture gets into the math of 3-point estimates. “They are the broccoli of projects.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lays out an excellent strategy for fitting professional development into your schedule. 7 minutes to read.
  • Harry Hall encourages us to ask other project managers for advice on dealing with challenges and issues. 3 minutes to read.
  • Deb Schaffer takes us from the PMBOK description of the project scope statement to a fully fleshed out document, with a template. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dale Howard shows how to customize the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Project. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from self-management at Semco to preparing for the sprint planning meeting to the dangers of falling in love with a solution. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Aneel summarizes the 2018 State of DevOps report from Dora. The best firms are doing far better and so are those at the bottom, but the middle … 6 minutes to read.
  • Pavel N. describes how the IT teams at five major companies are using Kanban. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bob Tarne on his experience as an Agile coach at Toyota. “Here I was at Toyota, teaching people how to use Kanban.” Video, 12 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bob Reselman points out some of the current limitations of performance testing edge computing devices. Maybe standards will help! 6 minutes to read.
  • Trish Koo recommends that you develop a technical debt payment plan. Good extension of an excellent metaphor. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from increasing transparency with OKR’s to productivity to the worker confidence index. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Leah Fessler describes Sheryl Sandberg’s approach to keeping one-on-one meetings with her direct reports efficient and personal. 3 minutes to read.
  • Art Petty coaches us on helping people make a positive emotional connection to a new business strategy.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us the early read on Generation Z as they start to enter the workforce. 3 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Elijah Wolfson reports on the first AI application to diagnose disease—in this case, diabetic retinopathy. 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell recaps high points from the history of computer games and virtual reality to project ways in which the combination of the two will make skill development more effective. 5 minutes to read.
  • Manfred Kets de Vries and Katharina Balazs help us understand why we sometimes overreact at work. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Marcel Schwantes notes that Gallup found 51% of US employees are considering leaving their jobs due to a lack of meaning and purpose. But there are solutions! 3 minutes to read.
  • Sarah Goff-Dupont reports on paid time off for volunteer work in the community—known in HR circles as VTO. The payback is in engagement and retention. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mary Abbajay provides a multi-pronged strategy: what to do when you have a bad boss. 6 minutes to read.

Enjoy!