New PM Articles for the Week of May 14 – 20

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 14 – 20. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler explains how to create and use a personal vision statement. 7 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Francois Malette explains why companies are using mergers and acquisitions to transform their business models and reduce their market risk. 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell examines the imperative to explore and invent, using two examples—GE and IBM—that illustrate how disruption can impact even a giant industrial firm. 5 minutes to read.
  • Echo Huang reports on the upcoming launch of China’s Lunar relay satellite, which will put a radio antenna in orbit on the far side of the Moon, shadowed from Earth’s interference, to listen for signals from the Big Bang. Have you ever worked on a project this cool? 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Mike Clayton on what is required to be a “brilliant project leader.” 4 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner and Jen Pfaff discuss ways to cope when your organization isn’t sold on the value of project management. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Luís Gonçalves explains the concept of cost of delay and how to calculate it. This is a vital technique for deciding where to put scarce resources! 5 minutes to read.
  • Ellen Lehnert tutors us on importing data stored in Excel into MS Project. This is a non-trivial but very useful technique, especially if you are merging two or more project plans into one. 5 minutes to read.
  • Renee Adair begins a series addressing six visible trends in project management. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture finds the humor in Yuval Noah Harari’s depiction of the evolution of bureaucracy. 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from corporate innovation failure to key flow metrics to the jobs-to-be-done canvas. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Jake Knapp, who created the idea of a Design Sprint, updates us on what he’s learned and refined over the last few years. 5 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk explains why Scrum masters need soft skills, in addition to their process skills. 3minutes to read.
  • David Bernstein shares three keys to the adoption of test-driven development. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths debunks some extravagant consultant claims about agile ‘transformations.’ 8 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from extending trust to better feedback to training new managers. 3 minutes to read.
  • Michael Dempsey justifies the need to remain objective, even when it can be difficult. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy explains the value of building rapport and shares five techniques. 6 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Isaiah Sarju matches you to a password manager, based on your personality. I use KeePass, but to each his / her own. 6 minutes to read.
  • Rob England is skeptical of the latest IT fad: site reliability engineering. A minute or so to read.
  • Justin Rohrman shares his thoughts on managing quality assurance on projects with mobile device components. 6 minutes to read.
  • Molly Page reminds us that there are times when merely listening isn’t enough—we must ask clarifying questions. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Warren Fowler lists a month’s worth of ways to handle the afternoon slump (assuming you don’t just take a nap). 5 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson agrees with Elon Musk: just walk out of a bad meeting. A minute to read, even if you stay around for his technique.
  • David Burkus reports on a study of “networking events” which proves that they really are as big a waste of time as they appear to be. 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Steinberg coaches us on ways to finesse the situation when you forget someone’s name. That was Scott, right? 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 7 – 13

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 7 – 13. And this week’s video: Chris Croft explains the difference between program evaluation and review technique (PERT) and critical path method (CPM) diagrams. Less than 3 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Walter Frick summarizes the corporate strategy alternatives of developing a “moat,” or barriers to imitation, and setting a pace of innovation that others can’t match. 3 minutes to read.
  • Brandon Vigliarolo reports that researchers in the US and China are finding ways to insert messages for digital assistants like Siri into white noise. No hacks in the wild yet, but … 3 minutes to read.
  • Terena Bell defines cyber resilience—think continuity of operations during a data breach or cyber-attack. This is going to be a critical success metric for a lot of projects, going forward. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Mike Clayton details the steps to create a robust project risk culture. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates applicability of the firm fixed price contract, as stipulated by the public sector, for work using Agile methods. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kaleigh Moore examines four trends that are transforming project management. 5 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Clarizen give us some guidelines on when we should insert milestones in our project plan. 3 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland describes seven big technical advances—from Tupac to Elon—that we should see impacting our projects over the next few years. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from ‘agile’ as social technology to not-invented-here syndrome to epic corporate innovation failures. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Roman Pichler tells us why product owners need to take on a very focused leadership role and leave the rest to the people in the other Scrum roles. 4 minutes to read.
  • Jesse Fewell maps the career progression from Scrum master to Agile Coach. Video, 7 minutes, safe for work or you can read the transcript in about 4 minutes.
  • Johanna Rothman examines the challenge (for some teams) of knowing when to release all the value they’ve created. Yes, it’s about done. 2 minutes to read.
  • Keith Hogan describes “skinny” Agile, as an organizational approach to the adoption of selected practices. 15 minutes to read.
  • Yuval Yeret gets into the details of limiting work in progress in Scrum by using Kanban concepts and techniques. 4 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews The Agile Enterprise, by Mario Moreira. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from why entrepreneurs start companies to jobs to be done to managing priorities. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tony Schwartz tells us how to deepen, widen, and lengthen our perspective to better think about complex problems. 4 minutes to read.
  • Hank van der Merwe shares a few tips to help us stop overcomplicating leadership. 3 minutes to read.
  • Peter Landau has compiled ten classic quotes about management and offers his thoughts on each one. 8 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Greg Satell debunks four pervasive myths about innovation. “Don’t look for a great idea, find a good problem.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Carey Fletcher shares her experience with developing a central testing team in a scaled Agile environment. 3 minutes to read.
  • Erik Dietrich shoots down five myths about test-driven development. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Liana Brinded recaps research by Robert Half that found employers lose their top candidates if the interview process drags on for too long. 2 minutes to read, interesting graphic.
  • Craig Brown looks at teams that go through the Tuckman stages of team development—forming, storming, norming, performing—and then stay together. 3 minutes to read.
  • Faisal Hoque poses three questions that can help you determine your next step in career development. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 30 – May 6

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 30 – May 6. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains the acronym ITTO, which refers to inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs, and why it takes up so much of the PMBOK. 4 minutes, safe for work. And two pictures from Bisbee Arizona, courtesy of Steve Miller—Thanks!

Must read!

  • Avery Phillips notes that ransomware is here to stay. And paying the ransom may not be as damaging as the loss of trust. 3 minutes to read.
  • Bhaskar Chakravorti observes that, while the GDPR might seem like a good template for data privacy, not all countries agree that regulation is the best solution. 7 minutes to read.
  • Youyou Zhou analyzes the data, finding that far fewer international students are coming to the United States for an education. 2 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Niansheng Chu tutors us on Failure Mode and Effects Analysis, a structured approach to finding the risks inherent in a design or process, with examples. 8 minutes to read.
  • Suzanna Haworth gives us a deep understanding of the RACI chart and various alternatives. Also, a template! 15 minutes to read.
  • Sylvia Gindi does a deep and thorough dive into project deliverables and explains why a milestone isn’t a deliverable. 10 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin examines five common roadblocks to success encountered by many (most?) projects and how to move them off the road. 4 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland also identifies five common causes of project failure and how to avoid them. 6 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture goes back to Nate Silver’s new classic, “The Signal and the Noise,” to frame Bayes Theorem as an iterative process. 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from decisions under uncertainty to minimum-viable-whatever to “other” customer success metrics. 2 minutes to read, 7 outbound links.
  • Bisser Ivanov begins a series he’s calling Kanban 101. 3 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman explains the difference between minimum viable experiment (MVE) and minimum viable product (MVP). 5 minutes to read.
  • Ilia Pavlichenko describes The Speed Boat Game—an interesting product metaphor to get clients to talk about their pains and perceived value of a product. 3 minutes to read.
  • Marie-Eve Trempe provides a quick tutorial on velocity for Scrum teams and how to measure it and use it.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from why entrepreneurs fail to tackle big problems to your imagination as a superpower. 3 minutes to read, 5 outbound links.
  • Jory McKay presents 5 key goal-setting exercises for high-performing teams, as practiced at places like Google, LinkedIn, DropBox, and more. 15 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus says that leading means staying out of the weeds—if you love the work, maybe you shouldn’t be a manager. 2 minutes to read.
  • Wanda Thibodeaux lists 15 signs that someone is trustworthy. 4 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Emily Esposito preps us for Gutenberg, the new visual editor to be used in WordPress 5.0, due later this year.
  • Greg Satell recaps the history of data records, from Hollerith cards to relational databases, in explaining why distributed computing (the internet) needs secure, distributed data. 6 minutes to read.
  • Katrina Clokie lays out a decision process for selecting a test automation tool. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ephrat Livni recaps recent research that shows how your current opinions can influence how you interpret new facts. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Art Markman tells us how to conduct a meeting without dominating the conversation. 2 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland calls our attention to five interesting tools for remote work and collaboration. Podcast, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Leigh Espy lists some of the reasons to choose a career in project management. If you are mentoring someone, send this to them! 5 minutes to read.

Enjoy!