New PM Articles for the Week of November 17 – 23

Balloon BeyondNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 17 – 23. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Seth Godin considers how the project scope is a bit like a bushel of apples. I guess Forrest Gump already did the “box of chocolates” routine.
  • Adriana Beal explores the Peter Drucker notion that, if you keep doing what made you successful, you will eventually fail.
  • Don Kim explains the relationship between Kaizen, an operations management incremental improvement process, and Kaikaku, a project delivering radical change.
  • Bruce Benson notes that groups get better over time, only by learning from their experience – including the negative experiences.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts an anecdote that illustrates how stakeholder engagement can lead to real improvements.
  • Nick Pisano points out the pivotal role of the integrated master plan in complex programs and project portfolios.
  • Kenneth Darter shares his checklist for preparing to begin a really big project.
  • Pat Weaver summarizes an article he contributed to, on the topic of governance versus management.
  • Harry Hall recommends an approach to selecting and initiating projects.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the Synergy 2014 conference, summarizing three presentations and some audience participation music-making.
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at the details of implementing that IT department holiday tradition: the production change freeze.

Agile Methods

  • Pallavi Kelapure and Vikas Gupta detail their approach to applying rapid deployment principles in an ERP implementation.
  • Johanna Rothman offers some practical approaches to breaking your near-epics into smaller stories.
  • Deepak Joshi walks us through a simple example of user role modeling, to show why the technique is so useful.
  • Derek Huether proposes an innovation in backlog grooming: Progression Workshops, using a subset of the team, referred to as the Product Owner Team.

Measuring

  • Glen Alleman provides links to eight resources for methods to estimate non-trivial software projects, based on historical metrics.
  • Mike Cohn disputes the dissing of so-called “vanity metrics.”
  • John Goodpasture explains what a “figure of merit” is, and how it can be useful.
  • Rich Maltzman leverages an old post by Mounir Ajam to show that project success includes things you can’t measure until well after the project is complete.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jack Ferraro on the competencies required to drive strategic initiatives. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie contemplates how the way we name our projects influences the way our stakeholders and team feel about them. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Human Behavior in Groups

  • Lynda Bourne summarizes the Cohen-Bradford “Influence without Authority” model.
  • Pawel Brodzinski provides a leader’s view of the movement to reduce the role of management, and shares Lunar Logic’s two rules that govern their approach.
  • Peter Saddington notes the holes in the “personality testing” model of candidate selection.
  • Bruce Harpham lists some proactive methods to manage project conflict, and your reactions to it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of November 3 – 9

Balloon Over the MoonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 3 – 9. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Gary Nelson presents an interesting case study in cost-benefit analysis.
  • John Goodpasture offers low-cost definitions for a couple of ten-dollar words used by risk management thinkers – epistemic and aleatoric.
  • Matthew Squair offers an intriguing (if slightly nerdy, even for me) example of trading one risk for another.
  • Mike Clayton notes that power is fragmented across most organizations; thus, the need to influence.
  • Bruce Harpham exposes ten sources of project conflict, and a few statistics that put workplace conflict in perspective.
  • Andy Jordan reports from the PMI Global Congress in Phoenix. It sounds like we should plan to go to the one in Orlando, next October.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn concludes his series on velocity-driven versus commitment-driven sprint planning, by explaining his preference.
  • Pawel Brodzinski explains the Kanban approach to portfolio management. “WIP limits … underscore available capabilities as a scarce resource.”
  • Chuck Snead makes the case for creating a project charter as part of Sprint Zero and walks us through the process.
  • Shawn Dickerson advocates for the marriage of Agile methods with a Waterfall approach.
  • Satyajit Sarangi shares some ideas for applying Lean concepts to your practice of Scrum.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Dave Cornelius on his new program, teaching high school students Agile methods as life skills. Just 12 minutes, safe for work.

 Book Reviews

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Thomas P. Wise’s new book, “Trust in Virtual Teams,” a guide to explaining and building trust … well, you get the idea.
  • Henny Portman reviews Rod Snowden’s book, “MSP Survival Guide for Business Change Managers,” where MSP = “Managing Successful Programmes.”
  • Michel Dion summarizes Susanne Madsen’s upcoming book, “The Power of Project Leadership.”
  • Toby Elwin reviews Warren Berger’s new book, “A more Beautiful Question: The Power of Inquiry to Spark Breakthough Ideas.”
  • Glen Alleman shares a list of books on estimating software projects.

Trends

  • Peter Saddington casts a dubious eye on “Recruiting 3.0” as described by Ron Thomas. The quality of user-generated content does not predict job performance.
  • Teena Hammond shares the results of a survey of IT decision makers, in an attempt to predict which of the emerging trends will actually matter.
  • Joe Panettieri reports on the relatively disappointing ROI of Big Data projects. Well, it took heavier-than-air flight a while to become commercially viable …
  • Jelani Harper explains the concept of “Data Lakes,” and why it might be a good fit for organizations with a disciplined approach to data governance.

Professional Development

  • Coert Visser reinforces the idea that coaching is not about the coach, and you don’t have to understand the subject matter in order to be an effective facilitator.
  • Suzanne Lucas summarizes results of a survey by recruiting software house iCIMS that confirms recruiters and hiring managers are not communicating very well.
  • Cheri Baker observes that, as small companies succeed and grow, many of the long-term employees grieve for their old culture.
  • Alina Vrabie suggests some strategies for the introverted leader.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 20 – 26

Balloon LandingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Samad Aidane notes that the project kickoff is not the place to “sell” the project to the stakeholders – that should have already been done.
  • Peter Saddington shares a video on how our assumptions and biases prevent us from being objective. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has some advice for project managers asked to manage an internal project with little or no spending authority.
  • Jerry Manas investigates the resource management and capacity planning choices we make when responding to increasing demand.
  • Glen Alleman points out the logical fallacies in anecdotal evidence, and applies Carl Sagan’s bullshit detector.
  • Gary Nelson returns from a wilderness first aid course with the observation that medical emergencies have many of the same attributes as projects.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that exposure to risk is cumulative: “The risk that at least one thing will fail is way more than the risk that any one thing will fail.”
  • Kevin Coleman lays out the potential impact of a security breach, and the aftermath.
  • Janani Dumbleton tells how to kick off a data governance initiative.
  • Sean Williams begins a series on improving federal acquisition decisions through comprehensive financial analysis.
  • Nick Pisano continues his criticism of how organizations misuse Excel as an analytical “filler” between specialized applications.
  • Allen Ruddock sings the praises of Sharepoint as a project management tool.
  • Kerry Wills zooms in on three “course corrections” that can keep a project on track.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn begins a series on two approaches to sprint planning: velocity-driven and commitment-driven.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan conclude their series extracted from their new testbook, “Introduction to Agile Methods.”
  • Sandeep Lad fleshes out the definition of “servant leader.”

Leadership

  • Paul Ritchie shares some insights into how the best influencers convince the CEO.
  • Martin Webster shares an infographic that ties together employee engagement, stress, and leadership.
  • Shoaib Ahmed invokes Frederick Herzberg, who linked employee dissatisfaction to “hygiene factors” and employee satisfaction to achievement.
  • Johanna Rothman recounts an anecdote that illustrates the potential blowback from executive-dictated culture change.
  • Pam Stanton recalls an instance where a visionary leader ran into problems by not focusing on execution.
  • Coert Visser gives us the executive summary of “Rethinking Positive Thinking,” by Gabriele Oettingen.

Professional Development

  • Bruce Harpham explores networking, in three dimensions.
  • Don Kim eyes with skepticism a claim that PMI-ACP credentialed project managers are the highest paid – especially coming from a training provider.
  • Geoff Crane shares the slide deck from his keynote on emotional intelligence, “Why Smart People Fail,” presented at the PMI Durham Highlands monthly meeting.

Enjoy!