New PM Articles for the Week of March 9 – 15

Red BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 9 – 15. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Suzanne Lucas interprets recent research by a developmental psychologist, which identified seven critical skills that are necessary for you to become a successful boss.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes the four primary styles used in giving feedback, as detailed in Anna Carroll’s book, “The Feedback Imperative.”
  • Elizabeth Booker gives us a tutorial on procurement administrative lead time. Ever had a project start delayed because a lawyer was reviewing terms and conditions? Yup, that stuff.

PM Best Practices

  • Stephen Brobst says the interesting thing about Big Data isn’t Bigness, but the way structure and demand continuously evolves.
  • Glen Alleman observes that using a Fibonacci series for estimating adds no more certainty to the process than you’d get from using a geometric series.
  • Paul Ritchie explains what is required for an R&D-centered organization to get the most value from their PMO.
  • Ronald Bisaccia reviews the evidence: why women tend to be better at assessing and managing risks than men. Ummm … testosterone rots the brain?
  • Nick Pisano reports on efforts to standardize representations of historical data from past projects, in support of management reporting and better estimates.
  • David Cotgreave points out that some of the project manage predictions for 2015 have already materialized.
  • Toby Elwin finds project management lessons in the work of Led Zeppelin. “There’s a sponsor who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s thinks she’s bought a stairway to Heaven.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie presents an example of how to apply problem management principles to IT service delivery.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jonathan Herbert, who inspired him to create his podcast, on lessons learned in preparing for the PMP exam. Just 51 minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn notes that we need to account for three types of time when planning a Sprint.
  • John Goodpasture gives us a quick excerpt from the upcoming 2nd edition of his classic, “Project Management the Agile Way.”
  • William Nocolich says that indecision is responsible for much of the high failure rate of software development projects.
  • Andrew Lin pulls together some rules of thumb, rubrics, and generalized principles that pertain to Agile and Scrum.
  • Derek Huether takes a personality assessment, and his wife confirms the diagnosis. We’re not as unique as our fingerprints would lead us to believe …

 Soft Skills

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a history lesson on George Washington – who knew he was a life-hacker?
  • Kevin Coleman articulates the long-term effects of the loss of intellectual capital and experience, as the Boomers retire.
  • Hendrie Weisinger recommends creating attainable goals and celebrating small wins – call them micro-successes.
  • Mario Trentim looks at conducting a stakeholder analysis from the perspective of the stakeholder.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts a PM student’s tale of failing to identify a key stakeholder, and the $200 million fine that eventually resulted.

Enjoy!

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

Grand CanyonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of January 26 – February 1. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin explains in detail how to determine project success criteria, how to communicate the criteria, measure, baseline, track, and report on progress.
  • Brian Jackson introduces us to Ross, a super-intelligent attorney powered by IBM’s Watson computing system. A cloud-based lawyer may review your next contract!
  • Jason Hiner sketches out three trends that are going to define the next decade, not just in technology but the way our societies work.

PM Best Practices

  • Bruce Harpham outlines the practice of risk management, for program managers.
  • Ron Rosenhead returns from delivering a course for project sponsors with some insight on the lack of unity in some organizations on who is a sponsor.
  • Harry Hall gives us a detailed view of what a risk management plan should contain.
  • Jennifer Lonoff Schiff identifies the biggest (or most common) problems that project managers can anticipate, avoid, or mitigate.
  • Glen Alleman dismantles one of the business cases for iterative development.
  • Kevin Coleman makes the case for telecommuting, and offers some guidelines for making it work.
  • Pawel Brodzinski explores the economic value of slack time. Maximizing utilization is not the way to maximize value – queuing theory applies!

Agile Methods

  • Neil Killick follows up last week’s analysis of the Scrum Master role’s responsibilities, behaviors, and goals with a similar look at the Product Owner role.
  • Mike Cohn strips Scrum down to three clear, elegant sentences, and warns us to add only those elements that actually work in our environment. Excellent advice!
  • Michael Barone subjects Agile to a little psychoanalysis.
  • Boon Nern Tan explains the case for and benefits of pair programming.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates Big Agile, and the limited benefits of additional process and structure.
  • Don Kim sees parallels between the Structured Agile Framework (SAFe) and the Bill Murray classic, “Groundhog Day.” You can say that again …
  • Johanna Rothman contemplates the roles of development manager and test manager in Agile organizations.
  • Seth Godin distinguishes between optimism and honesty, and our ability to commit and deliver.
  • Han van Loon proposes a replacement for the estimation Cone of Uncertainty. Check out his video on YouTube and try not to think of a snake swallowing its prey.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Maria Kozlova on building and maintaining high-performing teams. Just 19 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Mike Vizdos and Peter Green, on the values and techniques of Nonviolent Communication. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tony, Craig, and Renee interview a variety of attendees at the Scrum Australia conference in Sydney. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Jyothi Rangaiah has published the January edition of Women Testers magazine. If you haven’t discovered this wonderful resource yet, take this opportunity.
  • Ruairi O’Donnelan on wishes: “A software engineer, a hardware engineer, and a project manager find a magic lantern …”
  • Nick Heath reports on the growing call for IT to set aside some jobs for women. Not certain jobs, but a certain fraction of the positions.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 19 – 25

Balloon BeyondNew project management articles published on the web during the week of January 19 – 25. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Seth Godin notes that professionals don’t add emotion to their communications to signify urgency.
  • H.O. Maycotte argues that the challenge in getting actionable information out of Big Data is being sure you’ve asked the right question.
  • Tim Wasserman identifies ten strategic trends in project execution that will define success in 2015.

PM Best Practices

  • Harry Hall lists ten ways in which the alignment between the customers and project team is gradually lost.
  • Dave Wakeman looks to Seattle and finds that the problem of a failed tunnel-boring machine has expanded well beyond the tunnel itself.
  • Rich Maltzman finds a colossal example of a failure to engage project stakeholders, right in his home town of Boston.
  • Nick Pisano references Borges’ “Library of Babel” in pointing out the challenges inherent in extracting meaning from collections of data with no underlying common design.
  • John Carroll asks, “If the stakeholders don’t actually care about the project or take any responsibility or interest in it, then why is the project being carried out?”
  • Mike Cohn explains why we should focus on benefits, rather than features.
  • Mike Donoghue argues for benefits management, as the key to keeping your project on track.
  • Ryan Ogilvie recommends a dozen ITSM blogs, for those of us with service management responsibilities.

Agile Methods

  • Neil Killick describes the role of Scrum Master in terms of responsibilities, behavior, and goals. An excellent, brief, but actionable explanation of a complex topic.
  • Niranjan Nerlige describes the role of Product Owner, as a list of interactions with the team and with the business.
  • John Goodpasture deconstructs Mike Cohn’s recently published definition of done.
  • Johanna Rothman considers alternatives to estimation, in the form of planning and re-planning.
  • Mike Griffiths reviews a few misconceptions about teamwork and collaboration.
  • Joanne Wortman talks about blending Agile methods in with the traditional.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Pam Welty and Joy Gumz on the use of Building Information Models for construction projects. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares five quick tips for managing communications during a crisis. Just three minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy talks about the importance of networking in developing your career. Just 26 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • Steven Levy extracts three lessons learned from the scandal surrounding under-inflated footballs in last weekend’s game between the Patriots and the Colts.
  • András Baneth gets to the essence of Reality Television Executive Chef Gordon Ramsay’s coaching method.
  • Don Kim points out that there are times when SMART goals can be dumb. Or at least, counter-productive.
  • Emanuele Passera considers the question: do we really need to be number one in our industry?
  • Lynda Bourne reflects on taking the time to reflect and think. And yes, that’s an example of recursion.

Enjoy!