New PM Articles for the Week of April 11 – 17

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Crazy Russian Hacker explains that we’ve been splitting firewood wrong all these years. “Safety is number one priority.” Spasibo, moy drug …

Must read!

  • Donald Charles Wynes suggests an interesting way to identify risks: pretend the project is over, and you’re trying to analyze why it failed.
  • Mike Clayton recommends eight techniques for identifying risks. I especially like Brainwriting and Pre-Mortem.
  • Andy Jordan points out another source of risk: a change in leadership.

Established Methods

  • Harry Hall shares a checklist that should help you understand your project, which is the first step in managing it.
  • Glen Alleman presents the Project Breathalyzer: should your project even be on the road?
  • Women Testers has released the April edition of their quarterly online magazine.
  • John Goodpasture contemplates managing schedule slack, based on a TED talk by Tim Urban on procrastination. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Simon Moore’s book, “Strategic Portfolio Management.”
  • Elise Stevens interviews Emma Arnaz-Pemberton on how PMO’s can become trusted partners to the business. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Agile Methods

  • Alistair Cockburn gives an excellent talk, “The Heart of Agile.” Just 50 minutes, safe for work.
  • Joshua Taylor makes a good point: designers shouldn’t focus on code – they should focus on the business.
  • Henny Portman returns from class with a nice summary of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.0.
  • Emanuele Passera begins a series on Kanban, with a brief introduction to the terminology.
  • Angela Wick explains the difference between use cases and user stories, and why you should use one or the other but not both.
  • Sandeep Paudel posts a brief user story FAQ. Part one of two.

Applied Leadership

  • Cameron Conaway gets a few ideas about vision from Patti Sanchez, Chief Strategy Officer at Duarte, Inc, a “visual storytelling company” in Silicon Valley.
  • Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, explains why hiring is so much more difficult than you might expect.
  • Liane Davey tells us how to deal with chronic complainers.
  • Art Petty explains how to succeed in high-pressure conversations.
  • Allen Ruddock contemplates the nature of motivation.

Pot Pouri

  • Bruce Harpham gives us a comprehensive approach to winning that next promotion.
  • Project Journal has rounded up 30 of the best interview questions to ask of applicants for a project management position.
  • Derek Huether explains how to triage meeting requests.
  • Thomas Carney summarizes six highly regarded productivity systems, and identifies roles that they might work best for (and not).
  • Seth Godin makes the (quality) case for not using free software.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 4 – 10

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 4 – 10. And this week’s video: the first stage of the SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully lands on a recovery ship.

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin walks us through her checklist for taking over a project already in flight.
  • Rich Maltzman reports on a project in Colorado that is taking food waste out of the land fill and converting it to energy, compost, and liquid fertilizer, by emulating digestion.
  • Harry Hall recaps each of the risk response strategies for positive and negative risks.

Established Methods

  • Anna Krachey, Nicole Nagel, and Jonathan Lewis extol the virtues of designing in a “War room,” a la Dr. Strangelove.
  • John Goodpasture sticks tongue in cheek to examine our evolving attitude toward failure.
  • Angela Wick looks at two sources of project pressure: tight timelines and a pre-determined solution.
  • Tejasvi Addagada explores ways to integrate risk management principles with data governance.
  • Colin Ellis debunks the notion of “best practices” in project management.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Naomi Caietti on managing stakeholder expectations. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bruce Benson on automation: “Every key piece of management and decision-making software I ever developed and used was first a manual process that I personally did.”
  • Glen Alleman copies us on his systems engineering reference book list.

Agile Methods

  • Dave Prior interviews the coolest man in the Agile community – Woody Zuill – on mob programming. Almost an hour, safe for work.
  • Johanna Rothman explores some Agile solutions for geographically distributed teams.
  • Mike Cohn has some recommendations for the Sprint summary document, from content to audience.
  • Nick Schaden answers the question, “How do you structure your design team?”
  • Shalu Tyagi recounts how selected Agile methods were implemented for business functions with a regular operating rhythm: HR, administration, and so on.
  • Craig Smith and Tony Ponton conduct random vox pop interviews at Agile Australia. Just 31 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Suzanne Lucas makes the case for emotional intelligence being more useful than a high IQ.
  • Alfred Stallion outlines the steps to take in improving your public speaking skills.
  • Michael Girdler reviews some basic approaches for overcoming resistance to change.
  • Eduardo Binda Zane, author of “Effective Decision Making,” looks at applying creativity in business and tells us that brainstorming is overrated.
  • Seth Godin reminds us that we are more powerful than we realize.
  • Adam Shostack explains why the information security slogan, “Think like an attacker,” isn’t actionable.
  • David Barrett interviews Roy Osing, author of “Be Different or Be Dead,” on strategic planning. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jeff Collins recommends his five favorite project management podcasts.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 28 – April 3

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 28 – April 3. And this week’s video: Coert Vissar diagrams the difference in motivation between our autonomous choices and those choices made for us. Complete with a slide guitar soundtrack; two minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman’s new book, “Agile and Lean Program Management,” is now available.
  • Harry Hall shares three brief videos on making and executing better decisions.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy explains how to get a conversation going by asking the right questions. If you spend much of your working day on conference calls, be sure to read this!

Established Methods

  • Laura Barnard applies some lessons on stakeholder management learned from Fred Rogers.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Julie Goff on managing a team of project managers. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares her recent reading list. What does work-life balance look like? Well, start here.
  • Klaus Nielsen applies lessons from Daniel Kahneman’s book, “Thinking: Fast and Slow” to project management.
  • Dave Wakeman articulates the five steps in putting a new process in place.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joe Drammissi on Enlightened Project Management. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Nick Pisoni explains the difference between measuring progress against plan (earned value) and progress during development (technical performance).
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy gets us back to basics in describing what to include in a project plan.
  • Glen Alleman adapts Jon Stewart’s final rant on “The Daily Show” to direct it toward his favorite target, the #NoEstimates movement.

Agile Methods

  • Mishkin Berteig lays out the four principles of refactoring. Sometimes, good software engineering can be a metaphor for life.
  • John Goodpasture introduces the notion of coupling to a discussion of architecture in an Agile approach.
  • The Clever PM (possibly) concludes his series, “Why Agile isn’t working for me.” This time, the focus is on individual actions.
  • Jake Bartlett points out some of the reasons Agile is hard to adopt.

Applied Leadership

  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Ray Zinn, who founded and led semiconductor manufacturer Micrel for 37 years, on key lessons from his new book, “Tough Things First.”
  • Liane Davey shares a simple exercise that exposes each participant’s default reaction to change.
  • Peter Saddington shares a great infographic: 18 Things Mentally Strong People Do.
  • Scott Berkun uses the history of the Eiffel Tower to illustrate what it takes to drive real innovation and see it produce real change.
  • Eileen Burton says that great leaders are those who step up in a crisis.

Pot Pouri

  • Suzanne Lucas says that recruiters are good at spotting lies. Here are a few things that you really don’t need to lie about.
  • Jamie Hale gives us science-based recommendations on how to study. Key point: we best remember that which we best understand.
  • Steve Johnson identifies four “areas of expertise” that should drive what is (and isn’t) required in a job candidate.
  • Paul Sawyers opines on the market viability of an internet of consumer product things. Who needs a smart oven in the microwave society?

Enjoy!