New PM Articles for the Week of July 20 – 26

Ballon PassingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Our theme this week is Agile software development. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman shares a few tips for product owners faced with ranking features in a backlog. This needs to be a checklist!
  • Neil Killick shares a twelve-point decision tree (which only looks like a questionnaire) that will help you determine whether your team is actually developing software using Agile methods. And no, it’s not a twelve-step program – just a coincidence.
  • Aaron Smith interviews Thomas Wise, co-author of the new book, “Agile Readiness: Four Spheres of Lean and Agile Transformation.”

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin: “The biggest challenge facing project management today is that project-related work and jobs are growing too quickly for our approaches to professionalism to keep up.”
  • Adam Shostak points us toward a good, long read at CIO on real lessons learned from the dubious rollout of Healthcare.gov.
  • John Goodpasture quotes John LeCarre (for the second time in a week) on the need for facts to have a credible source.
  • Kailash Awati continues his series introducing us to R, the open source statistical analysis package.
  • Kerry Wills walks us through his analytical process for Issues.
  • Bruce Benson leverages a story in Bloomberg Businessweek to introduce the radical idea of skepticism, as a tool for issue prevention.
  • Kenneth Darter observes that some issues only crop up after the project is (nearly) completed. That doesn’t make them non-issues!
  • Matthew Squair reports on a demonstration of how to take control of a car via the internet. “My new car has Wi-fi!” Far out, Dude …
  • Lynda Bourne covers the elements of stakeholder engagement, including a bit of history.
  • Paul Ritchie addresses a tough recruiting question: how do I interview for soft skills?
  • Nick Pisano looks at the economics of data through the lenses of public sector economic and Moore’s Law.
  • Rex Homlin explains that successful projects are successful on three levels.
  • Ryan Ogilvie covers the basics of software asset management.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Griffiths posts an infographic and some statistics and analysis on a topic we sometimes avoid: the down side of open space office plans.
  • Mike Cohn provides an alternative to user stories, for when your users aren’t really part of the story.
  • Glen Alleman explains why deadlines still matter, even in an Agile world.
  • Bob Tarne explains Lean, from a mountain climber’s perspective.
  • Alhad Akole share best Scrum practices for getting to zero defects.

 

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews the all-around wonderful Dorie Clark, on how to be better and how to be noticed for it. Just 55 minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall shares a short video, where Shane Hastie explains the discipline of business analysis. Three minutes, safe for work.
  • Ruairi O’Donnellan shares a micro-video on issue management using Sharepoint. Less than two minutes, safe for work.

 

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of July 13 – 19

Over DinnerNew project management articles published on the web during the week of July 13 – 19. Pull up a chair and let’s talk. Our theme this week is applied leadership. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jeff Furman on the second edition of “The Project Management Answer Book.” Just 35 minutes, safe for work, and well worth your time.
  • Paul Ritchie presents evidence that hiring managers are putting more emphasis on leadership, strategy, and business skills when hiring PM’s.
  • Steven Levy recounts the story of a tour boat operator who had to intervene when one of his guests decided to swim with the alligators. Are you this cool when the unexpected happens?

PM Best Practices

  • Carol Dekker outlines the key steps to a better software development performance measurement program.
  • Michel Dion expounds on monitoring, measuring, and reporting as the core of project governance.
  • Glen Alleman adds more diagrams to his ongoing explanation of the role of estimating in economic analysis.
  • Marco Behler takes a practical approach to improving the accuracy software development estimates.
  • Harry Hall assembled thirty(!) risk evaluation principles while preparing to teach a course on PMI’s Practice Standard for Project Risk Management.
  • John Goodpasture summarizes Tim van Gelder’s description of the elements of critical thinking.
  • Dave Wakeman covers three keys to achieving organizational alignment for your project.
  • Braden Kelly continues his series on applying the Six Sigma DMAIC methodology to drive innovation.
  • Ryan Ogilvie reports from the Calgary Stampede, where not everyone was stampeding toward ITIL. Yes, the conversation was over beer …
  • Kerry Wills follow up on his eight fundamental guiding principles for managing programs with an analysis of what happens when one is missing.
  • Allen Ruddock argues that communications is a key PMO responsibility.
  • Gina Abudi notes that key roles should be defined and people assigned to them, throughout the project.
  • Bruce Harpham continues his series on finding a summer project at work.
  • Joe Caprara thinks it’s a good thing to earn the PMP credential. Just don’t make it the basis for any of your claims.

Agile Methods

  • Michael Dubakov proposes the Minimum Action Energy Principle in user interface design. Yes, physics matters even to software engineers.
  • Johanna Rothman describes the responsibilities commonly assigned to three common roles: product manager, product owner, and business analyst.
  • Kyle Viele experiments with the Candle Problem, as described by Dan Pink, to demonstrate that diverse teams get better results than homogeneous teams.
  • Henny Portman reviews “The Lean Startup,” by Eric Ries. Did you know that this book influenced the development of the PRINCE2 Agile Framework?

 Pot Pouri

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists 15 ways to celebrate success with your team.
  • Mike Cohn encourages us to take a moment to celebrate with our team, even if it’s just by exchanging paper plates.
  • Adam Shostok takes umbrage with the “word nerds.”
  • Seth Godin: “An amateur memorizes. A professional looks for metaphors.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of June 29 – July 5

Red Balloon OverheadNew project management articles published on the web during the week of June 29 – July 5. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Our theme this week is productivity and job satisfaction. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Travis Bradberry clues us in to what the most productive people do differently.
  • Suzanne Lucas reveals some interesting nuggets in a recent survey: we feel overwhelmed at work, but 86 percent of us are still motivated.
  • Susanne Madsen points out that engaging the project team and including them in the planning process reduces the amount of “chasing” required to get them to complete their tasks.

PM Best Practices

  • Michael Wood questions some of our assumptions about project management.
  • David Cotgreave lists the benefits of outsourcing project management.
  • Glen Alleman notes that “populist books” generally don’t provide enough of an understanding to actually use most of the ideas In them.
  • Andy Jordan examines change management at the portfolio level.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn argues that the product owner needs to take a product life-cycle view when prioritizing development.
  • Rick Waters explains how to track and communicate accumulated technical debt with a fishing metaphor.
  • Marco Behler finally finished his Customer Requirements eBook. Subtitle: “Everything Programmers Need to Know Before Writing Code.”

 

Podcasts and Videos

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a video from the APM’s Women in Project Management SIG, on PM careers for women. Less than five minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman presents a recent announcement from GreenTouch, a telecom service provider consortium achieving astounding power reduction results. Four minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Smith and Renee Troughton have a wide-ranging chat on their recent reading, including things that echo Travis Bradberry’s message. Just 50 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!