New PM Articles for the Week of April 23 – 29

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 23 – 29. And this week’s video: Genevieve von Petzinger reviews drawings of a common set of symbols found in caves all over Europe. Writing has been with us for tens of thousands of years. 11 minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • Kif Leswing reports on the US$35M fine imposed on the dying remains of Yahoo because it didn’t tell investors about Russian hacking (in 2014). Disclosure matters! 4 minutes to read.
  • Dave West argues that professionalism and a code of ethics is more important than regulation in preventing abuse of human rights via technology. 4 minutes to read.
  • “Ms. Smith” recounts the story of a family member nearly conned by a fake tech support scam. Microsoft warns that this crap was up by 24% in 2017. 4 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Grand CanyonMike Clayton tutors us on the basics of project risk analysis—one of the critical components of risk management. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale recommends a little “preventive maintenance” on our projects. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Todd Williams on implementing organizational strategy via projects, including managing the politics and risks. Video, 28 minutes, with transcript.
  • Laura Barnard tells how to build a strong sponsor relationship. 4 minutes to read.
  • Lynette Reed describes project budget planning using the work breakdown structure. 4 minutes to read.
  • Max Benz asked the Facebook Project Management Café denizens for the #1 project management skills. This article summarizes the answers. 9 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy goes deep in describing the software development lifecycle and why you need to manage it in phases. 10 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from self-organization to the metrics fetish to whether the Agile Manifesto needs an overhaul. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Jeff Sutherland on his new joint venture with the Scrum Alliance to train, coach, and promote Scrum@Scale. Podcast, 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn describes four proven techniques for giving the team a means to gain or assess consensus. 10 minutes to read.
  • Jay Bazuzi briefly describes three techniques for refactoring and links to two others. 3 minutes to read.
  • Simon Tomes gives us a large collection of simple practices to make your exploratory testing more productive. 8 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Greg Satell reminds us that leading requires us to shift our mindset, as different jobs require different mindsets. 5 minutes to read.
  • Oliver Staley notes research that shows why even inoffensive jokes by the boss can have a corrosive effect on the workplace. 2 minutes to read.
  • Dan Cable tells us how humble leadership really works. 6 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Richard Macaskill explains why data mapping—finding personal data in all your records— is key to GDPR compliance. 6 minutes to read.
  • Roland Bullivant notes the difficulty of discovering all the personal data in ERP and CRM systems for GDPR compliance. SAP has around 90K tables—not something you want to investigate by inspection. 8 minutes to read.
  • Jeff Nyman posts a paper on testability as a “primary quality attribute” of software under development. Highly recommended for those managing development projects. 12 minutes to read.
  • Jason Arbon observes that the focus on automation and continuous integration has led to a lot of verification that the software still works, and little testing to see if it’s broken. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Ananya Bhattacharya trots out the statistics: “The Trump administration’s hard stance on immigration is beginning to take a toll on the US economy.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Rebecca Knight reviews case studies that demonstrate ways to develop empathy for colleagues who annoy you. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mary Jo Asmus explains how taking up a hobby can help you develop the skills you need for your career. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New Post at AITS: Status Reports News and Information

My latest article for AITS was published today: Status Reports: Separating Information from News.

Cartoon News ReadersIt’s important to think like a journalist when writing status reports: be clear, concise, and engage the reader by creating a narrative. Tell a story that the reader wants to finish. But not everything in your status report should be news—you also need to mix in information, showing trends and data in a digestible format. The goal should be to help your stakeholders have a better understanding of the work planned, completed, and in progress so they can make better decisions and help to champion the project.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of March 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of March 19 – 25. Daylight Savings Time began in Europe and the UK this weekend. And this week’s video: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who survived the massacre on Valentine’s Day were among the activists who spoke at the “March for Our Lives” rally Saturday in Washington, D.C. Speakers at the event, which drew hundreds of thousands of people, included Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg and Yolanda Renee King, the granddaughter of Martin Luther King Jr. 3 minutes, safe for work; in fact, schools should be this safe.

Must read!

  • Andreas Sandre reports on the calls for regulating Big Tech in the wake of the revelations involving Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. 4 minutes to read. Side note: Amazon has replaced Google as the best place to work in the US, per LinkedIn. Yet in 2015, we were aghast at their work culture. Adaptation or PR?
  • Kristen Duke summarizes recent research that found the mere presence of your smartphone impacts your cognitive ability. Even face down with the alerts turned off! 5 minutes to read.
  • Steve Ragan recaps the high points from a Symantec report on the shifting security threats and tactics used in cyber attacks during 2017. Expect more evolution this year. 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley examine the latest PMI Pulse of the Profession The criteria for a successful project is getting a lot more nuanced. 3 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton provides detailed instructions on how to close down your project. 10 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman shoots down the notion that fixed price contracts remove risk—they just move it around a bit. 4 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy points out the benefits of aligning IT strategy with business strategy and goals. 2 minutes to read.
  • Philippe Husser describes three practices for a successful value-driven PMO. 5 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists a few ways to engage your project sponsor. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brian O’Malley explains how to use org charts to make governance of complex projects and programs easier to communicate. 4 minutes to read.
  • Nick Smarto finds ten project management lessons in the Zen art of stacking stones. 7 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from failure patterns in organizations to dealing with unexpected work to the decline and fall of Yahoo. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagley explains the Toyota production system concepts of Muda (wastes), Mura (variability), and Muri (overburdened) as used in Lean Programming circles. 8 minutes to read all three.
  • Marlena Compton does a deep dive on effective pair programming tips. It’s all about taking turns. 6 minutes to read.
  • The Clever PM interviews Greg Hartrell on the craft of product management. 10 minutes to read.
  • Will Fanguy explains the difference between a wireframe and a prototype. Yeah, it’s a commercial for InVision, but it’s an important distinction. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his (new!) weekly list of leadership articles from improving your team’s digital skills to ensuring that they are communicating their needs. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp explains how to avoid getting into a performance management process with one of your direct reports. Call it direct conversation. 6 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Johanna Rothman on organizing your geographically distributed team. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Scott Helmers shows how to connect a Visio diagram to data and make a diagram into a business dashboard—very cool! 4 minutes to read.
  • Adam Shostack begins a weekly series that will review threat models. This week, he explores the Synopsys threat model. 5 minutes to read.
  • Timothy Butler makes the business case for monetizing the edge data collected by the Internet of Things (IoT). 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Dylan Walsh interviews Jeffrey Pfeffer, author of Dying for a Paycheck, on the role of the workplace in our declining health. New term: social pollution. 7 minutes to read.
  • Corinne Purtill reports on changes in PWC’s culture, driven by Millennial employees who spoke up and older generations who agreed with them. 8 minutes to read.
  • Faisal Hoque suggests four questions rooted in empathy to ask when you’re struggling to listen. 4 minutes to read.

Enjoy!