New PM Articles for the Week of April 17 – 23

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 17 – 23. And this week’s video: Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin West introduce their new 1 credit hour course at the University of Washington on Calling Bullshit. Eight minutes, and I could say it was safe for work, but I’d be full of shit.

Must read!

  • Joseph Kelly makes the case that the role of the Entrepreneur is to create new Truths. And along the way, some of these Truths may not be absolute. It’s about creation, not morality. Read this with an open mind and be prepared to come back to it later.
  • Will Knight points out a problem with Deep Learning artificial intelligence applications: since they learned by observing human behavior, we can’t explain how they make decisions.
  • Michael O’Brochta explains how sunk costs, groupthink, escalation of commitment, and conflicts of interest make failing projects so hard to kill.

Established Methods

  • Robert Wysocki elaborates on the co-manager model for complex projects, where a product manager and a process manager collaborate to lead a combined team.
  • Harry Hall catalogs some actions we can take to recognize and reward our project teams.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Hans Arnbjerg on how the PMO can help project managers engage with their stakeholders.
  • Mike Clayton a list of 22 excellent project management podcasts—“[some] extinct, some dormant, and some highly active.”
  • Alex Puscasu looks at the potential upside of integrating Scrum into Prince2.
  • Lew Sauder uses the Fitbit as an introduction to measures of project health: one metric does not tell a meaningful story.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of Agile content, from the C-suite’s fondness for Big Bangs to what we can learn from the customer service debacle at United Airlines, to the Museum of Failure.
  • Jordan Koschel explains how to deal with design debt. Like technical debt, only more visible to your user community.
  • Anurag Prakash takes a critical look at the way burn-downs are used in practice. Let project structure drive your choice of metrics.
  • The Clever PM interviews one of his mentors, Rich Mironov. Based on this interview, I’m now following Rich’s blog.
  • Jesse Fewell addresses the question: where is the project manager role in Agile methods? Just 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Lisa Crispin and Amitai Schleier on the fine art of co-presenting at conferences, co-writing books, and Agile testing. Just 44 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Glen Alleman identifies seven key behaviors that can be found in a weak leader.
  • Coert Visser examines the difference between (benign) admiration and (malicious) envy and how each motivates us.
  • Jayath Jayarathna guides us through managing subject matter experts.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Karen Chovan, project manager and advocate for clean, lean, and green solutions.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Naomi Caietti explains the six emotional intelligence behaviors and skill sets necessary for project and program managers.
  • John Goodpasture shares his FAQ on systems engineering.
  • Brendan Toner lists his ten most useful iPad apps. I have five of them on my iPad and similar apps for four of the others. And we both drink Bushmills, so there’s that.

Working and the Workplace

  • Ron Rosenhead notes a survey of workers in various professions that found only the legal profession is more boring that project management. Statisticians and journalists didn’t make the list, which makes it somewhat suspect …
  • Andy Kaufman interviews author Amy Blankson on the strategies we can use to stay productive and happy when surrounded by interactive tech. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Lisette Sutherland interviews Jerry Koch-Gonzales on the practice of Sociocracy in group meetings. Just 38 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of April 10 – 16

New project management articles published on the web during the week of April 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Kerry Goyette tells us that our employees are already motivated—the key to success is unleashing the power of their motivation. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Julie Bort reports on how Jeff Bezos and the Amazon leadership team make risky business decisions. In short: decide quickly, based on the question, “So, what if you’re wrong?”
  • Scott Berkun debunks several common clichés about creativity. Telling people to think outside the box doesn’t change their behavior any more than telling them to jump higher.
  • Tamás Török shares a comprehensive guide to creating user stories, as a vehicle for communicating the value users will find in your app.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin lists twenty things that might go into a project plan and provides three templates and a PDF file you can download with the entire list.
  • Geraldine O’Reilly picks up where Elizabeth left off with a list of nine essential project documents, from business case to lessons learned.
  • And Tony Adams anthropomorphizes a group of project management documents to demonstrate why the work breakdown structure is the coolest guy at the bar.
  • PMI announces the formation of a committee to update the Practice Standard for Scheduling. If that’s a special area of expertise, you should consider volunteering.
  • Harry Hall tells us how to “catch” those big project risks by using three straightforward techniques.
  • Elise Steven interviews Naomi Caietti on stakeholder engagement and driving change by becoming a trusted partner.
  • Gina Abudi shares three critical actions needed to engage employees in cross-functional projects.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly roundup of all things Agile, from lipstick Agile, Tragile, and Wagile to distributed Agile and how Jeff Bezos plans to keep Amazon relevant.
  • Jerry Doucett and Valerie Senyk argue for the practice of subversive Scrum in workplaces that haven’t decided to embrace such things.
  • Johanna Rothman does the math to show why team size matters.
  • Mike Cohn points out specific value elements of getting to “done” at the end of a sprint, as opposed to just making progress.
  • Shazir Mucklai makes an excellent case for applying project management processes at startups.
  • John Goodpasture answers a student question about IT project stage gates and Agile methods.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty contemplates the critical question: what’s it like to be you? As he says, cognitive diversity is a thing.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports on an April Fool’s joke at Reddit that morphed into a demonstration of the power of those who step up to lead.
  • Angela Chen interviews neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett on the science of emotions, and why we don’t all “feel” the same things.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Ilan Hertz explains why chatbots will be the next evolutionary step in business analytics. “Why don’t people buy our products, HAL?”
  • Mary Shacklett summarizes five recommendations from Big Data project leaders that might help you avoid the 60% failure rate reported by the Gartner Group.
  • Conner Forrest reports on recent research that found your smartphone fingerprint scanner may be a lot easier to spoof than you might think.

Working and the Workplace

  • Leigh Espy explains why we should look past project management conferences for excellent opportunities to learn, meet interesting people, and develop face-to-face relationships.
  • Jason Dana reports on research which demonstrated that free-flowing job applicant interviews do not predict success and can actually overshadow more valuable information. Watch Kerry’s video above before you read this one!
  • Kara Swisher interviews Code2040 CEO Laura Weidman Powers on moving from diversity to inclusion. Just 48 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New Post at AITS: Managing Transitions Between Outsourcing Vendors

My latest article for AITS was published today: Managing Transitions Between Outsourcing Vendors.

An experienced project manager is used to leveraging influence in the absence of direct authority. What most of us are not used to is influencing people who are about to lose their jobs, when we want them to work with their replacements. It isn’t just about the need for emotional intelligence, but the need to preserve the dignity of the employees of the departing incumbent. If you have comments on this topic, please leave a comment at AITS. If you have suggestions for future topics, please leave a comment here.

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