New PM Articles for the Week of June 25 – July 1

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 25 – July 1. And this week’s video: Harry Hall suggests four ways to engage project stakeholders. Just over a minute, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Roger Martin sees two core problems that drove GE’s sudden fall from DJIA stalwart to business school case study. And lots of firms have the same problems. 4 minutes to read.
  • Peter Rejcek reports on smart road technology. Imagine driving on a surface that resembles a touch-sensitive screen—now imagine the data you can collect and process. 5 minutes to read.
  • Simone Stolzoff reports that California passed the toughest data privacy bill in the US last Friday. And even Facebook supports it. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Geoff Crane on developing socials skills such as emotional intelligence, body language (including manspreading), and influencing. Video, 11 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Kim Wasson on emotional intelligence tools for smoother projects. This interview was recorded last year, but it’s still relevant. Podcast, 30 minutes.
  • Harry Hall explains the foundational role of objective, verifiable facts in assessing and managing project risks. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton tutors us on the basic goal of good customer service—keeping clients and stakeholders happy. 10 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman observes that managers believe multi-tasking works because management tasks, like decisions, lend themselves to sporadic attention. 2 minutes to read.
  • Katrina Clokie tells how she explored an alternative to a RACI chart in defining a completely new role: Test Coach. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from why Agile makes no sense to two (negative) takes on SAFe to why design thinking is failing. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Bria Johnson and Blake Halvorson, both Millennial children of Agile coaches, on how they applied Agile methods in their schooling and work life. Podcast, 26 minutes, safe for work.
  • John Yorke explains why the effectiveness of the Product Owner role is the single biggest success factor for products in development. 10 minutes to read.
  • Daniel Bryant reports on the LinkedIn failure injection testing framework, used to support resilience engineering. 7 minutes to read, 9.2 on the nerd scale.
  • Rich Rogers provides his personal definition of quality in a software development context and then explores other possible definitions. 4 minutes to read.
  • Pete Houghton compares the resilience of software to that of an older technology—a 37-foot sailboat. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from asking, “What do you think?” to measuring what matters to improving meetings. 5 outbound links, 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Mautz lists five unspoken rules that lead to a toxic culture. 3 minutes to read.
  • Alex Novkov offers some practical tips on how to manage a Lean team. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Nicolette does a deep dive on the definition of a self-organizing team, from the first mention in the mid-80’s to today, to provide an actionable context. 10 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Ashley Lipman points out five game-changing trends in the way we manage projects. 3 minutes to read.
  • The folks at Farnam Street explain double-loop learning—a means of improving performance by incorporating what we learn from experience. 9 minutes to read.
  • Benjamin Atrz recaps research that found women ask for raises as often as men; they just get turned down more often. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Michael Coren reports on the growth of “mid-tech”—those technical positions not requiring a degree. Includes a list of cities with lots of jobs. 2 minutes to read.
  • Lisette Sutherland tells us how to set up your workspace (and dress) for great video conferencing. Starbucks just isn’t acceptable. Podcast, 11 minutes.
  • Jennifer Bridges explains a few suggestions on how to manage introverts in the office. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of June 18 – 24

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 18 – 24. And this week’s video: über-nerd Adam Savage builds a 1,000 shot NERF-blaster. In one day. And tests it against three dinosaurs. 37 minutes, safe for work. The NERF-blaster … yeah, leave that at home.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Andy Heikkila warns that the Atlanta ransomware attack is a harbinger of “Fire Sale” cyber attacks. 5 minutes to read.
  • Steve Denning examines the ten “Agile Axioms” that still make executives nervous. Note that none of the five largest and fastest-growing firms in the world existed prior to 1975 and three were founded less than 25 years ago. 10 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton analyzes why scaled Agile approaches keep falling short of executive expectations. 10 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Henny Portman reviews Jack Duggal’s new book, The DNA of Execution Strategy. This looks like a must-read for project portfolio managers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Satya Narayan Dash tutors us on some critical concepts: Critical Path, Criticality Analysis, and Criticality Index. 8 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explains the concept of Critical Chain, as developed by Elihu Goldratt. Video, 7 minutes, safe for work.
  • Kiron Bondale points out the possible pitfalls of posting information radiators, from inaccuracy to a lack of context. 2 minutes to read.
  • Laura Barnard continues her series on the PMO leader mindset with an article on instilling focus. 9 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the PMO Conference 2018 in London. Includes a video, six and a half minutes, safe for work.
  • Kerry Wills asserts the need for projects, project management competencies, and PMO functions in a Scaled Agile environment. 2 minutes to read.
  • Cesar Abeid and Traci Duez interview Rick Morris on the need to develop our influencing skills. Podcast, 46 minutes, safe for work.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content, from business agility to re-thinking the corporate budgeting process to how to say ‘No.’ 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • John Ferguson Smart explains Behavior Driven Development, in the context of Agile methods and a DevOps culture. 3 minutes to read.
  • Simon Schrijver debunks the claim that tests are useless if they don’t fail. 2 minutes to read.
  • Matt Heusser tutors us on Cyclomatic Complexity, a tool to identify candidates for refactoring. Useful for project managers with some background in writing code. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • SaladAlexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from start-up company lessons learned to the value-add of an OKR Champion to learning “how to sit quietly in a room alone.” 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas interviews Dr. Lori Whatley on what to say (and what not to say) when an employee seems to be depressed. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ben Mackie shares some tips to improve the value you get from 1-on-1 meetings. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • John Goodpasture begins a series on Prospect Theory, an approach to decision making under conditions of risk developed by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. 4 minutes to read.
  • Olga Grinina reminds us that training AI from data based on human decisions will incorporate human biases. Perhaps we need to make the machine-generated algorithms more visible. 4 minutes to read.
  • Paul Axtel cites recent research indicating that the most productive meetings have fewer than 8 people. 2 minutes to read.
  • Lila MacLellan reports that a study of hangry, the condition of being hungry, irritable, and angry all at the same time, isn’t just about blood sugar. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Poornima Vijayshankar and Holly Cardew return to discuss what a remote team needs to be successful when working on a mission-critical project. 2 minutes to read, plus a 9-minute video, safe for work.
  • Garland Coulson shares an infographic that can help you determine the best way to deal with each task in your inbox. 4 minutes to read.
  • Kayla Matthews lists some of the reasons to have a green office and some of the ways to pursue that sort of sustainability. 3 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

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!