New PM Articles for the Week of March 31 – April 6

Cartoon NewsboyNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 31 – April 6. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! And Elizabeth Harrin was kind enough to give me a guest spot on her blog, PM4Girls – thanks, Mum! Also recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman explores the clever phrase, “Do it right or do it twice.”
  • Gary Nelson notes that there is an appropriate window of opportunity for change. After that, everything gets expensive or impossible.
  • Bruce Benson sings the praises of arguments, disputes, and debates.
  • Barry Hodge argues that Nozbe is the best “to do” list app for project managers, and gives five excellent reasons. I’m still not ditching Trello, though …
  • Dick Billows notes the advantages of using a software-based project scheduling tool, and shoots down the arguments against it.
  • Marian Haus recaps the three “traditional” techniques for overcoming project schedule constraints.
  • John Goodpasture shares a challenge question he puts to his risk management students, on how to assess the impact of a new technology, process, or vendor.
  • Tony Adams traces the link between the project charter and the engagement of the project sponsor.
  • Henny Portman links us to some great how-to videos for Excel – the project manager’s Swiss Army Knife.
  • Sue Geuens notes that incorrect data records can lead to some pretty serious consequences.

Agile Methods

  • Jeff Pierce addresses requirements gathering for those development projects with a lot of constraints.
  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on designing your own Agile project, with a look at dealing with the unknowns.
  • Cheri Baker looks into the post-success bounce, and why success is so often temporary.
  • Soma Bhattacharya talks about what to do once you’ve succeeded, and your Scrum team is successful, productive, and stable.
  • Dave Prior reflects on how he’s using (and benefiting from) his personal Kanban, as a follow-up to his interviews with Jim Benson.
  • Paulo Dias looks at the down side of starting a Sprint on a Monday.

Strategy and Governance

  • Martin Webster asks an interesting question: “Does strategy emerge or is it planned?”
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Georg Vielmetter and Yvonne Sell’s new book, “Leadership 2030: The Six Megatrends You Need to Understand to Lead Your Company into the Future .”
  • Michael Wood notes that the maxim “simpler is better” also applies to project portfolio management.

Your Career

  • Dennis McCafferty shares a slide deck that shows compensation and career prospects for experience project managers are looking very good, indeed.
  • Linky van der Merwe links us to a few resources for project managers looking to make a career move.
  • Michel Dion provides some tips for those preparing for a job interview.


New PM Articles for the Week of March 17 – 23

NewspapersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 17 – 23. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:


  • John Bauer provides a history lesson and some predictions on the evolution of corporate IT, their relationship with the business, and everything-as-a-service.
  • Peter Bruzzese sees the end of on-premises IT, as we move everything to the Cloud.
  • Ammar Mango examines the intersection of innovation and project management.
  • John Goodpasture suggests that when the evidence doesn’t indicate a clear course of action, you should make an informed judgment.
  • Bruce Benson observes one key project management lesson from ObamaCare is “Try something new.” Just providing an alternative can sometimes drive innovation.
  • Elizabeth Harrin provides her round up of project management news for this month.
  • Lyndsey Gilpin shares photos and stories of the women who created the technology industry: Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Hedy Lamarr, and more!

PM Best Practices

  •  Vicki Wrona shares best practices for effective brainstorming, including a technique called Reverse Brainstorming.
  • Brad Egeland presents his approach to planning and conducting meetings that are productive, organized, and effective.
  • Graham Oakes examines risk management from the perspective of the trigger point, e.g. when the probabilistic risk event actually occurs.
  • Martin Webster presents a slightly facetious case for avoiding blame by avoiding risk.
  • Coert Visser explains why it seems like other people succeed so easily, when we have to work so hard. Short answer: we’re mistaken about how much it takes.
  • Cheri Baker models three short examples of pushing back.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Dave Stachowiak on how to manage, lead, and influence without authority. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.
  • Srinath Ramakrishnan summarizes five change management models.
  • Glen Alleman extracts key points from James Dewar’s “Assumption-Based Planning.”
  • Andy Jordan recommends that we partner with the customer to select the right project execution approach (Agile vs. Waterfall).
  • Anne-Marie Charrett refutes the “waterfall is never the right approach mindset,” by debunking the most common memes.

Agile Methods

  • David Clarke explains why SaaS provider Workday has moved to a single codeline model for continuous development and release. Read this one twice!
  • Dave Prior interviews Dr. Sallyann Freudenberg on the psychological basis for the effectiveness of pair programming. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mike Cohn explores the subtle differences in two definitions of velocity.
  • Clinton Ages explains how his business analyst skill set best fits in with a Scrum team.


  • Shim Marom begins a series on IT investment, with the need for a business case.
  • Emanuele Passera begins a series on portfolio management, using rigorous financial analysis.
  • Henny Portman provides a bullet list of questions to ask about the actions of the project owner before replacing the manager of a troubled project.


A Few Interesting Facts to Start Your Day

WhiteboardWhen you’re trying to put together a business case, it’s good to be able to base it on statistics, facts, and projections from well-respected authorities. Here are some quick facts and trivia items, to help you get some perspective on the shift to mobile, connected devices.

Phones to Mobiles to Smart Phones

  • According to the CIA World Factbook, there were approximately 1,181 million land line telephones in the world, at the end of 2012. It appears that the number of landlines peaked in 2008, roughly 132 years after the invention of the telephone, and a gradual decline has been evident since then.
  • The first digital cellular network was introduced in Finland, in 1991. The number of mobile subscriptions is expected to exceed the world’s population sometime in 2014, just 23 years later.
  • The Centers for Disease Control reports that, as of 2013, only 8.6% of households in the United States (where the telephone was invented) now have only a land line phone, whereas 38.2% of households have only mobile phones.
  • Palm introduced the first commercially viable smart phone, the Kyocera 6035, in 2001. Twelve years later, market research firm IDC reports that 1,004 million smart phones were shipped in 2013, more than half of the total 1,822 million mobile phones. The total number of smart phones shipped in 2017 is expected to increase by 71%.
  • By volume, Samsung has about 30% of the smart phone market, while second place Apple has nearly 19%. Huawei, LG, and Lenovo each had between 4.5% and 4.9%. Of the five, Apple showed the slowest growth. The three smaller vendors had the largest growth, mostly in the developing world.

Computers and Portables

  • According to various sources, there are approximately 1.6 billion desktop, portable, and kiosk computers in use in 2013, 32 years after IBM introduced the first Personal Computer.
  • IDC estimates that 134 million desktop and 181 portable computers were shipped in 2013. They project that in 2017, the total number of desktop and laptop computers shipped will be approximately the same, although they expect a shift of about 8% from desktop to portable.
  • Despite the end of support scheduled for April 8, 2014, it is estimated that 500 million computers still run Microsoft’s XP operating system, including 95% of the world’s automated teller machines.


  • Although the Pencept and GRiDPad were introduced in the 1980’s, and Microsoft introduced a short-lived tablet PC in 2001, the first general-purpose, practical tablet computer to gain widespread acceptance was the iPad, introduced by Apple in April, 2010. Just three years later, IDC estimated that 221 million tablets were shipped in 2013.
  • Apple still has about 35% of the market, although Android tablets account for 61%. IDC projects that the total number of tablets shipped in 2017 will increase to 386 million devices.
  • IDC expects Windows tablets to account for 10% of the market by 2017, while Android will account for 59%.


  • By 2016, Cisco expects there will be 3.4 billion Internet users ― about 45 percent of the world’s projected population.
  • Cisco forecasts annual global IP traffic in 2016 to be 1.3 zettabytes – (a zettabyte is equal to a sextillion bytes, or a trillion gigabytes). By that time, over half of all internet traffic will come from Wi-Fi connections.
  • Also in 2016, an expected 1.2 million video minutes―the equivalent of 833 days (or over two years) ―will travel the Internet every second.
  • According to Statista, as of 2013, mobile phones account for 17% of global web usage. This ranges from 15.2% in North America and 9.7% in Europe to nearly 27% in Asia. Note that mobile apps and mobile web sites tend to be more efficient in bandwidth utilization than their non-mobile counterparts.
  • Estimates vary, but approximately 70% of global web usage flowed through desktop and portable computers in 2013.
  • While the “Internet of Things” appears to be a growth market, it appears that it will not consume an appreciable volume of internet traffic, in the next few years.

If you have other estimates, questions, or counter-arguments, leave a comment below.