New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 31 – January 6. And this week’s video: Alec Watson gives us a product development case history of the videotape wars, VHS versus Betamax. The winner was not the company with the best technology, but the one that better understood the use cases of their customers. Even if you’re not in a product development role, this is a valuable management insight. Here’s part two. Each part about 16 minutes, both safe for work.
Business Acumen and Strategy
Nariman Behavesh, Chief Economist for IHS Markit, posted his predictions for the global economy in 2019. 6 minutes to read.
Mark Sullivan curates “tech trend” predictions for the coming year, from AI and augmented reality to 5G, drones, and the shift away from cable TV. 10 minutes to read.
Marc Bain reports on trends in retail, grouped as experimental, threatening, transitory, and necessary. “Autonomous last-mile delivery” is a thing, it seems. 6 minutes to read.
The folks at MPUG list ten of their most popular articles from 2018. Here’s one more chance to read them! 6 minutes to read.
John Goodpasture warns us to beware the strategic objective that isn’t really strategic at all. 2 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin coaches a project manager on effectively communicating with stakeholders who must act on an issue. 5 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton reflects on the “blaming” mindset which kicks in when projects go wrong. Just over a minute to read.
David Robins gets deep into the details of tracking progress against plan. 6 minutes to read.
Harry Hall recaps his ten most popular project risk management articles from 2018, describes his plans for 2019, and asks you to take his reader survey—I did! 2 minutes to read.
The folks at Clarizen list a few risk assessment techniques you should consider using if you aren’t already. 3 minutes to read.
Managing Software Development
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile as common sense to supporting hypergrowth to why leadership isn’t always about having a plan. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
Emily Stevens points out five important UX trends for 2019. 8 minutes to read.
Adam Shostack launches a new course, Introduction to Threat modeling for Security Professionals, on LinkedIn Learning. For free. A minute to read.
Alan Page notes that when using modern software development approaches, testing is a value-add, rather than a cost. 4 minutes to read.
Cynthia Dunlop curated a list of interesting quotes from people talking about software testing. 12 minutes to read.
John Yorke considers ways in which a manager can determine whether a worker is slacking off. 4 minutes to read.
Kerry Wills expounds on the need for clear accountability—a leadership function if there ever was one. 2 minutes to read.
Katharine Schwab provides an action plan for making your organization more ethical. 7 minutes to read.
Research and Insights
Sam Rigby lists the 99 best things that happened in 2018. Nearly all of these were the result of projects—use them in your presentations! Long read but share it with your kids.
Annalisa Merelli lists key stories about disruption (hacking) of our commercial infrastructure from servers to point of sale systems over the last year. This will only get worse. 3 minutes to read.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 8 – 14. And this week’s video: Celeste Headlee’s TEDx talk on how to have a good conversation, even with people you profoundly disagree with. 12 minutes, safe for work, and a tip of the hat to Alison Mai at Steelray for the link.
Business Acumen and Strategy
Vanessa Bates Ramirez reports on a new robot-staffed warehouse in Tel Aviv that fills orders in under 5 minutes and fits in 6,000 square feet of floor space. 2 minutes to read.
Rebecca Addison notes the growing use of Cobots—robots design to collaborate on tasks with humans, rather than work independently. Like Amazon’s warehouse robots. 4 minutes to read.
Shahab Arif updates us on how automotive manufacturers are speeding up the production line with automation, assisted by humans. 7 minutes to read.
Leigh Espy tutors us on the Critical to Quality tree, a requirements elicitation tool to help you get your customer from general to specific success criteria. 4 minutes to read.
Mike Clayton explains the value of a quantitative business case as a decision-making tool. Video, 5 minutes, safe for work.
Tony Adams reminds us to keep the stakeholders engaged during a long, long project. 3 minutes to read.
Toby Elwin tells us why we shouldn’t let a skeptic drive business change. 3 minutes to read.
Michael Wharton shows how to estimate annual budgets for your department projects using Project Online of Project Server. 4 minutes to read.
Cornelius Fichtner interviews PMO consultant Hussain Bandukwala on setting up a fully functioning PMO in 100 days. Podcast, 44 minutes, safe for work.
Managing Software Development
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from what constitutes a team to coaching to mindsets. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
John Yorke begins sharing his assignment to “create, build, and run a virtual office comprising of cross-functional teams that create software”—sustainably and profitably. 4 minutes to read.
Johanna Rothman concludes her series on creating a product-based development organization. Part 5 and 6 are here; each has links to the earlier posts. Total for the series about 25 minutes to read.
The Clever PM addresses prioritization of product feature development from three perspectives: value, difficulty, and instinct. 4 minutes to read.
Nishi Grover Garg explains how to optimize your hardening sprint to produce the best possible quality before release. 5 minutes to read.
Amir Ghahrai insists that the problem with modern QA is the retreat from manually exercising the software. You can’t automate unless you identify the scenarios. 9 minutes to read.
Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from OKR’s to AQ to making a dent in the universe. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read
Melissa Boggs reminds us that exhaustion is not a status symbol. Well-managed teams work at a sustainable pace. 3 minutes to read.
William Malsam coaches us on delivering constructive criticism—expressing a valid and well-reasoned opinion. 5 minutes to read.
Dan Rockwell notes the dangers of being over-helpful—in other words, doing someone’s job for them. 2 minutes to read.
Research and Insights
Gabrielle Coppola reports on a new line of R&D for autonomous cars: helping AI predict what human pedestrians are about to do—what human drivers do intuitively. 4 minutes to read.
Mary Haskett help us understand face recognition—biometric identification of a live face image, validated against a stored (enrolled) image of that person. 5 minutes to read.
Adam Shostack reviews a GAO report on the Equifax breach and shares his own follow-up questions. 2 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Heather Landy curated a list of the top ten Quartz at Work stories about life at the office, from awkward eye contact to dorky motivational posters to cushy office perks as a form of oppression. 5 minutes to read.
Rebecca Knight explains how to stay focused in a noisy open office, from setting group expectations to noise-canceling headphones. 8 minutes to read.
Lisette Sutherland reports on five new tools for remote work and collaboration at a distance. Podcast, 8 minutes, safe for work.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 14 – 20. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler explains how to create and use a personal vision statement. 7 minutes, safe for work.
Francois Malette explains why companies are using mergers and acquisitions to transform their business models and reduce their market risk. 5 minutes to read.
Greg Satell examines the imperative to explore and invent, using two examples—GE and IBM—that illustrate how disruption can impact even a giant industrial firm. 5 minutes to read.
Echo Huang reports on the upcoming launch of China’s Lunar relay satellite, which will put a radio antenna in orbit on the far side of the Moon, shadowed from Earth’s interference, to listen for signals from the Big Bang. Have you ever worked on a project this cool? 3 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin interviews Mike Clayton on what is required to be a “brilliant project leader.” 4 minutes to read.
Cornelius Fichtner and Jen Pfaff discuss ways to cope when your organization isn’t sold on the value of project management. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
Luís Gonçalves explains the concept of cost of delay and how to calculate it. This is a vital technique for deciding where to put scarce resources! 5 minutes to read.
Ellen Lehnert tutors us on importing data stored in Excel into MS Project. This is a non-trivial but very useful technique, especially if you are merging two or more project plans into one. 5 minutes to read.
Renee Adair begins a series addressing six visible trends in project management. 4 minutes to read.
John Goodpasture finds the humor in Yuval Noah Harari’s depiction of the evolution of bureaucracy. 2 minutes to read.
Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from corporate innovation failure to key flow metrics to the jobs-to-be-done canvas. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
Jake Knapp, who created the idea of a Design Sprint, updates us on what he’s learned and refined over the last few years. 5 minutes to read.
Valerie Senyk explains why Scrum masters need soft skills, in addition to their process skills. 3minutes to read.
David Bernstein shares three keys to the adoption of test-driven development. 6 minutes to read.
Mike Griffiths debunks some extravagant consultant claims about agile ‘transformations.’ 8 minutes to read.
Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from extending trust to better feedback to training new managers. 3 minutes to read.
Michael Dempsey justifies the need to remain objective, even when it can be difficult. 5 minutes to read.
Leigh Espy explains the value of building rapport and shares five techniques. 6 minutes to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Isaiah Sarju matches you to a password manager, based on your personality. I use KeePass, but to each his / her own. 6 minutes to read.
Rob England is skeptical of the latest IT fad: site reliability engineering. A minute or so to read.
Justin Rohrman shares his thoughts on managing quality assurance on projects with mobile device components. 6 minutes to read.
Molly Page reminds us that there are times when merely listening isn’t enough—we must ask clarifying questions. 4 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Warren Fowler lists a month’s worth of ways to handle the afternoon slump (assuming you don’t just take a nap). 5 minutes to read.
Bruce Benson agrees with Elon Musk: just walk out of a bad meeting. A minute to read, even if you stay around for his technique.
David Burkus reports on a study of “networking events” which proves that they really are as big a waste of time as they appear to be. 4 minutes to read.
Scott Steinberg coaches us on ways to finesse the situation when you forget someone’s name. That was Scott, right? 2 minutes to read.