New PM Articles for the Week of May 14 – 20

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.

Must read!

  • 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.

Established Methods

  • 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.

Agile Methods

  • 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.

Applied Leadership

  • 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.

Enjoy!

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!

New Post at AITS: Make or Buy

My latest article for AITS was published yesterday, Make or Buy: The Blacksmith and the Toothpick.

The BlacksmithThis little parable illustrates the internal conflict that can arise when considering alternatives to internally developed solutions. Over the last few years, the decision alternatives have only gotten more complex—Software as a Service (SaaS) has added a third option for many business needs. But in the end, the choice should be driven by life-cycle cost and time to value rather than internal politics.

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