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.


My Interview with John Friscia is Now Live at AITS

I’ve been contributing articles as an original member of the AITS Blogging Alliance for three years, so when I wrote “The Data Conversion Cycle: A guide to migrating transactions and other records for system implementation teams,” Editor in Chief John Friscia offered to edit it for me. Aside from a deplorable excess of commas, he seemed pretty happy with my work:

“All in all, you’ve done an exceptionally good job of making this book readable, and by that, I mean I was actually able to understand 90+% of what you were saying. For a book on this subject, that’s no easy feat.”

High praise indeed, from an English major! After the book was published, John asked to interview me. We sent questions and answers by Email, and the finished interview is here.

Thanks for everything, John!

My Interview and Book Review at Project Bliss is Live!

Leigh EspyLeigh Espy and I had a great time, talking for over an hour last week. The original plan was to do an interview over Skype, but we had technical difficulties so we switched to a regular phone call. I was worn out from getting up at 4:30 AM for a conference call, and I was getting somewhat incoherent. But Leigh is a fabulous interviewer and one of the nicest people you could ever meet, so we talked about everything from Sociology to Agile adoption. Since she lives in Memphis, I explained Elvis Presley’s connection to the origin of the ZIP code. We even talked a bit about my book. And then she wrote an article that makes me feel very appreciated!

Leigh is a wonderful writer, with excellent story-telling skills that come through in her articles. I hope you take the time to visit her site, Project Bliss. She also has some great downloads available – I recently used her project scope statement template on a new project. Highly recommended!

The interview is here. Thanks, Leigh!