New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 11 – 17. And this week’s video: Jingle Bells, for all of you who never learned to play an actual musical instrument. 2 minutes, safe for work, but you’ll have to replay it for everyone within earshot.
Kio Stark explains how to exit a conversation without being a jerk. 4 minutes to read.
Michael Lopp describes his inner monologue as an introvert preparing and delivering the next sentence. Insightful enough to be discomforting. 3 minutes to read.
Julie Beck interviews N.J. Enfield on how the tiny pauses and filler words enable us to keep the conversation flowing. So “Umm” has a purpose? Good to know. 8 minutes to read.
Elizabeth Harrin lists the project management trends that she believes will dominate the profession in 2018 and beyond. 5 minutes to read.
Darragh Broderick points to five collaboration trends we’ll see in project management in 2018. 4 minutes to read.
Leigh Espy tutors us on creating an agenda for a project status meeting.
Ryan Ogilvie notes that problem management is like watering plants—you can’t overcome neglect quickly. 3 minutes to read.
Kerry Wills observes a possible trend, toward “lightweight” PMO’s. Just a minute or so to read.
Renee Adair recounts an anecdote that illustrates the consequences of a “failure to communicate” when lots of channels are involved. 5 minutes to read.
Brendan Toner concludes his short series on how to deliver projects on time. 6 minutes to read.
Stefan Wolpers curates his Agile content list, from Vasco Duarte’s 20 top Agile blogs to hiring wisdom from a young Steve Jobs to how Sales adds value to a product roadmap. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
Tom Cagley interviews Michael Harris on the business value of software—how to recognize it and how to create it. Podcast, 43 minutes.
John Goodpasture recaps Steve McConnell’s video presentation on managing technical debt in financial terms, which make more sense to the business. 2 minutes for the recap, just over an hour for the video.
Glen Alleman addresses a weak spot in Agile development processes at many organizations: separation of concerns. 7 minutes to read.
Abhijeet Verma tutors us on Spikes, as a tool for addressing uncertainties in stories or epics.
Johanna Rothman continues her series on building respect in organizations, rather than families. Here are parts four and five. 3 to 4 minutes each.
Suzanne Lucas uses Queen Elizabeth as an example of how a true leader responds to criticism. 3 minutes to read.
Seth Godin suggests we invest in making our gut smarter. 1 minute to read.
Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior
Stuart Firestein interviews professional poker layer Annie Duke on the Resulting Fallacy—judging the decision on the result—and how it negatively impacts our ability to refine our decision-making process. 8 minutes to read.
Keith Foote recaps the history of Big Data, beginning in the 17th century(!). 7 minutes to read.
Will Fanguy tutors us on prototyping. 4 minutes to read.
Bertrand Duperrin looks at the implementation concerns that organizations reasonably should have about HR Chatbots. 3 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Travis Bradberry provides some ideas on how to structure your working day between “work” and “breaks” to maximize your actual productivity. 4 minutes to read.
Scott Berkun identifies the top five reasons why remote workers don’t succeed. 4 minutes to read.
Kat Boogaard lists seven questions to ask in an informational interview when thinking about a career change. 4 minutes to read.
New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 4 – 10. And this week’s video: A funny little “slice of death” on business continuity planning, from the US Department of Homeland Security. Less than 3 minutes, safe for work. And this week’s pictures are from the Oregon Zoo’s winter event, Zoo Lights. That seascape is about 16 feet tall and made entirely of LED lights.
Johanna Rothman has started an excellent series on how to behave professionally at work, based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here’s part two. Each 3 – 4 minutes to read.
Jacek Materna explains shadow IT—from origins to challenges and opportunities—and why SaaS and the Cloud are driving cultural change in the IT department.
Coert Visser shared a diagram of the “motivation continuum,” based on the extent to which autonomy, competence, and relatedness needs are fulfilled. Click on the image to get a clearer view and then study it for a few minutes. Worth the time investment.
Phil Buckley points out 7 change management trends that project managers need to be aware of. 6 minutes to read.
Bob Tarne describes Nemawashi, a change management technique the starts with relationship building as the path to consensus building. 2 minutes to read.
Kiron Bondale extracts lessons on both risk management and ethics from a recent Dilbert strip. 2 minutes to read.
Glen Alleman does a deep dive into the difference between open-loop and closed-loop controls. 8 minutes to read.
Bruce Benson notes that project schedules must account for a certain amount of “getting things wrong.” 2 minutes to read.
Stefan Wolpers curates his Agile content list, from the origin of the Agile Manifesto to Scrum and Hypothesis-driven Development to using customer feedback. 7 outbound links, a couple of minutes to scan.
Mike Griffiths offers some thoughts on next steps in professional development for those of use with the Certified Scrum Master credential. 4 minutes to read.
Sriram Narayan posts an FAQ for Product-Mode, as an alternative to organizing work as projects. Before you object to #NoProjects, scan this for 10 minutes.
Mike Cohn answers the criticism that Scrum teams meet too often with a simple suggestion: measure before and after. 4 minutes to read.
Matteo Tontini reflects on what the rise and fall of Slack use revealed about his collocated team. 5 minutes to read.
Michael Dubakov gets controversial: Every new feature either adds debt or creates a placeholder for future debt. And not just technical debt. 4 minutes to read.
Tom Cagley tutors us on six important process flow metrics; part 2 is here. Each about 3 minutes to read.
Pawel Brodzinski reflects on autonomy, authority, and lessons learned from the transition to a holocratic model for his company. 3 minutes to read.
Nancy Settle-Murphy describes a few techniques that can help us (and our teams) increase our capacity for generating insights. 4 minutes to read.
Art Petty explains the power of asking, “Why do you think that?” Especially of yourself. 3 minutes to read.
Technology and Techniques
Bob Martin recaps the history of storing information in computers, from punch cards to SSD’s, and asks: what’s the next fundamental improvement? 6 minutes to read.
Lucy Kaith recaps Microsoft’s presentation on new features coming in Sharepoint 2019 (which seems like it should be more than 13 months from now). 5 minutes to read.
Cari Romm explains how to be just a little bit better at remembering things. 2 minutes to read.
Brendan Toner reviews MindGenius 6—a Windows mind mapping product that exports directly to MS Project. 7 minutes to read.
Working and the Workplace
Suzanne Lucas tells us how to create a team when managing remote workers. 5 minutes to read.
Lisette Sutherland interviews Theresa Sigillito Hollema on strengthening collaboration across cultures and borders. Podcast, 38 minutes.
Seth Godin lists 20 excellent books that might change the way you and your colleagues work—especially if you read them together. Just a minute to read the list, but bookmark it.
I’ve been managing projects with globally distributed teams for a lot of years. Between the scheduling problems, the communication issues, and simply keeping everyone aligned on priorities in order to stay on schedule, it can be a handful. I’ve included several links to useful resources, as well as my usual suggestions for solving some of the common problems. But entirely aside from what’s in this article: become knowledgeable about different cultures. Call it a part of business acumen, call it being a citizen of a larger world. Just realize that the jobs at the upper end of the pay scale require a global mindset today and that requirement will spread downward in the years to come.
As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.