New PM Articles for the Week of May 29 – June 4

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 29 – June 4. And this week’s video: Daniel Kahneman explains how a premortem can help a team overcome thinking bias when making critical decisions.

Must read (or Hear)!

  • Rani Molla links us to Mary Meeker’s 2017 internet trends report, from the slide deck to a video of her delivery. Just 34 minutes, safe for work, and overwhelming to consider all in one sitting.
  • Jonathan Soble reports on Japan’s shrinking and aging population and what it will require to sustain economic growth. We should expect every industrialized nation to face this demographic problem (and business opportunity) by 2040.
  • Adam Shostack reflects on the external and internal reasons that organizations don’t maintain or update their software and notes a few choices for managing them.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture presents an interesting bar chart displaying relative priority of key project attributes (he calls them influencers and discriminators) from the client’s perspective.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Emma Seaton-Smith, who has been nominated for the 2017 Rising Stars award in technology sponsored by the Times of London.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jordan Kyriakidis, who says that we have the technology to improve the quality of our project requirements. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews change leader Cassie Kowaltzke on how to exercise strong stakeholder engagement during business transformation. Just over 14 minutes, safe for work.
  • Alexis Devinin tutors us on the preparation of first-cost estimates as used in engineering projects.
  • Glen Alleman deconstructs the #NoEstimates manifesto presented at a recent Agile conference in Nashville, TN.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of all things Agile, from the necessity of experimentation to the State of Agile report, to why brainstorming sucks as an ideation tool.
  • Mike Cohn lists eight behavior recommendations that might help you become the Scum Master your team needs.
  • Johanna Rothman continues her series on defining “scaling” Agile, with a look at creating Agile product development capabilities.
  • George Pitagorsky notes the commonalities among the various Agile “denominations.”
  • The Clever PM contemplates the balance between agility and strategy.
  • Peter Borsella and Hubert Smits describe “potentially shippable” as it pertains to non-software products.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty contrasts two managers he once worked for at the same time, with two wildly different approaches to decision making.
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy sensitizes us to the problems that can arise from cultural differences in globally distributed teams.
  • Alex Puscasu suggests we encourage functional (as opposed to dysfunctional) conflict and critical debate within our project teams.
  • Mike Clayton explains the Transactional Analysis model of interpersonal communication. Just under six minutes, safe for work.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Rich Maltzman notes the growing trend to repair, re-purpose, and re-use electronic devices as encouraged by a movement called “Restart Parties.”
  • Jay Bennett reports on Moon Express and Rocket Lab’s use of 3D printers to create a booster vehicle and lander for the first Lunar landing by a private company. Target: December 2017.
  • Evan Koblentz explains why so many transaction processing software applications are still written and maintained in COBOL: it just runs faster.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland interviews writer Sue Thomas on finding the balance between nature and technology. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Suzanne Lucas highly recommends that you take a lunch break. If not for yourself, then for the sake of the restaurant business.
  • Bertrand Duperrin notes that a focus on the employee experience comes after refinement of the customer experience—and that’s a good thing.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 15 – 21

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 15 – 21. And this week’s video: a short clip from “Mr. Blandings Build His Dream House,” where Cary Grant learns what happens when you make a decision when you don’t understand the alternatives and don’t bother to ask for clarification. Just a minute, safe for work, as long as you aren’t standing under the lintels.

Must read!

  • Bertrand Duperrin casts a critical eye on ROI, business cases, and lying with numbers.
  • Martin Seligman and John Tierney report on recent research that indicates the human mind is built to spend a lot of time considering the future—planning if you will.
  • Ian Whittington explores the history of managing complexity in projects from the Iron Bridge constructed in the 18th century to today’s software systems with emergent behaviors.

Established Methods

  • Glen Alleman explains measures of effectiveness and measures of performance as different points of view when examining a proposed product capability.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy digs into the details to tutor us on managing stakeholder engagement, in a strategic way.
  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Kate Morris—convener of the PMI Australia Conference 2017 and practicing project manager—on managing a project manager’s conference.
  • Michel Dion outlines the project closure report.
  • Mike Clayton explains the Project Goal, a simple concept with profound implications. Just over two minutes, safe for work.
  • Harry Hall suggests some effective ways to improve our communication skills.
  • Elise Stevens shares lessons learned from alienating a key stakeholder in their first meeting.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his list of Agile content with a focus this week on team building, plus observations on the relationship between product discovery and product delivery.
  • Mike Cohn describe four possible career paths for the accomplished Scrum master.
  • Eli Woolery recaps five key insights gained from the inaugural Design Leadership Camp.
  • The Clever PM conducts one of his “ten questions” interviews with Paul Jackson—product manager, user-centered design practitioner, and newsletter publisher.
  • Renee Troughton describes the three patterns she has seen used for Agile delivery pipeline management at scale.

Applied Leadership

  • Jeff Collins lists a half-dozen qualities of strong project leaders.
  • Pat Weaver describes practical wisdom, “working out the right way to do the right thing in a particular circumstance.”
  • Krister Ungerboeck reflects on the toxic legacy of Steve Jobs and his “wretched asshole” leadership style.
  • Alex Puscasu describes Connie Gersick’s punctuated equilibrium model of group development. There’s more than just forming-storming-norming-performing-adjourning.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • John Goodpasture points out the complexity that is inevitably required to enable simplicity.
  • James Sanders shares the smart person’s guide to ransomware.
  • Paramita Ghosh lays out the currently expected use cases for artificial intelligence.

Working and the Workplace

  • Art Petty critiques IBM recent announcement that it is ending remote working arrangements.
  • Grace Windsor reminds us that until recently, leisure time was a marker of success. Then we decided that constant busyness indicated professionalism.
  • Tom McFarlin reflects on managing the tension between work and vacation. As my Dad used to say, “You don’t own the business; the business owns you.”

Enjoy!

New Post at AITS: Why Staffing Your Projects Will Get Harder

PMI Talent TriangleMy latest article for AITS was published today: Why Staffing Your Projects Will Get Harder.

Long-time readers of my weekly round-up have noticed that I’ve gradually aligned the sections to the PMI Talent Triangle: the Must Read section typically references content critical to strategic thinking and business management, while the Established and Agile Methods sections pursue technical project management topics and (Applied) Leadership has its own section. This article would fall into that first category.

Project and program managers need to develop business acumen and an awareness of their industry to the same degree that line managers do if they expect to be considered for advancement. This article analyzes current and developing conditions in the labor market as it will impact the availability of highly skilled workers. If you are able to hold up your end of strategic conversations about staffing, finance, and business trends, you’ll earn a lot more respect from the senior folks you’ll need to influence in order to keep your projects on track.

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