New PM Articles for the Week of February 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 19 – 25. And this week’s video: Doug H. shows us how to create a dynamic dropdown list in Excel using the Indirect function. Validate a cell based on the value contained in another cell! 6 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Maria Korolov reports that the global cyberwar is heating up and businesses should be worried about it. Why launch a nuke when you can devastate an entire economy? 10 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains the overlap in skills and responsibilities between a project manager, Scrum Master, and product owner. 8 minutes to read.
  • Hal Gregersen suggests a new approach: brainstorm for questions, rather than answers. New questions beget new insights. 15 minutes to read, but well worth your time.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy tutors us on how to create and maintain a project assumptions log. 8 minutes to read, with examples and a downloadable template.
  • Kiron Bondale introduces us to Randomized Branch Sampling, an estimation technique borrowed from orchard managers and adopted by software teams. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jonathan Browne separates rigorous problem definition from similarly rigorous solution definition. 5 minutes to read.
  • Vanita Bhoola considers scope creep in projects and how we can apply critical thinking to deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and uncertainty. 10 minutes to read.
  • Melissa Eaden advocates for an aggressive approach to clearing defects. 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of all things Agile, from corporate Agile failure to Agile metrics to three indicators of a waterfall team. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • Juliet Lara offers some ways to tell if user your stories suck, and how to improve them. 7 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a new series on challenges encountered in Agile transformations. 3 minutes to read. Part 2 will take 4 minutes.
  • Mike Cohn insists that all team members should be in all team meetings. Filtering people out because of their role fragments the team. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture notes that Agile teams can be virtual and backs it up with details on what adjustments are necessary. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brian Crofts differentiates between the product manager and the product leader. 4 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton imagines several Game of Thrones characters as product owners. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the leadership lessons from Ernest Shackleton’s failed exploration of Antarctica in 1915. 10 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior and Mika Trottier talk about the mental shift required to stop thinking of people as resources. Video, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mary Jo Asmus tells of a client who was frustrated because his employees had adopted his lack of curiosity. Engagement starts at the top! 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Nick Heath reports on new research that allows simulated robots to independently learn skills like walking—you know: like babies do. 2 minutes to read, plus a 6-minute video interview.
  • Hanne Tidnam, Adam Bry, and Chris Dixon discuss the evolution and state of the art of autonomous drones—in this case, the self-flying camera. Podcast, 23 minutes, safe for work.
  • Katrina Clokie walks us through the process of deciding how to automate testing, based on factors that have nothing to do with code. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas points out five really hard things that successful people do. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke reflects on the active nature of feedback and the requirement for a sense of empowerment in order for feedback to work. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills observes several persistent types of interaction in meetings, which he characterizes as roles. Worth a smile and you can read it in a minute or so.
  • Francisco Sáez examines intensity of focus as a contributor to productivity. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 5 – February 11

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 5 – 11. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains organizational change management, as a complement to project management—we need to be able to work in both areas. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Scott Galloway makes the case for busting up Big Tech—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—the way earlier generations busted up Big Oil, Big Railroads, and AT&T. A long read, upwards of a half hour, but worth your time.
  • Gabriel Weinberg alerts us to the impact that Google and Facebook have on our privacy—76% of websites contain hidden Google trackers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ben Tarnoff presents the case for and (mostly) against de-regulation of data collection, as advocated by Google, Facebook, and other tech giants. 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture observes that we may soon be managing project budgets denominated in cryptocurrencies. It’s time to figure out what that means! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiytutors us on creating a project communications plan. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale points out that the Kotter model for leading change benefits from continually injecting a sense of urgency.
  • Richard Paterson does a deep dive on writing a useful test plan, including one unusual observation—you might not need one. 9 minutes to read.
  • Michael Bolton tells us how to report progress on testing, as a story woven of three strands. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland reminds of us the variables to account for when planning projects—even if it’s a similar project for the same customer as the last project. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from habits of organizations vulnerable to disruption to Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum@Scale Guide to creating a product wall. 3 minutes to scan, 7 outbound links.
  • Pavel Kukhnavets gets deep into the differences between a Scrum daily stand-up and a Kanban daily stand-up. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ramakanth Vallur explains how personas—a generalization of a customer segment— add value to user stories. 3 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews How to Lead Self-Managing Teams, by Rini van Solingen. 2 minutes to read.
  • Doug Arcuri finds more wisdom in his third read of The Mythical Man-Month: it is important for the team to track decisions made, as close to the code as possible. 7 minutes to read.
  • Roman Pichler describes product leadership as a collaborative pursuit of a chain of shared goals. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Gustavo Razzetti describes the shift from right decisions to safe to try “Perfectionism is the enemy of change.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy follows up on her recent book, listing three critical reasons to run effective meetings. 3 minutes to read.
  • Derek Huether explains key performance indicators, lagging indicators, and leading indicators for product and services teams. 4 minutes to read.
  • Julie Giulioni notes that leaders who are too helpful can leave their staff helpless—or at least stunt their professional growth. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Bob Tarne has started applying Crew Resource Management techniques, which originated in the airline industry, to help Scrum teams become more effective. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dan Birch and Neal Murray identify some project planning, risk and issue identification, and status reporting analytical opportunities that might benefit from AI. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Felahi expounds on the risks inherent in data management, from ingest through usage. Data integrity should be a big part of our thinking. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Traci Duez interviews Cesar Abeid, team lead at Automattic, the globally distributed company behind WorPress.com, on leading remote teams. Podcast, 52 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Brown updates on the Allen Curve—a finding from the 1970s that the further away someone is, the less likely they will initiate communication. 1 minute to read.
  • Stephanie Vozza lists some don’t-dos that could be making your to-do list less effective. 5 minutes to read. Yes, that was a cheap witticism, but admit it—you liked it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 1 – 7

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 1 – 7. And this week’s video: Thomas Frank recaps five lessons from “The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhhig. Five minutes, safe for work.

Must read (or Listen)!

  • Danny Vinik gets us up to speed on alternative work arrangements. It’s more than just the gig economy: from 2005 through 2015, all net job growth in the American economy was in contingent jobs. 18 minutes to read.
  • Aarian Marshall reports that the development of self-driving cars has hit a technical wall—namely, safely coexisting with humans on the same road. 7 minutes to read.
  • Linky van der Merwe gives us a primer on corporate social responsibility. Two minutes to read, plus an extensive infographic.

Established Methods

  • Balloon SunriseElizabeth Harrin asked 32 project management thought leaders how to make 2018 a successful year for our projects. She ended up with a long article (20 minutes to read) and an e-book.
  • Mike Clayton contemplates developing our professional skills in 2018. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland identifies five key trends we’ll see develop in 2018 and beyond. 4 minutes to read.
  • Ryan Hewitt shares his approach to planning for a workshop—he calls it the Seven P’s. 4 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from the State of Scrum to highly progressive workplaces to designing a bulletproof product strategy. 9 outbound links, four minutes to browse.
  • Johanna Rothman poses three questions to ask before estimating the cost of an Agile program. 6 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman casts a critical eye on the notion of incremental delivery. Sometimes, the customer is looking for more than just a collection of user stories. 3 minutes to read.
  • Jez Halford observes a key reason why software is often bad at whatever it was supposed to do: unconscious assumptions. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jesse Fewell notes the frequent disconnect between what we do and why we do it. Video, about 5 minutes.
  • Tim Runcie introduces us to some of the new Agile capabilities in MS Project. 6 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews Dan Miller’s new book, Don’t Spook the Herd! How to get your agile projects running smoothly. 3 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Chapel in the SkyArt Petty tells us we need to embrace—even love—challenging conversations. They all have a “use by” date. 4 minutes to read.
  • Michael Lopp shares three lessons gained from reflection: act last, read the room, and taste the soup. Code words for good advice. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale tells a few stories of customer service—good and not so good. Passing the buck is a recipe for not good. 4 minutes to read.
  • Gina Abudi notes that difficult stakeholders are not always behaving irrationally. 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Tom Merritt reports on the top 5 technology trends to watch in 2018. Video, just under 2 minutes.
  • Neil Barton makes four data technology adoption predictions for 2018. 3 minutes to read.
  • Javier Augusto explains why people are the most important part of the innovation process. 8 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson reflects on the A-teams and the B-teams, noting that the important ideas don’t usually come from the ones you might expect. 2 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland curates a massive list of resources and tools for remote workers. How massive? Nearly 200 entries.
  • Will Fanguy shares a ten-step plan for eliminating distractions when working remotely. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ciara McDonnell shares an infographic on managing your energy. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!