New PM Articles for the Week of September 15 – 21

In the CloudsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 15 – 21. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Anna Hartley contrasts value engineering and simple gold plating.
  • Nick Pisano dives into the definition and validation of framing assumptions, as a potential warning sign of impending project failure.
  • John Goodpasture uses physics to explain why traffic in the slow lane moves faster as volume builds, and then applies the same principal to prove Brooks’ Law!
  • Glen Alleman gives a quick summary of “The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software,” by Barry Boehm and Jo Ann Lane.
  • Gary Hamilton and Jon McGowan share their best practices for managing projects with regulatory compliance as a critical success factor.
  • Pat Weaver explains that good policy flows from the intersection of morals, ethics, values, and principals, and shows how they interrelate.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy criticizes financial incentives applied without an attempt to understand the problem.
  • Mark Mullaly prescribes some actions to engage absentee sponsors.
  • Bruce Harpham looks for negative cues – thing that should have happened, but didn’t – as a diagnostic for project health.
  • Kerry Wills believes that the principal difference between project success and failure lies in issue management.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews two project management software collaboration products: activeCollab and twProject.
  • Peter Taylor, author of “The Lazy Project Manager,” reminds us that you can work too hard to be effective in your job.
  • Peter Saddington shares an interesting story of how lazy out-performs smart, if you give it a chance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman reminds us that Agile and Lean are beneficial tools, but we have to adapt our culture to get any benefit from them. Of course, that takes time.
  • Mike Cohn insists that while story points are about time, they shouldn’t be equated to some number of hours. It’s about relative time – so, Einstein was Agile?
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on Agile anti-patterns.
  • Liz Keogh explains the difference between goals and capabilities.
  • Manas Shirode coins a new phrase: Bonsai waterfall.
  • Tushar Patel thinks that portfolio-management approaches can help project managers cope with Agile practices.

Professional Development

  • Coert Visser addresses the “curse of knowledge,” and offers some ways to avoid talking past our stakeholders.
  • Erin Carson advocates the PMP as a career development tool for engineers and software developers.
  • Tom Taylor posts a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the “ups and downs” of managing projects and programs.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jorge de la Guardia, on the history and future of the Panama Canal. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior is starting a new series of podcasts with Richard Cheng and Dhaval Panchal, on current trends in Agile. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Shawn Dickerson on the demand for leadership from project managers. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 8 – 14

Balloon Over the WallNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 8 – 14. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the Government Accounting Office’s findings on the root cause of the HealthCare.gov website problems. “Ineffective planning and oversight …”
  • Bruce Benson also reviews the problems identified by the GAO and comes to a different conclusion: they need brutal honesty in order to establish realistic expectations.
  • Russell Whitworth says the key to successful projects is to identify success criteria, and then monitor and manage to them.
  • Michel Dion articulates three keys to project management: identify the intended results, be decisive, and take action.
  • Harry Hall helps us get past the terminology gap, between what we know about project management and what our sponsors and stakeholders don’t
  • Johanna Rothman explores the relationship between cost, value, and investment for portfolio management in a new series.
  • Henny Portman shares an article on building a project portfolio prioritization model, to be part of his upcoming book.
  • Mike Griffiths has a few suggestions for managing the Millenials, in the modern world of frequent job changes and unrealistic expectations.
  • Kerry Wills touts the virtues of planning a schedule from left to right; in other words, calculating the end date, rather than having one imposed as a constraint.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews Glip, a project collaboration site with instant messaging and some interesting integrations with other commonly used tools.

Agile Methods

  • Shim Marom shares the slide deck from his Australia PMI conference presentation, “Transform Yourself From Traditional to Agile Project Manager.”
  • Dave Prior constructs a self-assessment tool for “recovering PM’s” who are embracing Agile, and want to measure their progress. “Recovering?” Egad …
  • Mike Cohn explains that the primary benefits of story points is a standardized measure of effort, independent of the skill level of the programmer.
  • Meghana Niranjan presents Poka-Yoke 101, or for us non-Japanese speakers, an introduction to mistake proofing. The examples are more than enough reason to read this.
  • Aby League clarifies how the Pomodoro Technique works, and how such a personal time management approach can fit in with Agile teams.
  • John Goodpasture assigns ownership of delivering the value described in the business case to the product manager.

Following the Trends

  • Janet Wagner provides a current-state view of cognitive computing and identifies several companies producing cognitive apps.
  • Zach Watson sees opportunity for project management in the Internet of Things.
  • Peter Saddington reports on research linking social collaboration and the evolution of brain size.
  • Bertrand Duperrin interviews Manuel Diaz on the intersection of the customer experience and digital models.
  • Kailash Awati interviews organization psychologist Dr. Neil Preston on exchanging the hero myth for an ethical approach to organizational change management.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy shares a video from Masaaki Imai, founder of the Kaizen Institute, on continuous improvement across the organization. Just 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cesar Abeid interviews Shawn Dickerson of AtTask on the future of project management, and re-connects with Farnoosh Brock. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Joan Vincent on how the Wideman Education Foundation develops project management skills in young people. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni expands on her last post, on strategic reserve time, to show how to avoid starting off behind schedule. Just 7 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 1 – 7

Over My HouseNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 1 – 7. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • John Goodpasture educates us on the art and science of preparing a request for proposal, or RFP. Must reading!
  • Paul Glen explains why one person can’t be a project manager and a programmer, at the same time.
  • Michel Dion walks us through the process of taking over a project from a departing project manager.
  • Glen Alleman recounts the development of multi-criteria decision analysis.
  • Bruce Benson shares a lesson learned from Little Caeser’s Pizza restaurants: small changes are sometimes enough to get big results.
  • Elizabeth Harrin summarizes a presentation to the Ireland Chapter of PMI, delivered by Mike Hughes, Office Business Group Lead for Microsoft Ireland.
  • Gina Abudi reveals her secrets of evaluating the culture of a client organization.
  • Nick Pisano tells why measuring technical achievement matters and how fits in with other progress metrics.
  • Kenneth Darter lists the attributes of an effective project sponsor.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn defends the notion that story points are about time and level of effort, rather than just complexity.
  • Bart Gerardi looks at Agile anti-patterns, starting with translating story points to effort hours.
  • David Baker explores how the business analyst fits into the Scrum framework.
  • David Anderson explains how risk affects work in progress, using a real life example: the number of shirts he should keep in his closet.
  • Tobias Mayer gives a tongue-in-cheek explanation of how to scale Agile, the same way you would scale a fish. Excellent!

Following the Trends

  • Nick Heath reports that IT outsourcing firms in India are automating many of their technical jobs. Salaries are skyrocketing due to competition for engineers!
  • Mike Frandsen reflects on how the move to continuous development at Workday has benefitted their customers and increased the pace of innovation.
  • Jelani Harper gives us the background on data governance programs.
  • Suzanne Lucas gives us Boomers and Gen-X types a few cultural insights (OK, warnings) on how these recent graduates will change our workplace.

Professional Development

  • Lindsay Scott uses a cautionary anecdote to lead up to the question: What was the last conscious thing you did to benefit your PM career?
  • Andrea Brockmeier shares her thoughts on preparing for the PMI-ACP exam.
  • Michael Lopp describes your elusive but hyper-effective colleague, The Wolf.
  • Susanne Madsen offers three critical questions that you can use to solicit feedback.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Patrick Coffin and Dustin Kahia on their upcoming film, “Call of the Void,” and movie project management. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews author Mark Phillips on his new book, “Reinventing Communication.” Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni defines strategic reserve time, in the context of teams for whom the project is not their sole responsibility.

Enjoy!