New PM Articles for the Week of October 20 – 26

Balloon LandingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Samad Aidane notes that the project kickoff is not the place to “sell” the project to the stakeholders – that should have already been done.
  • Peter Saddington shares a video on how our assumptions and biases prevent us from being objective. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has some advice for project managers asked to manage an internal project with little or no spending authority.
  • Jerry Manas investigates the resource management and capacity planning choices we make when responding to increasing demand.
  • Glen Alleman points out the logical fallacies in anecdotal evidence, and applies Carl Sagan’s bullshit detector.
  • Gary Nelson returns from a wilderness first aid course with the observation that medical emergencies have many of the same attributes as projects.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that exposure to risk is cumulative: “The risk that at least one thing will fail is way more than the risk that any one thing will fail.”
  • Kevin Coleman lays out the potential impact of a security breach, and the aftermath.
  • Janani Dumbleton tells how to kick off a data governance initiative.
  • Sean Williams begins a series on improving federal acquisition decisions through comprehensive financial analysis.
  • Nick Pisano continues his criticism of how organizations misuse Excel as an analytical “filler” between specialized applications.
  • Allen Ruddock sings the praises of Sharepoint as a project management tool.
  • Kerry Wills zooms in on three “course corrections” that can keep a project on track.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn begins a series on two approaches to sprint planning: velocity-driven and commitment-driven.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan conclude their series extracted from their new testbook, “Introduction to Agile Methods.”
  • Sandeep Lad fleshes out the definition of “servant leader.”

Leadership

  • Paul Ritchie shares some insights into how the best influencers convince the CEO.
  • Martin Webster shares an infographic that ties together employee engagement, stress, and leadership.
  • Shoaib Ahmed invokes Frederick Herzberg, who linked employee dissatisfaction to “hygiene factors” and employee satisfaction to achievement.
  • Johanna Rothman recounts an anecdote that illustrates the potential blowback from executive-dictated culture change.
  • Pam Stanton recalls an instance where a visionary leader ran into problems by not focusing on execution.
  • Coert Visser gives us the executive summary of “Rethinking Positive Thinking,” by Gabriele Oettingen.

Professional Development

  • Bruce Harpham explores networking, in three dimensions.
  • Don Kim eyes with skepticism a claim that PMI-ACP credentialed project managers are the highest paid – especially coming from a training provider.
  • Geoff Crane shares the slide deck from his keynote on emotional intelligence, “Why Smart People Fail,” presented at the PMI Durham Highlands monthly meeting.

Enjoy!

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!