New PM Articles for the Week of August 11 – 17

Balloon Above the TreesNew project management articles published on the web during the week of August 11 – 17. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Pawel Brodzinski expands on Jerry Weinberg’s definition, as “a process of creating an environment where people become empowered.”
  • Mike Griffiths considers the limitations of graphical depictions of data, when the information we should be consuming doesn’t graph so well.
  • Ammar Mango plots alternative routes through conflict.
  • Bryan Barrow explains his alternative to Post-It Notes for facilitating a project planning exercise.
  • Michael Girdler extols the virtues of a good scope statement.
  • Roberto Toledo lists his guidelines for fostering innovation.
  • Bruce Harpham begins a series on regulatory project management.
  • Dovilė Misevičiūtė notes that most attempts to institute time tracking fail within the first few months, usually for the same reasons.
  • Rachel Burger spoils “Guardians of the Galaxy,” pointing out the project management lessons. You could have at least waited until the DVD came out …

Agile Methods

  • Kevin Aguanno compares use cases and user stories, and how each can be the right tool for the job.
  • Bart Gerardi explores Bill Wake’s acronym, INVEST, on how to improve the quality of user stories.
  • Mike Cohn reflects on the balance of specialists and generalists in that most Agile team, the sandwich shop.
  • John Goodpasture explores the need for a release sign-off when applying Agile methods. Because it’s not just about software developers.
  • Chuck Morton continues his series of comments on Peter Morris’ article in the October PM Journal. This episode: Agile is not a project management discipline.

Following the Trends

  • Albert Barron explains [whatever] as a service, using pizza. Yes, even your grandmother will understand this one. Admirable, Albert!
  • Marco Visibelli shares recent lessons learned that tell us how companies make (and lose) money on Big Data projects.
  • Rich Maltzman interviews Kim Marotta on how MillerCoors is applying a sustainability strategy to improve performance.
  • Matthew Kosinski interviews Workday’s Liz Dietz on their upcoming Higher Education product.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Rich Maltzman of EarthPM on applying sustainability practices to project management and the PMBOK. Just 49 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Thomas Juli about integrating personal happiness and focus with project success. Just 32 minutes, safe for work.
  • Glen Alleman links us to seven podcasts from Mary Ann Lapham and Suzanne Miller of the Software Engineering Institute on the principles of Agile development.

New Books

  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “Project Management Workflow: A Business Process Approach,” by Dan Epstein and Rich Maltzman.
  • Henny Portman reviews Alan Ferguson’s new book, “Integrating Prince2.”

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of June 30 – July 6

Gathering ClamsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of June 30 – July 6. We gather all of this stuff so you don’t have to search for it! Recommended:

Risk Management

  • Andy Jordan consider the decision whether to manage risks at the program level or push them down to the project level.
  • Nittin Mittal identifies the top eight risks in Agile projects.
  • Matthew Squair prepared a hazard checklist for a course he was teaching, and decided to share it with us. It’s an interesting list of risk sources!
  • Ron Rosenhead asked the class in one of his project management courses what goes wrong in their projects. Yup, more sources of risk!

PM Best Practices

  • Pawel Brodzinski challenges the default option of “grow” with an alternative: preserve the culture.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews “The Presentation Book,” by Emma Ledden.
  • Robert Wysocki and Joseph Matthews continue their series on the Occasional PM, with a look at three types of projects they are likely to encounter.
  • Glen Alleman reminds us that the ability to release software faster than the business operating rhythm will allow the changes to be absorbed is not very valuable.
  • Johanna Rothman recounts a story of her encounter with a manager who discouraged his people from bringing him problems.
  • Martin Webster continues his series on leadership models with a detour into motivation theories, and John Adair’s Action Centered Leadership model.
  • Brett Beaubouef suggests that we should earn the right to challenge the requirements we elicit from our customers.
  • Chuck Morton continues his series on deconstructing project management with a look at the nature of program management.

Agile Methods

  • Bob Tarne notes the biggest challenge for organizations embracing Agile methods for the first time: the time commitment required for business people.
  • Mike Cohn provides interesting examples of “decorating” user roles in user stories, by adding simple (but meaningful) adjectives.
  • Jesse Fewell finds a better tool for representing Scrum roles and responsibilities than the RACI chart: an “Owns-Helps” chart.
  • Craig Brown shares an interesting diagram that helps explain what practices play to the strengths of different cultures.
  • John Goodpasture explains why Agile is, by nature if not in practice, a recursive methodology.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy tells a simple story of two waste bins that speaks volumes about changing behavior.

Working Smarter

  • Mike Donoghue has a few tips for the traveling IT consultant. Or as I classify myself, the migrant computer worker.
  • Sonia Liang wants to help you quit an anti-productive habit: multi-tasking.
  • Alina Vrabie explains why Inbox Zero is so hard to reach, and nearly impossible to maintain.
  • Suzanne Lucas points to some recent research that debunks a few meeting collaboration “tricks.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Roy Gatling, on his experiences at a fast-growing firm (Dell) trying to perfect the practice of project management. Just 51 minutes, safe for work.
  • Soma Bhattacharya shares a TED talk by Kelly McGonigal on tiny interventions to develop willpower that she found particularly useful. Just 54 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 17 – 23

Cherry PickingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 17 – 23. We read all of this stuff so you don’t have to! Recommended:

Trends

  • Dr. Harold Kerzner describes PM 2.0 as a replacement for the traditional approach to project management. Meaning, the stuff he’s been writing about for 35 years.
  • Mike Griffiths examines the prospect that virtual teams may be the next revolution in work, by reviewing past revolutions and evolutions.
  • Andrea Brockmeir, Vicki James, Elizabeth Larson, and Richard Larson report on the trends that will affect project managers and business analysts in 2014.
  • Elizabeth Harrin notes four ways in which project management (and work!) has changed significantly in the last ten years.
  • Saritha Rai reports on India’s $75 million Mars orbiter mission. The U.S.A. can’t make a movie about going into space that cheaply!

PM Best Practices

  • Jennifer Lonoff Schiff shares her tips for setting and managing expectations on IT projects.
  • Martin Webster explains how to get your team to the high-performing level. It starts with loyalty.
  • Patti Gilchrist addresses team building when your team is geographically distributed.
  • Steven Levy begins a series on calculating risk. Here’s part two.
  • Geoff Crane demonstrates how to put together a work breakdown structure, using “Saving Private Ryan: The Musical” as an example.
  • John Goodpasture warns that the excitability arising from our calculations should reflect the relative precision of our estimates.
  • John Reiling offers several key factors to consider during the buy-or-build analysis, when outsourcing is under consideration.
  • Marian Haus identifies several potential constraints on the project schedule, and how to address them.

Project Governance

  • Glen Alleman links systems thinking to assessing costs and determining what a project is worth.
  • Michel Dion looks at the governance differences between project-oriented organizations and those where projects run in parallel with routine operations.
  • Mario Trentim continues his series on implementing a PMO.
  • Ashley Smith reports on a survey that found corporate counsel and compliance experts expect the growth of data protection laws to impact their global businesses.

Agile Methods

  • Gil Broza lists his recommendations for preparing your organization to actually be Agile, rather than simply do Agile.
  • Shim Marom reviews a paper by Terry McKenna and Jon Whitty, on why Agile methods are not new, and why Agile is not going to be the last word.
  • Johanna Rothman concludes her series on the cost of delay, parts five and six.
  • Mike Cohn offers some examples of user stories for back-end systems, meaning those without human users.
  • Ritesh Gupta and Sharon Sharma tell how a Scrum team can address discovered value, meaning the requirements “discovered” as development progresses.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Stephen Weber from Less Meeting, who tells how to reduce the amount of time we spend on unproductive meetings. Just 44 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior interviews Agile coach and author Kamal Mangani on transforming large organizations that struggle to use Agile methods. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!