New PM Articles for the Week of June 6 – 12

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 6 – 12. And this week’s video: Ed Deci’s TED Talk on controlled motivation and autonomous motivation. Ed is the co-developer of the self-determination theory, which suggests that we should create conditions under which people can motivate themselves. Just 14 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Johanna Rothman presents the case for and against estimates, in parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. This series should be sufficient justification for you to follow her blogs.
  • Nick Statt reports on Microsoft’s new project management app for Office 365, called Planner. Not a replacement for Project, but a collaboration and planning tool.
  • Brad Egeland provides one-page summaries for twelve project management, collaboration, and portfolio management software products.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin collected insights from six PM’s on how they manage multiple simultaneous projects.
  • Pat Weaver looks into those cases where the critical path includes task dependencies other than Finish-to-Start links.
  • Clark Wimberly notes that proper preparation is required for a kick-off meeting which will pay dividends throughout the project.
  • Henny Portman reviews “PPM! Manage Your Organization Masterfully with Project portfolio Management.”
  • Cameron Conaway interviews Robin Kwong, Special Projects Editor at the Financial Times, who find clarity by beginning each project with the same question: What’s it for?
  • Kenneth Ashe explains how to create and use an Issues Log.
  • Rob England proposed two deliberately conflicting principles to guide a DevOps transformation, in order to create a dynamic tension. Which is how the world works, right?

Agile Methods

  • Dave Prior notes the untimely passing of Agile leading light Jean Tabaka by pulling two interviews from his archives. A total of 42 minutes, safe for work. She will be sorely missed.
  • Saumya Nigam explains estimation using story points.
  • Faisal Ansari uses the INVEST model to determine whether backlog items are well written, as the first step in splitting them into smaller stories.
  • Emanuele Passera continues his introduction to Kanban series with part 2.
  • Tom McFarlin considers Reid Hoffman’s quote, “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, then you’ve launched too late.”
  • Tami Flowers describes using Lean/ Agile methods to establish a data governance organization framework.
  • Bob Tarne explains the concept of “ready ready.” It’s where you need to begin in order to get to “done done.” You can say that again …

Applied Leadership

  • Suresh MK uses events from the life of Nelson Mandela to illustrate John Kotter’s eight-stage process of creating major change.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Bart Engal on his book, “Leading Through Language: choosing Words that Influence and Inspire.”
  • Lysette Sutherland interviews Dave Hecker on effectively managing geographically distributed software development teams. Just 35 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Gillian Klette on what to do when your project team hates each other. Just 18 minutes, safe for work.

Pot Pouri

  • David Manheim looks at complexity, reification, Goodhart’s Law, and why measurement is hard. So is spelling reification.
  • Travis Bradberry explains why you should work for 52 minutes, then take a break for 17 minutes. Got your timer ready?
  • Abby Wolfe shares an infographic on the high-impact LinkedIn profile updates you should make when job-hunting.
  • Seth Godin suggests we talk slowly, because “um” doesn’t add as much value as silence.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 30 – June 5

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 30 – June 5. And this week’s video: A parody of lousy incident management, “BP Spills Coffee.” Three minutes, not safe for work (especially if you work at BP or Haliburton).

Must read!

  • Fadi Shawtah describes political risk management for cross-border operations, which includes exposure to everything from currency risk to sovereign risk, to transfer risk.
  • Michael Kassner quotes Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and NSA, on vulnerability management: “They’re going to get in. Get over it.” Focus on managing consequences!
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy addresses techniques for preventing culture clashes for “mixed” teams, after a merger.

Established Methods

  • Deb Schaeffer demonstrates how to get a better status on project activities by asking additional questions.
  • John Goodpasture walks us through the project balance sheet. Not a financial view, but a way to show how resources are being allocated to accomplish project goals.
  • Coert Visser explains the “circle technique,” a white board and Post-It Notes approach to analyzing goals, progress already made, and actions still required.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Fernando Remolina, who explains how to create a work breakdown structure. Just 22 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy walks us through the steps to use the WBS efficiently.
  • Jody Markopoulos describes GE’s new approach, “Contemporary project management.”

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn describes a simple way to get a shared understanding of the level of effort represented by a story point before the team plays planning poker.
  • Johanna Rothman introduces the concept of Rubber Duck Debugging, which is explaining a problem to someone who doesn’t understand it and isn’t in management.
  • Muhammed Irfan Azam explains how Clear Code Day can put the focus on the Scrum team, rather than the ScrumMaster of product owner.
  • Bob Tarne describes the “sponsored user” – someone assigned to the development team when you need to hear the voice of the customer at all times.
  • Samantha Webb introduces the #pubretro movement, not necessarily because you should be drinking, but because getting out of the office might make all the difference.
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Jason Womack, author of “Get Momentum.” Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tony Ponton and Craig Smith interview James Shore, author of “The Art of Agile Development.” Just 43 minutes, safe for work.

Applied Leadership

  • Art Petty explores the Least Bad Option – which usually involves exposing the decision maker to greater risk.
  • David Bicknell excerpts a few examples from “The Dead Presidents’ Guide to Project Management,” by Jim Johnson.
  • Seth Godin says reading more blogs will help us become “smarter, more effective and more engaged in what’s going on.” If you are reading this, you agree.
  • Peter Landau posts the annual ProjectManager.com roundup of the best project management and leadership blogs.

See Tech Like an Exec

  • Mary Shacklett bullet points the critical considerations for running an internet of things project.
  • Tara Seals trots out some sobering statistics: information security issues are slowing or halting the majority of Big Data projects.
  • George Leopold reports on the next big constraint for Big Data: legal hassles, like the recent tussle between Apple and the FBI.
  • Jesus Rodriguez reports on the business side of artificial intelligence – not the applications, but the race to secure market share and future profits.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 2 – 8

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 2 – 8. And this week’s video: a TED Talk interview with Linus Torvald, the man behind Linux and Git, who explains, “I am not a visionary, I’m an engineer.” Just 22 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a video of her Imposter Syndrome presentation at PMI Synergy. Just 16 minutes long, safe for work.
  • Susanne Madsen begins a series on balancing positive and negative stress with the relationship between job pressure and job performance. There is an optimum level of stress!
  • Kevin Coleman describes the principles of managing what is being called a hybrid project, mixing Agile and Traditional methods.

Established Methods

  • Dimitriy Nizhebetskiy gets us back to the basics on the Work Breakdown Structure.
  • Bart Gerardi shares five techniques for earning and keeping the trust of your project team, stakeholders, and sponsors.
  • Margaret Meloni posts an infographic that describes the four basic components of quality management.
  • Kailash Awati applies Oliver Williamson’s economics research in order to identify the hidden costs to IT outsourcing. Just 5 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Barbara Trautlein, who explains how to be a confident change leader. Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Shuba Kathikeyan profiles twenty notable project management professors from around the globe. If you’re looking for an academic program, this could be very useful.
  • Harry Hall lists twelve questions that will help you diagnose the effectiveness of your project risk management activities.
  • John Goodpasture explains the basics of fault and root cause analysis.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn explains how triangulation can prevent your story point estimates from escalating over time.
  • Johanna Rothman proposes a minimalist working definition of Agile.
  • Lynda Bourne looks at the maturing of Agile, as “the ridiculous excesses promoted by consultants and experts” fade into obscurity and pragmatism takes hold.
  • Pawel Brodzinski shows how Real Options helps achieve commitment from decision makers at the portfolio level to implementers at the feature level, in return for autonomy.
  • Peter Saddington shares an infographic that tells you everything you need to understand about the user experience.

Applied Leadership

  • Moira Alexander points out the most common challenges in software project (and portfolio) management these days.
  • Liane Davey recommends, “When faced with emotion at work, focus on the issue, not the emotion.”
  • Nancy Settle-Murphy outlines Radical Civility, which she defines as, “A kind of personal armor that can help repel the damaging effects of rude behavior.”

Virtual Teams

  • Lisette Sutherland explains how to discover the culture on your virtual team. Just 8 minutes, safe for work.
  • Danielle Koehler continues her series with HR expert Gail Rolls with a Q&A on managing remote workers.
  • Suzanne Lucas reports that the single most important thing needed for a productive team is psychological safety – the way the team interacts.
  • Hubstaff has a nice infographic on how to run a remote meeting. Since I lead such meetings several times a day, I can say: well done!
  • Michael Girdler provides a few tips on how to work from home effectively and efficiently.
  • Abby Wolfe presents the counter-point: working from home is over-rated.

Enjoy!