New PM Articles for the Week of March 23 – 29

Saturday Balloon RideNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 23 – 29. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Ron Rosenhead shares some proven rules for project sponsors to use when briefing their project managers on the new project.
  • Harry Hall lists seven presentation principles that project managers can learn from the weatherman.
  • Toby Elwin distills some statistics on the Fortune 500 to make the point that the pace of change is increasing. And as project managers, we are agents of change!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman describes a rigorous approach to estimating, which doesn’t assume that the past is entirely representative of the future.
  • Bruce Benson reports that, by starting their project planning earlier and focusing on quality, his company avoided finishing late and buggy.
  • Luis Seabra Coelho explains the difference between a project and a program.
  • Richard Lepsinger has some suggestions for helping remote workers stay connected.
  • Michelle Stronach looks at the PMO as a repository and source of “knowable project management.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at knowledge management from the self-service perspective. It’s all about processing for consumption.
  • John Goodpasture considers the question of whether software actually fails, or just has faults. Burnt toast, anyone?
  • Nick Pisano looks into the sources of resistance to change, when enterprise software is the change agent.
  • Kathleen O’Connor interviews Mike Hughes, a consultant specializing in operational excellence, on why and how the IT department should say no.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski notes the inherent fallacy in the Shu-Ha-Ri model of learning new skills.
  • Johanna Rothman explains some of the reasons why managers need estimates.
  • Kaushik Saha defines the INVEST acronym for user stories.
  • Nada Aldahleh describes six characteristics of effective product owners.

 Professional Development

  • Mike Griffiths looks at the statistics of the various credential programs from PMI, and plots a few trends.
  • Paul Ritchie breaks down what the new PMI recertification requirements mean to training organizations.
  • Steven Levy renews his membership in PMI, using software with an appallingly bad UX.
  • Bruce Harpham notes several things you can do to help new team members get up to speed, while instilling a positive attitude.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares the contents of her reading pile. More accurately, her books to-finish-reading pile.
  • Jamie Hill extracts a few lessons from his new book, “Make Good Habits Stick.”

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Wes Schaeffer on the art and practice of sales and negotiating for project managers. Plus career tips from Dev Ramcharan and the must-read PM articles list from your truly. Just 36 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jamal Moustafaev on his new book, “Project Scope Management.” Just 25 minutes, safe for work.
  • Rich Maltzman and Dave Shirley have crafted a commercial for their new book, “Driving Project, Program, and Portfolio Success: The Sustainability Wheel.” Just three minutes, safe for work, it’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of March 16 – 22

Green BalloonNew project management articles published on the web during the week of March 16 – 22. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Mike Griffiths rounds up a number of high-profile projects from the last few decades, and considers whether they or not they were successful.
  • Jason Bloomberg gives us an overview of cognitive computing, from the perspective of how it can deliver value.
  • Tony Adams quotes Friedrich Neitzsche on why people don’t want to hear the truth, and explains how to deliver bad news, anyway.

PM Best Practices

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Michel Dion on his new book, “The Leadership Toolbox for Project Managers.”
  • Rich Maltzman notes the growing interest in sustainability as a project success metric.
  • Bruce Harpham shares a few thoughts (and some research) on improving quality.
  • Nick Pisano continues our dialog on mining information from mountains of project management data, with a look at the influence of software packages on opinions.
  • Brad Egeland has some thoughts on what you need to be successful as a remote project manager.
  • Jerry Johns takes an applied physics approach to keeping his project in balance.
  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, expound on the virtues of looking in the direction we want to go.
  • Steven Levy uses a picture of a man on a bicycle pursued by bear as a jumping-off point for a rumination on project management as a team sport.
  • Michel Dion provides a tutorial on how to talk with senior management.
  • Henny Portman reviews a new book by Hannan, Müller, and Robinson, “The CIO’s Guide to Breakthrough Project Portfolio Performance.”
  • Ryan Ogilvie gets practical, with customer service survey questions that need fine-tuning.

Agile Methods

  • Glen Alleman analyzes Jim Benson’s five estimating pathologies and suggests some corrective actions.
  • Neil Killick recaps the five estimating pathologies listed by Jim Benson, and adds a fifth – accepting the request without asking any questions.
  • Mahfoud Amiour prroposes a new Agile metric: SPOC, or story point cost.

 Soft Skills

  • Hendrie Weisinger continues his series of articles based on his new book, “Performing Under Pressure,” with a look at the positive effects of enthusiasm.
  • Michael Smith on hiring coders: “85% of a programmer’s success is due to human factors rather than pure technical skills.”
  • Suzanne Lucas notes that leaders set the pace with their example, and by communicating clear expectations.
  • Dan Furlong explores the elusive notion of “presence,” and shows why it’s important.
  • Sandy Geroux explains the difference between being accountable and taking ownership.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Doug Hong on his seven free tutorials for managing projects with Microsoft Excel. Just 27 minutes, safe for work, and highly recommended.
  • Jacob Morgan interviews Rich Carpenter on the intersection of the industrial internet, data science, and the future of work. One hour, safe for work.
  • Renee and Craig interview Henrik Kniberg at Scum Australia, where he delivered the keynote. Just 40 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 23 – March 1

Panning for GoldNew project management articles published on the web during the week of February 23 – March 1. We pan for the gold, every week! Recommended:

Must read!

  • ProjectsAtWork summarizes the findings of a new research report on Agile project management software. Key finding: nearly half of the PMs are managing projects not related to software development.
  • Skip Weisman thinks we might be having the “wrong” conversation with the “right” person.
  • Dorie Clark says that Email may be ruining your life, primarily because we’re using it for things it was never intended to do.

PM Best Practices

  • Kailash Awati reviews the shortcomings of traditional decision theory when managing in the absence of reliable information.
  • Patti Gilchrist explains why Six Sigma complements innovation, rather than stifling it.
  • John Goodpasture makes the case for project managers to develop business skills, especially literacy in financial accounting.
  • Irfan Shariff describes the Quality Function Deployment Matrix.
  • Harry Hall details the process of cranking out a compressed project schedule.
  • Nick Pisano outlines his approach for the professional development of new project managers.
  • Mike Gruia details an approach for building a strategic PMO that will establish “a sustainable competitive advantage.”
  • Mark Phillipy interviews Cornelius Fichtner and Kevin Reilly on the wide range of PMI related certifications – it’s not just the PMP! Just over an hour, safe for work.
  • Margaret Meloni explains how to get remote workers set up for success. Just over three minutes, safe for work.

 Agile Methods

  • Larry O’Brien summarizes five essential rules of software project management. Yes, there are excellent concepts that pre-date the Agile Manifesto.
  • Mike Griffiths explains the ideas behind his proposed presentation at Agile 2015: Eat risks for breakfast, poop awesomeness all day! Risks = fiber? Who knew?
  • Mike Cohn tries to explain the difference between a user story and a task, and triggers a comment storm!
  • Renee, Craig, and Tony let us listen in on their banter and reviews of some of their tools. Just 57 minutes, safe for work.

 Soft Skills

  • Joel Bancroft-Connors and his invisible gorilla, Hogarth, explain why the fives “whats” are more effective than the five “whys.”
  • Pawel Brodzinski delivers a bunch of sketches that illustrate Virginia Satir’s Change Model and Stuart Kauffman’s Fitness Landscape. Long post, but worth reading.
  • Bruce Harpham looks at two basic models of motivation: Frederick Herzberg’s classic hygiene factors and motivators, and Dan Pink’s Drive model.
  • Nada Aldahleh summarizes recent research on the effects of sleep deprivation and interrupted sleep.
  • Liam Barrett champions the value of emotional intelligence to leaders.
  • Michael Lopp describes the emotional J-curve of starting a new gig. He doesn’t call it that, but that’s what he’s describing. I do it 2 – 3 times a year, and he’s spot on.

Meeting Mastery

  • Robert Kelly gets us back to the basics of organizing a meeting.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a video that shows what a conference call would look like if everyone was in the room. Painful, but true to life.
  • Kerry Wills offers a few reasons why meeting in person isn’t all that much of an improvement over the conference call.
  • Éamonn McGuinness lists some best practices for making meetings effective, including the “energy test.”

Enjoy!