New PM Articles for the Week of June 3 – 9

New project management articles published on the web during the week of June 3 – 9. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton shares six actions and behaviors that will significantly improve your project outcomes. Not just for project management; much of this stuff is valuable for all aspects of your life. Under 4 minutes, safe for work.

Pictures this week from our short camping trip to Pacific City, Oregon.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell explains the evolution from corporate strategies based on value chains to those based on ecosystems. 5 minutes to read.
  • James Vincent and Chaim Gartenburg report on Amazon’s new Prime Air delivery drone, expected to begin delivering packages “within months.” If you work for a retail or logistics organization, your business model will need an update. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Detrixhe summarizes a draft communique from the G20 finance ministers that will make it harder for global tech firms to avoid corporate income taxes. 2 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Gina Abudi tells us how to pitch our ideas for projects to the executives who “hold the purse.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale revisits some old proverbs to find wisdom for today. 2 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares some rules of thumb that can help us estimate (or analyze an estimate) in the absence of statistical data. Just over a minute to read.
  • Francesco Marcatto reminds us that, while no two projects are alike, some roadblocks come up more frequently than others. 5 minutes to read.
  • Laura Barnard introduces her PMO Strategies podcast, from her background to the Project Management Day of Service to what she hopes listeners will take away from future podcasts. 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin explores the value proposition of a project dashboard when managing several projects at once. 8 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly collection of Agile content, from Amazon Agility to DevOps as a strategic advantage to dates for product road maps. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Sidharth Malhotra explains the concept of micro-services using a metaphor based on an ice cream shop—call it the Dairy Queen architecture. 7 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews Jeff Patton’s classic, User Story Mapping. As usual, he summarizes all 18 chapters in two or three sentences, each. 4 minutes to read.
  • Tom Cagely admits that story points aren’t horrible, under certain circumstances, and then goes on to explain when they make sense. Each a little over 2 minutes.
  • Jan Jaap Cannegieter and Han Niessing describe two cases that illustrate the evolution from testing lead to test assurance officer and test coach. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ashley Bey does a deep dive on unit testing the parts of your system that interact with the outside world. Warning: high geek-level content! 9 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Richard Straub opines on the need for new management approaches and behaviors in an era of ecosystems. 4 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas explains edge collaboration, an organizational approach for making knowledge sharing across departments more efficient. 3 minutes to read.
  • Alex Circei explains why discipline is so important when leading engineers. Note: discipline is not externally imposed, and it certainly isn’t punishment. 4 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Shelly Fan summarizes new research into brain-machine interface technology, funded by DARPA. You know: the people who funded the invention of the internet. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kayla Matthews reports on five research projects targeting defenses against cyber-attacks. 5 minutes to read.
  • Martin Giles assess the recent incidents of cyber security flaws found in semiconductor chips reported by outside researchers and finds that they take too long to fix them. 5 minutes to read.
  • Akash Deep lists a few steps to take to prevent spear phishing, the most successful technique used by cyber criminals to do their dirty work. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Melody Wilding coaches us on how to control our emotions at work (or anyplace else). 3 minutes to read.
  • Leon Straker presents his assessment of different sitting postures for different types of tasks, with the goal of reducing back pain. 4 minutes to read.
  • Alyse Kalish has collected 22 team-building activities that don’t suck. Well, most of them don’t. 11 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 20 – 26

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 20 – 26. And this week’s video: just in case you’re still suffering from withdrawal, here is a hilarious collection of short clips illustrating one of the most persistent memes in The Game of Thrones—6 minutes of Jon Snow, knowing nothing. Not quite safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • The Bloomberg Editorial Board opines against the recent San Francisco ban on the use of facial recognition technology by law enforcement. 3 minutes to read.
  • Eshe Nelson summarizes the global economy’s “fragile” outlook, per the Organization for European Cooperation and Development. The US-China trade war is a risk. 2 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell reminds us to think critically about the conventional wisdom. Not every story we hear is the whole story, and sometimes it’s not even remotely correct. 5 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Mike Clayton gives us a comprehensive guide to project resource management. 10 minutes to read.
  • Lindsay Curtis tells us how to get the most out of a project kickoff meeting. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture shares a Requirements Feasibility and Risk Assessment Guide, an analytical structure for identifying technical challenges before creating your quality management plan. 2 minutes to read.
  • Francesco Marcatto helps us understand how our teams lose focus and what we can do about it. 7 minutes to read.
  • Dianne Inniss suggests a somewhat different model for user readiness: Ready, Able, and Willing. 4 minutes to read.
  • Pat Weaver explains how the content of the PMP exam will change at the end of 2019, based on the updated Role Delineation Study to be released this summer. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from story points and velocity to getting rid of hierarchical structures to mental models and biases. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior interviews Troy Lightfoot on probabilistic forecasting, as opposed to velocity or story points. Podcast, 58 minutes, safe for work.
  • Ron Jeffries admits that he probably invented story points, and ruefully explores his current thinking on how they should be used, if at all. 8 minutes to read.
  • Maxson Tee tells us how to get client feedback and incorporate it into your development process. 5 minutes to read.
  • Nacho Bassino examines the impact of product maintenance on continued product development. 10 minutes to read.
  • PV Kannan and Josh Bernoff help us analyze business case for a chatbot or voice interface. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kimberly Crawford suggests that testers should anticipate the users we don’t want—evil-doers she lumps into the category villainous personas. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Paul Axtell provides a comprehensive set of actions to take when you’ve reached an impasse in your meeting. 7 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale tells us how to temper the eternal optimism of a delivery team. 2 minutes to read.
  • Elizabeth Larson points to Tyrion Lannister, one of the key characters in Game of Thrones, as a prime example of a trusted adviser. 5 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Shelly Fan relays news that a “biologically-inspired deep neural network” spontaneously learned how to assess relative quantities—more and less—after it was trained to recognize objects. 5 minutes to read.
  • Nick Kael reports that Phishing attacks are getting creative and lists a few steps we can take to keep these weasels from succeeding. 5 minutes to read.
  • Curtis Preston recaps the first year of enforcement of the GDPR by the European Commission. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin gives us a detailed process for preparing to hand off your project while you take off on vacation. 7 minutes to read.
  • Mike Vardy introduces the notion of an achievement structure—a behavioral framework for using your to-do list and other organizing tools. 5 minutes to read.
  • Alice Merlino notes three common reasons we fail at communication and offers some comprehensive thoughts on how to improve. 9 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 14 – 20

New project management articles published on the web during the week of January 14 – 20. And this week’s video: Mark Galley demonstrates a 5-why analysis, using the Titanic as an example. He moves from a simple 1-why, progressing to a 3-why, then a 5-why, then several valid 5-whys representing different points of view, and finally shows a poster with 125 whys. 5 minutes to watch—try not to drown!

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Paul Maidment reports on the fear, uncertainty, and doubt following Parliament’s rejection of the Brexit deal, and what businesses are doing to prepare for a hard Brexit. 6 minutes to read.
  • Brad Smith, CEO of Intuit, offers his executive’s-eye view of the top ten tech issues, each with public policy implications, for 2019. 11 minutes to read.
  • Sharlyn Lauby offers some specific recommendations for improving your business acumen. Note that SHRM and PMI have similar notions of what that phrase means. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Kiron Bondale notes that PMI just released their Benefits Realization Management Practice Guide this month and suggests several curable causes for poor practice. 2 minutes to read.
  • The nice folks at Clarizen suggest six complementary strategies for dealing with difficult vendors. 3 minutes to read.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Emily Luijbregts on diversity in project management. Aside: we men need to do a better job of recognizing when things aren’t right. Podcast, 27 minutes.
  • John Goodpasture reviews three quantitative concepts that we need to understand when discussing probability and statistical assessments. 2 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman provides a quick overview of The Evidence-Based Management Guide, developed by Scrum.org. Lots of good content in only 11 pages—highly recommended. 2 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton condenses the team stress detection and management techniques from his book, Brilliant Stress Management. 10 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from product management problem areas to handling unplanned work in Scrum to Feather’s law of conservation of complexity. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Nishi Grover Garg introduces us to usability testing, from why to how. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Cutler describes his conversation with the CEO of a medium-sized company that had “gone Agile.” Just not far enough to get the results they were looking for. 3 minutes to read.
  • Andy Hunt describes the four essential parts of a modern software development strategy. 6 minutes to read.
  • Chris Matts translates the SAFe definition of an Epic to something meaningful to actual practitioners in an enterprise environment. 5 minutes to read.
  • Charity Majors notes that in the modern era of distributed systems, the final round of testing happens in production. 4 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Lisa Lai coaches us on preparing to manage in times of increasing strategic ambiguity. Disruption happens—see the first two links under Business Acumen and Strategy! 6 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell debunks the four most common myths peddled by business pundits. But pundits gotta pund, I guess. 5 minutes to read.
  • Nicolai Foss and Peter Klein argue that new-fangled “flat” organizations need bosses more than ever—they just need them to do different things. 13 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Anshu Sharma gives us the details behind a Russian intrusion into the US power grid. “[E]very [trusted] business relationship is a potential vulnerability.” 6 minutes to read.
  • Thomas Brewster reports on a white-hat hack, taking control of giant construction cranes. I hate it when life imitates “Die Hard” sequels. 5 minutes to read.
  • Sagar Bhatia talks through the positives and challenges we expect to see as 5G deployment begins in earnest. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Stav Ziv gives us several more sophisticated alternatives to address our cover letter, because “To whom it may concern” is so early-20th 5 minutes to read.
  • Kelsey Jones coaches us on tools and techniques to be more effective at creating and responding to Email. 5 minutes to read.
  • Adriana Girdler covers the basics of cell phone etiquette in the work environment. Video, 9 minutes, safe for work (naturally).
  • Emma Charlton presents an analysis of the hard and soft skills most in demand, as reflected in the employment requisitions on LinkedIn. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!