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!

New PM Articles for the Week of January 5 – 11

SightseersNew project management articles published on the web during the week of January 5 – 11. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

Must read!

  • Maree Harris tells us how to be a coach, rather than a critic.
  • Amy Webb identifies the technology trends we can’t ignore in 2015.
  • Igal Hauer breaks down the actions that you should take to get your project team communicating and collaborating.

PM Best Practices

  • Steven Levy continues his series of posts on how to become the “five tools project manager,” explaining how to manage the Conditions of Satisfaction.
  • Michael Wood explains why program management is more than just managing a portfolio of related projects.
  • Glen Alleman gives us a quick recap of how our techniques for decision making in the presence of uncertainty have evolved, and how estimating is key to modern processes.
  • Johanna Rothman explains why the “indispensable employee” is a problem for the team, for management, and for the indispensable employee.
  • Lynda Bourne gives us a quick overview of the relationship between ethics, culture, rules, and governance.
  • Steve Jones explores a hypothetical: a person in a trusted role, who has started doing things differently (but not out of role), being detected by security analytics.
  • Terry Czigan reviews Margaret Lee’s new book, “Leading Virtual Project Teams.”
  • Susanne Madsen applies the metaphor of Yin and Yang to leading projects.
  • Margaret Meloni shares a nice graphic that summarizes how much project managers earn around the world.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has identified ten high-value project management conferences for us to consider attending in 2015.

Agile Methods

  • Derek Huether found a new product that lets you implement a green technique: reusable story cards!
  • Kelsey van Haaster gives us a primer on technical debt.
  • John Goodpasture explains why round negotiating tables are Agile.
  • Fang Wan consider the tenuous relationship between work and hours in estimates.
  • Bart Gerardi explains why velocity is not a figure of merit for the team; it is a planning metric, not an efficiency metric.
  • Mike Cohn even uses Scrum concepts to organize his own work. Probably not a daily stand-up, but other concepts map nicely.

Looking Ahead

  • Deven Parekh projects five trends related to Big Data. “Personalized medicine?” The pharmacist as barista – wow …
  • Scott Berkun tries to measure a trend: just how popular is remote work?
  • Don Kim brings together various indicators that predict the growth of the independent project manager, as part of the new normal.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Susanne Madsen, on the power of project leadership. Just 56 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Brian Irwin on facilitating Agile transformations using the Socratic method. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mark Phillipy interviews Joseph Flahiff on his new book, “Being Agile in a Waterfall World.” Just 58 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of December 29 – January 4

Happy 2015New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 29 – January 4. Wait, it’s 2015? Happy New Year!

PM Best Practices

  • Glen Alleman elegantly explains why a project needs both a budget and on-going estimates of cost to complete, in order to be in control.
  • John Goodpasture breaks down the “big three” of portfolio management – sequence, value, and risk – as the essence of planning to maximize value.
  • Bruce Benson parallels personal financial planning assumptions with the assumptions we use in planning our projects.
  • Adriana Girdler has some thoughts on how to sustain that new change initiative.
  • Gina Abudi explains how a team-building exercise works, when your team is spread across the globe.
  • Harry Hall builds on his recent post about asking the right questions, with some examples of what, why, and how.
  • Russell Whitworth urges us to distinguish between the essential and the merely important.
  • Lynda Bourne provides a few techniques for fine-tuning your bullshit detector. Yup, she even has a no-bullshit road sign, which I envy to no end.
  • Kenneth Darter coaches us on how to communicate changes on our project.
  • Soma Bhattacharya interviews Elizabeth Harrin about her new e-coaching service.

Agile Methods

  • Pawel Brodzinski proposes an alternative to Minimum Viable Product: he calls it Minimum Indispensable Feature Set.
  • Don Kim predicts that 2015 will see us using the term “Agile” less frequently, as Agile methods become the norm.
  • Terry Bunio notes the resemblance between the Agile Movement, which is now in its teen years, and actual teenagers. Hilarious …
  • Johanna Rothman shares a recent coaching experience, as a lead-in to the new Influential Agile Leader training that she and Gil Broza will deliver this year.
  • Alex Lu-Pon points out the use of Agile methods in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.”
  • Sumit Sharma details the Definition of Ready for a user story.

Looking Ahead

  • Cheri Baker thinks the best part of January 1st is the attitude that we are empowered to make adjustments to our behavior.
  • Michel Dion asks us, what will you stop doing in 2015, in order to have the time to achieve your goals?
  • Elizabeth Harrin lists some specific actions to take at work, in order to get organized for 2015.
  • Andy Jordan looks ahead, with a few concerns about how the project management profession is evolving. But, just a few.
  • Robert Vamosi reports that the Internet of Things is now sneaking into our socks. No, he’s not kidding.
  • Scott Berkun relates how he learned to concentrate with advice in a book from Larry Bird.

Enjoy!