New PM Articles for the Week of November 17 – 23

Balloon BeyondNew project management articles published on the web during the week of November 17 – 23. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Seth Godin considers how the project scope is a bit like a bushel of apples. I guess Forrest Gump already did the “box of chocolates” routine.
  • Adriana Beal explores the Peter Drucker notion that, if you keep doing what made you successful, you will eventually fail.
  • Don Kim explains the relationship between Kaizen, an operations management incremental improvement process, and Kaikaku, a project delivering radical change.
  • Bruce Benson notes that groups get better over time, only by learning from their experience – including the negative experiences.
  • Ron Rosenhead recounts an anecdote that illustrates how stakeholder engagement can lead to real improvements.
  • Nick Pisano points out the pivotal role of the integrated master plan in complex programs and project portfolios.
  • Kenneth Darter shares his checklist for preparing to begin a really big project.
  • Pat Weaver summarizes an article he contributed to, on the topic of governance versus management.
  • Harry Hall recommends an approach to selecting and initiating projects.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reports from the Synergy 2014 conference, summarizing three presentations and some audience participation music-making.
  • Ryan Ogilvie looks at the details of implementing that IT department holiday tradition: the production change freeze.

Agile Methods

  • Pallavi Kelapure and Vikas Gupta detail their approach to applying rapid deployment principles in an ERP implementation.
  • Johanna Rothman offers some practical approaches to breaking your near-epics into smaller stories.
  • Deepak Joshi walks us through a simple example of user role modeling, to show why the technique is so useful.
  • Derek Huether proposes an innovation in backlog grooming: Progression Workshops, using a subset of the team, referred to as the Product Owner Team.

Measuring

  • Glen Alleman provides links to eight resources for methods to estimate non-trivial software projects, based on historical metrics.
  • Mike Cohn disputes the dissing of so-called “vanity metrics.”
  • John Goodpasture explains what a “figure of merit” is, and how it can be useful.
  • Rich Maltzman leverages an old post by Mounir Ajam to show that project success includes things you can’t measure until well after the project is complete.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Jack Ferraro on the competencies required to drive strategic initiatives. Just 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Paul Ritchie contemplates how the way we name our projects influences the way our stakeholders and team feel about them. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.

Human Behavior in Groups

  • Lynda Bourne summarizes the Cohen-Bradford “Influence without Authority” model.
  • Pawel Brodzinski provides a leader’s view of the movement to reduce the role of management, and shares Lunar Logic’s two rules that govern their approach.
  • Peter Saddington notes the holes in the “personality testing” model of candidate selection.
  • Bruce Harpham lists some proactive methods to manage project conflict, and your reactions to it.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 20 – 26

Balloon LandingNew project management articles published on the web during the week of October 20 – 26. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Samad Aidane notes that the project kickoff is not the place to “sell” the project to the stakeholders – that should have already been done.
  • Peter Saddington shares a video on how our assumptions and biases prevent us from being objective. Just four minutes, safe for work.
  • Elizabeth Harrin has some advice for project managers asked to manage an internal project with little or no spending authority.
  • Jerry Manas investigates the resource management and capacity planning choices we make when responding to increasing demand.
  • Glen Alleman points out the logical fallacies in anecdotal evidence, and applies Carl Sagan’s bullshit detector.
  • Gary Nelson returns from a wilderness first aid course with the observation that medical emergencies have many of the same attributes as projects.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that exposure to risk is cumulative: “The risk that at least one thing will fail is way more than the risk that any one thing will fail.”
  • Kevin Coleman lays out the potential impact of a security breach, and the aftermath.
  • Janani Dumbleton tells how to kick off a data governance initiative.
  • Sean Williams begins a series on improving federal acquisition decisions through comprehensive financial analysis.
  • Nick Pisano continues his criticism of how organizations misuse Excel as an analytical “filler” between specialized applications.
  • Allen Ruddock sings the praises of Sharepoint as a project management tool.
  • Kerry Wills zooms in on three “course corrections” that can keep a project on track.

Agile Methods

  • Mike Cohn begins a series on two approaches to sprint planning: velocity-driven and commitment-driven.
  • Sondra Ashmore and Kristin Runyan conclude their series extracted from their new testbook, “Introduction to Agile Methods.”
  • Sandeep Lad fleshes out the definition of “servant leader.”

Leadership

  • Paul Ritchie shares some insights into how the best influencers convince the CEO.
  • Martin Webster shares an infographic that ties together employee engagement, stress, and leadership.
  • Shoaib Ahmed invokes Frederick Herzberg, who linked employee dissatisfaction to “hygiene factors” and employee satisfaction to achievement.
  • Johanna Rothman recounts an anecdote that illustrates the potential blowback from executive-dictated culture change.
  • Pam Stanton recalls an instance where a visionary leader ran into problems by not focusing on execution.
  • Coert Visser gives us the executive summary of “Rethinking Positive Thinking,” by Gabriele Oettingen.

Professional Development

  • Bruce Harpham explores networking, in three dimensions.
  • Don Kim eyes with skepticism a claim that PMI-ACP credentialed project managers are the highest paid – especially coming from a training provider.
  • Geoff Crane shares the slide deck from his keynote on emotional intelligence, “Why Smart People Fail,” presented at the PMI Durham Highlands monthly meeting.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of September 15 – 21

In the CloudsNew project management articles published on the web during the week of September 15 – 21. We give you a high-level view so you can read what interests you. Recommended:

PM Best Practices

  • Anna Hartley contrasts value engineering and simple gold plating.
  • Nick Pisano dives into the definition and validation of framing assumptions, as a potential warning sign of impending project failure.
  • John Goodpasture uses physics to explain why traffic in the slow lane moves faster as volume builds, and then applies the same principal to prove Brooks’ Law!
  • Glen Alleman gives a quick summary of “The Incremental Commitment Spiral Model: Principles and Practices for Successful Systems and Software,” by Barry Boehm and Jo Ann Lane.
  • Gary Hamilton and Jon McGowan share their best practices for managing projects with regulatory compliance as a critical success factor.
  • Pat Weaver explains that good policy flows from the intersection of morals, ethics, values, and principals, and shows how they interrelate.
  • Venkatesh Krishnamurthy criticizes financial incentives applied without an attempt to understand the problem.
  • Mark Mullaly prescribes some actions to engage absentee sponsors.
  • Bruce Harpham looks for negative cues – thing that should have happened, but didn’t – as a diagnostic for project health.
  • Kerry Wills believes that the principal difference between project success and failure lies in issue management.
  • Elizabeth Harrin reviews two project management software collaboration products: activeCollab and twProject.
  • Peter Taylor, author of “The Lazy Project Manager,” reminds us that you can work too hard to be effective in your job.
  • Peter Saddington shares an interesting story of how lazy out-performs smart, if you give it a chance.

Agile Methods

  • Johanna Rothman reminds us that Agile and Lean are beneficial tools, but we have to adapt our culture to get any benefit from them. Of course, that takes time.
  • Mike Cohn insists that while story points are about time, they shouldn’t be equated to some number of hours. It’s about relative time – so, Einstein was Agile?
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on Agile anti-patterns.
  • Liz Keogh explains the difference between goals and capabilities.
  • Manas Shirode coins a new phrase: Bonsai waterfall.
  • Tushar Patel thinks that portfolio-management approaches can help project managers cope with Agile practices.

Professional Development

  • Coert Visser addresses the “curse of knowledge,” and offers some ways to avoid talking past our stakeholders.
  • Erin Carson advocates the PMP as a career development tool for engineers and software developers.
  • Tom Taylor posts a slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the “ups and downs” of managing projects and programs.

Podcasts and Videos

  • Cesar Abeid interviews Jorge de la Guardia, on the history and future of the Panama Canal. Just 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Dave Prior is starting a new series of podcasts with Richard Cheng and Dhaval Panchal, on current trends in Agile. Just 15 minutes, safe for work.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Shawn Dickerson on the demand for leadership from project managers. Just 25 minutes, safe for work.

Enjoy!