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!

New PM Articles for the Week of October 22 – 28

New project management articles published on the web during the week of October 22 – 28. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains a common term encountered in implementation projects: the business blueprint. Less than 4 minutes, safe for work.

Business Acumen and Strategy

  • Greg Satell contrasts innovation practices at IBM, Google, and Amazon—three very different firms with very different cultures. There is more than one way to sustained success. 5 minutes to read.
  • Hannah Fry notes the ethical questions of developing applications for cutting-edge technology that might be used for evil purposes. 5 minutes to read.
  • Dave Gershgorn reminds us that companies are responsible for the algorithms that they use. Especially if they display bias. 4 minutes to read.

Managing Projects

  • Elizabeth Harrin notes that the Iron Triangle—Time, Cost, and Quality—are no longer the most significant drivers of whether a project will be perceived as successful. 6 minutes to read.
  • Dale Howard helps us diagnose a common problem with MS Project: “I can’t see all of the tasks in my project.” 2 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy tells us when and how to use an Ishikawa or fishbone diagram for root-cause analysis. 4 minutes to read.
  • Mark Bails reviews an example of risk mitigation strategy, as practiced at Symcor. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale notes some lessons about project management that we can pick up while shooting pool. 2 minutes to read.
  • Glen Alleman ilustrates a few of the problems encountered when trying to apply agile software development principles to program management practices. 3 minutes to read.

Managing Software Development

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from Agile collaboration to useful metrics to escaping the feature factory mindset. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Craig Smith interview Michael Feathers on working effectively with legacy code. Podcast, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Erik Dietrich explains how to determine the level of effort required for “enough” testing for quality assurance, based on your backlog of user stories. 6 minutes to read.
  • Emily Esposito recaps five trends in UX design, from voice-first to emotional design. I can’t keep up! 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Paciga defends his claim that you can demo things that aren’t done, aren’t working, or even not yet started. 6 minutes to read.
  • James Gallagher gives us some pointers for preparing a code review checklist. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership content, from ignoring your customers to startup hires to structuring your OKR’s. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Suzanne Lucas explains how to empower your employees to make better business decisions. 4 minutes to read.
  • Khalil Smith and colleagues explain how to gracefully exclude colleagues from meetings, Emails, and other marginal uses of their time. 5 minutes to read.

Research and Insights

  • Neema Singh Guliani and Jay Stanley preview the coming battles over US legislation governing data privacy in the wake of California’s groundbreaking new law. 5 minutes to read.
  • Josephine Wolff explains why it’s so hard to punish companies following a data breach, and thus why it will be difficult to craft legislation to regulate it. 5 minutes to read.
  • Andrew Burt notes the potential downside of privacy legislation, arising from another law—the law of unintended consequences. 4 minutes to read.
  • YK Sugi gives us a tutorial on quantum computers. 8 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Lisette Sutherland explains how to interview candidates who will be working remotely. Podcast, 9 minutes, safe for work.
  • Simone Stoloff notes that, in the future, companies won’t just hire remote employees—they’ll hire remote teams. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture reminds us that a seemingly silly question might just be a poorly phrased request for important information. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 19 – 25

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 19 – 25. And this week’s video: Doug H. shows us how to create a dynamic dropdown list in Excel using the Indirect function. Validate a cell based on the value contained in another cell! 6 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Maria Korolov reports that the global cyberwar is heating up and businesses should be worried about it. Why launch a nuke when you can devastate an entire economy? 10 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy explains the overlap in skills and responsibilities between a project manager, Scrum Master, and product owner. 8 minutes to read.
  • Hal Gregersen suggests a new approach: brainstorm for questions, rather than answers. New questions beget new insights. 15 minutes to read, but well worth your time.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy tutors us on how to create and maintain a project assumptions log. 8 minutes to read, with examples and a downloadable template.
  • Kiron Bondale introduces us to Randomized Branch Sampling, an estimation technique borrowed from orchard managers and adopted by software teams. 2 minutes to read.
  • Jonathan Browne separates rigorous problem definition from similarly rigorous solution definition. 5 minutes to read.
  • Vanita Bhoola considers scope creep in projects and how we can apply critical thinking to deal with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and uncertainty. 10 minutes to read.
  • Melissa Eaden advocates for an aggressive approach to clearing defects. 6 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of all things Agile, from corporate Agile failure to Agile metrics to three indicators of a waterfall team. 7 outbound links, 2 minutes to scan.
  • Juliet Lara offers some ways to tell if user your stories suck, and how to improve them. 7 minutes to read.
  • Johanna Rothman begins a new series on challenges encountered in Agile transformations. 3 minutes to read. Part 2 will take 4 minutes.
  • Mike Cohn insists that all team members should be in all team meetings. Filtering people out because of their role fragments the team. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture notes that Agile teams can be virtual and backs it up with details on what adjustments are necessary. 2 minutes to read.
  • Brian Crofts differentiates between the product manager and the product leader. 4 minutes to read.
  • Renee Troughton imagines several Game of Thrones characters as product owners. 6 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Glen Alleman summarizes the leadership lessons from Ernest Shackleton’s failed exploration of Antarctica in 1915. 10 minutes to read.
  • Dave Prior and Mika Trottier talk about the mental shift required to stop thinking of people as resources. Video, 33 minutes, safe for work.
  • Mary Jo Asmus tells of a client who was frustrated because his employees had adopted his lack of curiosity. Engagement starts at the top! 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Nick Heath reports on new research that allows simulated robots to independently learn skills like walking—you know: like babies do. 2 minutes to read, plus a 6-minute video interview.
  • Hanne Tidnam, Adam Bry, and Chris Dixon discuss the evolution and state of the art of autonomous drones—in this case, the self-flying camera. Podcast, 23 minutes, safe for work.
  • Katrina Clokie walks us through the process of deciding how to automate testing, based on factors that have nothing to do with code. 7 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Suzanne Lucas points out five really hard things that successful people do. 3 minutes to read.
  • John Yorke reflects on the active nature of feedback and the requirement for a sense of empowerment in order for feedback to work. 3 minutes to read.
  • Kerry Wills observes several persistent types of interaction in meetings, which he characterizes as roles. Worth a smile and you can read it in a minute or so.
  • Francisco Sáez examines intensity of focus as a contributor to productivity. 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!