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!

New PM Articles for the Week of February 5 – February 11

New project management articles published on the web during the week of February 5 – 11. And this week’s video: Mike Clayton explains organizational change management, as a complement to project management—we need to be able to work in both areas. 3 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Scott Galloway makes the case for busting up Big Tech—Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google—the way earlier generations busted up Big Oil, Big Railroads, and AT&T. A long read, upwards of a half hour, but worth your time.
  • Gabriel Weinberg alerts us to the impact that Google and Facebook have on our privacy—76% of websites contain hidden Google trackers. 5 minutes to read.
  • Ben Tarnoff presents the case for and (mostly) against de-regulation of data collection, as advocated by Google, Facebook, and other tech giants. 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture observes that we may soon be managing project budgets denominated in cryptocurrencies. It’s time to figure out what that means! 2 minutes to read.
  • Dmitriy Nizhebetskiytutors us on creating a project communications plan. 6 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale points out that the Kotter model for leading change benefits from continually injecting a sense of urgency.
  • Richard Paterson does a deep dive on writing a useful test plan, including one unusual observation—you might not need one. 9 minutes to read.
  • Michael Bolton tells us how to report progress on testing, as a story woven of three strands. 5 minutes to read.
  • Brad Egeland reminds of us the variables to account for when planning projects—even if it’s a similar project for the same customer as the last project. 5 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from habits of organizations vulnerable to disruption to Jeff Sutherland’s Scrum@Scale Guide to creating a product wall. 3 minutes to scan, 7 outbound links.
  • Pavel Kukhnavets gets deep into the differences between a Scrum daily stand-up and a Kanban daily stand-up. 6 minutes to read.
  • Ramakanth Vallur explains how personas—a generalization of a customer segment— add value to user stories. 3 minutes to read.
  • Henny Portman reviews How to Lead Self-Managing Teams, by Rini van Solingen. 2 minutes to read.
  • Doug Arcuri finds more wisdom in his third read of The Mythical Man-Month: it is important for the team to track decisions made, as close to the code as possible. 7 minutes to read.
  • Roman Pichler describes product leadership as a collaborative pursuit of a chain of shared goals. 5 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Gustavo Razzetti describes the shift from right decisions to safe to try “Perfectionism is the enemy of change.” 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy follows up on her recent book, listing three critical reasons to run effective meetings. 3 minutes to read.
  • Derek Huether explains key performance indicators, lagging indicators, and leading indicators for product and services teams. 4 minutes to read.
  • Julie Giulioni notes that leaders who are too helpful can leave their staff helpless—or at least stunt their professional growth. 3 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Bob Tarne has started applying Crew Resource Management techniques, which originated in the airline industry, to help Scrum teams become more effective. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dan Birch and Neal Murray identify some project planning, risk and issue identification, and status reporting analytical opportunities that might benefit from AI. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Felahi expounds on the risks inherent in data management, from ingest through usage. Data integrity should be a big part of our thinking. 3 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Traci Duez interviews Cesar Abeid, team lead at Automattic, the globally distributed company behind WorPress.com, on leading remote teams. Podcast, 52 minutes, safe for work.
  • Craig Brown updates on the Allen Curve—a finding from the 1970s that the further away someone is, the less likely they will initiate communication. 1 minute to read.
  • Stephanie Vozza lists some don’t-dos that could be making your to-do list less effective. 5 minutes to read. Yes, that was a cheap witticism, but admit it—you liked it.

Enjoy!