New PM Articles for the Week of September 26 – October 2

New project management articles published on the web during the week of September 26 – October 2. And this week’s video: a critical analysis of Elon Musk’s SpaceX proposed Mars colonization project. And you thought your project was high-risk, with an overly ambitious schedule! Just seven minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Maria Konnikova looks into more recent research and finds that “10,000 hours of practice” is necessary, but probably not sufficient for mastery.
  • Maria Popova reviews “The Power Paradox: How we gain and lose influence,” by Dacher Keltner. Added to the top of my reading list.
  • Art Petty lists ten bullets of do’s and don’ts for the successful executive sponsor.

Established Methods

  • John Goodpasture addresses the nature of time in risk management: most risks are not static or stationary.
  • Johnny Beirne interviews Mike Clayton on the basics of risk management. Just 17 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jenny Brown outlines recommended project performance metrics for use by the project manager or PMO in determining how to report RAG status.
  • Moira Alexander provides considerations and internal and external criteria for selecting the right project management methodology.
  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a slimmed-down version of a white paper on selection and implementation of project and portfolio management software.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of content on Agile methods, from Fake Agile to Cargo Cults and Agile Idiots, to 50 product management blogs you should be reading.
  • Johanna Rothman starts a series on what Agile project managers do (and do not).
  • Ryan Ripley interviews Justin Browder and Bryan Schoeff on how project managers can fit into an Agile team. Just 16 minutes, safe for work.
  • Bart Gerardi continues his series on managers of Agile teams, with a close look at their responsibilities to the people and the company.
  • Mike Cohn argues against using the Sprint review as a sign-off meeting.
  • Kevin Aguanno reports on the growing use of Agile methods outside of the IT world.

Applied Leadership

  • Dave Prior interviews Jann Thomas and Adam Asch on working with distributed teams. Just 27 minutes, safe for work.
  • Tanya Tarr presents a case study of a freelance project manager who solved the real problem by not simply doing what the client demanded.
  • Suzanne Lucas, the Evil HR Lady, explains how to determine when it’s time to terminate an employee, and how to do it respectfully.
  • Nate Vickery explains why a working Mom is the perfect project manager.

Technology and Techniques

  • Ryan Ogilvie points out that service delivery frequently crosses organizational boundaries, and so do opportunities to improve change management.
  • Ariel Amster notes that Big Data algorithms can only get you so far – at some point, you need human insight into human behavior.
  • Elise Stevens interviews Thomas Mai about storytelling in promoting organizational change. Just 21minutes, safe for work.
  • Robin Goldsmith details the notion of a value proposition as used in sales, and how to apply it to collecting business requirements.

Working and the Workplace

  • Seth Godin: “The average knowledge worker reads fewer than one business book a year. On the other hand, the above-average knowledge worker probably reads ten.”
  • John Friscia argues that making your boss happy is not your job; there are times you need to push back, and not just blindly follow orders.
  • Derek Huether believes you need three things in order to increase productivity: a system, a ritual that exercises it, and enough repetitions to make it a habit.