New PM Articles for the Week of December 5 – 11

New project management articles published on the web during the week of December 5 – 11. And this week’s video: Dr. Andrew Weil demonstrates the 4 – 7 – 8 breathing exercise. Useful for dealing with stress, getting to sleep, and avoiding criminal charges when some half-wit swerves into your lane. Just five minutes, and safer for work than driving in Las Vegas.

Must read (Holiday Prep Edition)!

  • Seth Godin helps us with gifts for smart friends by name-checking ten excellent books. I’m going to read at least two of them over the holiday break – the best way to begin a new year is with new ideas.
  • Elizabeth Harrin re-tunes the old carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” for project managers and their sponsors.
  • Margaret Meloni shares five tips for getting through the holiday season “in peace and not in pieces.”

Established Methods

  • Karen Chovan expounds on social responsibility and the intersection of sustainability and risk.
  • Dave Prior interviews Philip Diab on a new concept: Rapid Start PMO. Just 41 minutes, safe for work, and fun to listen in as two smart guys just chat about what we do.
  • Stuart Easton describes five ideas that are transforming the PMO landscape.
  • Barath Balasubramanian describes the steps to set up a new PMO.
  • Harry Hall tutors us on breaking down a project into deliverables and the activities that will create them.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly round-up of Agile content – from critiquing Agile as a dumb process to smart applications of Agile for other tasks.
  • Janna Bastow describes theme-based product roadmaps, and how they facilitate innovation by grouping by time horizons.
  • The Clever PM identifies other roles (besides product manager) that must lead through influence, and so merit collaboration.
  • James Hammon and Scott Weiner offer the executive-level view of managing global teams who are using Agile methods.
  • Tom Churchwell explains the shift away from managing quality assurance as teams practicing Agile methods mature.
  • Tom McFarlin points out that unit tests are only cost-effective to the extent that they improve code quality to “good enough.”
  • Johanna Rothman raises objections to the way cost accounting is applied to teams using Agile methods, and triggers a lot of comments.

Applied Leadership

  • Michael Lopp shares five of his leadership hacks, all of which are simple behaviors. “I understand the compounding awesomeness of continually fixing small broken things.”
  • Nicolas Cole lists the building blocks effective leaders use to create successful cultures.
  • Cornelius Fichtner interviews Kim Wasson on applying emotional intelligence to leadership. New phrase: “Emotional contagion.” Just 24 minutes, safe for work.
  • Jenny Chapman reports on a study which indicates that managers, lacking the time to process both objective and subjective information, rely more on subjective information.

Technology and Techniques

  • Michael Blaha warns us to be cautious about how we use derived data. Don’t try to store the results, as it won’t stay in synch with the source!
  • Jeff Collins tutors us on business process management.
  • Grace Windsor explains how to use OneNote for task management. I’ve been using OneNote in conjunction with Outlook for a couple of years now, and can vouch for the combination.

Working and the Workplace

  • Nancy Settle-Murphy describes the keys to one of her client’s virtual meeting process, which sounds like something we all should aspire to.
  • Lisette Sutherland extracts snippets from past interviews that address “getting the work-life balance right.” Just 18 minutes, safe for work.
  • Liz Ryan identifies ten signs your boss appreciates you, and ten that they don’t.