Project Management Digest, April 2019
This is the fourth release of our monthly project management digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project managers, product owners, and team leads. However, we’re looking to keep it interesting for everybody working in the IT field. The digest includes the most popular content grouped by topics, the most discussed, controversial, and entertainment articles, as well as general resources such as author blogs, educational materials, and active podcasts.
Topical articles of the month
Product and project management
The Full List of Product Management Conferences in 2019 – this article includes a list of conferences dedicated to product management. Most of them are congregated in the USA and Europe.
Creating Success – A Guide to Product Manager KPIs – everything you should know about KPIs gathered in one place. The article includes a detailed descriptions of business performance, product usage, product development, product quality, cross-functional, and communicating KPIs.
The (Messy) Shift to Starting Together. The transition to more mission driven, autonomous teams is often characterized by an awkward period. Whereas before, teams were used to a prescriptive backlog of “things to do”, now it is very common to feel like you are in limbo.
Agile and Scrum
Sprint Planning - How it works... Why it works – the podcast episode provides a basic foundational explanation of what sprint planning is, why it is so important, how it works, etc.
“Scrum doesn’t have Project Managers, so we ignore them in our organisation”. Scrum doesn’t know a role called “Project Manager”. Many consider this as evidence that the Project Manager role is obsolete.
If a football team fails, we blame the coach: what if a Scrum Team fails? The article is a fictional story of a team in crisis, and how there are parallels between football teams and Scrum Teams.
Career and leadership
Finding Your Niche as a Project Manager – building your brand and your name is a lifelong ongoing process that requires you to constantly reflect on where you are at and where you want to be—and to reposition yourself.
What Do the Great Thinkers Say About Change Management? “There is nothing permanent except change”. The article is giving perspectives of leaders on change management.
Leadership And Company Hierarchy. Is hierarchy an enemy of equality in the workplace? Does it hinder efficient communication? Or does it bring control and a healthy delegation of responsibility?
What’s your type? Developers share their experience and opinion about good and bad project managers. Join a discussion or just find out which type of a project manager most developers are looking for. Which qualities and skills are the most important in their opinion?
8 Ways to Better Lead Remote Teams. The articles explains eight things the best managers do to successfully lead remote teams.
Productivity and strategy
5 Team-Building Activities To Enhance Employee Performance. In searching for effective measures to boost employee and team performance, team-building activities have proven to be divisive.
Organizations that Work on Fewer Projects at a Time Get More Done. According to the author’s opinion, most people seem to understand that multitasking is a myth and does not boost productivity. But let’s extend this thinking a bit.
What does a business need first in order to begin growing? Any business development starts with process organization. Before starting a new business or expanding an existing business, we need to have clearly defined processes and a clear understanding of these processes.
Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects – the article includes a comprehensive list of books, handbooks, and guides about risk, estimating, and performance modeling. Many of these books can be found online for free, all of them are in print.
Motivated Reasoning and Validating Hypotheses. In this article the authors tell about managing the risk in the backlog, looking at the risk of kidding themselves. Specifically, they use cause and effect and hypotheses to identify the assumptions in their plans, but if they don’t do it the right way, they will lie to themselves by validating their assumptions instead of responding to the truth when they see it.
Most discussed or controversial articles
Anti-Agile. 90% of startups fail. Something is deeply wrong with the way startups approach building a product. And the author believes that Agile lies at the heart of this failure rate. Read why Agile does not work and join the discussion to share your opinion.
Enough with the User Stories already! A bit of controversial reasoning about user stories, their variations, how and when we use them in practice, and why we need to start communicating using Domain Entities, not user stories.
The Most Effective PM Behaviors. Regardless of whether you’re doing Scrum, Kanban, Waterfall, or something else, the author thinks doing these things can go a long way to making projects successful.
When Kanban is the Better Choice. Scrum is great, but it is not a right choice for every team in every situation. In some situations, other approaches are called for. Usually it will still be some variant of an agile approach. Most commonly that means Kanban.
The two worst mistakes companies make concerning developers. How many of your project managers have any development experience? The author believes that it’s a mistake — to hire someone with project management experience but zero compute science background. Do you agree? Find out what you should understand to cooperate with the development team successfully.
You don’t know me – when you project manager asks how long will it take to implement a feature.
New development methodology – about implementation of new features and testing.
The best resources for project managers
Drunken PM – a fan of Kanban, David Prior tells about Scrum and Agile project management, suggests useful tips with humor sprinkled throughout.
Herding Cats – a regularly updated collection of articles on project and product management, Agile, time estimation, scheduling, and much more related topics. The website includes posts written since 2005 and is still quite active. Glen Alleman provides in-depth looks at not just the “how” of project management, but the “why” as well.
Roman’s Blog – Roman Pichler, a product management expert specialized in digital products, is teaching product managers and product owners to build a successful product management organization. In addition to the blog, the website contains several videos, presentations, and podcasts.
Leading Agile Blog – the blog includes a great number of articles and videos focused on Agile. Whatever your skill level is, it will probably help you to learn something new.
Scrum Training Series – a collection of video tutorials recommended for those who are new to Scrum. Also, some of the series include interactive quizzes.
Agile Velocity Library – founded in 2010 by CEO and Agile Coach, David Hawks, the website includes a lot of Agile articles, videos, case studies, and white papers to feed your brain.
Impact Mapping – the website is focused on a strategic planning technique known as impact mapping. It prevents organizations from getting lost while building products and delivering projects, by clearly communicating assumptions, helping teams align their activities with overall business objectives and make better roadmap decisions. The community resources include many articles, videos, and tools which will be useful for product and project managers. The website also contains enough related resources.
Currently active PM podcasts
Agile Podcast Network – a collection of Agile-oriented podcasts such as “Agile Coffee” (59 episodes), “Agile for Humans” (107 episodes), Deliver It (86 episodes), “The Meta-Cast” (142 episodes), and “Reflection as a Service” (38 episodes). Each of them is unique and deserves separate attention, however, they are united by a common idea and topics. One or more new episodes, which last about 10 minutes each, appear every day.
HBR IdeaCast – a weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review. It includes more than 600 episodes, each lasts about 20-40 minutes.
Manage This – the podcast by project managers for project managers with about 80 episodes published since 2016 till now. Each episode lasts about 30-40 minutes and is actively discussed.
Soft Skills Podcast will be useful for everybody working in a software development company regardless of your particular role. The podcast includes 154 episodes, 20-40 minutes each, which release regularly and cover a wide range of topics such as meetings, collaboration, hiring, management, leadership, and much more.
Communities of project managers
Product Management – a free to join Linkedin Product Management Group with over one hundred thousand members. The group offers a discussion board and network dedicated to product managers.
Clarit_e – a Twitter author writes about leadership, change management, project management, business process management, strategy, customer management, and much more. A lot of funny cases from real life practice.
Thank you for reading. We would be glad to know which topics and resources are the most interesting for you. Also, feel free to share your favorite articles and other materials for the next digests. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our blog not miss them.