Project Management Digest, March 2019

This is the third release of our monthly project management digest oriented primarily on project managers. However, everybody working in the IT field can find something useful here.

Startups, product management, and related fields

Career and leadership

  • How To Navigate Turmoil Without Sinking The Boat. Unresolved turmoil weakens your team, leads to frustration, helplessness, and regret. Find out what can cause turmoil and how to manage it.

  • Cultural Fit versus Cultural Fit — a little about hiring developers, organizational culture, team management, good and bad approaches to recruitment.

  • 10 Ways To Help Reluctant People Make Commitments. Leaders spend much time trying to get performance from people who aren’t committed. Spend more time helping people commit and less time pressuring people to conform. As a team leader, how do you help people make commitments?

  • 3 Ways to Perfect Your Strategic Skills. What creates long-term success in a project management career? In the author’s opinion, developing strategic skills is the best path to that destination. And the article explains how you can improve them.

Agile and Scrum

  • Free Your Team With Liberating Structures. The author tells about “liberating structures” and different ways to use them to organize your work. If you are a fan of liberating structures, feel free to share which ones you used, in what context, and how was the result.

  • About that Scrum Master/Agile Project manager role.... The article is going to explain why you can’t be a Scrum Master & Project Manager at the same time.

  • All for One Backlog, One Backlog for All. It’s well-known that Scrum supposes the only backlog used by the team. However, in practice, some organizations try to split the backlog between “product” and “tech” and give each their own product owner. The author tells about problems which can cause such a behavior, why this is a wrong approach, and how teams could avoid it.

  • A Daily Scrum in the Cave. The author uses Plato’s Allegory of the Cave to talk about Scrum and tremendous opportunities outside “the cave”.

Productivity and teamwork

  • Are you being (responsibly) transparent? — the author describes the need for team members to act with responsible transparency.

  • How hidden are your hurdles? How does your team cope with team’s blockers and how bold they are? In the post, the author tells about possible ways to deal with such blockers — issues preventing developers from completing their work items — without the need for broader communication or escalation.

  • How to Disagree with Your Boss. Your boss isn’t always right, and sometimes you need to show them the error of their ways, however difficult that may be.

  • How To Overcome The Frustrations Of Collaboration. The truth is, the fastest way to get simple work done is clear direction and obedient compliance. But you’re on your own when people feel excluded and disrespected.

  • How to Build a Successful Team — “every leader should take the ‘12 minutes’ out of their day to read and internalize this”.

Most discussed articles

  • 3 Ways To Set Yourself Apart. Not all project managers are created equal. How do you differentiate yourself as a project manager? The post suggests a few ideas.

  • How To Boost Your Productivity & Get Sh*t Done. Productivity is a skill that can be learned. The post includes some of the tips & tricks which the author uses to prioritize her commitments and tasks.

  • 8 Common Project Manager Mistakes — some common weaknesses of many project managers and suggestions how we could deal with them. Familiarizing yourself with common mistakes can help you prevent a project disaster.

  • Reducing Waste in Project Management. When a company grows, the complexity of project management methodologies used also grows. As a result, project managers suddenly find themselves inundated with a wealth of templates, processes and tools, but project success rate only falls. The author tells about scaling your project management processes and some common mistakes.

  • What’s your type? Join the discussion of Scott Hanselmans interview with Camille Fournier on Hanselminutes — this is an episode relating to management and what behaviors managers should and shouldn’t exhibit to motivate engineering teams.

Entertainment content

Resources for project managers

General resources and blogs

  • Project Management Huts — a collection of articles oriented on project managers with varying levels of skill and experience. Also, several new articles appear almost every day at their website. In addition, you can find book and software reviews, knowledge base, and other related materials covering specific subjects for project managers there.

  • Girl’s Guide to PM — a blog for project, program and portfolio managers and project delivery professionals. It includes templates, mentoring programs, training tutorials and guides, blog posts and some paid content.

  • Tyner Blain Blog — the author shares lessons he’s learned from his own project management experiences as well as from what he’s observed as a consultant for companies both large and small.

  • Agile blog, the original source of this monthly digest. In addition to the posts on general project management topics (time management, risks, AI in project management, productivity, collaboration, etc.), you will find there many non-standard views and thoughts on the best coding practices, team working, managing startups, and a few articles on technologies and achievements in software development based on our own experience.

  • Bob Sutton’s Blog — not a new or active blog indeed, however, its content still remains actual and can be useful for project managers regardless of their experience.

  • ProofHub Blog — a space of posts on common issues and tasks in project management.

Books and educational resources

  • “Against the Gods, The remarkable story of Risk” by Peter L. Bernstein — perhaps the best general history of risk — and presentation of the major concepts of risk — that is understandable by all practitioners at any level.

  • 10 books about project management worth reading — if you are looking for a way to improve your project management skills, this is a rather fair March collection of books worth reading.

  • Knowledge Train — free resources for project management grouped by categories and types. Their materials are mainly categorized as Careers, Practice, Qualifications, Training and Exams, News. The content appears in different formats like videos with transcriptions, PDF downloads, infographics, etc.

  • Free Project Status Report Template — a free PDF report template along with a recent post which explains what a report template is and how you can use it for your needs.


  • LEAP! with Tina Seelig — a podcast series hosted by Tina Seelig, Professor of the Practice in Stanford’s Department of Management Science and Engineering. Each episode takes about 20 minutes. 4 new episodes were released in March. You can find more articles and podcasts on the website and on the Medium blog.

  • The Burn Up — a new podcast that may be of interest to project managers and product owners. Authors share their combined 40 years of experience in software design and delivery. The podcast was released in January 2019 and has 10 episodes for now. They tell about team management, user stories, business analyst, and product management and take about 20 minutes.

Slack communities

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.

The previous releases:
Project Management Digest, February 2019
Project Management Digest, January 2019