Project Management Digest, February 2019
This is the second release of our monthly project management digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project managers. However, we’re looking to keep it interesting for everybody working in the IT field.
Topical articles of the month
Most popular articles
Product management and startups
- Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling Applied to Product Managers & UX Designers (7 min read). Product managers and user experience designers are storytellers. Find out how to become a great storyteller from “Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling”.
- Principles For Designing Better Products (10 min read). Many of us believe that with all today’s technologies and achievements we will develop products better and faster. However, we only “get more and more waste, more and longer meetings, more complicated processes”. Here’re 4 principles we can all use to design, manage and build better products.
- 35 Hard Truths You Should Know Before Becoming “Successful” (30 min read) — a thoughtful collection and review of life lessons and inspiration.
Career and leadership
- How to Unleash Your Presence as a Leader. Your presence as a leader is vital to success of the project. But how to gain this skill set? Share your own experience in increasing your influence with teams.
- 3 Tips For Assuming an Existing Project. It may be not simple to join an existing project team. Assuming responsibility for a project that has already launched is a lot different than starting from the beginning. Here are 3 tips which can help you when assuming control of an existing project.
- Are PMs Too Risk Averse to Be Innovators?. Innovation is not traditionally a friend of project management. How can we change this?
Agile and Scrum
- Hacking Scrum (3 min read) — the author explains how we could change Scrum to make it more pleasant for everybody involved. Do you agree with him?
- Some tips on How To Run A Sprint Planning Meeting Like A Boss (+ Meeting Agenda) from The Digital Project Manager team.
- Inspection without adaptation is pointless in Scrum. Scrum, much like life, is all about adaptation. Scrum sets opportunities for professionals to regularly inspect in order to adapt. Inspection without adaptation is pointless.
Productivity and teamwork
- Five productivity tactics for a less stressful day (5 min read) from a freelancer who is considered “one of the most organized developers”.
- How I Manage My Time At Work (5 min read) — 5 time management tips from a software developer and even more ideas in the comments.
- Why Solving the Wrong Problem Is Guaranteed to Ruin Your Software Project (4 min read). One of the reasons why software development projects fail.
- Project Pitfalls: How to Avoid Problems in Assessing Risks. This article focuses on 3 fallacies of risk that are common to many projects, and that have the potential to derail even the most responsible project manager.
Most discussed and controversial articles
- Making remote work, work (4 min read) — how to work remotely from home full-time for the past two years and still love it.
- How do you talk about code quality with management/clients?. What are your strategies for having productive dialog about less visible technical issues as a project unfolds? Join the thread to share your views and experience.
- Famous Laws of Software Development — make sure that you know 14 famous laws and join the discussion.
- 5 Specific Actions to Achieve Success (2 min read).
- 20 Tricks to Appear Smart In Meetings
- My life as a dev… and a manager
- Time Management
- Knock Knock!
- And a little more fun stories for project managers.
The best resources for project managers
- Project Times. A website that publishes articles, templates, webinars, whitepapers, and other useful resources on project management, communication, leadership, requirements, and stakeholder management.
- PMTips — as you can guess from the name, this website provides your tips, advice, and resources on project management and various aspects of it.
- Project Smart — the project management resource that helps managers at all levels improve their performance providing them a great knowledge base with weekly updates.
- Gunther Verheyen’s Blog (Ullizee) — the website is active since 2008 and has an excellent collection of posts and other resource (books, posters, papers, quotes, videos) focused on Agile and Scrum.
- The Lazy Project Manager — founded by Peter Taylor in 2009, the blog provides project management hacks, shortcuts, and innovative tactics for project managers.
- Green Project Management Blog — active since 2015, the blog is focused on “integrating sustainability and value-based methods in the practice of project management” and contains a lot of fresh and original content.
- ProductMetrics — owned by Joshua, a product manager and a data fan, the blog includes thoughts and tutorials on product metrics, analytics and data management. In the last series of posts the author tells about Python and how it can help product managers.
Books and educational resources
- Project Management Courses — free online courses on Business Analysis, Business Skills, Competitive Strategy, Innovation, Strategic Management, Strategic Thinking, Time Management, Master’s in Project Management and many related topics.
- Mind Tools — the website is designed to develop your management, leadership, and personal effectiveness skills. It includes 2,400+ resources, including articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, quizzes, Book Insights, Expert Interviews, and more.
- Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun — the book covers common difficulties of project management focusing on philosophy and strategy. The book tells about specifications and requirements, leadership and trust, communication and relationships, game strategies, and more.
- A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge by PMI — the Fifth Edition of the world’s standard guide in project management. Or order the Sixth Edition if you wish.
- Never split the difference by Chris Voss — Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It.
Currently active PM podcasts
- How I Built This, hosted by Guy Raz. The podcast includes 145 free episodes (from 2016 till present) about managing startups, founding teams, the raising investments, and the pivotal decisions. Each episode is about 30–60 minutes long.
- People and Projects Podcast — 248 episodes which are published since 2009 with duration from several minutes to about an hour. The podcasts includes interviews and insights to help managers and product owners deliver projects and lead teams. Run by Andy Kaufman, the PPP offers both free and paid series.
- Fix My Project Chaos podcast by Elise Stevens includes 161 free episodes which were started in 2014. Each takes about 10–30 minutes and tells about project and product management, leadership, cooperation, and much more.
Medium publications and authors
- Publishous. A place where you can read articles on productivity, leadership, entrepreneurship, business, and share your own related publications if you wish. The goal of the community is “to motivate and entertain people”.
- James Beswick in ITNEXT. The author combines the roles of technical product manager, software developer, co-founder, so his articles cover many topics and fields of expertise including Agile, product management, technology, DevOps, cloud computing, startups etc.
- Prateek Singh in Hacker Noon. It may be difficult to find PM-oriented content in a great but a little “high-traffic” Hacker Noon community with “7,000+ contributing writers, 200,000+ daily visitors, and 8,000,000+ monthly pageviews.” However, product managers should pay attention on some particular writers there. For example, Prateek Singh writes about product management, software development, Agile, sprint management, and much more.
- ProductManagement — a big Reddit community of product managers with 9,400+ Subscribers, strict policy regarding all kind of spam, and quite active discussions.
- Scrum — another Reddit community with 5,400+ subscribers focused on everything about Scrum, iterative and incremental agile software development processes.
- Management — Reddit community focused on general management topics: lean thinking, Deming, innovation, customer focus, six sigma, continual improvement, agile software development and many related ones.
- Prodmgmt — not so big but still rather active Reddit community of product managers with 3,600+ members and daily updates.
Slack communities and chats
- The Digital Project Manager — a Slack community of 2,000+ digital project managers, web PM’s, producers and product managers with many channels for jobs, tools, events, general discussion, and fresh content. The community is gathered by the DPM Team.
- Mind the Product is another large Slack group owned by MindTheProduct. It includes thousands of product managers and a lot of appropriate channels for events, general discussion, feedback, fresh content, jobs etc.
- Product Manager HQ is the world’s largest Slack community owned by ProductManagerHQ with 6,300+ users including PMs from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Slack; 600+ companies represented; 40+ active channels. Lifetime membership costs $25.
- Startups — quite a friendly chat for everybody working on own projects and managing teams. It includes regional chatrooms, separate channels for “startup events”, “fundraising”, “resources”, “ideas”, “support”, “team building”, “networking”, and many others.
Twitter and Facebook communities
- For extensive discussions, join Twitter chat for project managers called “#PMChat” that is actively participating each week at about 5 PM GMT; 12:00 EST. It’s entertaining and educational at the same time and raises many relevant topics.
- Product Managers — the largest Product Managers community on Facebook. Join to discuss fresh content, best practices, exclusive events, and job offers.
Thank you for reading. We hope you’ve found something useful here. If so, we will appreciate if you share the publication with your friends and colleagues.
We would be grateful for any suggestions for the next digest. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our blog not miss it.
The previous release: Project Management Digest, January 2019.