Project Management Digest, January 2019
Having a hard time managing teams, projects, or the whole company lately? You’re not alone. We are beginning this series of articles to spread the best practices and experience gathered from many software development teams.
This is a pilot release of our monthly digest focused primarily on materials and resources for project management needs. However, we also believe that it will be useful for a wider range of people. Regardless of whether you are a project or product manager, a team lead, a scrum master, a product owner, or somebody else working in the IT field, this digest will always have something suitable for you.
Topical articles in accordance with your goals
Most popular content
Look thought the most popular articles on project management just to keep up with the latest news in your field of activity.
- In the post Epics are dead. Here’s what we should do instead (6 min read) the author makes us think again about epics and describes how he is destroying epics in his Agile practice.
- Find out 15 things you should know about product managers (12 min read) to be sure you are ready to interact with them properly.
- In the post Data science project flow for startups (20 min read) the author presents and structures the flow of data science projects (mostly for small teams/startups), describes scope & KPIs validation process, shares his experience in running, leading or managing data science projects.
- Some tips on managing millennials on project team are provided in the post Millennials: your best resources for project management in the world of NGOs (3 min read).
Most discussed articles
Looking for communication with colleagues instead of dry facts? Join the most intense discussions on topics of interest to you.
- 3 levels of project quality (Infographic) — the infographic, inspired by a book on project management called “Project-Driven Creation” by Jo Bos, Ernst Harting, and Marlet Hesslelink, sets out the three levels of project quality that you can reach for your deliverables.
- In the post Good project managers wear many hats the author describes several roles of project managers. Can you add any?
- Monty Hall for projects: to switch or not to switch?. And how would you deal with the Monty Hall Problem in the project management environment? Join the discussion to share your ideas.
- Read about project budgeting and contracts in the post Project budgeting: an anti-pattern. An author, a scrum master and agile coach, describes anti-patterns which he meets in many companies over and over again.
Most controversial content
The following group of articles seems to be the most controversial topics on project management and related issues for now. Share your experience and thoughts on them.
- The post It’s time for a long, hard look at processes describes the evolution of process as a concept and raises a question: “What should the next edition of the PMBOK Guide look like?”
- Read about 9 rules of effective development team meetings and suggest your own opinion and convictions.
- Some thoughts on Stand-Up meetings and how we could change them: Time to change how we do Stand-Ups.
Feeling tired after a long day of work? Leave the news and controversial articles for tomorrow. Just view the following entertainment materials for fun and relaxation.
- Friday humor, no so funny when it really happens: Friday
- The post “Your app will be finished on Tuesday.” — which Tuesday?!(7 min read) describes 10 reasons why software development projects fail in a humorous manner and with fun life examples.
- A short comix about well-known situation: As soon as possible (ASAP) and some more similar stories.
Choose the most interesting articles by topics
Agile, Scrum, and the best PM practices
- The post Design thinking, lean startup and Agile: what is the difference?(3 min read) explains what the terms “Design Thinking”, “Lean Startup” and “Agile” relate to, and how they can be integrated with each other.
- Read about Agile development training tips to follow in 2019 to improve your business processes, management, and teamwork.
- Find out how to hire right people for your Scrum team in the post 4 things to check out before hiring for your Scrum team. What kind of person do you want?
Time management, KPIs, and productivity
- Know whether you’re using story points properly with the post Debunking 4 misconceptions about story points.
- Several tips and links to tell you How to double your team’s productivity from Adrian Shepherd, the creator of “The One-Bite Time Management System” (TMS).
- There are challenges most companies come across while implementing project management KPIs. In the post 5 challenges in implementing project management KPIs the author explains what these challenges are and how to overcome them.
- Do you know the 3 drivers of project Success? Read the post for details or join the discussion to add something.
Teamwork and collaboration
- A short article about Training for flexibility and teamwork written by Helen Green, a collaborator, a deadline demon and a diplomat.
- “Can’t we just…?” — about teamwork, collaboration, and using the terminology by your teammates.
Managing teams and companies
- Still working at office? Make sure you understand all the reasons and advantages of remote work (and know how to manage remote teams) described in the post Top 5 benefits of remote working.
- For company owners and team leads, it will be useful to know What the next 20 years will mean for jobs — and how to prepare — make sure you’re looking for the right future workforce.
- In the post 6 tips for cutting IT costs the author provides some ways to reduce IT costs for business. “Every business is now a digital business. This doesn’t mean that IT costs must keep rising, however”, he says.
The best resources for project managers
A huge number of novice project managers often ask about good resources and appropriate communities for obtaining experience and sharing knowledge with colleagues. We have compiled such a selection that will be equally interesting to both professionals and novice specialists, and whoever just interested in this area.
- Projectmanagement.com — maybe one of the most large-scale resources with discussions, blogs, huge knowledge base, events, templates, webinars, tools, and all the rest for project managers.
- Manager Tools — this website offers free weekly podcasts, contains a forum, and some informational content (events, tools, reviews, links) for project managers.
- Agile Alliance — a nonprofit community focused on exploring and applying Agile values, principles, and practices of software development. The website contains a great number of resources (reports, articles, educational materials), upcoming events, news, and a list of community groups around the world.
Currently active PM podcasts
- PM Podcast — hosted by Cornelius Fichtner, the podcast already includes 427 (mostly free) episodes for project managers, both beginners and experts. Episodes are usually released weekly (sometimes even more often) and last up to 30 minutes.
- 5 Minutes Project Management Podcast — 455 episodes (organized into 15 playlists by topics) published by Ricardo Vargas and focused on project, portfolio, and risk management (each 5 to 10 minutes long). Episodes are released at intervals of 1 to 4 weeks.
- PM for the Masses Podcast — hosted by Cesar Abeid, the podcast already includes about 118 episodes about general project management concepts, based mostly on interviews with project management and productivity gurus, personal stories of success or failures, and own author’s tips and experience. Episodes last 20–60 minute and are released about once a week.
- Joel on Software — the blog includes about 1114 articles about software development, management, and business written by Joel Spolsky, CEO and co-founder of Stack Overflow.
- Mountain Goat Software — a lot of posts since 2005 about estimating, main Agile and Scrum concepts, planning, leadership, etc., prepared for product owners, managers, and scrum masters. In addition to blog posts, the website includes presentations, videos, and much more.
- The Accidental Product Manager hosted by Dr. Jim Anderson, the blog tells how to develop, launch, and manage products. The author analyzes and interprets examples of project management success and failures from companies around the world, shares own 25+ years experience and practices of applying project management skills to products at different stages of development.
- PrMaB — the channel publishes a great number of actual project management materials (books, articles, reports, events, etc.), mostly in PDF format, as a rule, several posts daily.
- Projectmanagement — the biggest Reddit community dedicated to project management with a focus on the software development area with 17,000+ subscribers and no commercial promotion allowed. The community includes all about PM: discussion, success and failures stories, educational materials, news, etc.
- Productivity — a more general community, however, with a lot of useful content for managers: planning and time tracking, communication, co-working, team building, meetings, deadlines, and so on. Open to sharing your views and experience.
- Agile — one more community for project managers, scrum masters, and most software development teams in general following Agile principles. A great number of subscribers makes it a good place to ask questions and share your experience in Agile, Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, Kanban, etc.
Dev. to communities
At Dev. to posts are written by many different authors around the world that makes them quite diverse and frequent.
- For example, the Productivity content includes posts about holding effective meetings, ways of improving team productivity, open source time tracking software, and much more things not only for project managers, but also for the whole software development team.
- Posts about Agile, Startups, Leadership, and Management will be interesting for project and product managers, team leads, product owners, and entrepreneurs.
- The Softskills, Teamwork and Team topics will be useful for a wider audience, including articles about time estimation, communication with the team, managers and customers, problems with deadlines, etc.
- Take a look at the Startup publication designed for product owners, managers, team leads, and all other software development enthusiasts. A wide range of topics includes collaboration, time management, communication with customers, software development, and much more.
- ProductCoalition — the world’s largest free product management community with 2,000+ articles, 300+ writers, and 2,700+ members in their Slack community.
- Entrepreneurs Handbook — another popular Medium publication about startups, entrepreneurship processes, tech innovations, and management with frequent updates and many authors.
Have something to share?
Are there any particular challenges you’ve faced on your own? Or opinions you’d like to address to the community? Feel free to share your own blog posts with us and we’ll add the most valuable articles in the next digest. Or you can do it directly in the comments below.
Let’s make this digest better
What other content and resources you’d like to see here? Please share your favorite communities and thoughts in the comments or write to us directly. We’d like to make this digest better with your help. Do not be limited to typical project management topics and feel free to suggest any new ones.
Who we are and why we’re writing to you
We’re a software development team with own, mostly successful, experience in project and remote team management. However, this is only a drop in the ocean compared with the experience of thousands of teams and companies around the world. Therefore, we prefer to collect and summarize existing examples and mistakes instead of imposing our own views on you. We definitely won’t tell you about our projects, and much less promote something in the digest. However, you can share your own projects with us and own readers as examples of your success stories, instructive or fun experiences, and innovative ideas.
We hope you’ve found something interesting here. If so, we will appreciate if you subscribe and share the post with your colleagues. Wait for more resources and articles in the next digest in a month.