For some unknown reason I feel compelled to write an end of year round up. The top 10 lists, the favorites for the year, that email Christmas letter, are all some cliche. But over the course of the year, I've come to understand more about the management of programs and the program controls activities. This understanding is from reading, listening, and practicing what I read and herd.
So here's some background on that increased understanding.
My Favorite Blogs (of the 300 or so I have Goggle Reader pointed to)
- Eight to Late - a fellow physics person who works in the project side of things. Some of the best though out technical analysis of project behavior there is.
- Musing on Project Management (John Goodpasture) - John and I share many things, including a relationship through Management Concepts where his books are in the lobby.
- Shift Happens (Michael Clayton) - Mike book is a wonderful starting point for managing risk.
- Crossberry Blog (Paul Ritchie) - I've been following Paul since he was at SAP. Great PMO and general PM advice.
- The Earned Value Management Blog (Darryl Schwago) - a REAL earned value blog. Wish mine was a good.
- Learning Leader (Patrick Mayfield) - Pat is a former artillery officer in the Canadian Forces, and we share similar views of the world about PM.
- PMStudent (Josh Nankivel) - Josh's WBS book is the starting point for any credible WBS. Buy it, use it, read how to build it right.
- Agile Management (Jurgen Appelo) - Jurgen is nothing if not thought provoking. Good stuff, and lots of off the wall stuff, but out there making the point that management needs to change.
- I Love Charts - lots of good PM charts useable in training and briefings. Always needed to get away from the boring crap we usually produce.
- Gapping Void (Hugh MacLoed) - the best thought provoking drawings in the world. I've used several (with written permission and attribution) in heavy duty briefings for flag officers. He now has business cards
My years favorite Books
- Measuring Time, Mario Vanhoucke - improving project performance using earned value.
- The Monty Hall Problem - how we totally misunderstand the notion of Bayesian statistics.
- Gödel's Theorem - a guide to the misuse of Gödel's theorem. Mandatory reading for any thinking they know anything about Gödel's Theorem.
With the end of 2011 several events have taken place:
- The Second Version of the PMI Earned Value Management Practice Guide includes Earned Schedule. Even a year ago this would unheard of.
- Programmatic Risk and Opportunity Management are now on the table at the National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) as a candidate for an Intent Guide.
- The discussion of Agile on Federal Contracts started with a Webinar at Management Concepts.
- The notion of Immutable Principles of Project Management has taken hold in several domains, contexts, and firms.
So for just a final reminder, the principles, books, blogs, web sites are applicable to any project, in any domain, and any context in that doman.
Answering these questions depends on the method and process of the project. For a full-up EVMS Ansi 748B project the answers will be different than for a Scrum based agile software development project, and different again for a community food share project at our Parish.
But the answers need to be credible, measurable, and thorough.