Best of PPM: August 2020

Every month, a selection of the top PPM articles from around the Web.

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Don’t kill bureaucracy, use it. Bureaucracies are the scaffolding needed to implement new ideas at scale. Just remember to dismantle them when the work is done. (4 min read)


The greatest threat to successful large-scale projects is the lack of effective, active stakeholder engagement. Primary stakeholders play a crucial role by ensuring that their projects represent viable investments from the onset, and maintaining adequate involvement and oversight during planning and execution. (9 min read)

To truly leverage a crisis to their advantage, organizations must change their basic processes of resource allocation. Setting the strategic frame for resource reallocation decisions, and reforming the budgeting process are two key measures to enhance agility and flexibility in times of crisis. (6 min read)

Consensus kills innovation. It’s often just easier to fall in line than to engage in vigorous debate. But big ideas are unlikely, fraught with risk and often counterintuitive. Bringing opposing voices to the fore is essential to test assumptions, consider other alternatives, and, ultimately, come up with better ideas. (5 min read)

Explaining Agile To Your Boss? Here’s How. Metaphors can help to illuminate Agile’s key principles. Here are several possibilities. (7 min read)

The Covid-19 crisis has revealed advanced analytics' Achilles' heel: reliance on the principle that patterns and behaviors from the past will likely repeat in the future. However, pre-Covid models have tremendous capacity to give executives important insights provided they are adequately stabilized and recalibrated.
(14 min read)

There are situations where friction can help the product (or the business) perform better. “Good friction” is usually something that is planned to achieve a certain goal that is more important than good user experience. (7 min read)

"Innovation is a harsh mistress." Robert Heinlein's description of life on the moon can in many ways apply to the life of innovation teams. Pressurized suits are not required to do innovation work, but in many ways innovation faces the same amount of risk and uncertainty that life on the moon creates. (5 min read)

There is no magic in "Agile". If you do not address the real problems, "waving the Agile wand" will not magically turn poor Time-To-Market into fast delivery, or tons of defects into high quality. (4 min read)

Can you tell you product's story like J.K. Rowling? Telling your product story in detail helps ensure that your audience understands what you actually wanted them to understand, and everyone involved in its development know much better what they should and shouldn’t be doing. (7 min read)




“It's so much easier to suggest solutions when you don't know too much about the problem. ”

— Malcolm S. Forbes

"Risk Management is How Adults Manage Projects"
— Tim Lister

Courtesy of Herding Cats