RSS Archive

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Week Ending Nov-13

Wow, it’s been a busy week on the blog.  The amount of comments from last week’s posts kept me busy clear into this week.

Early in the week, I was asked about the RSS feeds that I read daily.  I listed them earlier in the year.  In just a few month, I started using Twitter a lot more and feeds less.  Read more… A retrostpecitve – daily read, then and now

Next, I wrote about how within different areas within organizations, people feel they are the true center of the universe.  Read more… about how I feel people should not forget the larger goal

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to see a webinar, from VersionOne and their Moving Agile into the Mainstream webinar series.  Read more… about AgileLive

I was then inspired to write about the need to Communicate effectively. See what I think are the best and worst ways to communicate.

On Thursday, I was interviewed for an upcoming podcast about project management and project leadership.  It inspired me to write a post titled Chasing the carrot Read more…

Like the image?  Find it at Pictofigo

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Daily Read Then & Now

Then

Back in January (2010), I published a list of my daily RSS feed reads

It’s interesting how a change in technology changes your behavior.  Just like I used to watch television live and now I use a  DVR to watch it later, I now get most of my early morning reading from live tweets.  Though I don’t have quite as long of a blog list to read, I feel like a get a more eclectic mix.  On nights and weekends, I go back and read more blogs than tweets.

Here was my list of RSS Feed Reads (in alphabetical order) that I used to read every morning:

  • Agile Development Blog
  • Alec Satin – People, Projects, and Process
  • CottagePM.com – Project Management for the rest of us
  • Deep Fried Brain – PMP Exam Prep
  • Geoff Crane – Solid Portfolio Management with a sharp wit
  • How to Manage a Camel – Project Management
  • Jason Calacanis – CEO of Mahalo.com and creator of This Week In StartUps
  • Jim Benson – Personal Kanban
  • Josh Nankivel – Founder of PM Student and creator of WBS Coach
  • Mike Cottmeyer – Agile Leadership and Project Management
  • Mixergy – Where the ambitious learn from experienced mentors

Now

Here are some people I follow on Twitter.  I scan for their tweets first thing, on a daily basis (listed in alphabetical order).  I follow a lot of people but this group is verbal and what they say or retweet usually helps me get my mind ready for the day.  I still read from a list of RSS feeds but they don’t post every day.  Something to note, Twitter followers really open doors to new ideas.  If they find something interesting, they retweet it.  Because I follow them, I am more apt to find the topic interesting.  It makes the blogroll on websites something more for SEO than something to help me find new content to read.

People I Follow on Twitter (Early morning live reads)

RSS Feeds (Nights and Weekends)

Like the images?  Find them at Pictofigo

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The Impact Of Social Networking On Project Management

A few years back, while studying for the PMP exam, I committed the formula for calculating communications paths to memory.

[N(N-1)]/2

So, what’s the big deal? Why is it so important? If you’re in the Project Management (or leadership) field, you know all too well how important communications is. I used to call myself a project manager. I now prefer to use the term project leader. What’s the difference? According to Warren Bennis and Dan Goldsmith (1997) there are 12 distinctions between managers and leaders.

  • Managers administer; leaders innovate.
  • Managers ask how and when; leaders ask what and why.
  • Managers focus on systems; leaders focus on people.
  • Managers do things right; leaders do the right things.
  • Managers maintain; leaders develop.
  • Managers rely on control; leaders inspire trust.
  • Managers have short-term perspective; leaders have long-term perspective.
  • Managers accept the status-quo; leaders challenge the status-quo.[*]
  • Managers have an eye on the bottom line; leaders have an eye on the horizon.
  • Managers imitate; leaders originate.
  • Managers emulate the classic good soldier; leaders are their own person.
  • Managers copy; leaders show originality.

In order to both innovate and do the right things, I listen and listen a LOT. (Some people listen; some wait to talk) I’ve watched executives and managers, who knew absolutely nothing about a subject, make uneducated decisions because they were too stubborn or proud to consult a subject matter expert (SME). Good leaders do not operate in a vacuum. They exchange ideas and information with people. Offer free information and it will come back to you tenfold. Listen to knowledgeable people and then make a more educated leadership decision.

Social Media CampaignWhere does social media fit into the grand scheme of things? Old-school managers and executives who believe in the bureaucratic organization and status quo, tend to lean toward command-and-control or top-down management. That group is operating under the assumption people higher in the organizational chart know more. New-school leaders believe in social media. Why? It strips away all of the nonsense and connects people to people. They have real conversations as human beings. They educate and they listen with a freedom to connect at an exponential rate. They are not confined to the notion of an hierarchical organization.

My example is my current engagement, which I have been at for 13 months: Within my direct cross-functional organization chart, I have 28 contacts to interface with. There are no plans to increase the size of this group. [28(28-1)]/2 is 378 communication paths. Not too bad.

TwitterTurn now to option number two, social media like Twitter and Facebook. For arguments sake, I’ll say I have 200 followers on Twitter with a growth rate of 10% a month. (I’m actually have 450+ and counting)  Each Twitter Follower is a communications path.

[200(200-1)]/2 = 19,900 communication paths

After one month it would be projected to increase to 21,945 communication paths

Every Friday, people I follow on Twitter recommend others in the industry who I should consider following (#followfriday). Every week, I learn more about my craft and more importantly I get to form relationships with people all over the world. By bypassing the organizational structure to get my information, inbound communications is at a much higher velocity and is now flowing up through the organization.

Social Media helps you be a project leader.


12 distinctions between managers and leaders by Bennis, Warren and Dan Goldsmith. Learning to Lead. Massachusetts: Persus Book, 1997.
Thank you Laurel Papworth for the use of the Social Media Campaign image

* I recommend reading Fighting Status Quo by Pawel Brodzinski

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Daily RSS Feed Reads Over a Cup of Coffee

As one of the items on my personal “resolutions” kanban for 2010, I shortened my list of RSS feeds I’ve subscribed to.  I will now only keep the RSS feeds in Google Reader that I can actually zero out by Friday close of business. Too many times, we grow these unmanageable lists of feeds, only to see them grow and grow.  As a project manager, you don’t accept more and more work, until tasks are completely unmanageable.  Why should reading be any different?  In order to handle tasks, both management and reading, I allocate time for planned “work” and unplanned “work”.

The more people I follow on Twitter, the more recommended blog posts I read (unplanned) on a daily basis.  I now find myself reading more of these posts than my (planned) RSS reading. My colleague Sridhar of Hyderabad, India, asked if I would provide a list of RSS feeds I subscribe to.  The topics I am interested in include:  Project Management (who would have thought), Agile, Kanban, and Entrepreneurial topics.  I’ll admit this is not a complete list.  I also like to see pictures of epic kludges and jury rigs and pictures of the people of Walmart.

Here is my list of RSS Feed Reads (in alphabetical order) that I enjoy over a cup of coffee:

  1. Agile Development Blog
  2. Alec Satin – People, Projects, and Process
  3. CottagePM.com – Project Management for the rest of us
  4. Deep Fried Brain – PMP Exam Prep
  5. Geoff Crane – Solid Portfolio Management with a sharp wit
  6. How to Manage a Camel – Project Management
  7. Jason Calacanis – CEO of Mahalo.com and creator of This Week In StartUps
  8. Jim Benson – Personal Kanban
  9. Josh Nankivel – Founder of PM Student and creator of WBS Coach
  10. Mike Cottmeyer – Agile Leadership and Project Management
  11. Mixergy – Where the ambitious learn from experienced mentors