Daily Read Then & Now



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


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

Categories: Misc Tags: Tags: , ,

IT Blog Awards 2010: Project Management


The Critical Path has been nominated for the  Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards 2010 in the area of Project Management.

I am honored to be considered, since I actually enjoy writing this blog.

My audience continues to grow and I had visitors from 112 countries/territories in the last month.  Who knows, maybe it’s the recent posts about zombies?

If I’ve helped one project manager in the last 2 years, this blog was worth it.

If you think I should get the award, please vote for me!

Categories: Project Management Tags: Tags: ,

Brain eating Zombie PMs


There are 3 things that spark my attention faster than anything.

1. Coffee
2. Zombies
3. {…}

Damn ADD robbed me of my thought!

But I digress.

This morning, I read a blog post by Elizabeth Harrin titled Zombie Project Management. It reminded me of a series I read by Geoff Crane titled 9 Destructive Project Management Behaviors, which you can get for free by following the link. I really enjoyed her post and I hope you go over to her website and check it out.

Elizabeth wrote

So, what is Zombie PM? Does this sound like someone you know?

  • They do exactly what they are told without challenging anything
  • They don’t come up with original ideas
  • They don’t suggest ways to improve the project management processes
  • They don’t follow up on actions – they simply assume they will get done
  • They update and issue the plan in a format that most of the team can’t read or understand
  • They work on projects that deliver no business value
  • They go through the motions of being a project manager but without any critical thinking applied

To answer Elizabeth’s question, yes, I see these zombies every day.
These zombies contribute to what is defined as the Iron Law of Bureaucracy. It states, in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. One example in project management, would be PMs who work hard and look for ways to deliver value to the customer, versus PMs who work to protect any defined process (including those with no value). The Iron Law states that in ALL cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

These zombies don’t eat brains, they eat time and resources in the name of project management! So, sooner or later, zombies will take over your project. Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Categories: Project Management Tags: Tags: , , ,

Tool Of The Week: Tweet Effect


Because I feel it is important to help others, I figured I’d start doing something new.  It’s not a new idea in the grand scheme of the Internet, but it is something new for me.  I’m going to attempt to promote tools, people, or businesses on a weekly basis.  I’m not being compensated accept for maybe some good karma.  I am exposed to some brilliant people and products on a daily basis.  I have to believe someone will benefit from this series.

This week will be about a product I went searching for.  I noticed I had a drop in Twitter followers and  I needed to know why.  Was it something I said?  Well, the short answer is YES.

Tool of the Week 1 TweetEffect

Tweet Effect

I found a product that simply states “Find out which of your Twitter updates made people follow or leave you. “ It didn’t require that I provide my Twitter credentials, only my Twitter ID.  It then gave a well formatted timeline of my tweets, the number of my followers, and the changes that correspond with my tweets.

I think this tool is excellent.  It provides the feedback necessary for me to change my Twitter behavior.  I discovered two possible behaviors people following me (or used to follow me) don’t like.

[1] My former followers didn’t like it when I retweeted my own post.  I’ll admit, I was trying Tweetmeme as a new feature and that one backfired on me.  The result was 3 unfollows. In the future, if you want to retweet my posts, I welcome it.  But, I won’t be doing it myself.

[2] My former followers either didn’t like the appearance that I alienated someone or the fact that I had four hash tags in my tweet.   The back-story is The Triple Constraint blog had a post titled Top Project Management Twitterers.  I was included on the list and was very flattered to have been mentioned.  It was retweeted and I posted a thank you.  Unfortunately, there are a LOT of people that could have been on that list that were not.  When one of the people I follow expressed that the roll call of PM Twitterers felt like being back at school waiting to be picked in P.E., I felt like a complete heel.  I posted a semi apology and asked if anyone knew of a directory of PMs.  The result was 4 unfollows.

So, I’m here to recommend Tweet Effect [www.tweeteffect.com]to all those Twitterers who are curious about what they tweet about and how it might impact those who follow them.  The feature is free of charge.

Let me know if you found this post helpful.



Categories: Misc Tags: Tags: , , , ,

How To Know When A Meeting Has Ended

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I just read are very intriguing post by Ken Clyne on the Agile Blog, located at RallyDev.com. The post was about how problems can arise when people don’t realize a meeting is over.  Ken offered one way to avoid the never-ending meeting is by having a clear signal that the meeting has ended.

I could not agree more. Don’t you just hate it when a meeting has ended, not everyone knows, and people just start to filter out of the area?  I’ve found myself looking at the meeting host and actually ask if we were done.  That is not a way to conduct a meeting.

Though I believe this applies to all meetings, the daily stand-up (daily scrum) really needs to have a clear beginning and end.  Though some may not agree with me, I like to use a visual aid like a big alarm clock.  Everyone sees the clock ticking away and know a very loud alarm is going to go off at an agreed upon time.  You see people get anxious if others are rambling on and the time is ticking away.  Think back to your youth.  Remember how you knew you were late for class because you heard that starting bell?  Remember how you knew you were dismissed from class because you heard that same bell? Let those years of conditioning motivate the team.  Though I like the visual queue, you should still say something to the team to close the meeting.

Unlike your school days and hearing your assignment is due Monday, I know I’ve closed meetings with So let it be written, so let it be done, Make it so and May the force be with you.

Link to the original post

Image: Pictofigo