BY KELLEY HUNSBERGER
Project management blogs have certainly come a long way since their humble beginnings. While there are still plenty of stream-of-consciousness diatribes about misbehaving sponsors or projects run amuck, many blogs are emerging as go-to venues for up-to-the-minute knowledge sharing. Here are the blogs that rise to the top in covering project management trends and processes.
There's no shortage of talk about agile in the blogosphere. One standout option is Rally Software's Agile Blog. Despite the occasional self-promotional moment, regular contributors like Rally founder Ryan Martens and agile fellow Jean Tabaka have a handle on topics from best practices to agile culture. Q&As with “agilistas” bring new voices to the blog, and posts such as “10 Steps to Successful Marketing Using Agile and Lean Practices” discuss topics you likely won't find elsewhere.
THE CRITICAL PATH
Opinionated without verging into tirade territory, Derek Huether, PMP, offers his take on project management topics and trends of the day, including the art of empathizing, certifications and kanban. He's also one of the few people who could explain project assumptions and constraints in the context of picking out where to eat lunch on a Sunday afternoon.
What's best about this blog is that Mr. Huether doesn't treat it as a one-way street. He actively responds to comments and engages in conversations with his readers. In some instances, Mr. Huether has even followed up comments and conversations with full posts of their own.
Posts on this blog by Dave Prior, PMP, can be somewhat sporadic. But those that do appear are, more often than not, worth a read—or worth watching, as the case may be. Many posts include video interviews with fellow project professionals and bloggers, including Project Shrink's Bas de Baar, a PMI New Media Council member.
The blog covers a variety of topics, including the ever-popular agile, which he manages to put his own spin on.
As the tagline says, the blog is “at the intersection of green and project management”—with some posts leaning toward the former and others toward the latter. Bloggers Rich Maltzman, PMP, and Dave Shirley, PMP, cover sustainability in a style that's down-to-earth (no pun intended), and their passion for the topic is easy to see.
The pair readily tackles current events, with one highlight being an in-depth look at the BP oil spill off the U.S. Gulf Coast. Posts on the event covered scope, integration, requirements, cost, communication, risk and procurement management.
A GIRL'S GUIDE TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT
PMI New Media Council member Elizabeth Harrin has received many accolades for her blog, which is chock-full of personality. Ms. Harrin has declared 2010 the year of project social media, and many of her posts revolve around the subject.
Along with intriguing posts—like the one on zombie project managers who follow the plan regardless of the changing environment—there are lots of book reviews, too.
This blog should be required reading for those starting out as project managers. Posts by Josh Nankivel, PMP, span everything from PMO best practices to career advice for “newbies.” He offers good advice about what to do and what not to do in the profession.
Mr. Nankivel has a cheeky sensibility and illustrates many posts with amusing graphics. He's also not afraid to rant every now and then. In fact, several posts have the word rant right there in the title.
THE TAO OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Semi-retired project manager John Carroll makes observations about life and project management and how it relates to the Taoist philosophy.
What qualities make up a wise project manager? Mr. Carroll muses upon that question, tying each post to an excerpt from Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching. You just might finish reading this blog feeling a little more enlightened.
VOICES ON PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Yes, we're biased—but with good reason. For more than two years, PMI's blog has gathered project management leaders from around the world to participate in a lively online discussion. Topics cover the gamut, including leadership, teams, careers, communication and stakeholder management.
Like any good blog should, posts encourage interactivity. “Unselfish Networking” by Jim De Piante, PMP, and “Why I Like Being a Project Manager” by Dmitri Ivanenko, PMP, for example, have sparked passionate debates and thoughtful commentary.
ZEN, PROJECT MANAGEMENT, AND LIFE
Many of the posts by Bob Tarne, PMP, center on personal stories and experiences, which makes his blog so relatable. At the same time, it offers solid project management advice on topics like cross-cultural teams and project challenges. Posts such as “Re-imagine your failures” and “Anatomy of a project delay” offer thought-provoking takes on how to become a better project manager.
PM NETWORK NOVEMBER 2010 WWW.PMI.ORG
NOVEMBER 2010 PM NETWORK
PMI research shows project teams that draw from an array of perspectives and skillsets deliver powerful outcomes.