Here’s a round-up of the latest happenings in the project management arena.
The Turing Lecture
I attended the 2010 Turing Lecture last month. Professor Chris Bishop, Chief Research Scientist at Microsoft’s research lab in Cambridge, discussed the field of machine learning. He talked about how uncertainty can be modeled and quantified using probabilities and how these techniques had been applied to a medical research project to predict outcomes for children with allergies. It was really interesting, although not very project management-y. Still, it is good to see what is happening in other fields and I think PM’s do sometimes restrict ourselves to learning and networking only within our own professional circles.
I took loads of notes, but when I read them back I’m sorry to say that they didn’t make much sense. Apart from “microphones in arm rests!!!!” The IET building at Savoy Place was incredible: the lecture theatre was beautiful, imbibed with a sense of history and yes, each chair had a mike hidden in the arm rest for the Q&A session at the end. I took a sneaky detour on the way to the ladies to peer into the library and it was so amazing I nearly joined The Institution of Engineering and Technology on the spot.
My notes didn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s no reflection of Prof. Bishop, as he made it easy to understand the complex issues. You can watch the lecture online and if you are at all interested in how computers can be used to calculate risk and probability then I’d recommend it.
New PRINCE2 eBook for Executives
If you can’t get your project sponsor to read the whole of the Directing Successful Projects manual, maybe you’ll have more success with this new eBook. The Executive Guide to Directing Projects: Within a PRINCE2™ and MSP™ Environment is “an accessible summary of the full guidance in a portable format suitable for quick reference” written with the busy project board member in mind.
It’s no good for new project board members who need to learn the whole thing from scratch. However, if your board members have already worked in a PRINCE2 environment and they just need to know about the additional considerations of working within a programme and/or portfolio managed governance structure, then this could be useful.
The book is available to buy online (eBook and paper format), and it’s nearly half the price of the full Directing Successful Projects manual.
New PRINCE2 Translations
If you just can’t get enough of those PRINCE2 manuals, you can now get the 2009 editions in Polish, Chinese, Dutch and Danish. The exams are also available in those languages too.
It was International Women’s Day this month, and I was very grateful to be included in a list of the 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter. I wrote an article about top women to follow on Twitter this time last year, and I’m well aware of how subjective such lists are, but I was still very pleased to be considered in the same list as Heather Armstrong.
I am planning on redesigning this blog soon, so if you have any comments on things you would like to see more or less of, or features you would like added, then please let me know. And you will get the results of the social media survey – apologies for the delay in putting them together.