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TSR No. 9: The "remote work for everyone, death by watermelon, and sites you can learn something from” issue.

TSR No. 9: The "remote work for everyone, death by watermelon, and sites you can learn something from” issue.

Hey there, I sincerely hope this week's update finds you well, and here's to a fantastic weekend. 🍻 If you have anything you'd like me to share in next week's issue, email me at [email protected] and let's see if we can make that happen.

  • Welcome to the ninth issue of The Stakeholder Report. When I first started this newsletter as part of Project Management Five, my only goal was to develop a product that exuded value from the onset. I hope this adventure, thus far, has been of value to you each week. If not, please, let me know to ensure the value I set off to create is being maintained. ~ryan

  • The Stakeholder Report now has it's own short URL: tsr.pm. I'm using it via social media channels for brand consistency.

  • If you didn't see it, Project Management Five, TSR's home, is now on Google News (so official 'eh?). You can follow it here. If you're not already subscribed, you can remedy that, Subscribe.

Lastly, if you're interested in advertising in this newsletter? eMail me.

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To my U.S. readers, be sure to vote this November. Check your registration validity at Vote.org or head to Flywillvote.com.

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Remote work: Full Steam Ahead!

While many in the world wish the topic of #WFH or Remote Work would go away, the fact is, as long as we're dealing with the unpredictable path and a resurgence of COVID, we're going to continue down our current path. For someone like me, that's great. I personally like working from home. And while my employer might not see it, I give them a lot more work sitting in front of my bay-window with pajama pants and slippers (watching the squirrels continue to dismantle my neighbor's walnut tree) than I do from my windowless office wearing my slacks and button-down shirts.

I wish I could say it was the same across the board; however, it's not. Some don't enjoy the freedom offered by such arrangements. I discussed two weeks ago (read: Wanted: Boundaries) how some need boundaries to feel productive. I used to be like that, that's why I went back into the military. What makes the prospects worse for those of us who are enjoying the scenery offered by our home office is the loss of productivity by some. Before you point fingers at your [former] office mates or subordinates, Forbes has found that the issue may not be them, but you, the managerial types.

"Working from home is exposing a lack of leadership systems. The problem is not that employees are working from home. The problem is that the goals, the projects to achieve those goals and the systems of ongoing accountability have not been developed by the leaders."

Oh, snap! One still needs to give the brick and mortar leadership of old a little slack as true as it may be. Most have not the experience nor the training to operate in this realm. That noted, change is inevitable, and it needs to happen now.

Danielle Royston, a name I've heard before, is what you call a "turnaround" CEO. That is, she's brought in to bring a company back from the brink of failure. Her take on the remote office: full steam ahead.

There are a few steps that need to happen, and I implore you to read the two linked articles above; however, here's the two most important to get the team on track: leadership needs to practice what they preach, and the new way forward needs to be embedded into the company's (or at the very least the division) fabric of daily being. Without the support and actions of those in the c-suite, it'll never work.

See you on Zoom! (I'm the one with the bunny slippers.)

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The watermelon that'll kill your career 🍉

What came first, the failed project, or the failed project manager? Only one of these is acceptable (for the most part); the failed project. It happens, even PMI acknowledges it. While a failed project manager is indeed a bad thing, the issue in truth is, they may not even know they're failing at their job.

Introducing the Poisonous Watermelon. I highly suggest you read the linked article (it's short); here's the shorter version. Given two PMs who are reporting their projects in a dashboard with green (great), yellow (minor issues), and red (big issues), Tracy and Dave have reported their progress weekly. Tracy's projects are always green; however, she is more oft than not late or has to extend her projects. Dave's projects span all three status colors, with a few of his projects being late. When it comes to a promotion after a year of this, Dave is the one who receives it. Tracy is confused. Why is this?

When Tracy asks her supervisor why she didn't get the promotion, after all, her status is usually green, the answer is watermelons. While Tracy does note that her projects are green, they're still late, and she scrambles to get them back to green if they're yellow. This suggests they're not, in fact, green, but perhaps red. Thus the watermelon reference, it looks green on the outside, but it's truly red on the inside.

Dave got the job because he's been truthful with the status of his projects. This shows his willingness to ask for help, which, in my personal opinion, goes a long way. Again, please read the story yourself as I surely don't give it justice. All the same, the point is to be upfront with your status reports; if not, you run the risk of potentially hurting your reputation as a good PM.

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The good PM will read and heed (but my advice, don't take bad advice)

While I'd never want to sell my own ability short, I can't get you all the information all the time. That's why lists like the Top 50 PM Blogsexist; to keep you informed on everything you need to know... and then some. And though I admit I'm not on the there (yet), it's still a good list. That being said, I've looked at all 54 listed sites (actually, two of them didn't work), and more than half of them are fantastic, and about half of those provide a good helping of original content and some great pontification. Read on.

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Bonus Reading

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Parting Shot

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