Project Managers, Assemble!
TSR No. 13, The "chess is a sprint with distributive and remote glue" issue.
Welcome to Issue Number Thirteen of TSR. This is a special issue. Yes, it’s still Thursday, but today is a quadruple whammy of a day! First, the number 13 is my favorite number, second, today is International Project Management Day, thirdly, I just (accepted yesterday) became a contributor to the news-app News Break, and last but not least, it’s my birthday. BAM! 💥
Follow my News Break profile, I’ll be posting regular articles concerning project management and I’ll keep the newsletter here.
So, yep, it’s a pretty good week all around. Have a fantastic weekend, friends!
If you like this newsletter, be sure to share it with your teams/peers. And if you have a comment or questions, reply to this email, and we can chat.
Someone awesome may have sent this weely newsletter to you. If you also dig it,
Note: I was asked this last week why I run many of my links through Outline.com? I’m about simplicity. Outline strips the ads and fluff off the articles and leaves what you need to read. If you ever want to see the original article, click the publication’s name in the upper left corner.
Plan your sprint like it’s the Chess game of your life
First, I suck at chess. I know all of the basics, but beyond that, I don’t think far enough ahead to make myself a worthy opponent. Lena, my 11 year-old-daughter, kicks my butt when we play.
Second, I’m not too bad a planning out my project strategies- I may be biased, though.
For those of you into the game of strategy (the chess one, not the project one), this might be for you,
There are games where luck, or chance, plays an important role. Chess is not among them. And just like you can’t be a good chess player without a certain level of experience, it’s impossible to reach a successful sprint exit if you haven’t picked your user stories carefully. Do research, and it will provide you with a good start.
If you’re looking for a good analogy for your next training session, this is a good start.
The distributive future: now with communication
We’re living in the future, according to my computer science teacher from high school. I remember learning BASIC as an 11th-grader and my teacher trying to tell us something along the lines of “…what you’re doing now will change the future, you’ll never need to leave your house to do your job. Just plug your phone line into your computer, and you’re at the office.” I really hope he made or is making a good living, he knew what was coming.
Anyway, one of the largest hurdles of living our work lives via the distributive environment is communication. Or, rather, the lack thereof. As a manager, you’ll find that you’ll never (EVER) have everyone on the phone to pass the necessary info to them (or someone isn’t listening 😴 ). So, how do you get everyone on the same page?
You could stalk them via IM, Lync, Teams, Slack, etc. I guess. But if you have time to do that, you’re not a manager. Email? Nope, auto-delete and email overload is a real thing. Might I suggest the decision log* (also noted in last week’s TSR).
While not new, it’s an easy way to track what the team needs to know. A quick solution is to set up a SharePoint or something of the likes and ensure your team knows to check the latest info on the site every day when they log in. Ensuring everyone on the team is on the same page is hard, do your part to make it super easy.
*Note: you may need to login (PMI) to view the decision log article in its entirety.
The Project Manager’s Power is Glue
The “future of project management” is a subtopic all unto itself. I think I’ve written about four articles with a combination of “future” and “project management” in the same title. However, I came across, What is project management? (Redefined for 2021), which tries to pinpoint exactly what’s changing.
I have my own theory of why the PM is in such demand today and beyond; in much of today's business world, there is a major push for our workforce to be specialists and generalists. However, I’ve found more specialists in the world, so who’s going to bring together the resources needed for cross-functional teams. Enter from stage right: The Project Manager.
What’s your prediction?
Writing in a Remote Work World
The written word. It can truly make or break your project if not end your career (or, perhaps, propel it to the next level). Kavir Kaycee’s The Discourse discusses writing as a foundational business skill for those of us working remotely. Avoid miscommunication - brevity can be key.
People don’t have time. You have to convey your points in the least number of words. Good writing doesn’t mean it has to be flowery language.
Check out Kavir’s Writing – A Foundational Skill for Remote Work.
The Parting Shot
Dilbert, the quintessential mascot of project management,