🇨🇭Switzerland, here we come! No. 7

[email protected], an APM Survey, Excel de Gantt, and do you need Boundaries?

Welcome to TSR #7! Before we dive into it, I’d like to give a shout-out to Tricia & Stephanie’s Emotional Intelligence for Leaders in Business Facebook Group. It’s a great group I came upon this week. Here’s the short of it,

Emotional Intelligence is a behaviour-based skill set that can be developed with training. Join us as we share tips, exercises and discussions around EQ and how we can raise it within our team.

Join me, won’t you? (Not an advert, I just liked it.)

At the bottom are some feedback buttons… I’d like to get your opinion via a click!

Did some remarkable person share this with you? Go ahead, subscribe for yourself!

Reminder! [email protected]

Just a quick reminder that PMI is holding their TED event, tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday. You can still register for this free event. Go!

Survey says…❓

Our PM peers on the other side of the pond, the Association for Project Management (APM), the European equivalent to the US’ Project Management Institute (PMI), surveyed 1,003 practicing project managers. The question at hand, what will our craft look like in the post-pandemic world?

I know there are many people out there who have the mindset that this “thing” isn’t that big of a deal (yes, people are still naysaying that COVID is a real threat). However, in a sector where personal contact was an everyday occurrence and seemingly necessary, I have to say, I think positive changes may be afoot.

How did our APM associates answer? Well, 💶 & 🤖.

The survey points to a larger pool of technology funds and the use of artificial intelligence to improve automation. I fully admit I’m now a true believer in the use of AI in our profession. Remember, however, this is only a survey- more of a wishlist than reality. All the same, here’s how the wishlist panned out:

  • 36% anticipate technology budgets will increase within their business or team in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic,

  • 30% expect their company or team will make greater use of artificial intelligence and automation,

  • 26% anticipate their group or organization will grow relationships with existing software suppliers,

  • 21% hope they’ll develop relationships with existing hardware suppliers,

  • 20% expect they will seek new suppliers for software solutions, and

  • 13% anticipate they will seek new suppliers for hardware solutions.

Changing my official title to “Swiss Project Manager”🇨🇭

In January, PMI released their annual salary survey results. While that’s not really exciting- unless you like to compare yourself to others and then weep when you realize you’re on the lower end of the scale- the interactive map is. Posted on LinkedIn by Junaid Sagheer, the point-n-click map covers the world, giving details on what people are getting paid, on average, in a given area. And, of course, it’s in the traditional PMI purple/orange color scheme. Follow the link above and hover for your amusement. While being in the US is nice, Switzerland is suddenly looking a little better.

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Contact me if you’re interested.

The new-Old Man on the Gantt Chart block 👴

When you think of project management software there’s little doubt in my mind that you’re going to think of the standard MS Project, Trello, or even Asana’s suite. One you didn’t tick off in the brain bucket was Excel. Yes, that Excel. You can actually create all of the nifty looking Gantt Charts and associated wants inside everyone’s favorite (or least favorite, depending on your taste) spreadsheet software.

While I’ve read people mentioning the use of Excel to create a project tracker, I’ve honestly never thought of it being more than a spreadsheet maker; until now. Enter Gantt Chart Excel. As you'll notice from the screenshot below- this is no longer your father’s Excel.

The thought behind this project is pretty good in my opinion, take what 99% of the business population already has and add value to it. The team does this via templates and those come in two flavors: free and pro.

Via the templates, you get an updated Ribbon Bar, add dependencies, and do the deed of cost tracking. One of the things I like is the fact you get a dashboard that looks a lot like the MS Project version.

I’ll admit I haven’t played with the template myself (yet), but even the free offering doesn’t look too bad to get one's feet wet. Once you get the hang of it, you go Pro!

Take a look and let me know what you think.

Wanted: Boundaries? 🤔

I’m sure you’re like most; you consider yourself a good employee with decent ideas, yet, you can’t figure out why you also feel like you’re sometimes floundering. The truth is, it may, in fact, not, be you. Gallup published an excellent article discussing the bounds of leadership and the needs of the creative professional.

One of the key sub-headings I began pondering on- even before I read the subsequent text- was, “To Succeed, Highly Talented People Require Effective Processes, Policies, and Priorities.” Think about that for a moment. When you hear about people being described as go-getters or highly motivated, I’m betting you didn’t think about their need for structure?

While I admit the continued text discusses the combined effect such policies have on both the customer and the employee, I’m more concerned with the employee here. It’s the responsibility of the business leadership to cultivate their workforce to be their best and within the confines of industry rules. It may sound weird, but I’ve been in a situation or two where there were “no business rules,” per se, and it sucked. Said rules were being written as I went.

Being given carré blanc for your performance, when working for someone else, brings about two (if not more) issues,

  1. You’re always second-guessing your actions and output to the end-goal of pleasing your boss. Does the boss think I’m busy enough? And,

  2. By which standard are you to compare yourself too? It’s very elusive if not maddening.

I’ve never found it rewarding to work without construct. That’s why I was in the military twice. After leaving the Army, I felt lost without continual boundaries and joined the Coast Guard. As I’ve matured, that’s changed.

How about you… are you the “structured type,” or would you rather “work without bounds?”

Parting Shot


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