New Post at MPUG: Adding a Current Tasks Flag to MS Project

My latest article for MPUG was published today: Adding a current tasks flag to MS Project.

It is important to keep your project team focused on current and near-term tasks. If you want to send out a weekly update to your project team, showing which tasks are active but incomplete, or scheduled to start in the next week, it would help to have a flag that automatically identifies those tasks for you. This article explains how to add it to your MS Project plan.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read my stuff.

New PM Articles for the Week of May 21 – 27

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 21 – 27. And this week’s video: an ancient performance of “Chateau Lafitte ’59 Boogie” by Foghat, with the late Lonesome Dave Peverett reminding us how it was done before lip-synching and backup dancers. 8 minutes, safe for work, but put the headphones on and crank it up.

Must read!

  • David Harding summarizes current trends in mergers and acquisitions and finds that we are returning to successful models from the early 20th 4 minutes to read.
  • Quinn Norton reports on the Efail exploit and then goes deep into history to explain why Email is a non-fixable problem with no clear owner. 10 minutes to read.
  • John Harris notes that most of the new product hype coming from the Big Tech firms is for … well, useless crap. Do you really need a digital assistant to make your phone calls? 5 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Leigh Espy interviews project manager and blogger Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy on how he went from naval officer candidate to software development project manager and what he learned along the way. 8 minutes to read.
  • Susanne Madsen reviews three well-known projects that ran over budget and schedule and had rough initial roll-outs but are today deemed iconic works. 5 minutes to read.
  • Mike Clayton explain strategic project definition. Video, 3 minutes, safe for work.
  • Vivien Gold reminds us of some of the elements to include in a project budget. 4 minutes to read.
  • Glenn Alleman tutors us on cost, price, and value and how they are used in business decision making. 5 minutes to read.
  • Nick Pisano begins a series on integrated program management elements. This one is on costs—development, management, and product lifecycle—and why we’re not capturing all of them. 10 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from working for Scrum-clueless management to mental models to guerilla user testing. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to scan.
  • Neil Killick explores alternatives to story points in making delivery estimates. 5 minutes to read.
  • John Cutler invokes Deming in pointing out that high WIP, resulting from crappy management systems, generates more problems than actual people. 4 minutes to read.
  • Eric Weiss observes that Scrum is not necessarily agile, and there are several ways to “do” Scrum counter-productively. 9 minutes to read.
  • Tim Runcie explains the newest Agile features of MS Project. 10 minutes to read.
  • Kiron Bondale makes the case for using Gantt charts and other project management tools even in projects using Agile or adaptive methods. 2 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from what people care about to the value of expertise to welcoming new people. 5 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • David Dye explores what we can do by simply changing the question. Whole new answers appear. 3 minutes to read.
  • Dan Rockwell explains proactive delegation, because “Desperation is a lousy context for delegation.” 2 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Greg Satell notes that you can’t commercialize a scientific discovery—first you have to create a product that incorporates it. And that can be harder than the science. 5 minutes to read.
  • Youyou Zhou reports on a scary Amazon Alexa “fail” that should make you wonder how fully you can test devices that interpret speech. 3 minutes to read.
  • Albert Gareev talks about how to find the starting point in business intelligence testing. 5 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Elizabeth Harrin shares a massive infographic on the Art and Science of Networking. Maybe 6 or 7 minutes to read, but very non-linear. Take your time.
  • Jack White (not the musician) identifies five “routines” that justify procrastination and hinder achieving goals. 4 minutes to read.
  • LaRae Quy recounts her experience at the FBI Academy in explaining how to build a strong mind. 5 minutes to read.
  • Cassandra Leung explains her “rabbit poop” model for learning. 4 minutes, but do not read this over certain breakfast cereals.

Enjoy!

New PM Articles for the Week of May 14 – 20

New project management articles published on the web during the week of May 14 – 20. And this week’s video: Adriana Girdler explains how to create and use a personal vision statement. 7 minutes, safe for work.

Must read!

  • Francois Malette explains why companies are using mergers and acquisitions to transform their business models and reduce their market risk. 5 minutes to read.
  • Greg Satell examines the imperative to explore and invent, using two examples—GE and IBM—that illustrate how disruption can impact even a giant industrial firm. 5 minutes to read.
  • Echo Huang reports on the upcoming launch of China’s Lunar relay satellite, which will put a radio antenna in orbit on the far side of the Moon, shadowed from Earth’s interference, to listen for signals from the Big Bang. Have you ever worked on a project this cool? 3 minutes to read.

Established Methods

  • Elizabeth Harrin interviews Mike Clayton on what is required to be a “brilliant project leader.” 4 minutes to read.
  • Cornelius Fichtner and Jen Pfaff discuss ways to cope when your organization isn’t sold on the value of project management. Podcast, 30 minutes, safe for work.
  • Luís Gonçalves explains the concept of cost of delay and how to calculate it. This is a vital technique for deciding where to put scarce resources! 5 minutes to read.
  • Ellen Lehnert tutors us on importing data stored in Excel into MS Project. This is a non-trivial but very useful technique, especially if you are merging two or more project plans into one. 5 minutes to read.
  • Renee Adair begins a series addressing six visible trends in project management. 4 minutes to read.
  • John Goodpasture finds the humor in Yuval Noah Harari’s depiction of the evolution of bureaucracy. 2 minutes to read.

Agile Methods

  • Stefan Wolpers curates his weekly list of Agile content, from corporate innovation failure to key flow metrics to the jobs-to-be-done canvas. 7 outbound links, 3 minutes to read.
  • Jake Knapp, who created the idea of a Design Sprint, updates us on what he’s learned and refined over the last few years. 5 minutes to read.
  • Valerie Senyk explains why Scrum masters need soft skills, in addition to their process skills. 3minutes to read.
  • David Bernstein shares three keys to the adoption of test-driven development. 6 minutes to read.
  • Mike Griffiths debunks some extravagant consultant claims about agile ‘transformations.’ 8 minutes to read.

Applied Leadership

  • Alexander Maasik curates his weekly list of leadership articles, from extending trust to better feedback to training new managers. 3 minutes to read.
  • Michael Dempsey justifies the need to remain objective, even when it can be difficult. 5 minutes to read.
  • Leigh Espy explains the value of building rapport and shares five techniques. 6 minutes to read.

Technology, Techniques, and Human Behavior

  • Isaiah Sarju matches you to a password manager, based on your personality. I use KeePass, but to each his / her own. 6 minutes to read.
  • Rob England is skeptical of the latest IT fad: site reliability engineering. A minute or so to read.
  • Justin Rohrman shares his thoughts on managing quality assurance on projects with mobile device components. 6 minutes to read.
  • Molly Page reminds us that there are times when merely listening isn’t enough—we must ask clarifying questions. 4 minutes to read.

Working and the Workplace

  • Warren Fowler lists a month’s worth of ways to handle the afternoon slump (assuming you don’t just take a nap). 5 minutes to read.
  • Bruce Benson agrees with Elon Musk: just walk out of a bad meeting. A minute to read, even if you stay around for his technique.
  • David Burkus reports on a study of “networking events” which proves that they really are as big a waste of time as they appear to be. 4 minutes to read.
  • Scott Steinberg coaches us on ways to finesse the situation when you forget someone’s name. That was Scott, right? 2 minutes to read.

Enjoy!