Best of PPM: March 2020

Every month, a selection of the top PPM articles from around the Web.

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To lead in a crisis, build trust and be proactive. Even if your plans are imperfect, the ability to move quickly to action is key to refocus your teams on what's ahead of them.

When starting to work remotely, meetings can be the biggest change. Being well prepared (including if your family wanders in), deciding what belongs in the meeting and what doesn't, and keeping things short can help make most of them while keeping the fidgeting to a minimum.

Remote work means managers must learn to connect differently with their teams. Sabina Nawaz offers six strategies that can help managers connect meaningfully with team members and their own managers.

Challenging times do not mean you should lose your sense of play. Elizabeth Harring from A Girl's Guide to Project Management is making her Project Management Bingo cards downloadable for free, so you can share those with your team and play on your conference calls.

You can practice Agile while working remotely. While Agile is about analog, real-life communication and collaboration, that does not mean that it is incompatible with distributed teams or remote work. You just need to learn about the specificities of working with remote Agile teams.

"Being a good writer is an essential part of being a good remote worker." Jason Fried ... Which is easier said than done: when you only have words to convey your meaning, it's easy to accidentally create misunderstandings. Liz Fossilien offers 10 tried-and-tested tips to help avoid miscommunications.

To prepare for an uncertain future, preserve optionality. Optionality, or the act of keeping as many options open as possible, is a counter-intuitive strategy that gives you the flexibility to capitalize on inevitable change.

To help create options, build team resilience. That way, when something happens, your teams can bounce back more quickly. But to build resilience, we need managers.

It may feel like a century, but the 2010s that ended 3 months ago were a decade of change in Project and Portfolio Management. From scaling Agile, to Artificial Intelligence, the past decade saw some significant trends become mainstream.

Listening matters. Hearing about new ideas or ways of thinking can spark insights and revelations about our own mindsets. But it can also be transformative for the person being listened to. Learn to listen differently with these four exercises.


"The major deficiencies in management education are not in what is taught but how it is taught. A major part of management education is devoted to trying to solve problems given to students by teachers. As a result, students unconsciously come to believe that is is natural for problems to be given to them. In the real world, however, problems are seldom given; they must be taken. Nevertheless, students are neither taught nor learned how to take problems."

- Russell Ackoff - Management in Small Doses, 1986
Courtesy of Herding Cats