Best of PPM: October 2020

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

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Half of spreadsheet models used in large businesses have "material defects". Meet the elite group of Excel experts whose mission is to save the world from spreadsheet disaster. (8 min read)

The secret to a better Zoom call is (literally) to zoom out. Sitting or standing farther away from your computer screen so you’re showing your upper body reduces the energy the audience expends looking for non-verbal cues. (3 min read)

Too often, product strategy and product execution are disjointed. In this article, Roman Pichler introduces a process to join up product strategy, product roadmap, KIPs, product backlog, and development work, and discusses the role stakeholders and development team members play in making effective strategic product decisions. (7 min read)

How COVID-19 will affect investment in global innovation. Analysis from the Global Innovation Index suggests that R&D spending will hold steady — or even increase — in the post-pandemic world. (6 min read)

To help your team feel secure and supported, write down your team's unwritten rules. "Can I step outside to take a short break?", "Is it OK if my kid or cat pops into the video screen?" These seemingly small uncertainties can become major stressors, especially with the distance of remote work. (7 min read)

SMART Sprint Goals Are Stupid. Making your Sprint Goals fun is underrated. By formulating a memorable title you conjure a motivating mental picture in the minds of your team members. (4 min read)

Successful Agile transformations require both top-down AND bottom-up thinking. Starting at the top with executive leadership is essential to create a shared vision, but engagement at the delivery team level is key too. (2 min read)

Remote "buddies" can play a key role in the effectiveness of hybrid remote teams. A buddy system helps keep teams where some team members are in the office, and other working from home connected and in sync. (5 min read)

Experimentation might be the practice of the decade, but it isn't easy to do well. In this article Lucy Luo delves into the 8 most common experiment pitfalls and how to avoid them. (4 min read)

Successful Remote Teams Communicate in Bursts. Recent research suggests that such bursts of rapid-fire communications, with longer periods of silence in between, are hallmarks of successful teams. (6 min read)



“When you want to know how things really work, study them when they're coming apart.”
― William Gibson, Zero History


“People only accept change when they are faced with necessity, and only recognize necessity when a crisis is upon them.”
― Jean Monnet, Mémoires