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Ed. 017 You're Doing Too Much. Limit Your Work in Progress

Think you're cool and impressing others by taking on and starting so many projects in parallel? You might just be bogging yourself down.

Happy Sunday! We’re back for another edition of The Unblockers. Feel like working with us? Send me a DM and let’s chat! If this is your first time here and like what you see, consider subscribing. 💗

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Look, I get it. You’re an aspiring program/project/portfolio/whatever manager. You want to impress your leadership and your org so you do a whole bunch of things at once. Sure, it feels productive, it feels like you’re getting a lot done. But, are you really? Hint, hint—you’re likely not.

Why does this matter? Juggling competing priorities, understanding when to descope, push back, or just say “no” is all part of the tool belt for us program managers. The article outlines the additional justification for establishing your project capacity as a program manager. It’s important to respect that capacity to ensure quality outcomes.

Hah, we did this a lot back in my startup days. Speed over quality. Interestingly, the author points out that by calling it “Technical Debt,” the perspective of blame is shifted to the developers. In reality, that tech debt is origins from the functional outcomes of the product—lookin’ at you Product Manager.

Why does this matter? You, yes you! You’re just as responsible as the developer and product manager in managing the technical and product debt. Fight both at the same time by ensuring your execution and project/program plans have scale and long term upkeep in mind.

Why does this matter? COVID has accelerated the adoption of remote work (thank god) and your stakeholders don’t need you flying out and wasting their money on airport liquor. Make sure they know you’re still providing the same level of outcome by reinforcing the communication plan.

Oooooh, spooky. Machine Learning powered SaaS software convert users by slowly altering their behavior. Turns out UX designers are now being augmented by Machine Learning as well.

Why does this matter? You’re working cross-functionally and can now see the intersection between design and engineering. Apprise yourself of these techniques so you can converse with both the turtle-neck wearing UX designer and the eccentric developer.

A risk management plan is warranted when you’re working on a gigantic project with lots of stakeholders and timelines. Learn the basics of one in this article.

Why does this matter? Conventional risk management plans for giant projects are overkill for most new-age program managers. My own risk management plan is simply a header section in my project plan named “Obstacles.” Still, it’s good to know how to create one in case the project/program warrants it.

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