In exactly 17 business days, it will be Dec 21st and you and your team will (probably) be running on the haze of your Q4 fumes as you race to launch products, prep new processes, and wrap up for 2018 with milky rum and eggnogs (what’s wrong with you?).

Maybe you’re enjoying a peaceful moment to yourself right now and I just casually reminded you that you have three weeks till the end of the year. Sorry about that. Let’s wrap a cozy blanket around this anvil to soften the impact and make you feel better.

Tips for recalibrating over the next three weeks

When you come in tomorrow, why not try a few of these tips to make the most of the next three weeks and tighten up those PM processes for next year?

Owners and directors

PMs and project leads

If you wear the PM hat, here are a few other handy things you can do to prep for hot cocoa and winter hibernation.

  • Quick. Have you told your clients and customers your holiday hours? If not, it’s a great time to send them a short message
  • Do you know their holiday hours? No? Find out
  • Make sure clients and teams have a fire route for what to do if they run into any trouble and you’re not in the office to help (aka, 24 hr support is a premium, folks)
  • Now’s a perfect time to start arranging ‘Uber for anything’ gifts to all your hard working clients and teammates
  • Check your time: you have about three weeks to wrap up. If you need to reassess timelines or adjust expectations, now’s the best time to do it
  • Send a handy script: “Checking in before the team gets rested over the holidays: are there any other assets or features we need to prioritize in the next three weeks? Let’s talk about how we can build in some additional time in January for scope revisions or new features.”
  • DISCONNECT YOUR EMAIL AND SLACK mobile accounts over the holidays. Do it.

What metrics are you tracking?

We talk a lot about measuring progress in our program, and one of the ways to measure it is keeping tabs on the impact our program and our PM apprentices have on the projects and people they support so there is a direct connection to the value they bring the company.

Project leads, how are you tracking your own contributions to the company?


  • Are you increasing the average project value (future phases, additional scoped work)?
  • Are you tracking the monthly or yearly trend for project overages or scope requests that lead to more budget?
  • Increased client referrals?
  • Are you narrowing your team focus to fewer projects for higher efficiency?
  • Are you adjusting the PM percentage needed on projects by reviewing your overages for higher touch clients or risky business?
  • Are you tracking surprises? Seriously: this one’s easy—create an emoji for surprises and mark it anytime you or another teammate is surprised by info you should have known. Then track the reduction. Our good pals at Dev Society use a Sponge Bob reference

Let me know what you’re tracking and why. I’d love to hear about it.

Things I’ve been thinking about

What I Do When My Students Praise Hitler
I nearly became a school teacher, but holy hell it must be rough.

Rare microbes lead scientists to discover new branch on the tree of life
A new life form we can’t pronounce.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
Good book about operations for small business.

When Cultural Biases Become Cultural Friction in Diverse Design Teams
Overcome Cultural Bias in the Workplace by Farai Madzima

“Culture hides more than it reveals and strangely enough, what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants.” — Edward T. Hall (Silent Language)

This guy.
I dare you.

From the #bookshelf

The best links posted in Slack this week. Straight from our apprentices and their trainers:

​Tout Suite

Super early bird deadline

Speaking of deadlines, you have less than three days left to jump on our super early bird pricing and tighten up those PM processes with our one of a kind apprenticeship program. Companies like Good Work are seeing 3x the number of client referrals and doubling their project values while their PMs are guiding projects like loveable hardasses within the year. We’re peached, but we’ll let Good Work tell you about it. Read the Good Work case study.

Why we exist

Because we have a choice to make. And we choose to make things better. Warning: No sugar coating. Read about why we exist on our new About page.

In your eyeholes

We made a project manager/producer hiring guide

Now start making some plans for your long winter nap.

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