An incredible display of and use of machine learning and AI for military and anti-terrorism tactics.
I'm introducing a new video series called "Ask the PM." The concept is you send me questions and I will choose several to answer in videos that I do throughout the week and month. I will post when a new video is ready and I welcome you to watch and see if your question was included. I don't want these to be too long and bore you all to death... 5 minutes or less would be great so I'd like to get to 5-7 questions per video if possible.
Depending on how many questions I get I may not get to all of them and your question may get answered in a later video. Send me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or through my contact form. The answers will be based on my experiences and real world project management views so don't bother asking me hardcore PMBOK type questions - that's what your study groups and the PMBOK is for. This is more for questions about resource management, leading teams, communication, best practices, customer interfacing and engagement, decision making, kick offs, status reporting, etc. And feel free to ask me questions about consulting, independent consulting, how I market and, how I get started... anything really. This will be casual and I'll do my best to give you good answers that will hopefully help you. I look forward to seeing where this goes. Thanks... Send in the questions to email@example.com or through my contact form and stay tuned!
Note - I get lots of daily emails - to make your questions stand out please put "Ask the PM" in the subject line if possible. And be nice to me ... I certainly don't know everything... I just want to start good discussions and threads on topics that are important to you and I'll do my best to answer based on my knowledge (or lack thereof) and experience. Thanks!
How many times have you sat down at your computer ready to start a project and drawn a blank as to where to start with your project schedule? Most of us just grab our last project schedule and start stripping stuff out if it, right? Or perhaps you have that one ‘go-to’ schedule from that great project you ran way back when and since it went so well you use that one as a template over and over and over again even if it isn’t even close to the same type of project. Sound familiar?
Think about it. What if you could just answer a series of questions and let an application build most of your project schedule for you? Think of Turbo Tax walking you through the process of completing your taxes. Yes, there are a few of us stubborn ones out there who still just want to do it ourselves. But even I succumbed to the ease of being led by the hand last tax season. Now, if you could apply that process to building most of your project schedule for each upcoming project, would you? Just answer a series of questions and Project Butler can put most of your schedule together. Yes, it’s that easy.
adaQuest is offering a very informative webinar on this new product. I’m just a project manager – like many of the rest of you. But this product has me excited because I think it’s going to fill a void – a huge void – in the PM workspace somewhere between uncertainty and overconfidence. And isn’t any automated process that can get you 80% of the way to a real, usable project schedule a good thing?
The Pentagon awarded a $10B contract to Microsoft instead of Amazon in its latest JEDI mind trick.
This JEDI fight might be done, but Big Tech-military contracts are just getting started
A few days ago, the US Department of Defense awarded Microsoft a 10-year, $10B cloud services contract, finally crowning an (unexpected) victor in the yearlong contest.
It’s been a long road to the 1 true JEDI
At first, the Big ’Soft, IBM, Oracle, Google, and Amazon were all in the running for the $10B contract, which is not only the biggest internet technology contract in military history but also a foot in the door for the billions of dollars in federal spending on cloud computing expected over the next few years.
Despite objections from critics who called for the contract to be split among multiple contractors, the DOD decided the JEDI contract would remain a winner-takes-all award.
And after Google dropped out for ethical reasons (the company has committed to not using AI to develop weapons), Microsoft and Amazon became the only contract competitors in April when the Pentagon declared that IBM and Oracle weren’t technically up to snuff.
Until recently, the force was strongest with Amazon
Amazon was expected to win the contract thanks to its dominant position in the cloud computing industry: ’Zon controls a 48% market share, compared to Microsoft’s 15.5% market share -- and, unlike Microsoft, it already has the military’s highest level of data management certification.
But the skies darkened for Amazon’s cloud when President Trump -- a widely known critic of Amazon chief Jeff Bezos -- joined the chorus of voices complaining that Amazon’s aggressive pursuit of the JEDI contract had been anti-competitive.
Now it’s Amazon’s turn to strike back
Both IBM and Oracle have already lodged formal complaints about the JEDI bidding process, arguing that parameters of the contract stacked the deck in Amazon’s favor.
But now that Amazon has lost, Bezos’ Big Biz is considering its own appeal of the decision based on President Trump’s interference.
Either way, both Microsoft and Amazon are poised to profit from their relationships with the US military in the future: Amazon makes $2B in annual revenue from its contracts with the federal government, and Microsoft last year signed a deal to provide cloud computing to 17 government agencies.
Unfortunately, there are times in business where your ecommerce sales plateau or even decline. Don’t let this get you down-hearted! Instead, focus on what you can do to change this. Here are ten tips for boosting your ecommerce sales.
Focus on Regular Customers
When sales decline, businesses often look at ways to find new customers. While this can be a good idea, it may also cost you more money. Don’t forget about your existing loyal customers. There’s a reason that your sales are decreasing, so perhaps it’s time to improve the shopping experience for the customers you already have? Use loyalty schemes or a point-based system that customers can use against products.
Show That Your Site Is Safe
You need to ensure that customers feel safe using your website, or they simply won’t! Your website should show the lock sign in the search bar to show customers that their details will be safe. As cyber-attacks happen more and more, customers simply aren’t going to chance putting their card details anywhere that doesn’t seem trustworthy. If you need to find a website security provider, Norton Antivirus is one of the most popular.
Accept Different Payment Types
You need to be able to accept a variety of payment methods if you want to keep customers happy. Credit and debit cards are a must, and it’s also a good idea to accept PayPal payments. Always follow the latest trends; for example, Apple Pay is becoming a popular way to pay, so making this an option on your website could boost your sales.
Learn Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As an ecommerce site owner, knowing how search engine works could come handy. By optimizing your ecommerce site with the right keywords, you could get a lot of free and targeted traffic from search engines. According to a recent study by nchannel, 44% of online shoppers begin their buying journey with an online search, so not learning SEO could mean a disastrous mistake.
With that said, SEO involves tedious, ongoing work such as keyword research, content writing, link building, and relationship building. Even if you decide to hire someone to do SEO for you, it is a good idea to also be knowledgeable about the topic so you won't get lied to by your SEO team.
Show Customer Testimonials
Many customers are more likely to buy a product or use a service if it has good reviews. The best reviews also include photographs, and this is a great way to boost sales. Perhaps ask your existing customers to review your product for a discount or hold a competition where every customer that leaves a customer testimonial gets entered into a prize draw.
Allow for Cell Phones
These days, most sales are done via a cell phone. If you don’t have an app available, ensure that your website is accessible via a cell phone or handheld device. You will see a decrease in sales if you don’t have a cell phone friendly website. If you’re unsure how to make your website accessible to cell phones, check out this handy article.
Promote Your Best-Selling Items
There’s a reason that some items are top-selling, and promoting these on your homepage will entice customers in. Some people will come on your site with no idea what they are looking for. These are the customers that will enjoy a best-selling page. If your ecommerce website sells a lot of products, it can be even more difficult to find a particular product that catches your eye. A best-selling section is an easy way to boost sales.
Drive Sales at The Right Times
If there is a special event or a holiday coming up, now is the best time to put on that sale. Holidays are when most people buy online, and so being ready with great discounts will make more customers use your site and possibly purchase more. With sales days such as Black Friday being so popular, many now choose to purchase online as shops can get too busy. Use this to your advantage and be sure to advertise a few weeks before so customers will keep your website in mind.
Send Abandoned Cart Emails
An abandoned cart email can improve sales and is more likely to tempt a customer to come back and purchase what they didn’t the first time. Sendinblue have created some abandoned cart email examples that are perfect for any business. They also allow you to create an account on their website, make a new template, and set this to send to anyone that abandons their cart. This will improve sales and is all done automatically once set up, meaning you can sit back and relax!
Use Video Demonstrations
Videos are both interactive and informative and are the most popular way to market products. Use this as a way to interact with your target market. Make your video fun and interesting while showing how the product can be used. This may not be the answer for all products, but you could choose to advertise a range of products through video format.
Hold a Sale
In the meantime, why not use the oldest trick in the book and hold a sale? Be sure to promote this well. This can engage customers and make them re-visit your website. The best way to make sure you don’t lose much profit is by upping the prices of your products and then putting them on sale. Using an offer such as 30% off everything will be sure to get customers noticing.
These ten tips will boost your sales and allow you to continue to reach out to customers old and new.
COMBINING THE BEST OF STANDARDS-BASED PPM WITH SCALED AGILE
ONEPOINT's innovative, hybrid approach to project management allows you to combine the best of Scaled Agile with all major features of common PM standards including PMI, IPMA and PRINCE2. Work smarter by taking advantage of fully integrated agile methodologies such as Kanban boards complementing proven, traditional tools like WBS and Gantt charts.
INTEGRATED PROJECT, PROGRAM & PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
ONEPOINT Projects is a modern, flexible, standards-based PPM web application that is available both on cloud and on premise and is trusted by hundreds of customers across industries. By covering the whole project life cycle and integrating with leading enterprise applications such as Jira, Confluence, Slack and SAP, ONEPOINT enables a new way of integrated project work.
Why Acuity PPM? Because...
Your Teams Need a Productivity Boost
Senior Managers and Project Managers alike are in too many meetings and are under constant pressure to deliver value to the organization. Many traditional PPM software solutions are cumbersome and hard to use. You do not want to spend months getting weighed down implementing those solutions only to use a fraction of the functionality. Rather, choose free PPM software that is easy to use and quick to get started so that you get portfolio insights that help you make better decisions faster.
Rightsized For Newer PMOs
Your teams and sponsors expect intuitive and easy-to-use software. Acuity PPM’s lightweight software is perfect for newer project management offices (PMOs). Be careful investing in traditional PPM software that users say “has a clunky outdated UI” or “is difficult to learn and use”. Customers love the modern interface and you will too. Their modern design makes your teams productive on day 1.
Communicate Value Easily
Acuity PPM delivers full transparency across all your projects. Intuitive dashboards quickly communicate the real value of your projects and ultimately the value that your PMO is delivering. Their free PPM software means your teams can track projects and manage the portfolio without risk.
The basic platform is free forever – unlimited projects, up to 10 users, but if you need more functionality, the true feature-based model lets you pay for what you need and not pay for what you don’t need (that’s fair, right?). Acuity PPM is the only true modular-based PPM software vendor, which means you can add new modules as your PMO grows and matures.
Do you want your project management related software, book or service reviewed or featured? Check out other reviews, overviews and features that I've done.
Send me an email or Contact me to discuss how we can work together to get more exposure for your product or service. I'm flexible and available to provide the content or service you need - often within 24 hours, if necessary.
In my next “5 Reasons Why...” installment, I'd like to suggest 5 reasons why you should check out Acuity PPM for your project portfolio management needs. It is a high performance but very affordable, scalable PPM tool that is likely a great choice for your organization.
Acuity PPM is a light-weight project portfolio management solution designed for project teams to manage their project portfolio and report status to senior leaders. Acuity PPM's focus is on providing a PPM solution that people like using. Based on years of consulting experience with Fortune 500 companies and over a decade in portfolio management, they've seen many organizations struggle with traditional PPM solutions. Acuity PPM's solution helps newer Project Management Offices ramp up quickly with portfolio management and gives senior leaders portfolio insights without creating custom reports and dashboards – users can interact with the data to get different views of the portfolio. Their base solution is actually free for 10 users with additional modules such as work intake and resource management.
My five reasons why Acuity PPM is a great choice to keep you on top of your projects and scale with your organization's needs...
Check out more about Acuity PPM at https://acuityppm.com/. Then, get started for free today!
You probably wondered at least once how many types of malware (malicious software) are there and how they differ from one another.
Here’s a quick overview:
Adware – delivers bad ads and can infect your computer with additional malware.
Bots – malicious code engineered to perform specific tasks. They can be both harmless and malicious. More on bad bots in Daily Security Tip coming soon.
Bug – cyber security bugs (flaw in software) open up security holes in computer systems that cyber criminals can take advantage of. In this context, bugs can allow attackers to gain access to a system and do irreparable damage.
Ransomware – a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and demands a ransom in order to provide the decryption key. More info on how to protect yourself against it here.
Rootkit – a type of malicious software (but not always) which gives the attackers privileged access to a computer. A rootkit is activated before the operating system boots up, so antivirus can’t detect it.
Spyware – a type of malware that will spy on your activity (browsing habits, keystrokes, financial data, etc.) and send the information to servers controlled by cyber criminals.
Trojan Horse – malware that’s able to disguise itself as a normal file, to trick victims into downloading and installing more malware on their devices.
Virus – a form of malware that can copy itself so it can spread to other computers. Viruses attach themselves to other computer programs and execute malicious commands when the victim uses those compromised programs. Thus, viruses rely on the victim’s activity to spread.
Worm – a type of malware that exploits security holes in operating systems. Worms use the infected system’s resources and self-replicate. They spread independently, without requiring the victim to do anything.
Here’s a more in-depth read about the main types of malware.