Things every young person needs to know about money - Chapter 8 – Establish a system

“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” Benjamin Franklin “While money can't buy happiness, it certainly lets you choose your own form of misery.” Groucho Marx This series has focused on the need for young people to think strategically about money. I discussed the importance of saving money, managing money and how compounding can work for or against you. Now you need a system! System’s beat “goals” every time. I might have a “goal” to retire rich, but unless I put in place a sys

Things every young person needs to know about money - Chapter 6 – Compounding can be your enemy

“Credit card interest payments are the dumbest money of all.” Hill Harper “Procrastination is like a credit card. It’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” Christopher Parker The interest clock never stops running and compound interest can work against you. My dad taught me that when I borrowed money for the first time. I was 17 and wanted to buy my first car, so he took me to his bank and helped me with the loan process. He explained that the clock starts “running”, mea

Things every young person needs to know about money - Chapter 5 – Compounding can be your friend!

“Enjoy the magic of compounding returns. Even modest investments made in one's early 20s are likely to grow to staggering amounts over the course of an investment lifetime.” John C. Bogle “The time to save for the future is now. Thanks to compounding interest, the earlier you start putting money away for the future, the more you will save.” Alexa Von Tobel The definition of “compound”: calculate (interest) on previously accumulated interest. The impact of compounding will be

Things every young person needs to know about money - Chapter 4 – The Time Value of Money

“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't ... pays it.” Albert Einstein “If you understand compound interest, you basically understand the universe.” Robert Breault A dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow. Those simple words are a core principle of finance, and without it your possessions would be limited to what you could pay cash for at any given moment. What is your home worth? Did you have that

Things every young person needs to know about money - Chapter 3 – Watch your money closely

“Money is the opposite of the weather. Nobody talks about it, but everybody does something about it.” Rebecca Johnson “The trick is to stop thinking of it as ‘your’ money.” IRS auditor Several weeks ago, I walked into the living room and my wife was watching one of the “Real Housewives” shows. If you haven’t seen one of the shows in this franchise, it focuses on the day-to-day problems of fabulously rich people in a variety of different cities. My wife asked me to watch i

What young people need to know about money - Chapter 2 – Pay yourself first!

"Get rich slow or get poor fast.” Anonymous "Stop buying things you don't need, to impress people you don't even like." Suze Orman My first job was bagging groceries at Piggly Wiggly Southern, a grocery chain that was prominent in GA in the early 1980’s. I had had other “jobs” before, but this was my first corporate job and my first experience with tax withholding. I can still recall looking at my first pay stub (I made $3.00 an hour) and wondering why the government was

What young people need to know about money - Chapter 1 – Introduction

“A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned” Benjamin Franklin “Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like.” Will Rogers I was shaped by the values of my parents. My father grew up on a farm in Iowa and survived both the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Life was so hard on the farm that he ran away at the age of 16 and joined the US Army to fight WW II. He fought in North Africa in WW II, then stayed in the m

Project Management Basics – Chapter 16 – Agile – Product Roadmap

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Richard Cushing “A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” H. Stanley Judd The product roadmap is a recurring source of confusion for students aspiring to the Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. I believe it is because we describe the roadmap as a document that describes the vision and strategy, helps align

Project Management Basics – Chapter 15 – Agile Rituals – Shu Ha Ri

“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.” Bruce Lee “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle I first heard of Shu Ha Ri in an Aikido Dojo. I was taking Taekwondo under Master Choi in a small school in Augusta, GA. My friends and I were consumed by the sport for several years, training constantly and regularly competing in local tournaments. I was attending a tournament in Columbia, SC, where I m

Project Management Basics – Chapter 14 – Agile Rituals – The Daily Scrum

“The human soul can always use a new tradition. Sometimes we require them.” Pat Conroy, The Lords of Discipline “We are our culture and tradition; if there is no culture or tradition we are no one.” Tamerlan A Kuzgov The rituals of agile matter. Several weeks ago there was a survey posted on LinkedIn that asked about the daily scrum. It specifically asked if the daily scrum was necessary for agile development. I can’t recall the survey results, but one my colleagues commented

Project Management Basics – Chapter 13 – Change Control

"It's a bad plan that admits of no modification." Publilius Syrus "A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow." Proverb I've taught thousands of students who were preparing for a variety of different PMI® certifications, and one of the topics that is often a challenge for them is integrated change control. Let’s see if I can simplify that topic. Predictive projects have several core principles, but the cornerstone is establishing a baseline. We gather requiremen

Project Management Basics – Chapter 11 – Occam’s Razor

“Occam’s razor uses the least energy; it is the most economic solution. Nature always operates this way, and it does so because it is mathematical. If it were not mathematical, it could never do what it does and would degenerate into instability and chaos.” Thomas Stark, Extra Scientiam Nulla Salus: How Science Undermines Reason “If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself.” Albert Einstein What is Occam’s razor and why am I discussing it in th

Project Management Basics – Chapter 10 – Three Pillars of Agile

“Agile is to continue delivering, with quality; ASAP and AEAP; as soon as possible; as easily as possible.” Vikrmn: CA Vikram Verma, Agile Able: Project Management Simplified “Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” Stephen Hawking Agile uses the iterative approach of repeating a series of structured development cycles where knowledge is gained about the final product, and an incremental approach by providing working software to the customer after each development cy

Project Management Basics – Chapter 8 – Predictive, Iterative, Incremental, Adaptive

"Let our advance worrying become advance thinking and planning." Winston Churchill "Plans are worthless. Planning is essential." Dwight D. Eisenhower I think this is one of the topics that the PMBOK® makes unnecessarily complicated. Here is a quote from page 19 of the PMBOK, 6th Edition: “Project life cycles can be predictive or adaptive. Within a project life cycle, there are generally one or more phases that are associated with the development of the product, service, or r

Project Management Basics – Chapter 7 – The Business Analyst

“To think or not to think? That is the new question.” Nadina Boun, The Thinking Man, Paralysis by Analysis “The only people who see the whole picture are the ones who step outside the frame.” Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet A project has a start, a finish, and a unique outcome. The project manager normally helps to write the Charter, and that document sanctions the project and allows the organization to expend resources. The project manager then develops and exec

Project Management Basics – Chapter 6 – The Benefits Management Plan

“Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu “Strategy is a commodity; execution is an art.” Peter Drucker Organizations should have a strategic planning process and use that to identify threats and opportunities. The threats and opportunities are used to develop a “to be” state, and a gap analysis should be conducted to identify the delta between that and the current state. Projects are then initiate

Project Management Basics – Chapter 5 – Product Metrics Part 2

“That which cannot be measured cannot be proven.” Anthony W. Richardson, FULL-SCALE: How to Grow Any Startup Without a Plan or a Clue “What science has failed to notice is that the measurement has become more real than the thing being measured.” R.A. Delmonico In my last article I discussed the importance of differentiating between product and project metrics. I specifically made the point that only focusing on the success of the project could lead to a product or deliverabl

Project Management Basics – Chapter 4 – Product Metrics

“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts” Albert Einstein “What gets measured, gets managed.” Peter Drucker Last week I asked the question “Can I have a well-run project that delivers an unwanted product?” Sadly, the answer is “yes”. It happens all the time because organizations either don’t know project management basics or because management intentionally rejects good practices. Project should be initiated because someone has

Project Management Basics – Chapter 1 - Overview

The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Peter Drucker, Management Consultant and Author “Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” – Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group Why do we start projects? The PMBOK® tells us that a project is a “temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result.” But why do we do them? The PMBOK® answers that question by stating that projects are done to drive change, enable b

My experience with “Cancel Culture”, Part 12 – Lessons Learned Part 4

“It happens; incompetence is rewarded more often than not.” Jeff Lindsay, Darkly Dreaming Dexter “Never give a clown too many balls to juggle.” Will Leamon I was a victim of “cancel culture”. In the beginning I wasn’t even aware it was happening. I went from being the second in command of a non-profit to being completely removed from that organization in less than 6 weeks! If you haven’t read the story, you can find it beginning on my October 14 post. Had I realized I was bei