bogdan's notes

This is a view into my thoughts, interests, and activities.


  • Thu 06 August 2020
  • Blog

Synchronize Google Sheets with Smartsheet

Smartsheet is a powerful, spreadsheet-like tool. It helps to automate processes in your team. At my current company, we've been using it for years to support project management. Plans, issue logs, risk registers, project dashboards, task trackers - just to name a few examples of what we use Smartsheet for. However …

  • Tue 16 June 2020
  • Blog

Making Gantt charts work

Using Gantt charts as a form of project schedule for fixed-price IT projects, I’ve encountered the following problems: To build a schedule, you have to put all the tasks in a specific order. It’s typically a finish-to-start dependency. However, this is not what happens sometimes. More often than …

  • Wed 08 April 2020
  • Blog

The Median in Smartsheet

If you needed the median function in Smartsheet, but couldn't find it, don't get upset. That function, indeed, is not present among supported functions; however, there is the percentile function available in Smartsheet. And the good news is that the median is just another name for the 50th percentile. To …

  • Mon 02 March 2020
  • Blog

Data visualization skills

As IT professionals, we deal with quantitative information quite a lot — on a daily basis, literally. Many of us present numeric data to colleagues: be it a report, forecast, or information dashboard. However, only a few possess the basic skills to present numbers well. Most of us have never been …

  • Fri 17 January 2020
  • Blog

Personal finance dashboard in Google Data Studio

To better understand my expense habits and overall spending, I used to track my financial transactions in a mobile application. I would manually put data after each payment. I was doing it for a couple of years until I realized that it didn’t quite help me. First, since most …

  • Mon 28 October 2019
  • Blog

Project Manager's Dashboard

When you manage several projects simultaneously, you have to switch context quite a lot. It's important to have a tool that helps update awareness of the current situation on a particular project. You need a dashboard. Information dashboard, when well designed, is a good means to update situational awareness at …

  • Wed 31 July 2019
  • Blog

Project Retrospective Data

When you face a problem in your project, don’t get frustrated. Take another perspective: It’s an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to improve yourself or your team. Failure, however painful and stressful, is a resource, so embrace it. Of course, in order for problems to benefit you, you …

  • Thu 13 June 2019
  • Blog

Schedules slip but are still helpful

As well known, human beings are bad at predicting the future. Having worked on different kinds of projects, I can say that engineers who are supposed to do the project work are reluctant to schedules. Their attitude is rather skeptical. Why trying to predict if the schedule will slip regardless …

  • Thu 13 September 2018
  • Blog

Reviewing interim project outcomes

We failed to review one piece of the project with a customer before proceeding to the next step, not believing it to be necessary since the project was just beginning and actual deliverables were yet to come. The customer took some time to inspect a deployment model we prepared, because …

  • Wed 05 September 2018
  • Blog

How to Make Meetings Work!

Here's my mindmap based on the book "How To Make Meetings Work!" by David Straus and Michael Doyle. This embedded mindmap is hosted on XMind website. Steps to a better meeting Also copying an appendix from the book, slightly updated for the online reality. Before the Meeting 1 - Plan the …