Sunday, July 15, 2018

Why attitude is more important than your intelligence by Dr Travis Bradberry

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A worker arrives at his office in the Canary Wharf business district in London, Britain February 26, 2014.      REUTERS/Eddie Keogh/File Photo                GLOBAL BUSINESS WEEK AHEAD PACKAGE Ð SEARCH ÒBUSINESS WEEK AHEAD 5 SEPTEMBERÓ FOR ALL IMAGES - RTX2O4AU

When it comes to success, it’s easy to think that people blessed with brains are inevitably going to leave the rest of us in the dust. But new research from Stanford University will change your mind (and your attitude).

Psychologist Carol Dweck has spent her entire career studying attitude and performance, and her latest study shows that your attitude is a better predictor of your success than your IQ.

Dweck found that people’s core attitudes fall into one of two categories: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.

With a fixed mindset, you believe you are who you are and you cannot change. This creates problems when you’re challenged because anything that appears to be more than you can handle is bound to make you feel hopeless and overwhelmed.
People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve with effort. They outperform those with a fixed mindset, even when they have a lower IQ, because they embrace challenges, treating them as opportunities to learn something new.
Image: LinkedIn
Common sense would suggest that having ability, like being smart, inspires confidence. It does, but only while the going is easy. The deciding factor in life is how you handle setbacks and challenges. People with a growth mindset welcome setbacks with open arms.

According to Dweck, success in life is all about how you deal with failure. She describes the approach to failure of people with the growth mindset this way,
Failure is information—we label it failure, but it’s more like, ‘This didn’t work, and I’m a problem solver, so I’ll try something else.’”

Regardless of which side of the chart you fall on, you can make changes and develop a growth mindset. What follows are some strategies that will fine-tune your mindset and help you make certain it’s as growth oriented as possible.

Don’t stay helpless. We all hit moments when we feel helpless. The test is how we react to that feeling. We can either learn from it and move forward or let it drag us down. There are countless successful people who would have never made it if they had succumbed to feelings of helplessness: Walt Disney was fired from the Kansas City Star because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” Oprah Winfrey was fired from her job as a TV anchor in Baltimore for being “too emotionally invested in her stories,” Henry Ford had two failed car companies prior to succeeding with Ford, and Steven Spielberg was rejected by USC’s Cinematic Arts School multiple times. Imagine what would have happened if any of these people had a fixed mindset. They would have succumbed to the rejection and given up hope. People with a growth mindset don’t feel helpless because they know that in order to be successful, you need to be willing to fail hard and then bounce right back.

Be passionate. Empowered people pursue their passions relentlessly. There’s always going to be someone who’s more naturally talented than you are, but what you lack in talent, you can make up for in passion. Empowered people’s passion is what drives their unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Warren Buffet recommends finding your truest passions using, what he calls, the 5/25 technique: Write down the 25 things that you care about the most. Then, cross out the bottom 20. The remaining 5 are your true passions. Everything else is merely a distraction.

Take action. It’s not that people with a growth mindset are able to overcome their fears because they are braver than the rest of us; it’s just that they know fear and anxiety are paralyzing emotions and that the best way to overcome this paralysis is to take action. People with a growth mindset are empowered, and empowered people know that there’s no such thing as a truly perfect moment to move forward. So why wait for one? Taking action turns all your worry and concern about failure into positive, focused energy.

Then go the extra mile (or two). Empowered people give it their all, even on their worst days. They’re always pushing themselves to go the extra mile. One of Bruce Lee’s pupils ran three miles every day with him. One day, they were about to hit the three-mile mark when Bruce said, “Let’s do two more.” His pupil was tired and said, “I’ll die if I run two more.” Bruce’s response? “Then do it.” His pupil became so angry that he finished the full five miles. Exhausted and furious, he confronted Bruce about his comment, and Bruce explained it this way: “Quit and you might as well be dead. If you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there; you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.”
If you aren’t getting a little bit better each day, then you’re most likely getting a little worse—and what kind of life is that?

Expect results. People with a growth mindset know that they’re going to fail from time to time, but they never let that keep them from expecting results. Expecting results keeps you motivated and feeds the cycle of empowerment. After all, if you don’t think you’re going to succeed, then why bother?

Be flexible. Everyone encounters unanticipated adversity. People with an empowered, growth-oriented mindset embrace adversity as a means for improvement, as opposed to something that holds them back. When an unexpected situation challenges an empowered person, they flex until they get results.
Don't complain when things don't go your way. Complaining is an obvious sign of a fixed mindset. A growth mindset looks for opportunity in everything, so there’s no room for complaints.

Bringing It All Together
By keeping track of how you respond to the little things, you can work every day to keep yourself on the right side of the chart above.

8 - AI predictions for 2018 by Mike Quindazzi

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Here are 8 Artificial Intelligence predictions/insights to help CxO leaders shape business strategy in 2018:
1. AI will impact employers before it impacts employment
AI likely won’t devastate the job market in the long run—and it certainly won’t do so in 2018. But organizations face a challenge: AI works best when it brings together data and teams from different disciplines. It also requires structures and skills for human-machine collaboration.
2. AI will show up for work
This aspect may not attract media headlines, but AI is ready right now to automate increasingly complex processes, identify trends to create business value and provide forward-looking intelligence. This AI is often “entering through the backdoor” as everyday applications incorporate it.
3. AI will find answers in Big Data
Many investments in data technology and integration have failed to answer the big question: Where’s the ROI? But AI is now delivering business cases for data initiatives, and new tools are making these initiatives more affordable than before.
4. Functional specialists will decide the AI talent war
It's a race for computer and data scientists, but top tech talent is not enough for success with AI. Organizations need domain experts who can work with AI and AI specialists. They don't have to be programmers but they will have to understand the basics of data science and data visualization and something of how AI “thinks.” 
5. AI will fuel cyberattacks but also cyberdefense
Intelligent malware and ransomware that learns as it spreads, machine intelligence coordinating global cyberattacks, advanced data analytics to customize attacks—unfortunately, it’s all on its way.
6. Explainable AI will become a priority
AI taking control of humans isn’t a danger for 2018. It’s not smart enough right now. But AI that acts inexplicably—and therefore makes leaders and consumers wary of using it—is a real risk leading to the rise of ethical AI. 
7. AI will join the real arms-race
Governments are working to make sure that their countries are leaders in AI for both economic and reasons of defense. Canada, Japan, the UK, Germany, and the UAE all have national AI plans. Tax reform and deregulation in the US may give AI a boost in the US.
8. AI frameworks will aim to build public trust
Invasion of privacy, algorithmic bias, environmental damage, threats to brands and the bottom line—the fears around AI are numerous. Fortunately, a global consensus is emerging around principles for responsible AI. These principles can safeguard organizations—and position them to reap economic benefits.

4 things c-suite leaders can do today

1.  Identify practical problems CEOs, CDOs, CFOs, and CMOs want to solve with AI. US businesses: Consider whether some capital that will be freed up as a result of tax reform might be earmarked for AI investment instead of employee bonuses, shareholder returns, or other investments. 
2.  Begin upskilling your talent and your workforce: All workers--and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHRO) executives--need to develop AI literacy and a digital mindset for their organizations. Domain specialists will need more advanced skills to help develop and deploy AI. 
3.  Chief Risk Officers (CRO) can engage in discussions about what responsibility means to your business, its shareholders, customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Consider joining public-private partnerships or getting involved in other collaborative efforts. 
4.  Discuss with your Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Security Officer (CISO) how your organization is using or plans to use AI in its cybersecurity efforts. 

5 Different Types of Leadership Styles by Rose Johnson

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5 Different Types of Leadership Styles
Different types of leadership styles exist in work environments. The culture and goals of an organization determine which leadership style fits the firm best, while personality differences often dictate which is most often used. Some companies offer several leadership styles within the organization, dependent upon the necessary tasks to complete and departmental needs.

The Laissez-Faire Leader

A laissez-faire leader lacks direct supervision of employees and fails to provide regular feedback to those under his supervision. Highly experienced and trained employees requiring little supervision fall under the laissez-faire leadership style. However, not all employees possess those characteristics. This leadership style hinders the production of employees needing supervision. The laissez-faire style produces no leadership or supervision efforts from managers, which can lead to poor production, lack of control and increasing costs.

The Autocrat

The autocratic leadership style allows managers to make decisions alone without the input of others. Managers possess total authority and impose their will on employees. No one challenges the decisions of autocratic leaders. Countries such as Cuba and North Korea operate under the autocratic leadership style. This leadership style benefits employees who require close supervision. Creative employees who thrive in group functions detest this leadership style.

The Participative Leader

Often called the democratic leadership style, participative leadership values the input of team members and peers, but the responsibility of making the final decision rests with the participative leader. Participative leadership boosts employee morale because employees make contributions to the decision-making process. It causes them to feel as if their opinions matter. When a company needs to make changes within the organization, the participative leadership style helps employees accept changes easily because they play a role in the process. This style meets challenges when companies need to make a decision in a short period.

The Transactional Leader

Managers using the transactional leadership style receive certain tasks to perform and provide rewards or punishments to team members based on performance results. Managers and team members set predetermined goals together, and employees agree to follow the direction and leadership of the manager to accomplish those goals. The manager possesses power to review results and train or correct employees when team members fail to meet goals. Employees receive rewards, such as bonuses, when they accomplish goals.

The Transformational Leader

The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from management to meet goals. Leaders motivate employees and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. This style of leadership requires the involvement of management to meet goals. Leaders focus on the big picture within an organization and delegate smaller tasks to the team to accomplish goals.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Loyal Employees are your Most Valuable Asset! by Brigette Hyacinth

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An employee's relationship with their manager sets the tone for their level of commitment to the organization's success. Gallup research shows that a mind-boggling 70% of an employee’s motivation is influenced by his or her manager. It’s no wonder employees don’t leave companies; they leave managers. Disengaged employees can cost companies millions of dollars from lost productivity, damages from employee negligence and negative publicity due to poor customer service. Organizations know how important it is to have motivated, engaged employees, but most fail to hold managers accountable for making it happen.

7 Things a Manager can do to Improve Employee Morale:

1.Connect with staff- As a leader you should be seen. Make your presence felt. Don’t just lock yourself in your office whole day and only communicate with staff when you want something done. Get to know your employees. Find out about their interests.
2. Show employees that you genuinely care. If an employee is dealing with an issue whether personally or professionally, show Empathy. Advocate for your team. Stand up for them. Don’t throw your people under the bus when things go wrong.
3. Practice Open and Honest two-way Communication. Keep employees informed. Don’t let them have to be hear of upcoming changes through the grapevine. Listening to employees - Have an atmosphere where employees ideas and suggestions are valued. Don’t have surveys and suggestion boxes then when feedback is given, you simply ignore it.
4. Be fair and neutral. Treat everyone fairly. Don’t pick favorites. Lead by example. Be known as a person of integrity.
5. Empower Employees. Provide them with the proper tools, then give them room to get the job done. Don’t micromanage!
6. Reward and RecognitionOffer incentives. Show employees how much you value and appreciate them. Always reward staff for good work, and not only top performers include those who are improving or doing their best. Be generous with "Thank Yous."
7. Recommend employees for training and new opportunities. Staff members can interpret an employer’s unwillingness to invest in training as a disregard for their professional development. Acknowledge and encourage strengths, recognize the different skills they possess and recommend training and development opportunities.
If you believe, that employees are your most valuable asset, you will create a healthy work atmosphere and provide them with the tools and support to do their jobs effectively.
It's important that managers focus on relationship building and encourage a family atmosphere at work. Get to know your employees, meet them where they are and be flexible. Many organizations treat their employees as if they are a commodity. They use them until they can get no more out of them, and then cast them aside. This leads to poor morale, lower productivity, and higher turnover.
Loyal employees are your most valuable asset. Don't take them for granted or treat them poorly. They use your internal tools and systems and interact with customers. They are your best brand ambassadors. Loyalty is a two-way street. You can't buy loyalty, but you can certainly foster and nurture it. Employees who have been pushed to the point where they no longer care, will not go the extra mile. They will not take the initiative to solve problems. They will end up treating customers the same way you treat them. Employees are the heart beat of the company. And if the heart stops beating...What will happen?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Cybersecurity Reference Architecture: Security for a Hybrid Enterprise by MARK SIMOS

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The Microsoft Cybersecurity Reference Architecture describes Microsoft’s cybersecurity capabilities and how they integrate with existing security architectures and capabilities. We recently updated this diagram and wanted to share a little bit about the changes and the document itself to help you better utilize it.

How to use it

We have seen this document used for several purposes by our customers and internal teams (beyond a geeky wall decoration to shock and impress your cubicle neighbors).
  • Starting template for a security architecture – The most common use case we see is that organizations use the document to help define a target state for cybersecurity capabilities. Organizations find this architecture useful because it covers capabilities across the modern enterprise estate that now spans on-premise, mobile devices, many clouds, and IoT / Operational Technology.
  • Comparison reference for security capabilities – We know of several organizations that have marked up a printed copy with what capabilities they already own from various Microsoft license suites (many customers don’t know they own quite a bit of this technology), which ones they already have in place (from Microsoft or partner/3rd party), and which ones are new and could fill a need.
  • Learn about Microsoft capabilities – In presentation mode, each capability has a “ScreenTip” with a short description of each capability + a link to documentation on that capability to learn more.
  • Learn about Microsoft’s integration investments – The architecture includes visuals of key integration points with partner capabilities (e.g. SIEM/Log integration, Security Appliances in Azure, DLP integration, and more) and within our own product capabilities among (e.g. Advanced Threat Protection, Conditional Access, and more).
  • Learn about cybersecurity – We have also heard reports of folks new to cybersecurity using this as a learning tool as they prepare for their first career or a career change.
As you can see, Microsoft has been investing heavily in security for many years to secure our products and services as well as provide the capabilities our customers need to secure their assets. In many ways, this diagram reflects Microsoft massive ongoing investment into cybersecurity research and development, currently over $1 billion annually (not including acquisitions).

What has changed in the reference architecture and why

We made quite a few changes in v2 and wanted to share a few highlights on what’s changed as well as the underlying philosophy of how this document was built.
  • New visual style – The most obvious change for those familiar with the first version is the simplified visual style. While some may miss the “visual assault on the senses” effect from the bold colors in v1, we think this format works better for most people.
  • Interactivity instructions – Many people did not notice that each capability on the architecture has a quick description and link to more information, so we added instructions to call that out (and updated the descriptions themselves).
  • Complementary content – Microsoft has invested in creating cybersecurity reference strategies (success criteria, recommended approaches, how our technology maps to them) as well as prescriptive guidance for addressing top customer challenges like Petya/WannaCrypt, Securing Privileged Access, and Securing Office 365. This content is now easier to find with links at the top of the document.
  • Added section headers for each grouping of technology areas to make it easier to navigate, understand, and discuss as a focus area.
  • Added foundational elements – We added descriptions of some core foundational capabilities that are deeply integrated into how we secure our cloud services and build our cybersecurity capabilities that have been added to the bottom. These include:
    • Trust Center – This is where describe how we secure our cloud and includes links to various compliance documents such as 3rd party auditor reports.
    • Compliance Manager is a powerful (new) capability to help you report on your compliance status for Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), NIST 800-53 and 800-171, ISO 27001 and 27018, and others.
    • Intelligent Security Graph is Microsoft threat intelligence system that we use to protect our cloud, our IT environment, and our customers. The graph is composed of trillions of signals, advanced analytics, and teams of experts hunting for malicious activities and is integrated into our threat detection and response capabilities.
    • Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) is foundational to how we develop software at Microsoft and has been published to help you secure your applications. Because of our early and deep commitment to secure development, we were able to quickly conform to ISO 27034 after it was released.
  • Moved Devices/Clients together – As device form factors and operating systems continue to expand and evolve, we are seeing security organizations view devices through the lens of trustworthiness/integrity vs. any other attribute.
    • We reorganized the Windows 10 and Windows Defender ATP capabilities around outcomes vs. feature names for clarity.
    • We also reorganized windows security icons and text to reflect that Windows Defender ATP describes all the platform capabilities working together to prevent, detect, and (automatically) respond and recover to attacks. We added icons to show the cross-platform support for Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities that now extend across Windows 10, Windows 7/8.1, Windows Server, Mac OS, Linux, iOS, and Android platforms.
    • We faded the intranet border around these devices because of the ongoing success of phishing, watering hole, and other techniques that have weakened the network boundary.
  • Updated SOC section – We moved several capabilities from their previous locations around the architecture into the Security Operations Center (SOC) as this is where they are primarily used. This move enabled us to show a clearer vision of a modern SOC that can monitor and protect the hybrid of everything estate. We also added the Graph Security API (in public preview) as this API is designed to help you integrate existing SOC components and Microsoft capabilities.
  • Simplified server/datacenter view – We simplified the datacenter section to recover the space being taken up by duplicate server icons. We retained the visual of extranets and intranets spanning on-premises datacenters and multiple cloud provider(s). Organizations see Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud providers as another datacenter for the intranet generation of applications, though they find Azure is much easier to manage and secure than physical datacenters. We also added Azure Stack capability that allows customers to securely operate Azure services in their datacenter.
  • New IoT/OT section – IoT is on the rise on many enterprises due to digital transformation initiatives. While the attacks and defenses for this area are still evolving quickly, Microsoft continues to invest deeply to provide security for existing and new deployments of Internet of Things (IoT) and Operational Technology (OT). Microsoft has announced $5 billion of investment over the next four years for IoT and has also recently announced an end to end certification for a secure IoT platform from MCU to the cloud called Azure Sphere.
  • Updated Azure Security Center – Azure Security Center grew to protect Windows and Linux operating system across Azure, on-premises datacenters, and other IaaS providers. Security Center has also added powerful new features like Just in Time access to VMs and applied machine learning to creating application whitelisting rules and North-South Network Security Group (NSG) network rules.
  • Added Azure capabilities including Azure Policy, Confidential Computing, and the new DDoS protection options.
  • Added Azure AD B2B and B2C – Many Security departments have found these capabilities useful in reducing risk by moving partner and customer accounts out of enterprise identity systems to leverage existing enterprise and consumer identity providers.
  • Added information protection capabilities for Office 365 as well as SQL Information Protection (preview).
  • Updated integration points – Microsoft invests heavily to integrate our capabilities together as well as to ensure use our technology with your existing security capabilities. This is a quick summary of some key integration points depicted in the reference architecture:
    • Conditional Access connecting info protection and threat protection with identity to ensure that authentications are coming from a secure/compliant device before accessing sensitive data.
    • Advanced Threat Protection integration across our SOC capabilities to streamline detection and response processes across Devices, Office 365, Azure, SaaS applications, and on Premises Active Directory.
    • Azure Information Protection discovering and protecting data on SaaS applications via Cloud App Security.
    • Data Loss Protection (DLP) integration with Cloud App Security to leverage existing DLP engines and with Azure Information Protection to consume labels on sensitive data.
    • Alert and Log Integration across Microsoft capabilities to help integrate with existing Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution investments.

Work to Live or Live to Work ? from Life Coach Directory

Sunday, May 27, 2018


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The Art and Science of Networking

Best practices for protecting your website SEO in a redesign By Rebecca Gill

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Website Seo Redesign Chalkboard

I’ve been working with website SEO for 15 years, and I’ve run a WordPress design agency for nine years. Over that time, I’ve learned one thing that stands out more than any other — a bad website design project can kill your SEOsearch ranking, and traffic like no other. That statement might seem fairly overly dramatic, but trust me when I say that I am not exaggerating. Website owners and marketers simply do not realize how easy it is to lose their website SEO in a redesign.
To illustrate my point, I’d like to provide some comments from real people who have reached out to me. These have all arrived through the inquiry form on my website.
This is just a sampling of the horror stories I hear each month:
  • I’ve made lots of changes to the site since late 2016, and clearly not all of them were good; traffic has completely nosedived to where I’m currently at less than 1 percent of what I achieved in my peak (1300 monthly views vs 170,000). I’d love some help regaining my search traffic again. – Emma
  • We worked with a company to transfer our website over from the Drupal platform to the WordPress platform. The structure of the website seems to be like twigs scotch taped together. Most damaging has been our significant drop in lead contact form submissions. So, we’re trying to find out why our leads dropped so much, and what we can do to start getting more of them. – Michael
  • Goal of my current SEO campaign: get more traffic. Since converting from my old site, my traffic has dropped significantly to almost zero. – John
  • My traffic has gone down over 70 percent in the last few months. I hired a tech company last summer who supposedly were SEO experts and my traffic started decreasing in August. It went down a bit but by the end of November/December, it had gone down a ton. – Candace
  • We had the site down for a little over a week while she migrated the content over to a new theme, but now that it is back up, our traffic is basically at zero (we usually get thousands of views a day). – Ivy
  • I hired a company last year to redesign our website and the new site launched in December 2017. Here’s the problem: in the first month following the launch, organic traffic dropped 40%! It has been over two months and our traffic hasn’t really recovered. – Rima
See any trends there? Each website owner had high hopes of being able to improve their website, while also maintaining or improving their SEO. And yet, it didn’t happen. Just the opposite. The botched redesign had a horrible outcome.
So, what really did happen? How did each of these website owners lose their SEO in a simple redesign?
Website Seo Redesign Chalkboard

Top 10 reasons website SEO and traffic disappear after a redesign

Here are some common reasons you could see your SEO rankings and traffic decrease or disappear after a website redesign:
  1. Developer forgot to remove the noindex flag upon go-live of the new website.

  2. Minimalist design went a bit too far and SEO-friendly content was removed.

  3. The website URL structure was modified but 301 redirects were not used.

  4. Keyword focused content was lost in an effort to make the website more visual.

  5. Meta titles, meta descriptions, or H1 headers were hardcoded to be the same across the entire website.

  6. Content silos were removed in an effort to flatten the website and provide a leaner approach to content marketing.

  7. The content migration forgot to consider existing internal links and failed to build in a new internal linking strategy.

  8. Key SEO pages were reduced down and placed into in content tabs.

  9. JavaScript was put into place, but not validated for errors. As a result, unknown errors would prevent Google from successfully crawling and rendering pages.

  10. The mobile website failed to follow Google’s best practices for mobile-first indexing.

You can protect yourself from the above issues. As a website owner, you cannot fully depend on your designer or developer’s SEO knowledge.
I’ve learned that some designers and developers just don’t know what they don’t know.
Their intentions are pure and genuine, but their lack of website SEO knowledge is dangerous.

Follow a website redesign checklist

Website Seo Redesign Icons
Below is my recommended list of activities for protecting you and your website through a redesign process.

Website design and development

To protect your website SEO in a redesign, check these boxes in the design and development category:
  • Set up a development website as noindex.
  • Take it one step further by blocking access to the site via a server level user ID and password.
  • Use Dyno Mapper or Screaming Frog to crawl the existing website to obtain a complete URL list.
  • Review Google Search Console or SEMrush so you can document a list of your top SEO-based landing pages.
  • Map targeted keywords to specific URLs and create an SEO sitemap.
  • Review content silos and validate that proper parent/children relationships exist.
  • Update outdated content and work towards a minimum length of 1,000 words.
  • Proofread new content for spelling errors and grammar.
  • Style new content for readability (i.e., small paragraphs, subheaders, bullets).
  • Review all content and create proper meta titles and descriptions.
  • Double check top landing pages to validate that quality content and SEO is in place.
  • Validate that search engine friendly URLs are in place.
  • Review your Semantic SEO header and make sure a proper outline structure exists for search engines and human visitors.
  • Check your website across mobile devices to confirm that responsive design and coding is in place and working properly.
  • Validate template coding to W3 standards and pay close attention to JavaScript issues.
  • Ensure your website passes Google’s mobile-friendly test.
  • Ensure your website passes accessibility tests.
  • Check code to text ratio on live pages to make sure search engines are not having to stumble through oodles of code and styling overrides to get to your valuable SEO content.
  • Check and validate Schema usage within Structured Data.
  • Check images for proper usage of alt text.
  • Optimize images for load times.
  • Update internal links to accommodate the new URL structure.
  • Create 301 redirects for any URL changes to existing content.
  • Check for redirect loops and chains.
  • Create a new XML sitemap.
  • Check the Robots.txt file and validate.
Next …

Website go-live

When your redesigned website goes live:
  • Remove the noindex setting on the live site.
  • Scan the database for any development URLs, and if found, update the URLs to the live site structure.
  • Review Google Analytics goals to validate that the URL structure and flow match the new website.
  • Upload the new XML sitemap to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.
  • Check Google Search Console for any crawl errors and address as needed.
  • Use SEMrush to crawl the new website and report errors.

Conclusion: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

As with many things in life, you are much better off spending time preventing issues than trying to fix them once they occur. Website SEO absolutely falls under this thought process.
You can protect and improve your SEO in a website redesign, but you have to make sure you and your developer are focused on SEO from the start of graphic design all the way through to the end of development and go-live.

10 sentences with all the Scrum Master advice you’ll ever need by Mike Cohn

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Ten sentences with all the Scrum Master advice you’ll ever need

1. Never Commit the Team to Anything Without Consulting Them First

As the Scrum Master, you do not have the authority to accept change requests (no matter how small) on behalf of the team. Even if you are absolutely positive that the team can fulfill a request, say, “I need to run this by the team before we can say yes.”
And certainly don’t commit the team to deadlines, deliverables, or anything else without first talking to team members. You may not need to talk to the whole team--plenty of teams will allow some or all members to say, “Yeah, we can do that” without a whole-team meeting. But it’s still their decision, not yours.

2. Remember You’re There to Help The Team Look Good

Being a Scrum Master is not about making yourself look good. You look good when the team looks good. And they look good when they do great work.
You know you’re doing your job well when those outside the team start to wonder if you were even needed. Yes, it can be scary if your boss wonders if you’re necessary. But a good boss will know that your skill and expertise make you appear unnecessary when in fact you are indispensable.
Trust your manager to understand the difference between looking unneeded and being unneeded.

3. Don't Beat the Team over the Head with an Agile Rule Book

Neither Scrum nor agile comes with a rule book (though some have attempted to create one).
If your product has users, consider writing user stories. But stories aren’t required to be agile. If someone needs to know when you’ll deliver: estimate. If not, maybe you don’t. If you think an end-of-sprint review is too late to receive feedback, do one-at-a-time reviews as each feature is built.
Being agile is about honoring the principles and values that create agility. If you stay true to those, you can’t go too far astray, regardless of what some may tell you.

4. Nothing Is Permanent So Experiment with Your Process

Part of honoring the principles of agility is to experiment with your process. Encourage the team to try new things.
Does your team love two-week sprints and think they’re working perfectly? Great. Now ask them to try a one-week or a three-week sprint and observe the results. Experiments might not always be popular, but they are the best way to ensure that you continue to uncover new, better ways of working.

5. Ensure Team Members and Stakeholders View Each Other as Peers

Team members and business-side stakeholders each bring an important perspective to a product development initiative. As such, each needs to be valued equally.
When either side views the other as something to be tolerated, the organization as a whole suffers. Development teams need to understand the unique perspective brought by stakeholders. And stakeholders need to respect the development team, including listening when developers say that a deadline is impossible.

6. Protect the Team, Including in More Ways than You May Think

Perhaps the most often given agile advice is that a Scrum Master needs to protect the team from an overly demanding product owner or stakeholders. And that’s good advice. Sometimes product owners simply ask for too much too often and too aggressively. This forces teams into cutting corners, usually quality corners, that come back to haunt the project.
And so a good Scrum Master protects the team against this.
But what you don’t hear as often is that a good Scrum Master should also protect the team against complacency. Good agile teams seek constantly to improve. Other teams settle, perhaps unconsciously, into thinking they’ve improved enough. And they likely are dramatically faster and better than before they’d heard of agile. But even great teams can often become even so much better.
Great Scrum Masters protect teams from ever feeling they’ve got nothing left to learn.

7. Banish Failure from Your Vocabulary

Every now and then I’ll visit a team that refers to a sprint as a “failed sprint.” Usually this means the team didn’t deliver everything they planned. I hardly consider that a failure, especially if the team finished most planned items or if they deftly handled an emergency.
When a basketball player shoots the ball toward the basket and scores, it’s called a field goal. When the player misses, it’s called a field goal attempt. Not a failure. An attempt.
Good Scrum Masters help teams adjust their thinking so that they recognize sprints and features that fall short of expectations as attempts rather than failures.

8. Praise Often But Always Sincerely

The other day I told my teenage daughter that I was proud of her. Her face lit up. That shouldn’t have surprised me. Who wouldn’t like to be told someone is proud of them?
But the way she reacted made me realize I must not tell her this often enough. I thought it was equivalent to me telling her something obvious, such as, “You’re tall.” But I learned it wasn’t.
Don’t ever offer false praise. No one wants to hear that. But when your team members do good work, let them know. Chances are, they aren’t hearing it often enough.

9. Encourage the Team to Take Over Your Job

A team that is new to agile will rely on their Scrum Master or coach in significant ways. The team may not know how to keep daily scrum meetings under fifteen minutes. Or they may not understand the importance of overlapping work or of being a cross-functional team.
The same is true of a an inexperienced sports team. The coach of the little kids learning to play football (soccer) needs to teach them everything. When my daughters were 6, their coach would run along the sideline the entire game yelling, “Kick and run!” If he didn’t, the young players would forget. Even with him yelling, occasionally some kid would just sit down on the grass and stare.
Contrast the coach of the young kids with the coach of a World Cup team. On a World Cup team, players have learned what to do. If the coach is late for practice, the players will know what drills or exercises to start the day with. The World Cup coach doesn’t need to remind the players to kick and run. But the World Cup team would never tell you they don’t need a coach at all.
No matter how good an agile team gets, I still think they benefit from having a Scrum Master or coach. But good agile teams take on some of the more straightforward coaching tasks themselves as part of their own journeys to mastering the skills needed in product development.

10. Shut Up and Listen

Some of the best coaching or mentoring you’ll do is to stay silent and let the team figure out the answer.
This can be hard. When you see your team struggling to figure out what to do, it’s natural to want to jump in and offer advice. But if you solve problems or even offer suggestions too readily, team members learn to just wait for you to solve every problem for them.
I don’t want to imply you can’t ever offer suggestions. You’re a smart person. If not, you wouldn’t be in the role you’re in. But part of being a great Scrum Master is helping teams learn how to solve problems on their own. If you solve every problem team members face, they don’t get a chance to learn how themselves.