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How to get FUN back into your projects
ProjectConnections  Newsletter
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June 30, 2016 In this edition:
Summertime... and the livin' is easy...
(according to a famously languid old song)

But is it? Are you getting it all done this summer, and are you having fun, at work?

When summer hits every fiber of my being screams to be outside in the sunshine, footloose and fancy free, as much as possible. My feelings about work - what we're accomplishing and whether I'm enjoying it - tend to therefore surface unbidden for direct comparison to that idea summertime state.

Which then leads to the very interesting question of how to be sure that I'm "getting it all done" -- "it" being the results we're after, not just lots of effort. And how to make sure that the livin' will stay easy as we get things done - warm and languid and relaxed like the first line of that song, vs. bursting into the flames of yet another unexpected fun-killing project fire drill.

While we're at it, what constitutes "fun" on a project, anyway?

But I digress, kind of, because all I meant to do was write an intro to this week's newsletter - which is all about project metrics (measuring progress and results), and project fun (in various forms). Without further ado, I hope you enjoy it!

Cinda
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Featured Article
PMs Just Want to Have Fun
by Carl Pritchard

Carl Pritchard Are your projects "too serious" to also be fun? Do you associate "having fun" on projects with forced silly stuff, ok for young start-ups but inappropriate for those Serious Corporate Projects? Carl Pritchard has some advice to the contrary! Here are a few snippets of his thinking:
  • "I fear there are a host of people out there who want to suck the fun out of corporate life."
  • "If we have to turn fun into an "under the radar" experience, there's an inherent problem in how we're managing. We cannot be the enemies of fun. We should instead be fun's allies."
  • "If you want to be allied with positivity and good energy, you need to be the source."
  • "We don't have to yuck it up constantly to bring fun to the fore in our project environments."
Sound intriguing? See what Carl has to say about fun on projects - what it is, why it's important, ways to bring fun into the fabric of your project, and our responsibility as PMs to balance the seriousness of our endeavors with forms of fun that bring energy to our teams. See Carl's ideas...

Related resources:
[GUIDELINE]  Project Team Rewards and Recognition Ideas
[BURNING QUESTION]  How do you do a meaningful project celebration?
[BLOG ARCHIVE]  Attitude of Gratitude: Celebrate Project Success... and Some Failures, too!
[BLOG ARCHIVE]  Maintaining your positive attitude for project success


Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Project Status is Subjective - Part 2: Status Metrics
by Alan Zucker

What do you measure on your projects to know whether you're on track? Do those "metrics" tell the truth, or are they ever manipulated to tell a different story?! How we measure and label progress impacts team behavior and organizational culture; people will seek praise and generally strive to report good or on-track performance. But often the incentives to appear on-track outweigh those of being transparent and open about actual progress (or lack there-of). Project managers who recognize and accept that status reporting and metrics are subjective can leverage this knowledge to more effectively manage their projects. Alan Zucker presents 4 ideas for doing so.

Related resources:
[BLOG ARCHIVE]  Percent Complete? Are you Kidding?
[GUIDELINE]  Tracking with Visible Deliverables
[GUIDELINE]  Completion Criteria - Goals for Judging a Project, or Parts Thereof, Truly "Done"
[BURNING QUESTION]  No matter what they say, we're not almost done...
[BURNING QUESTION]  How do I track our actual project costs and compare them to the project budget?


Project Scorecard – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until July 14, 2016
This one-page worksheet, designed by Kimberly Wiefling of Wiefling Consulting, helps your team define the project finish line in clear, measurable terms. The format encourages measurable goals, go/no-go criteria, long-term progress reports, and active risk mitigation. The end result is a high-level project dashboard that helps you understand not only where the project is, but how to get where it should be. Get the Worksheet »

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