Majoring in the Minors
The Little Things Matter
I was greeted at the market the other day by one gentleman in the deli and the other in the produce section. In the deli, the greeter wore a tight hairnet, wore plastic gloves and greeted me with, "Good morning, sir, how can I help you?" In the produce section, a different gentleman had unruly hair and a pair of earbuds firmly planted in both ears. When I waved him down to ask a question about tomatillos, he sighed heavily, acting as if my query was an intrusion.
I've talked this over with younger professionals I know, and they tend to counter that I'm "majoring in the minors." They suggest that these experiences that I consider lapses are just the new normal for their generation. I suggest that the next person who can steer the course back to coherent language, attire, and etiquette will be seen as a business sage, a pioneer, and a thought leader for a new generation.
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Carl Pritchard will lead his highly rated and memorable PMP® Certification Exam Prep class in Rockville, Maryland on May 19-20. For more information email Carl at email@example.com or register online.
A Dangerous Combination
Projects and Probabilities
Project managers need to be very careful how they use probabilities and statistics when discussing their projects. Individual projects do not conform to the laws of statistics, and statistical references in the context of an individual project are often misused or misconstrued.
In July 2014, National Public Radio (NPR) produced a five-part series on "Risk and Reason" where the use of statistics and probability in daily life was examined. In one episode, they asked listeners what it means when the weather forecast was a "20% chance of rain tomorrow." Only 51% of the poll respondents correctly answered it means that it "will rain on 20% of the days like tomorrow."
Statistically speaking, even if you're using statistics correctly, someone is probably interpreting them wrong »
PM Light™ FastRAMP: New series begins in June!
The PM Light™ FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. You'll learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you'll really understand the critical management and leadership role the execs want you to fill. And all without a single day out of the office.
Save $150 if you register before close of business Wednesday, May 13. 12 PDUs.
Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Recognizing and Dealing With a Lack of Urgency for Meeting Deadlines
Everyone's working, but nothing seems to be getting done. Every week the little schedule slips pile up a little bit higher. It's time to counter "death by little slips" with a dose of urgency. If you're trying to solve this problem with your current team, or even if you're just trying to keep it from happening to you, this course can help inject a much-needed sense of urgency when it's really called for, and without stressing everyone out or demoralizing the team.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
As Carl says above, details matter. These resources help you get them right, and know when to let go.
Cinda Voegtli will be in St. Louis April 23-25 to attend the FIRST Robotics Competitions (that's an acronym, not a number). FIRST's programs inspire a love of science, technology, engineering, and math in kids, while developing leadership, project teamwork, and communication skills. Encouraging interest in STEM careers is a special passion of Cinda's (she's an electrical engineer herself), and any program that also teaches such important life and workplace skills so early gets our vote!
Next month, Cinda will speak at the PMI Northeast Wisconsin Professional Development Days May 6, on "Changing Perceptions to Influence and Improve Project Management in Your Organization." Then, on May 18, she will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for IEEE ProCon where she will lead two half-day workshops -- one on Strong Project Starts, the other on Managing without Authority.
Sinikka Waugh will lead a session on navigating difficult conversations at the Madison, WI PMI Professional Development Day May 14. The next day, she leads a session on problem solving at IIBA Iowa BA Development Day (I-BADD).
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero will present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: the Complete Project Manager" in London May 14-15, 2015, after the PMI EMEA Global Congress. They will also cover this topic in Orlando July 20-23 at PMI Mega SeminarsWorld, and October 7-10 prior to the PMI North America Global Congress. Please join them to enhance people skills in the project environment at one of these interactive, fun, and informative seminars.
Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
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