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May 10, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

Some weeks, we've got so much to share that we don't know where to start. This is one of them. In this issue, Alan Koch brings us Step 5(b) of his "Little ITIL, Big Results" series, Premium subscribers enjoy Part 1 of Carl Pritchard's mini-course on Earned Value Management, and you've still got a week to register for Sinikka Waugh's upcoming webinar on Working Successfully with "Difficult" People. (Yes, that was a euphemism.) All this, plus a slew of project resources for every role. Check it out!

Live Webinar: Last Chance!

Sinikka Waugh

How to Tame a Bully: Working Successfully with Difficult People
Tuesday, May 16, 9 a.m. Pacific (12:00 p.m. Eastern)

Do you ever find yourself rehearsing the perfect response after leaving a difficult meeting? Join Sinikka Waugh for this engaging, interactive session to prepare for your next meeting with those tough customers. Using real-life scenarios, this class helps participants improve their skills in dealing with the difficult people that sometimes populate our projects. You can learn to tame a bully. 1.5 Category A PDUs. $39.95 (Free for Premium subscribers!) Learn More »

Featured Article

Little ITIL, Big Results: Making Your First Improvement
by Alan Koch

Alan Koch In the previous article of our "Little ITIL®, Big Results" series, we decided which improvement effort we will do first. Now it is time for us to get to work on it. Finally! So now, we "just do it!" Right?

If it were that easy, we would have done it long ago, and the landscape would not be littered with the dead carcasses of failed improvement efforts. Think about how people often react to the announcement of an improvement effort. "Oh oh! Here's the next flavor of the day. If we smile and nod, it'll die of its own accord just like all the others that preceded it."

Improvements seem so benign, but in the real world, they present us with real challenges. Being successful with improvements requires that we be aware of those challenges and address them explicitly. Read more »

Premium How-To Course

New! Earned Value Management, Part 1
Carl Pritchard Presented by Carl Pritchard, Pritchard Management Associates

Have you ever found yourself halfway through a project, with only 10% of your budget left? This two-part course provides an overview of the Earned Value approach to tracking project progress. The first installment focuses on laying the groundwork. (Part 2 will be released in June.) 1 PDU Learn more »

For Team Members

Task Responsibility Matrix FormatsPREMIUM
The Responsibility Matrix provides an easy-to-scan, condensed format to record important team member responsibilities from the beginning. It also helps ensure documentation of responsibility and involvement for "hidden" items like key review attendance or key decisions. You don't have to be in charge to benefit from a matrix like this. All team members should want to know how their work fits together with others'.

Sample Team Meeting AgendaPREMIUM
Whether you're in charge of a team, or just a working group, a simple agenda can save a lot of time and frustration. This sample agenda emphasizes using objectives and timeslots to keep your meetings effective.

For Project Leads

Requirements Walkthrough ChecklistPREMIUM
Requirements walkthroughs are typically held at least twice during project planning: with the project's primary stakeholders, to get their approval of the final requirements; and with the team who will develop and test the final project deliverables, to insure they understand the requirements and are ready to move ahead. This checklist will help you organize productive, efficient walkthroughs, so your team members can move forward with confidence.

Requirements Workshop Planning GuidePREMIUM
Detailed tips and a step-by-step guideline help you plan a requirements workshop designed to elicit and understand a specific set of requirements. Extensive suggestions on planning and conducting the workshop and post-meeting follow-up are included, along with a sample agenda and general meeting facilitation tips.

ProjectConnections Bundles

Project Closeout and Lessons Learned
Project Closeout Bundle At each subsequent stage of a project, correcting issues gets more and more expensive because of the growing number of people involved and the impact of changes on other pieces of the system. By testing pieces at each stage of development, then testing the system from the viewpoint of the how the customer will use it, teams can avoid painful and expensive end-game and post-deployment headaches. This collection of test plan outlines, guidelines, example formats, and related tools will help. Multi-user licenses available for PMOs. Learn More »

Managing PMs

Company Program for Ongoing PM LearningPREMIUM
An overview of a company's comprehensive program for training and supporting their project managers. This model framework is designed to provide "just-in-time" learning opportunities for your PMs as they need support. Several different learning options are included.

Project Manager Development Profile FormMEMBER
Use this one-page form for comprehensive assessment and development planning for individual project managers across categories such as management skills, career ambition, and short- and long-term growth potential. Appropriate as an individual coaching/assessment tool as well as a guideline for personnel growth and assignments.

WBS and Schedule Models

Department- and Project-Level WBS ExampleSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until May 24, 2012
These work breakdowns were used by the Director of the technical development department responsible for these products, to provide a portfolio-level Work Breakdown view of all the projects in his department and a starting point for defining the WBS for each project in his department in a consistent way. Three example files are included.

Project Practitioners

Brian Irwin checks in with some thoughts on the Scrum Master position: Project Manager without the Bureaucratic Fat. Now that's a diet.

Morley Selver answers an unusual request with a perfectly valid question: "Why would they do that?" Talking about the reasoning behind requests can provide lots of answers.

Ed Reynolds follows up his column on Managing Up with another on Managing Out – handling transitions for employees who, sadly, just aren't living up to expectations.

What do teamwork, project management, and orcs have in common? They're all part of DeAnna Burghart's explanation of why project kickoffs matter.

Where's ProjectConnections

Carl Pritchard is the dinner keynote speaker at PMI Washington DC on May 15. For more information, check out the chapter website. To catch up with Carl at other appearances, keep an eye on his online calendar.

Kent McDonald is at IIBA Northeast Wisconsin on May 22, where he will speak on business analysis topics, including "Beyond Requirements: Becoming a business advisor." On June 13, you'll find him at the Better Software West Conference, discussing "Context-driven Leadership."

Kimberly Wiefling is heads to London in mid May, back to Japan in late May, and finally returns to the States in June for several appearances, including PACTA's Scrappy Project Management Dinner Meeting. Find out where you can cross paths with Kimberly.

Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero are excited to share the publication of their new books, The Complete Project Manager: Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills and its companion The Complete Project Manager Toolkit. They'll be exploring the topics with participants during their new seminar at the PMI Mega SeminarsWorld in Orlando, Florida on June 18-21.


Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing

Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.


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