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June 7, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

If you don't know where you want to end up, it doesn't matter which direction you go. This week, Kimberly Wiefling's column reminded us of the old truism that perception is reality -- but in the best possible way. Her inspiring entry explains the source of her seemingly inexhaustible energy, and encouraged us to highlight a few resources you can use to envision a better future and start making it happen. Yes, it sounds hokey, but that doesn't make it any less true. Perception IS reality… or it can be.

Featured Article

Which Dog Will You Feed? Choosing Our Reality
by Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling In 1995 I decided to embrace optimism as a strategy for creating possibilities. It wasn't a rational choice, it was an intuitive leap of faith. My many years of education as a physicist had taught me to ignore my intuition, but logic was insufficient to overcome my exuberance. You see I'd just had my eyes opened by a truly gifted coach who'd helped me discover that the person holding me back my entire life had been myself. Once I recovered from the shock of that revelation I made a decision to use my enormous power to shape reality to create a more hospitable environment, starting with my own attitude.

Immediately, I encountered resistance from those who had benefited from my negativity in the past -- namely everyone. My negativity was a comfort to others who were convinced of the darkness in the world. It confirmed their own belief system. And, of course, they were loath to believe that I'd truly changed. After all, I'd been thoroughly convincing as a naysayer, so they rightly assumed that I was just shining them on, and would return to my old patterns of behavior momentarily. What does your "reality" look like? »

Kimberly Wiefling is back in the US this month, so if you're on the West Coast, you can catch her speaking to Marin's Networking Entrepreneurial Womenabout Scrappy Women in Business on June 12, or at PACTA's Scrappy Project Management Dinner Meeting on June 18. Find out where you can cross paths with Kimberly.

Premium How-To Course

New! Earned Value Management, Part 2: Tracking and Reporting
Presented by Carl Pritchard, Pritchard Management Associates

Carl Pritchard This second installment of Carl Pritchard's 2-part mini-course gets into the practical details of Earned Value Management, including claiming work, reporting results, and (*ahem*) the math. (Don't worry, it's not that bad!) With simple examples and approachable language, Carl shows you how a criteria-based WBS can be used to assess the current state of a project, predict how future work might go on that project, and decide whether or not the effort required to meet the original goals is realistic. The result is bottom-line language that executives will love, assuming you use Carl's intuitive, fact-based approach to reporting. 1 PDU Learn more »

For Team Members

Ways to Gain Career-Enhancing PM Skills and ExperienceSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until June 21, 2012
Quit waiting for your next career move to happen to you. This guideline from ProjectConnections founder Cinda Voegtli contains pointers and suggestions for accelerating the development of skills and experience you need to expand your project management career options.

Priorities, Goals, and Actions Alignment WorksheetMEMBER
Capture critical personal goals, prioritize them, and develop personal action plans aligned with those priorities.

For Project Leads

Product Definition - Critical Success FactorsPREMIUM
The first step in building a successful product is deciding what it is. This checklist of critical success factors helps you ensure your product is on the path to success, by comparing your project's information against this list of critical factors for project success.

Risk Strategy Selection MatrixPREMIUM
Often there are multiple strategies a team can choose from to deal with project risks. This matrix helps the project manager, management, and the team get a clear look at the most pervasive risks, and identify which strategies have the best chance of resolving multiple risks at once. Two birds, one stone and all that.

New! Project ScorecardPREMIUM
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.

Managing PMs

Creating the Right Software Project OrganizationPREMIUM
Building a software project organization won't do you much good unless you build the right one. This guideline by an experienced software development executive relays a step-by-step approach for creating an effective software project organization.

Enterprise Project Management Office (PMO) CharterPREMIUM
To increase the odds of successfully launching a Project Management Office, your charter should help build and document stakeholder consensus about the PMO's goals, mission, constraints, and resources. This charter outline, provided by an experienced and highly successful director of an enterprise PMO, walks PMO heads and stakeholders through key success factors for launching an enterprise-wide PMO, Project Office, or Center of Excellence.

ProjectConnections Bundles

Project Selection – Multi-User License
Project Selection Bundle One of the best risk strategies in any project environments is to make sure you're taking on the right projects in the first place. This bundle will help you develop an organized approach to project selection with templates, guidelines, and worksheets that help you select the projects that should make the cut, and cut the projects that shouldn't. The included multi-user license for your project steering group ensures you can put the tools to immediate use, so you can start saving time, money, and frustration right away. Learn More »

WBS and Schedule Models

Software Release Life Cycle WBSMEMBER
This file provides a full cross-functional work breakdown for a software release project, including related work such as training and documentation. Typical WBS dependency relationships are noted, along with generic departmental resource assignments. In addition, every task is annotated with notes on the purpose of that task and guidelines for executing it, giving you a big jump-start on your own release-level schedule.

Project Practitioners

Patti Gilchrist of freepmstudy.com joins us this week as a monthly blogger. Patti's posts are link-rich and stat-laden, but her evidence-driven approach is propelled by a matter of fact attitude that practically dares you to follow her lead and try something better. Her first post serves up practical advice on writing unambiguous business requirements. Check it out, and leave her a column to welcome her aboard!

Ann Drinkwater shares 5 suggestions for new PMOs -- excellent guidance for anyone who has the opportunity and challenge of being an organization’s first formal project manager.

Morley Selver questions the wisdom of the traditional "Triple Constraints" with a shout out to the Quadruple Constraints more common in his industry.

Sinikka Waugh weighs in with three quick suggestions for improving your influence as a project leader. This post is simply awesome. Go read it.

Where's ProjectConnections

If you've ever wanted to know how to ride a bull through a china shop, check out Kent McDonald's June 13 session on "Context-Driven Leadership" at the Better Software West Conference.

Carl Pritchard leads a public session on Advanced Risk Management at PMI Baltimore on June 26 in between client engagements, and PMI Baltimore dinner presentation on June 21 covering The Second Five Traits of Risk Management Excellence

Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero will be exploring the topics of their new book The Complete Project Manager at the PMI Mega SeminarsWorld in Orlando, Florida on June 18-21.

Geof Lory lends new meaning to the word "globe-trotting" this summer, jetting from Barrows, Alaska this week (brrr!) to southern China next month (where we're certain he won't have any trouble keeping warm). If you'd like to bring him to your neck of the woods, you can reach him through www.gtdconsult.com.

Sinikka Waugh continues her Business Analysis series at DMACC in Des Moines, Iowa, with a June 26 session on the Fundamentals of Business Analysis, and a July 25 BA Survival Guide. For registration information, call DMACC at 1-800-342-0033 or contact jmbundy@dmacc.edu.


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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