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Featured Article 
Premium How-To Course 
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For Project Leads 
For Managing PMs 
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WBS and Schedule Models 
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Corporate Subscriptions & Licensing 
June 21, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

Alfonso Bucero posted last week explaining one of his key watchwords: Passion, Persistence and Patience. Geof Lory's column on being smart about speed, and Brian Irwin's blog demanding that we actually do something to create the change we want to see, followed with such a perfect setup that we've made it our theme this week. You can let the project run you, or you can run the project. Passion, Persistence and Patience.

Featured Article

Speed Kills
by Geof Lory

Geof Lory In the last ten to fifteen years, I don't know if I have worked for a company where schedule hasn't been the primary driver on the project. There is a lot of talk about staying under budget, but in reality few companies track their project spend at a level where monitoring project costs can be proactively useful or even known. Quality seems to get the same level of attention and is not really taken seriously until it dips to a dangerous level. And scope, well, when is enough, enough and who really can say no?

I find that the schedule is often self-imposed by an owner or senior manager who feels that if he/she doesn't create the sense of urgency things will just not get done. Their thought is that without the overt pressure of the schedule, people will just sit around in meetings and ruminate or spend time surfing the Net for the latest scoop on some celebrity. While I believe that having a goal which includes a timeframe, random application of inexplicable schedule pressure with the associated need for speed, may not always get the intended results. Speed can be good. Speed gets things done, sometimes. Speed also has prerequisites. Ignore them and speed can kill. Read the rest »

Geof Lory is thawing out from his recent gig in Barrow, Alaska before heading to southern China in July (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.

Premium How-To Course

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

Project Plan Example - Small ProjectPREMIUM
That 2-3 week, multi-step task you were just handed? Yep, that's a project. This example shows how even a small project can benefit from a little project management "lite," without weighing you down. Look good to your boss while making your boss look good. It's a win-win!

The Impact of Personality Types Team InteractionsMEMBER
Is that unreasonable peer really being unreasonable, or are they just coming at the issue from a completely different angle than you are? This guideline explains how an understanding of "personality types" (or more properly, communication styles), can be useful for avoiding conflict and promoting effective collaboration. It may prompt a new perspective on your team mates, and on how your team mates might see your communication style too.

For Project Leads

Phase Signoff ProcessPREMIUM
If you're just focusing on getting the signatures, you're missing an important touch point in your project's success. This guideline shows one team's process for getting meaningful executive signoffs at the end of key project phases, to approve transition to the next phase and expenditures.

Adapting Processes for Different ProjectsSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until July 5, 2012
"That's the way everyone does it." OK, but that doesn't mean it's best for your project. Learn how your existing PM and development processes can accommodate different project lengths, risk profiles, and levels of complexity. Don't wait for someone to tell you it's OK to bend the rules. It's time to make the case yourself.

Managing PMs

Project Selection and Controlling Project StartsMEMBER
Before you passionately support that new project, make sure it supports your organization's most important goals. This guideline proposes an ordered process for proposing, reviewing, selecting, and launching new project ideas that support business objectives.

Setting Strategic Project Selection CriteriaPREMIUM
When deciding which projects to take on, it helps to know why they might matter. This guideline outlines typical strategic categories of project selection criteria, and a possible process for using these categories to screen candidate projects.

Project Practitioners

Alfonso Bucero's most recent post, as usual, speaks for itself: Persistence: Never Give Up. Don't miss his practical take on a personal trait.

Are you ready to get knocked off your complacency for this week? Check out Brian Irwin's pull-no-punches post Irate about Change. The most terrifying thing about this post is how true it is.

Could your project have a better life? Almost certainly. A staff review of Right-Brain Project Management explains how this book by Mike Aucoin can help your project get a life.

While you're at it, check out Mike Aucoin's riff on a Mercedes commercial, dealing with the necessity of acknowledging emotion in our decision making -- as long as we’re not being crazy about it.

Margaret de Haan enumerates the lessons learned from her twin boys and how they relate to her work in The Art of Parenting and Project Management -- a great collection of advice.

Randy Englund got a course review recently that was more war story than commentary, and graciously shared it with us in Creating the Project Office: A Personal Story. Anyone who's gone through this will recognize themselves. Anyone who's facing it should learn from these experiences.

ProjectConnections Bundles

Software Requirements Capture and Management
Software Requirements Capture and Management Identify what your project needs to create, and why! This bundle of 16 practical guidelines and checklists helps you assess customer needs, project-level requirements and specifications for different project elements. Using these tools, your team can thoroughly consider and communicate what they need to do, who cares about it, and how they're going to keep it all under control. Learn More »

WBS and Schedule Models

New! WBS Example: Presentation PlanningPREMIUM
If you've ever tried to organize even a 1- or 2-day offsite, you know that arrangements for presenters are just the beginning. There are facilities questions, equipment issues, probably some materials to print or prepare… oh, and don't forget the food. Whatever the scale and purpose of your event, this high-level WBS and schedule can help you get a head start on your planning activities and make sure you don't overlook important factors that can make the difference.

Where's ProjectConnections

Carl Pritchard leads a public session this week at PMI Baltimore dinner presentation The 2nd Five Traits of Risk Management Excellence, followed by a June 26 public session on Advanced Risk Management.

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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