September 27, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.
From the Editor
Coordinating testing is a Cinderella activity in many ways -- not too little, not too much. Several of our resources this week will help you strike the right balance for your project. You'll also find steps 7-10 of Alan Koch's series on Little ITIL®, Big Results, along with career-oriented advice (for you and your hires) from Morley Selver, Margaret de Haan, and Alfonso Bucero. Enjoy!
Little ITIL®, Big Results – Steps 7 thru 10: Beyond Getting Started
Having completed Steps 1 through 6, you are officially no longer "Getting Started." Assuming you have been regularly keeping score and talking about it (Steps 3 & 4) and have made a whole series of "sweet" improvements and talked about them (Steps 5 & 6), you should have built a positive and rational relationship with your customers and stakeholders, both within IT and throughout the organization.
by Alan Koch
From that platform, you are now ready to launch into a new mode of operation that will pay large dividends to IT, to your customers and to your organization at large. This new mode of operation transforms IT from a mere supplier of services to an enabler of business success. That is, rather than IT merely responding to your customers' requests, you join with them in strategic discussions to identify ways that IT Services can be employed to make them wildly successful.
Read the rest »
Premium How-To Course
Change Management for Working with Partners
Presented by Mike Aucoin
By definition, partnerships generally involve changing something about how one or both sides work. Even if you're incredibly confident in the partners and vendors working on your project, different organizations still have different practices, cultures, people, and styles to navigate. This course by Mike Aucoin, author of Right-Brain Project Management, helps you learn techniques for approaching a new project or partner relationship and laying the groundwork for success. Mike discusses how to create enough alignment up front, monitor the relationship, and make necessary adjustments throughout your joint effort. 1 PDU
Learn more »
For Team Members
Software Unit Test Plan and Report Guidelines – MEMBER
An overview of unit testing, step-by-step process guidelines, and sample documents for creating your own formal testing procedures.
Software Test Transfer Forms – PREMIUM
Use these practical forms to accompany a software build when it's sent to testing. They'll provide a record of what is being transferred, testing instructions, and ultimately a record of what was tested and the results.
For Project Leads
Benefits Realization Plan – PREMIUM
Don't settle for a vague sense that the project was a good thing. This plan documents the expected benefits of the project, details how those benefits will be measured, and captures those measurements for later assessment and use in lessons learned.
Software Unit Testing – MEMBER
Should your project experiment with unit testing? This paper provides an overview of the practical, ground-level concerns that come with unit testing, so you can your own procedures. You will find it can be cost-effective, reliable, and often reveals insidious bugs that may not turn up when a system is tested against requirements.
Help! The Testers Want to Break the Bank
Is it possible to test too much? Alan Koch details four possible strategies for improving quality on your project, and provides guidance on deciding whether quality improvement is even called for.
Business Rules Management Guideline – PREMIUM
Business rules are an important part of the requirements package, but they're challenging to write, manage, and maintain without a rules repository. This guideline is designed to help you develop your own approach, by providing some basic guidance on business rules and tips for rules organization, management, and change control.
How an ASIC Company Selects the Right Projects,
Manages the Customer, and Always Finishes on Time – MEMBER
Does your PMO know how to say no? Read how an integrated circuit development company has honed their approach to project selection to take on only those projects they know they can complete on time, on budget.
Building a Better Project Plan
Plan Development, Step 7: Create the Project Plan Document – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until October 11, 2012
Now that you've compiled all the information you need, you can create a meaningful project plan that the team can support. This guideline explains how, and what that document should look like. It's more than a schedule; it's a management summary providing project essentials like objectives, justification, and how the objectives will be achieved, as well as describing how the project will be managed.
Generic Project Plan Document – PREMIUM
For a more detailed example, have a look at this project plan document outline. Annotations explain how each section is used, and make it easier to adapt the plan for different situations.
WBS and Schedule Models
WBS Example: Integrated Hardware/Software Mechanical Project – PREMIUM
This Microsoft Project file demonstrates development of a WBS in its purest form: All tasks, no dates. It was developed for a mechanical hardware/software integration project, and provides a great example of a real-world work breakdown that runs cradle-to-grave (or in this case, charter-to-installation) without descending to an unmanageable level of detail.
Margaret de Haan provided a fantastic public service recently with her Tips on Hiring for Your PMO This is a great model not just for PMO hiring, but for hiring in general, and Margaret's suggested interview questions are a breath of fresh air. Yes, there are some off-beat offerings (Hey, do you really want to work with someone who can't react to the unexpected with humor and grace?) but there are some wonderful alternatives to the usual "What's your greatest weakness" spiel here. We particularly love the one asking the interviewee to choose between deadline and scope. There's no right answer, of course, but there might be a right answer for your environment (as there is for Margaret's). What would you add to this list?
Alfonso Bucero provides a timely and insightful column on the futility of fretting and fuming. As usual, he isn't content to warn us away from counterproductive behavior. This is a great piece full of suggestions for reclaiming your inner peace, which is especially useful before heading into That Meeting.
Morley Selver has posted Part 2 of Just What Are My Roles & Responsibilities? If you're a lead engineer, or working with one, you definitely need to read this entry. So many aspects of a job are boiled down to platitudes like "excellent communicator" that they can end up not really meaning anything, especially if you're new to a role. Morley does an excellent job of explaining the nuances of the role in as few words as possible (but no fewer).
Kent McDonald will be covering the subject of agile project roles and what it really means to "be agile" at the Central Iowa PMI Professional Development Day on October 5. His October 30 presentation at Building Business Capability in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will cover using business models to guide project decisions. You can also catch him at Better Software East in early November.
Carl Pritchard will be the dinner speaker at the Pittsburgh, PA PMI meeting on October 11. Plus, he's running another of his acclaimed PMP Certification Exam Prep classes in Rockville, MD October 17-18. Check out Carl's website for more information.
Sinikka Waugh is running several classes in Iowa this fall, including the Business Analysis Survival Guide on October 11, Secrets to Strong Facilitation on October 26, and Problem Solving and Action Planning on November 7. For more information call DMACC Registration at 515-964-6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Randy Englund presents highlights from his new book The Complete Project Manager the Project Summit / Business Analyst World in Chicago, Illinois (November 12-15, 2012). Participants in the symposia and workshop will explore the missing ingredients to move from good to great.
Morley Selver is giving a free webinar on Operators as Part of the Project Team in November. (See the link for registration information.) His workshop on Fundamentals of Project Management will be offered November 22-24 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
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