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Premium How-To Course 
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Project Practitioners 
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December 6, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

It's December, so we have our minds on endings, beginnings, and parties. (Mostly parties.) If you're wondering how to keep track of the chaos during your hectic schedule, or your project's hectic closeout, we've got that covered. If you want to be sure your team feels appreciated -- maybe even throw them a little party Ð we've got that covered, too. Plus, Alan Koch muses on where process comes from, Cinda Voegtli's mini-course explains how to cut the corners properly, and Morley Selver explains why you should never pick a fight with procurement.

Featured Article

Process Genesis: Chapter 1 of 2 -- Creation
by Alan Koch

Alan Koch In the beginning, God said, "Let us create!"

And the unnamed Us asked, "What is this 'Create'?"

And God said, "Let there be Process." And it was so.

And God made a Creation Process. And He socialized it with the unnamed Us, and explained, "A Process is a series of Activities that is triggered by a specific event or condition and transforms inputs into outputs in order to achieve a purpose. Because we will be creating many things, we need a Creation Process to guide all of our work, and to help us to Create all of those things consistently and efficiently."

Alan Koch addresses some of the eternal questions of product development: How did we get here? What does it all mean? Where did that big binder come from? »

Premium How-To Course

Getting More Flexible with Project Processes
Presented by Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli It might seem like it's carved in stone, but it is possible to find leeway in project processes if you know where to look. To do so, though, you need to approach those processes from the right perspective. You have to know why they exist, what they're designed to accomplish, and when it's acceptable to bend the rules -- or even to completely ignore them. This mini-course examines how several companies have communicated different project profiles to their teams without scaring them off or overwhelming them. 1.25 PDU Learn more »

For Team Members

Use Case SpecificationPREMIUM
Comprehensive use case specifications can help drive decisions about system architecture, user interface, manuals and tests, and more. This outline illustrates how to write a complete specification that captures the specific details of a use case (beyond just the models and diagrams you may have drafted), in order to capture the functional requirements of a system.

Recording Key Project DecisionsPREMIUM
In the hectic final weeks of a project, it can be all too easy to forget what you decided about a key feature, or why. This file provides several different formats for recording key decisions in various contexts, as well as tips for using features in common project management and collaboration tools to maintain this critical piece of project history -- for your own sanity, if nothing else.

For Project Leads

Project Closeout Meeting AgendaSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until December 20, 2012
Celebrate your project wrap up by ensuring that you're really, truly done. This template provides an agenda for a Close Out Workshop, an occasion where the Program Team and others can document what worked, areas for improvement, lessons learned, and next steps, if any. Instructions are included.

Project Team Rewards and Recognition GuidelineMEMBER
While you're working through the last loose ends on your project, remember to plan for team rewards, recognition, celebration, and general hoopla. This guideline provides ideas, suggestions, and a detailed example from one team's reward-planning activities. An appreciated team is a productive team! And hey, who needs an excuse for a good party?

WBS and Schedule Models

New! WBS Example: Party PlanningMEMBER
Speaking of parties, this WBS and schedule covers planning a party, from guest list to greetings. This would also make a good example for project management newcomers. Or you can just take it as a hint if you like. (Though we promise your team members hardly ever mention it when they email us.)

Managing PMs

System Hazard Analysis MethodPREMIUM
Medical products are required to perform risk management in compliance with ISO 14971:2007. This template provides a document outline based on that standard that your team can fill out and use as their official System Hazard Analysis document. This is a great way to grease the tracks on an important piece of project documentation.

Project Practitioners

Never get in a fight with procurement. Morley Selver brought this timeless home last week with his case study Project Execution Plans Are Not Fixed, describing how project execution plans can turn on a dime. (Pun completely intended, naturally.)

Just in case your boss was paying attention earlier, Patti Gilchrist shares some survival tips for the increasingly rare office holiday party. (Lampshades optional, and not recommended.) You may roll your eyes, or even dread the experience, but you know you should make an appearance. Make sure it's not your last, and definitely not your most revealing.

Alfonso Bucero wants you to know that you don't have to sell your soul or clone your brain to become influential. You don't have to become someone else; you simply need to build on the best of who you already are. His essay on The Power of Influence provides four principles of influence you can use and adapt to suit your own style and projects.

Where's ProjectConnections

Kimberly Wiefling is the keynote speaker for Leadership Sunnyvale this Saturday evening (December 8). After the New Year, she returns to Asia for Leadership Development programs in Japan, Thailand, and Singapore.

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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