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January 17, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

Featured Article

Assessing Readiness for Speed
by Geof Lory

Geof Lory To try to create a single set of practices that epitomize the perfect parent or the perfect agile project team comes across to formulaic and equally out of touch with reality. In fact, at some level, agile is a revolution against this institutionalization: People over Process.

That being said, I do think that in the early stages of team development, adherence to some tried and often true behaviors, sometimes referred to as "best practices," can provide the necessary boundaries and guide posts by which a team can empirically gauge its readiness for speed. While these practices may not all apply or be appropriate for every team in all circumstances, they can be used as a call to consciousness, where deviation or adherence is a deliberate and acknowledged choice.

So, at the risk of being considered either pompous or out of touch, I'm going to take a shot at identifying and assessing readiness for speed. Starting with this article and over the next several articles, we will virtually and collaboratively create a Speed Readiness Assessment. Each article will focus on a specific area. Each area will be primed with a preliminary set of empirically measurable questions that I will post to get the ball rolling. Then, after each article, anyone who wants to make a contribution with additional questions or ideas can respond through the blog comments. Each week I will collect and consolidate the ideas and repost the updated assessment on the site for all to use or comment on. So, let's get started.»

Premium How-To Course

New! Agile Methodologies: Overview of Extreme Programming
Presented by Kent McDonald, KnowledgeBridge Partners

Extreme Programming Agile's most prescriptive methodology is called Extreme for its focus on taking ordinary software practices to maximum -- even extreme -- levels. The result is an extraordinarily cohesive, driven, self-managing team. This mini-course by Kent McDonald provides a high-level overview of Extreme Programming (also called XP) and the twelve key practices that inform it -- including the controversial practice of Pair Programming. He explains the motivation behind various XP techniques, and addresses some common misconceptions as well. 1 PDU Learn more »

Project Leadership

New! Role Comparison Checklist: Sponsor and Project OwnerPREMIUM
These checklists compare the roles of the Project Manager and the Executive Sponsor in a variety of critical areas such as goals definition, planning, communication, scope changes, stakeholder management, and more.

Stakeholder/Influencer Communication PlanPREMIUM
Use this assessment form to identify the individuals and groups that may influence your project outcomes -- stakeholders, information sources, even other PMs -- assess their potential impact and document your plans communicating with them.

Project Manager/Team Leader Selection
As a project sponsor, you can use this worksheet to help select a project manager by scoring candidates on a number of selection criteria, including critical "soft skills" and domain knowledge specific to the project.

ProjectConnections Bundles

Project Kickoff Bundle
You're starting a new project and want to get the team off on the right foot. Start by finding out what the executives really want, and who your real stakeholders are. This bundle provides practical tools and guidelines for launching your team so that everyone understands the project objectives and how their work fits. Multi-user licenses available for PMOs.

Project Management

New! Project Progress Checklists for Sponsors and Project OwnersPREMIUM
This set of checklist items is designed for use throughout a project to help the Project Manager and Executive Sponsor "sanity check" progress in various dimensions. One section walks sponsors through critical project evaluation issues, one is designed for use by the sponsor and PM during detailed reviews.

Phase Signoff ProcessPREMIUM
This guideline shows a team's process for getting meaningful executive signoffs at the end of key project phases, to approve transition to the next phase and expenditures.

Executive Summary of Project Status/RisksMEMBER
This easily scanned form condenses the project information executives really care about on a single page. It focuses on changes and trends, not just dates and numbers. The result is an at-a-glance summary that quickly shows execs how the project is doing and what help is needed.

Project Methodologies

Agile: Overview and Core MethodsMEMBER
This paper by Kent McDonald provides an overview of the key historical statements created by members of the agile community to codify the value set and principles shared by agile software development and agile project leadership methods. It includes some of the history behind the creation of these statements and suggestions for applying these values and principles in a non-agile environment.

Software Release Life Cycle OverviewSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until January 31, 2013
This is an overview of a Software Release Life Cycle (SRLC) targeted for software-heavy development environments, either pure software development or product development with a large software component. It's intended to emphasize the necessary process documentation without resorting to unnecessary bureaucratic overhead.

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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