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February 28, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

What could possibly go wrong? You might be surprised, but a little organization and pre-project risk planning can go a long way. This week we have loads of document outlines for you, including a new event emergency plan, as well as several guidelines to help you keep the team moving forward productively. Don't miss the new process guideline for achieving simple sponsor signoffs, and Carl Pritchard's advice on finding ways to love a job you don't always like. Plus, the Project Practitioners have great advice on connecting with your team, avoiding analysis paralysis, and more.

Featured Article

I Love My Job
by Carl Pritchard

Carl Pritchard I love my job. I love spring. I love my community. I love raking the yard. I love my job.

Many of us, including myself, have lived through times when we haven't. Some of you may be there now. For me? Door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, roofer, transcription typist . . . I really didn't like those jobs. But I did love it when I was a dishwasher, and when I was a short-order cook, and when I ran the news department and, today . . . I love my job.

Wouldn't' it be great if we could all get there? Having been on both sides of the equation, I believe the more we can do to create the right environment wherever we are, the higher the probability we'll fall in love with our work. It hinges on three basic components: Control, Surroundings, and Positive Intent. Read the rest »

Premium How-To Course

Estimating the Work to Get a Realistic Schedule
Cinda Voegtli Presented by Cinda Voegtli

Have you ever used your project end date to determine task length? Have you developed a schedule for the team instead of with the team? Is every resource in your plan booked at 100 percent capacity 45 hours a week? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to learn some new estimating techniques to take the load off of you -- and off of your team members. Learn how to use practical and meaningful estimating techniques with your team to get a schedule everyone believes in. 1 PDU Learn more »

Getting Organized

 Sign Here… and Here… and Initial Here… Simple Process for Sponsor SignoffsMEMBER
Have you avoided project signoffs due to fear of process bloat? The simple process outlined in this document confirms sponsor signoff without process overwhelm by using efficient, focused meetings and folding into the existing lines of communication. Two versions are included: One for project phases, and one for component projects in a program.

So, Which Version 3 Do You Want? Configuration Management PlanPREMIUM
Few things will derail a project faster or more expensively than teams operating from two conflicting design versions or outdated documentation. A Configuration Management Plan attempts to avoid lost time and expensive rework by documenting procedures the project team will use to control critical components of their project's "products" -- hardware, software, documentation, written products, etc.

Testing 1, 2, 3 - System Test PlanPREMIUM
This annotated document outline for a System Test Plan describes how the team will verify that the system as a whole functions as planned under a variety of use conditions, before performing any external customer beta or acceptance testing. We've also included a System Test Report outline for documenting and communicating results.

Staying Organized

 In Case of Emergency - Special Event Safety PlanPREMIUM
Ignoring safety planning for a special event could be disastrous. Even simple issues like weather-inspired evacuations can become a logistical and legal nightmare without some advance planning, however rudimentary. This document outline is designed to get the safety conversation started for your event, and help you build up a framework that makes sense given your venue, resources, and level of risk aversion.

Hope Is Not a Strategy - Risk Management Plan OutlineSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until March 14, 2013
Help your teams take risk planning seriously by modeling how to address it in an organized, sensible fashion. Use this high-level plan outline to ensure consistent implementation of risk management across your organization, or across a division or group within the organization.

Get the Team Together

Build It Kinda Like This, Sorta - New System Request for Proposal (RFP) OutlinePREMIUM
Loosey-goosey RFPs will get you loosey-goosey bids. Try this comprehensive RFP template for new systems proposal requests, which you can customize to fit your software system or co-development project and shave weeks off your RFP selection time. Guidelines for RFP success and detailed annotations are included.

The Ultimate Corner Cutter - IT Project Request for ProposalMEMBER
If you're tired of reinventing the wheel every time you run an RFP, you're going to love this approach. A ProjectConnections member shared this detailed, boilerplate template with us. It uses color-coding to separate pre-approved legalese from project-specific clauses, and File Properties are used as text fields to automatically include some high level project information and contacts. Attach specs, and your pre-blessed-by-Legal RFP is ready to broadcast.

Getting to Know You -
Getting Aligned and Staying In Sync for Successful Projects with Outside Partners
MEMBER
Once you know what you want, you need to find the right team to help you build it. This paper explains several "alignment factors" that are especially crucial for virtual teams. Examples from two actual projects illustrate how the lack of these factors can affect a team, and detailed recommendations provide steps project leaders can take to avoid similar difficulties.

Outside the Box

Agile Technique Guideline: Feature Driven Development (FDD)PREMIUM
Agile doesn't just mean Scrum. This guideline provides a quick overview of Feature Driven Development (FDD) -- an iterative software development methodology intended for use by large teams working on a project using object-oriented technology.

Project Practitioners

Sinikka Waugh dares us to quit looking for the silver bullet that will fix our team's problems and Be What's Missing. This is my favorite bit: "É when we find ourselves in a situation where we know of something that could make it better -- a little more honesty, a little more trust, a little more communication, a little more leadership, a little more humility, a little more forgiveness, a little more patience, a little more compassion, a little more elbow grease . . . whatever it is -- if we know whatÕs missing, we should add it."

Mike Aucoin helps us move past analysis paralysis with a key tool for decision-making and coffee-making alike: filters. He suggests five outstanding filters that can help teams sift through the details and come up with the decision criteria that really matter. Apply one or more of these decision filters any time you feel the urge to curl up in the corner and hyperventilate.

Alfonso Bucero reminds us of a key ingredient of successful project teams. "Connection is absolutely critical if you, as a project manager, want to influence your team members in a positive way." His entry this week includes nine great keys for connecting with your project team members.

DeAnna Burghart shares one of the best character judgment lessons she ever learned: "Just tell him we need a new cat." This explanation of personality typing at work will stick with you, and might just help make those typing workshops you attended last year a bit more practical in your office.

Where's ProjectConnections?

Carl Pritchard is already planning this year's Seminars at Sea cruise in August, which will cover the newly released PMBOK¨ Guide 5th Edition and ISO 21500. Get more information from Carl's website.

Blogger Sinikka Waugh is teaching several public classes in Iowa in early March, including Play Well with Others on March 5, Becoming the Best Leader You Can Be on March 6-7, and Be Heard on March 7. See all the session descriptions here.

Kimberly Wiefling is in Japan again, but she'll be in San Diego in May, providing a keynote and workshops for the PMI San Diego Chapter Annual Conference.

Morley Selver's workshop on Fundamentals of Project Management will be in Houston, Texas March 18-20. He will also be teaching Fundamentals of Capital Project Cost Control in locations around British Columbia in March and May.

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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