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May 9, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

Do your executives and fellow managers know what you do for the organization as a project manager? Does your team? Let's cut to the chase: Do you?

Several of our authors seemed focused on this question this week. We can only assume that it was a case of great minds running on parallel tracks. We're stoking the engine with resources that will help you understand or explain some of the more important aspects of project, product, and portfolio management, plus a new mini-course by Cinda Voegtli on kicking off projects with virtual teams.

Featured Article

The Wind-Up! The PITCH!
By Carl Pritchard

Carl Pritchard Somehow, the whole notion of selling project management seems distasteful -- perhaps even tawdry. How could we? Why should we? We're trying to prove ourselves as professionals, aren't we? Do doctors advertise? Sell themselves?

Actually, yes. Everyone does. Even if they don't hang so much as a shingle on the door, professionals everywhere sell themselves. And in the project management profession, we should do no less. In every meeting and every encounter, we should sell the profession, its benefits, and our ability to further those goals through our professional endeavors. If we are not the "pitchmen" for our profession, no one else will be.

I just finished a class with a group of IT professionals, and their perspective on how they manage presenting themselves was compelling. Half of the group seemed completely on board in terms of wanting to promote the profession and its value. The other half seemed convinced that such insights should become purely self-evident.

Our hard work is only potentially evident. It's far from self-evident. Are you advertising your value as a PM? »

Featured Bundle

Project Closeout and "Lessons Learned" Bundle - Free for Premium Subscribers
At each subsequent stage of a project, correcting issues gets more and more expensive because of the growing number of people involved and the impact of changes on other pieces of the system. By testing pieces at each stage of development, then testing the system from the viewpoint of the how the customer will use it, teams can avoid painful and expensive end-game and post-deployment headaches. This collection of test plan outlines, guidelines, example formats, and related tools will help. Multi-user licenses available for PMOs. $39.95 for non-subscribers, free for Premium subscribers.

Premium How-To Course

New! Kicking Off a Virtual Project, Part 1
Cinda Voegtli Presented by Cinda Voegtli

To deliver a quality product, you need to get everyone aligned on the project goals. Perhaps even more importantly, you need to get them feeling like a team, not just a bunch of people who happen to be working on the same project sometimes. This mini-course with ProjectConnections founder Cinda Voegtli provides an overview of the challenges of organizing and leading a virtual team, and how to rise above them. First of a two-part series. 1 PDU Learn more »

For Team Members

Requirements Interview ChecklistSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until May 23, 2013
Don't leave requirements gathering to your project manager. Make sure you are involved and really understand how your skills and expertise can help the customer. This checklist is organized into sets of questions you should consider for key stakeholders and subject matter experts.

Requirements Traceability GuidelinePREMIUM
Tracing your requirements to tests, to code, or to other requirements, can be a complex and time-consuming effort. If you're contracted to a government project you may not have a choice. But is it worth it in the private sector? This guideline covers traceability processes, requirements, and how to discuss and assess the costs and benefits.

Project Definition - DeliverablesPREMIUM
Has your customer agreed on what the project will ultimately deliver? Great. Now what about the things the project won't deliver? This "is/is not" worksheet is a great way to define the major project deliverables and guard against scope creep or gold-plating.

For Project Leaders

Product Manager Roles and ResponsibilitiesPREMIUM
This one-page table was created by a company as part of their project life cycle, documenting the Marketing Project Manager role in a way that lends itself to quick reference during a project and detailed understanding of their responsibilities to drive, contribute to, and review key project deliverables within the "big picture" of the life cycle.

Tracking with Visible DeliverablesPREMIUM
How can you assess project progress when you don't fully understand the technical domain? This template provides formats and example project data illustrating effective ways to track progress using drafts, reviews, and completion of multiple very small deliverables. These approaches are especially valuable for when a team includes an outside partner or the team members are distributed. (See our mini-course for May for more on virtual teams.)

For the PMO

Introduction to Project Portfolio ManagementPREMIUM
Make the case for portfolio management in your organization and explain what it really involves using this presentation template. Boilerplate text is included, to help you educate, motivate, and get buy-in from your execs, managers, and other stakeholders.

WBS Examples

New! WBS Example: Infrastructure DeploymentPREMIUM
This Microsoft Project schedule for an infrastructure deployment plan includes a detailed work breakdown, draft scheduling estimates and dependencies, and role-based resource allocation. The WBS runs from project scope investigation to post-project review (including lessons learned).

Project Practitioners

Do you know if people like you as a project manager? Alfonso Bucero asks the question we're often thinking after a difficult meeting. But Alfonso's asking it for a different reason. Are you providing the kind of support and help your colleagues really need? Our advice: Read this before you decide who you're lunching with tomorrow.

Do you deliver value through your projects? Careful, this is a trick question! Brian Irwin challenges us this week to look the truth in the eye and admit it. Once you have, you can decide your role: Umbrella, or funnel?

DeAnna Burghart spent the week wondering if templates really save time. That depends, among other things, on how long you spend creating the templates. (Charts included!)

Where's ProjectConnections?

Kimberly Wiefling will be in San Diego in May, providing a keynote and workshops for the PMI San Diego Chapter Annual Conference.

Morley Selver is teaching Fundamentals of Capital Project Cost Control in locations around British Columbia in May.

Randy Englund is California June 5 presenting "Negotiating Desired Outcomes" at the PMI Silicon Valley Tools and Techniques session. He's also leading a full day workshop on soft skills on June 8. If you can't wait that long, check out his May 23 virtual session for ITPMI on Negotiating with a Project Sponsor.

Sinikka Waugh is in Des Moines, Iowa June 4 and 5 for a public workshop series that includes sessions on delegation and time management, project management basics, and meeting facilitation.

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

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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