December 5, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.
From the Editor
When you think of 2013, what will you remember? Spectacular successes? Equally spectacular failures? More importantly, what do you want 2014 to look like? Do you want more of the same, or something different?
To learn from mistakes or repeat successes, we have to consciously acknowledge what they are and why they happened. So as we wind down 2013, we're offering a few tools that will help you review your year -- personally and professionally -- and capture the lessons learned. Next issue, we'll help you plan your New Year goals, whether they involve things you want to do more, or things you wish you could do over.
Plus, Carl Pritchard helps you calculate your worth, Brian Irwin offers 10 steps for would-be Agile execs, and DeAnna Burghart dares to you to challenge your project PR. And don't miss the Early Bird option for our next PM LightTM Fast Ramp, starting February 7.
Can We Talk Value?
How much are you worth? That's always a salient question. It's one I'm finding plagues more and more of those I work with, and one that we should have a ready answer for if someone pops the right question.
By Carl Pritchard
Most folks don't even know where to begin to try to put a value on their personal worth, time and effort. It's unfortunate, but we don't know how to price ourselves out. $8/hour? $125,000/year? The disparity is pretty dramatic. But where do we begin? Your personal "price tag" should be based on what you bring to the table, not what you've been earning to date. For some, that's good news. For others, that's a real problem.
If an employer asks "What are you worth?" will you have an answer? Carl provides some basic equations to consider »
PM LightTM Fast Ramp
"Tons of information, and excellent personal, real-life insights."
"I can't wait for next week's session."
That's just a few of the remarks our current attendees have made about our public PM LightTM Fast Ramp. If you missed out on our Early Bird pricing last time around, now's your chance: We're taking registrations for our next session, starting February 7. Get $150 off in December!
This six-week program focuses on "lightweight, just-enough" PM practices you can use to manage and successfully complete projects -- even challenging projects. We stress fast fundamentals, practical tools, and situational application, and show you what core PM concepts and tools look like in action, using examples from real projects. You'll leave each virtual session able to apply new tools and techniques immediately to your current projects, and you'll leave the series with a better understanding of your critical management and leadership role. Oh, and don't forget the 12 Category A PDUs!
Early Bird registration is open until January 1, so to get the lowest possible price, register now!
So, you want your organization to shift to agile? Brian Irwin's Open Letter to Executives Leading Agile Transformations reads almost like a triple-dog dare. His 10-step plan for transformation focuses execs on the high-level organizational change they're responsible for, rather than the nitty gritty details. More than that, though, the suggestions are impactful and inspiring.
Projects are harder and more complex than ever, right? DeAnna Burghart's not so sure. In her words, "we've bought into our own PR, and it's a total fiction." And she's got the historical examples to make her case. How does your current project odyssey stack up against these titans? Maybe project managers never had it so good.
Premium How-To Course
Creating Executive-Level Project Status
Presented by DeAnna Burghart
Would it surprise you to know that executives dread status meetings as much as you do? Take aim at misaligned expectations, and learn how to write and present status reports your executives can trust and respond to. Learn a career-differentiating skill, and get on the right track with your reports before your next executive status meeting. 1 PDU
Learn more »
Highlights — Evaluating and Learning From 2013
Lessons Learned the Short and Sweet Way - Agile Technique Brief: Retrospectives – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until December 19, 2013
Lessons learned meetings do not have to be day-long wallowing blame-fests. The more focused and frequent they are, the more valuable they will be. Retrospectives are an agile technique that any team can use to identify opportunities for improvement in their processes, team dynamics, and decision-making as well as areas for continued excellence.
And Then What Happens? - Discontinuance Planning – MEMBER
This product isn't going to last forever, right? So how are you going to turn it off, hand it over, or otherwise move it down the line of care and keeping? This guideline provides approaches and document outlines you can use to plan for planning ahead for discontinuing a product or service.
What Do You Mean, "Do We Have To?" - Meeting Evaluation Guidelines – MEMBER
If you think your meetings have problems, they probably do. But confrontation may not be the best way to address them. This simple process helps your team evaluate meeting effectiveness and suggest goals for improvement, so you can involve them in fixing the problems, not just grousing about them. Two formats accommodate formal or informal meeting environments.
We're Almost Done
Oooh, Shiny! Project Closeout – MEMBER
When there are more exciting opportunities on the horizon, it can be a real struggle to focus on project closeout activities. But skimping here may set you up for problems later on, and even distract or detract from those glowing new opportunities. This two-item set provides a paper and presentation explaining why it's important to be organized about project closeout activities, and how to go about doing them.
Did I Make Myself Clear? Year-End Communication Review
Ann Drinkwater provides some great suggestions for taking stock of your communication habits over the last year. You may think you're communicating clearly, but these four review techniques may shine a light on areas you can target for improvement in year ahead.
So, What's Left? Year-End Inventory
Sinikka Waugh recommends that you do the same thing for your career that you would for your business: stop and take inventory. In six critical areas, you may have unrecognized assets or incomplete action items that can affect your choices (not to mention helping you update your resume). Reflect and evaluate on your year, and how it has contributed to your project success.
The More Things Change
Project Closeout and Lessons Learned
If your project crises all feel eerily similar, you're doing it wrong. All those lessons from the school of hard knocks don't do your team much good if you just have to re-learn them again on the next project. And if you don't record them somewhere, they don't do your colleagues on other teams any good at all. This bundle will help you and your team work through your next project closeout, document the results, and share them with everyone who needs to know -- which is usually everyone. Multi-user licenses available for PMOs.
Kimberly Wiefling is in Japan for much of the rest of the year, but you can get a dose of Kimberly and her Scrappy Project Management wisdom in Kindle or old-fashioned paperback versions.
Carl Pritchard is planning ahead for his April 2014 PDU cruise (PDF). Remember, to sell the boss, start in Omaha.
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