What comes to mind as you look back on 2014? Success or failure, frustration or triumph, maybe all of the above? Like your projects, your life and career deserve some occasional attention to lessons learned. This issue includes several tools you can use with your teams, your projects, and your private reflections to uncover things you would like to change, as well as successes you'd like to repeat. Take a bit to reflect, and reward yourself for your efforts this year.
Wisdom, Perspective, and Advice from the Field
Don't Press Send!
by Kimberly Wiefling
Dateline: Future. Telepathic Email App Poses Risk to Team Harmony
Have you ever hit the send button on email only to spend the next couple of days cleaning up the mess you made by sending it? During intensely stressful times the filters between our thoughts and our mouths can stop functioning. This is a particularly dangerous time to capture those thoughts in an email. Even if what we say is "the truth" as we perceive it, it's best not to have the narration from our "dark side" in writing where it can come back to haunt us.
Kimberly reminds us to heed the better angels of our nature before we email, and before we inspire one of these snarky, sarcastic send-tastrophes.
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Six Steps for Developing a Governance Model for Strategic Portfolio Management (Part 2)
by J. LeRoy Ward
In the second entry of his two-part article, J. LeRoy Ward discusses three more questions that are absolutely essential to setting up a successful portfolio management process, plus what you have to have to make it all work. (If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.)
Being a Business-Driven Business-Savvy PM (the kind Execs adore)
Sanity Check: What's Most Important for Your Time This Week?
by Cinda Voegtli
"Step back from the trees and bushes and weeds of each project -- and contemplate the overall forest. See the big picture, not just the details. The goals, not just the tasks. The results needed, not just efforts at hand. The risks, not just the work plan. Specifically, ask yourself this: For us to accomplish what ultimately matters, what is truly MOST important for me as the PM to do this week?" Answering these four questions could set the tone for your entire week. So could NOT answering these questions, and proceeding with task list management as usual.
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Personal Power Tools! (Grow critical strengths and keep your sanity, too!)
Feeling overwhelmed by multiple projects? Sinikka Waugh explains how 25 minutes, a deep breath, and a pen and paper can help you get re-focused.
As we bring 2014 to a close, reflect on and evaluate your year and how it has contributed to your project success.
Year-End Communication Review
Take stock of your communication habits over the last year and assess any changes you might want to make for 2015.
Say NO to Silos – Making the Functional-Project Matrix WORK!
WBS Example: Planning a Holiday Dinner – MEMBER
Ever wished you could explain to the guys in [Marketing | Purchasing | Support | Design] what you're trying to accomplish with "all this project management stuff"? Try this tongue-in-cheek (but still effective) example that everyone can relate to. This covers scheduling only. Exercises in risk management (your cousin's green bean allergy) and requirements management (your sibling's vegan boyfriend) are left as an exercise for the reader.
Achieving "Just Enough" PM (Your team will thank you for it)
Customer Acceptance Checklist – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until December 25, 2014
A fast customer approval process (say, so everyone can break for vacation) doesnÕt have to mean a sloppy or ineffective process. Checklists to the rescue! Try this format for walking through a review and test of a pre-release system (easily adapted to other project types). A format like this allows the customer to record issues, indicate which ones must be resolved before acceptance, and ultimately sign off on accepting the new system, so everyone can get on with life.
Agile Corner (tools for breaking the rules productively)
Agile Approaches to Lessons Learned – PREMIUM
Presented by Kent McDonald
The Agile retrospective approach allows teams to realize what worked and what didn't and change their ways while there's still time to make a difference to their current project. This mini-course by Kent McDonald explains how to organize and run a project retrospective, and how you can take advantage of this approach even on traditional waterfall projects. 1 Category A PDU.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Project Delivery Systems, The Final Chapter
Morley Selver concludes his series on project delivery systems by explaining some of the finer points of EPC (engineer, procure, construct) contracts. Owners love this system, but you have to be sure you know what to look for.
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