The theme this week is practical application of project management. Yes, we know all these great tools and techniques to potentially use with our teams, do on our projects. We may know what PMI's PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) says, what core Agile principles and techniques are, what our company's methodology says. But are we adept at applying it in different situations? Have we learned what it takes to make it all work in practice? That's part of the art of project management that we continue to learn over our careers. This week's newsletter provides a dose of practical tips and personal "tricks" from several of our contributors to help us all with "application savvy."|
On a personal note, as we head toward the holidays, I wish you the best on your project, and personal, preparations for what I hope will be enjoyable down-time for everyone with friends and family. They are certainly what matters most.
Tips for Ensuring Team Alignment for Successful Agile
by Geof Lory
In the last article, How Guided Team Autonomy Drives Successful Agile, I presented a simple matrix that highlighted how alignment enables autonomy. High alignment, whether through coercion or collaboration, practically guarantees everyone on the team will be pulling in the same direction and producing results. However, while short-term achievements might be gained with Theory X approaches, sustainable productivity, innovative teamwork and high morale require higher levels of autonomy. If you are seeking high levels of alignment and autonomy, I suggest that you start with alignment to create an environment where autonomy is more easily enabled and then leveraged.
Gaining alignment in a fast-paced and constantly changing work environment -- often with geographically dispersed, culturally diverse teams -- is not easy. So, let's look at some of the ways we as leaders and team members can drive alignment, and with that allow autonomy to build.
Read more »
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
From the blogs — When we're tempted to make it all TOO COMPLICATED...
...We need reminders that it's just common sense! Alan Zucker provides a great overview of what project management really is, defining common PM terms and showing them in action on a significant personal project. Great for reminding ourselves how truly common sense our practices are, and how pervasive their use can be if we avoid making things too complicated. And if your friends or family has ever asked you "Just what do you actually DO?", Alan's story could be just what you need.
Template — Yet more practical PM — A project plan for event safety! – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until December 24, 2015
Event planning is something many of us may get involved in, in our personal lives as volunteers (annual parade! Art festival! Girl Scout event! Etc.) or at work. But even regardless of your experience with or intent to ever help with an event, this template is a prime example of practical, common sense project management in action. This is a real plan from one of (Non-PM!) staff members who found herself in charge of safety for a large town parade. It's a fabulous example of how what we do applies in many places (and makes sense to the non-PMs we're working with!). Useful perspective for us all.
Guideline — Projectized Holiday Gift Shopping
This favorite holiday-time template uses a somewhat silly, but still insightful, example of Cinda's holiday gift shopping to get across some fundamentals of "why project management" beyond Alan's article above. It includes a timeline depiction of her typical holiday shopping process -- before (chaotic and expensive) and after (ordered and relatively sane) -- some sound use of checkpoints, reviews, and risk management. It includes reminders on the all-too-typical problems we're trying to avoid with our practical PM toolkit. Check it out for a good holiday laugh if nothing else!
Template — Priorities, Goals, and Actions Alignment Worksheet
While we're on the subject of alignment...how well is your current work, right this minute, aligned with the most important goals and priorities at hand? Whether at the office or in our personal lives, is what matters MOST really getting done? Consider this worksheet during any end-of-year taking stock, to help you assess and adjust and start the new year with your work and your time aligned to what's most important.
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