This week it's all about people. Kimberly Wiefling has lots to say about the nature and power of cooperation - what it is, where it springs from, the attitudes and behaviors that enable it, and how it can help our teams (even in the midst of extreme politics.) Alan Zucker provides a mini-case on his experience developing the leadership capabilities of a large group of technical PMs. And Chris Hill explores how a team can utilize "Poka-yoke" for product quality and profit. Check out this week's free template too.
Cooperation is Selfish!
How to Influence People and Lead Your Team Without Control or Coercion
by Kimberly Wiefling
In the mid-1980s I came across a column in a magazine called Scientific American that intrigued me. Little did I know at the time that the concepts it contained would guide my approach to interacting with other human beings for decades to come. This fascinating article by Douglas R. Hofstadter was about how cooperation evolves in computer game tournaments -- automated games that pit various strategies against one another. These particular tournaments pitted different algorithms against one another in the famous "prisoner's dilemma" game.
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Poka-Yoke without Getting Egg on Your Face
by Chris Hill
Why are wall power outlet receptacles in the wall carrying dangerous voltages recessed versus protruding? Why are guards put in front of moving parts on a machine? What may seem like an obvious question may not have been so obvious before some accident happened to drive a specific design change.
Poka-yoke is at the heart of prevention or mistake-proofing in product manufacturing. It plays heavily into industrial design and as we will see has a strong analog in the development of technology solutions for the customers. This article will focus on Poka-yoke in software design and delivery. The consequences of omission in a technology solution may not result in death or bodily injury in most cases. But a poorly designed software product which does not protect the user from making mistakes can still have serious consequences, including rework, business process impedance, distrust of the product, or creation of latent errors that are yet to be discovered. In broad terms, Poka-yoke is fool-proofing or idiot-proofing your product.
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Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
From the blogs — Leadership, not list-checking: achieving the Holy Grail of project management
"Project managers that possess entrepreneurial (leadership) skills are 40% more likely to deliver project outcomes, but only 30% of project managers have these skills." So how do we develop those skills? Alan Zucker writes about his experience leading a large project management organization to do just that. Read about how he used metrics and assessments of specific project tasks and behaviors over time, in a way that everyone embraced, and the leadership results (and perception benefits!) they achieved.
Read the blog »
Template — Speaking Up - How to Make Your Case – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until February 25, 2016
Speaking up is a key leadership skill, whether or not you're officially the team leader. Everyone involved in a team effort should actively look for ways to improve, make recommendations, and generally be responsible to the team for the success of the project-to speak up.
Speaking up when we see a better course of action can be intimidating, but you can learn to do it effectively. Using the model and checklist in this guideline, you can make a good case in as little as five sentences. It may not end the discussion, but at least it will start it.
Click here to get the Checklist »
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero invite you to join them to "Integrate People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager." This informative, interactive, productive, and fun seminar is sponsored by PMI SeminarsWorld. Get PDUs while advancing your professional career through improved people skills. The seminar happens in Atlanta, Georgia on April 18-21, 2016 and in Barcelona, Spain on May 12-13, after the EMEA Global Congress.
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