April 26, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.
From the Editor
Some projects,and teams, are just... challenging. We get it. But that doesn't mean you have to let the crazy win. This week, we were inspired by Alfonso Bucero's practical suggestions for coping with insane levels of project success, and Sinikka Waugh's upcoming webinar on handling people who seem to be just flat insane. Plus, Kent McDonald traces the role of a business analyst through an entire project, not just the requirements phase.
How to Tame a Bully: Working Successfully with Difficult People
Do you ever find yourself rehearsing the perfect response after leaving a difficult meeting? Join Sinikka Waugh for this engaging, interactive session to prepare for your next meeting with those tough customers. Using real-life scenarios, this class helps participants improve their skills in dealing with the difficult people that sometimes populate our projects. You can learn to tame a bully. 1.5 Category A PDUs. $39.95 (Free for Premium subscribers!)
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Tuesday, May 16, 9 a.m. Pacific (12:00 p.m. Eastern)
What Business Analysts Really Do: Seven Steps Beyond Requirements
I started 2012 by taking on a major project -- a book titled Beyond Requirements aimed at helping people who identify themselves as analysts be more effective on project teams. I want to dispel the myth that an analyst's main purpose is to "gather and document requirements." This myth reinforces the picture of analysts as stenographers or note takers. It also implies that, ultimately, analysts produce requirements. On highly effective project teams, analysts describe the problem a projectâs stakeholders are trying to solve, describe the constraints on a solution, and work with the rest of the team to deliver that solution.
by Kent McDonald
That description sounds a little esoteric, so I decided to provide a more concrete description of what someone with an analysis skill set may do on a project by walking through my role as the Product Owner for the Agile Conference Submission System.
Find out how much a business analyst can do for a project »
Margaret de Haan encourages us to think and work differently, with some great illustrations from her own recent development projects.
Sinikka Waugh provides practical suggestions for staying ahead of the gamewith your project team. You already know you're behind before you start. Why not plan for it?
Are you stressed as a project manager? Alfonso Bucero acknowledges the economic and emotional stressors, and offers eight extraordinarily practical good suggestions for coping.
Premium How-To Course
The Project Manager's Leadership Role
Presented by Michael Aucoin, Leading Edge Management
Being a PM is not just about managing pieces of paper! This course gives an overview of the full breadth of the "leader-and-manager" role of the most effective PMs. 1 PDU
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For Team Members
If you want different results, try something different. Be a little radical. Start an information revolution on your team. At the very least, you might end up with less fractious conversations.
A User's Guide to Working with Me – MEMBER
Do you know what makes your teammates tick (or ticked off)? Could they say the same? This quick chart helps you communicate your most effective modes of work, including hot buttons, trust-builders, the best ways to raise and resolve conflicts, and more. Be brave! Fill it out, hang it on your wall, and ask others to do the same.
Agile Technique Guideline: Information Radiators – PREMIUM
The premise of this Agile PM tools is that if you make critical, changeable information about a project accessible to anyone with enough ambition to walk over and take a look at the wall, you might be able to spend more time doing work than answering status questions.
For Project Leads
Whatever it is -- software, a product, a marketing brochure -- you know this project deliverable won't last forever. So begin with the end in mind. Plan ahead for what happens after your project deliverable is finished, and perhaps someday you will actually be finished with the project.
Maintenance Planning Guidelines and Plan Outline – MEMBER
This guideline will help you identify the appropriate types and timing of maintenance planning for your project, integrate it into your overall project plan, and eventually produce a full-blown maintenance plan.
Discontinuance End-of-Life Planning – MEMBER
This guideline provides approaches and document outlines you can use to plan ahead for the time when you will stop offering a product or service.
Last week, we recommended you consider ranking your projects by their contribution to various strategic criteria. But to do that, you need to know what's going on, and what state everything is in.
Portfolio Data Collection Letter – MEMBER
Find out what's going on around the organization, so you can find out where you stand. This example letter demonstrates how you can compile a comprehensive list of your organization's current work -- not just the projects, but everything taking up company resources.
Simple Portfolio Status Report – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until May 10, 2012
This template illustrates a useful and effective approach for regularly reporting multi-project, high-level status to executives. Communicate what's happening in a language they'll understand, but that takes only minutes to scan and understand.
WBS and Schedule Models
WBS for Large Network Software Project – PREMIUM
There's detailed, and then there's crazy-making. This WBS file is an example from a project in the latter category: a large-scale software project for a commercial data acquisition network. It's a good example of a very thorough plan requiring many areas to change simultaneously before anything will work correctly again.
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.
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Sinikka Waugh is in De Moines, Iowa May 3 and 4 for a two-day session on project management. For more information, click here.
Kent McDonald is WIBADD on May 1 and at IIBA Northeast Wisconsin on May 22, where he will speak on business analysis topics, including "Beyond Requirements: Becoming a business advisor." See the event websites for more information.
Kimberly Wiefling is bouncing between Europe and Japan this month, but she returns to the States in June for several appearances, including PACTA's Scrappy Project Management Dinner Meeting. Find out where you can cross paths with Kimberly.
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero are excited to share the publication of their new books, The Complete Project Manager: Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills and its companion The Complete Project Manager Toolkit. They'll be exploring the topics with participants during their new seminar at the PMI Mega SeminarsWorld in Orlando, Florida on June 18-21.
Carl Pritchard is the dinner keynote speaker at PMI Washington DC on May 15. For more information, check out the chapter website. To catch up with Carl at other appearances, keep an eye on his online calendar.
Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
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