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From the Editor 
Featured Article 
Premium How-To Course 
For Team Members 
For Project Leads 
For Managing PMs 
WBS and Schedule Models 
Project Practitioners 
Where's ProjectConnections 
Corporate Subscriptions & Licensing 
November 8, 2012, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

If your team has been circling the same gridlocked discussions for weeks now, you'll love Geof Lory's column this week. Speeding up your decision making will allow the team to get more done faster, and you can do it without marginalizing anyone.

Featured Article

Decide and Conquer
by Geof Lory

Geof Lory Projects are not conducted in a vacuum. Every project is executed in an environment that includes the social structure of the organization, the cultural norms of the people, and the processes and procedures that will govern and constrain the project. It is always convenient to identify and blame the limitations of the organization, the implication being that factors outside our control are at fault, absolving us of any culpability. While organizational limitations may play a considerable part in project success, more often than not it is the internal environment of the team itselfÑwhich is within our controlÑthat holds back optimal performance. To quote Pogo, "We have met the enemy and it is us."

Teams are made up of people who are unique in so many ways. Organizing those diverse people to work together efficiently is daunting. But if our team is going to do its best work, we need to turn our attention inward and look at what we can do to leverage that diversity and channel it properly. We need to focus our attention on what we can deliberately do to improve the way we work and behave together. The stakes are too high to just leave this to time and luck, both of which are in limited supply on every project. Read the rest »

Premium How-To Course

Defining the Project Work
Presented by Cinda Voegtli

Cinda Voegtli This mini-course with ProjectConnections founder Cinda Voegtli explains the purpose and functions of doing a work breakdown, with a special emphasis on staying practical, relevant, and efficient. Best of all, you don't have to do it all by yourself; in fact, if you're doing it alone, you're doing it wrong! Learn about the different ways you can organize a WBS, what critical information you need to start, how to get your team involved, how to check your WBS for completeness, and more. 1 PDU Learn more »

For Team Members

Team Meetings Descriptions SampleMEMBER
Meetings, meetings, meetings ... you've got to have at least some to keep the team communicating, but which ones, why, and who should attend? Check out one team's approach to describing their critical "types" meetings in a way that portrays their practicality and value.

End of Initiation Phase ChecklistSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until November 22, 2012
Are you operating on a "need to know" basis? This checklist of activities and deliverables covers things you should know by the end of the Initiation Phase -- even if you're not leading the project.

Training Plan - High LevelGUEST
If your project requires training new users, you'll appreciate this high-level guideline for planning a training course. This is one of those cross-functional activities that frequently gets sidelined. Having a real plan to accomplish it will ensure you leave enough time and get enough resources to do it right.

For Project Leads

Project CloseoutMEMBER
Sure, you'd like to get it done and get it over with, but there are still important tasks at the end of a project. This two-item set provides a paper and presentation on how and why to implement project closeout activities -- even when no one really feels like doing it.

Rescuing and Revitalizing the Problem ProjectMEMBER
Get your panicked project team to stop, take a deep breath, analyze what has gone wrong, and figure out how to get it right again. Then, use the techniques in this paper to re-launch your disaster project with new, actually attainable goals.

Web Conference Planning ActivitiesPREMIUM
If you've given up getting everyone together for the holidays, use these techniques to get the most out of your virtual meetings. This guideline walks you step-by-step through creating a realistic work breakdown for your online event, including often-overlooked tasks like presenter training and follow-up communications.

Managing PMs

Serve Vanilla and Be Like SwitzerlandMEMBER
Lisa DiTullio, past director of the Enterprise Project Management Organization (EPMO) at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, was a key member of the team that orchestrated Harvard Pilgrim's dramatic turnaround from receivership to one of the highest-rated health plans in the country. Her philosophy on what makes a PMO really successful surprised us.

WBS and Schedule Models

New! WBS Example: Event PlanningPREMIUM
Whatever the scale and purpose of your special event (wedding, award ceremony, fundraiser), this high-level WBS and schedule can help you get a head start on your planning activities, so you can be confident you aren't leaving anyone out or leaving anything important to chance.

WBS Example: Planning a Holiday DinnerMEMBER
This tongue-in-cheek example shows how to apply project management to product development with a small team -- by scheduling a holiday dinner with everything ready at the same time.

Project Practitioners

Morley Selver rounds out his series on the roles and responsibilities of a Lead Project Engineer.

Cinda Voegtli weighs in on the value of just-in-time coaching. Amid the macho politics that have us all talking about bootstraps and how to "cowboy up," this is a great reminder that real strength lies in asking for and gracefully receiving help when it's necessary.

Patti Gilchrist combats the Peter Principle with her suggestions to hiring managers and the people they are interviewing: Know your limitations. "Individuals have the responsibility to act with integrity and not mislead or misrepresent their skills. They also have the responsibility to ask questions and clarify to ensure understanding of the role and expectations."

Where's ProjectConnections

Kent McDonald is at Better Software East in early November.

Sinikka Waugh is running a November 7 class for professionals on Problem Solving and Action Planning. For more information call DMACC Registration at 515-964-6800 or email

Randy Englund presents highlights from his new book The Complete Project Manager the Project Summit / Business Analyst World in Chicago, Illinois (November 12-15, 2012). Participants in the symposia and workshop will explore the missing ingredients to move from good to great.

Morley Selver is giving a free webinar on Operators as Part of the Project Team in November. (See the link for registration information.) His workshop on Fundamentals of Project Management will be offered November 22-24 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Sinikka Waugh is running a November 30 class for professionals called Leading for Influence. For more information call DMACC Registration at 515-964-6800 or email

Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing

Want your team members to have their own access to templates and how-to resources for their project work? Need to share documents and deliverables beyond your project team? We make it easier with affordable corporate subscriptions and licensing. Detailed information regarding corporate options is available online. Give your whole team, or even the entire organization, cost-effective access to our comprehensive online library of resources. You already know how helpful it's been for you. Now it's time to share with everyone else. Find out more »

Not sure if corporate terms apply to you? Check out our licensing terms at the top of our Terms of Service page, in refreshingly ordinary, everyday English.

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