March 28, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.
From the Editor
Need help? Look up! Got users? Get them help! This week we're poised to help you keep your users trained, your stakeholders appeased, and your team members from losing it with either of them or you. Sometimes you just have to laugh (because the alternative is crying in public, and that just makes everyone nervous).
Plus, Geof Lory is looking for your help in crowdsourcing the new Speed Readiness Assessment. He's made some changes based on feedback from the last version, and he's got a whole new set of items to consider for project execution. Have a look and share your thoughts.
Assessing Readiness for Speed: Execution Management
Product Management, you will recall, focuses on the questions Where, Why and What. In contrast, Execution Management concentrates on How, Who and How Much. The team starts by elaborating the Where to an actionable level, which creates a more tangible and testable What. Once that is done, execution can focus on the How. How are we going to get to where Product Management wants to go? Who will we need and How Much time and effort will it require to get there? This is where the rubber meets the road and the project gets traction, executing on Product Management's vision.
By Geof Lory
Execution Management aims to get the ideas of Product Management into a usable product as quickly as possible with the highest level of quality at the lowest cost. The disciplines of execution are all about throughput: more, faster, better, lower cost. The intentional juxtaposition of Product Management and Execution Management creates the crucible in which great teams are nurtured or wasted and world-class products and services are developed or squandered.
Read the rest »
Geof will be in Little Rock in April, and heads to Singapore in May to teach Project Management using the Fissure Simulation. To find out where the rest of us are hiding out, check our Where's ProjectConnections section below.
Premium How-To Course
Resolving Team Communication Differences
Presented by DeAnna Burghart
Differences in communication styles can eat away at team buy-in, cohesiveness, and overall progress. This short course will help you understand and resolve these conflicts so you can get some work done. You can learn to recognize when heated disagreements are more likely to be about differences in communication styles than substantive differences of opinion, and identify some basic steps to overcoming those differences. 1 PDU
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Why So Serious?
Project Crisis Bingo – GUEST
If nerves are shredding in the push to get across the finish line, lighten the mood with Project Crisis Bingo. Hang this on your office wall (or in the team war room) and see how long it takes to get five in a row, or how long you can avoid it. Keep it to yourself, or compete with other teams in your organization. Or just use it as a dartboard. Whatever it takes to relieve a little stress -- we promise not to judge. Remember, you are not alone; it just feels like it sometimes.
Help From Above
No, not that far above. But on occasion, a good project manager will need to get help from execs and portfolio managers who have better insight into (and control over) the big picture.
Going Up! - Project Escalation Process Guidelines – MEMBER
Scope issues, major tradeoff decisions, and serious resource conflicts can all require escalation to higher management, either because the team can't decide what to do, or because they don't have the authority required to make a decision. An escalation plan lays the groundwork for getting the right decisions to the right people at the right time (and not bum-rushing the execs with every little dispute).
Where Exactly Is Up? - Project Sponsor – PREMIUM
If your project is ground properly, "up" is probably to your project sponsor. This executive provides official backing, support for obtaining timely resources, and strategic direction for the project. He or she (or they, you lucky team, you) acts as the focal point for project decisions beyond the project manager's scope of authority. Don't have one? Get one! Got one? Make sure you understand what you've got!
Pick a Project, Any Project - Portfolio Manager Job Description – PREMIUM
Nope, not if you're smart. As companies or divisions take on multiple projects, the process for deciding which projects to execute, and when, and what resources to assign to each project, becomes critical to whether the company meets its business objectives. The portfolio manager becomes a key role in facilitating project prioritization, resource allocation, and project approval decision-making. If you have six different projects on your plate, you too might need -- or be -- a portfolio manager.
A Bundle Of Success
Effective Meetings Bundle – Free for Premium Subscribers
Does the word "meeting" send your team running for cover? Are agenda requests met with blank stares or nearly blank paper? Do you spend more time rounding up attendees than getting something done? There is hope, with this bundle of meeting management tools. Formatting examples make meeting planning faster and easier. Simple guidelines and checklists walk you through a meeting evaluation to identify the most urgent issues. And a veritable plethora of agenda examples provides a starting point for one of your most important meeting habits. $29.95 for non-subscribers, free for Premium subscribers. Multi-user licenses available, in case it's everyone else's teams that have problems.
Help On The Ground
From a more user-oriented standpoint, make sure your project is positioned to solve user problems before they occur.
Something's Missing - How to Conduct a Gap Analysis – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until April 11, 2013
Whether it's launching a new project or discovering how well the current solution is meeting expectations, you need to know how to get there from here. A gap analysis will help you figure out where there is, where here is, and how best to bridge any gaps between them.
Seek Professional Help - RFP for Training Program Development – PREMIUM
Well, we probably all need some after that project close-out, amiright? But seriously, sometimes it's easiest to get the pros to design and delivery your training program. A comprehensive RFP will help you gain clarity and alignment on the real goals of your training program, and will make sifting through offerings and choosing an appropriate vendor easier on your selection committee.
Help Users Help Themselves - User Documentation Plan – GUEST
Training won't hurt, but a lack of documentation won't help. Don't try to throw it together at the last minute, and then wonder why you're flooded with calls and questions. This checklist helps you plan and create the user and support documentation for your product -- user and service manuals, labeling text, box inserts, training manuals, the works.
WBS And Plan Examples
Marketing Project WBS
This detailed WBS organizes a marketing project from plan development to materials distribution. Reviewing an example schedule can help you get a head start on your planning activities and make sure you don't overlook important factors that can make the difference between success and failure.
Ever wondered what it really takes to be a project manager? Margaret de Haan has a few thoughts this week. We think you'll really like her "outside the lines" take on it. One favorite line: "Agile is a framework, not a religion." But the whole thing is chock full of absolutely piercing observations and challenges on project ownership. What are you willing to do to ensure project success?
Carl Pritchard is already planning this year's Seminars at Sea cruise in August, which will cover the newly released PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition and ISO 21500. Get more information from Carl's website.
Kimberly Wiefling is in Japan again, but she'll be in San Diego in May, providing a keynote and workshops for the PMI San Diego Chapter Annual Conference.
Morley Selver is teaching Fundamentals of Capital Project Cost Control in locations around British Columbia in March and May.
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.