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November 7, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.

From the Editor

We pride ourselves on practicality here, and on focusing how things work in the real world. So this week, in the wake of America's Annual Candy Binge (aka Halloween) we bring you practical solutions designed to weather the sugar crash and fend off the weight gain. Not sure what to do with the leftover candy? We've got you covered. Too wired to focus on one big project? Launch a few little ones to burn off the extra energy. Looking for a change of scenery? Try a new way of managing projects (but stay safe and sane while you do). Put down the Milky Way and step away slowly…

Featured Article

Move Boulders, Don't Throw Pebbles
By Kent McDonald

Geof Lory Project Leaders willingly accept responsibility for protecting the team from outside distractions such as scope changes or demands from other parts of the organization. However, these same leaders often fail to realize that they can be a distraction to the team as well. These distractions can come in many forms, including "suggesting" changes to project artifacts, asking team members to change their focus to work on an urgent, but not necessarily important item, and setting arbitrary deadlines that force the team to sacrifice quality in order to meet a deadline that is not necessary from a value delivery perspective.

Is your project leadership moving boulders, or scattering pebbles in the team's path? »

Kent McDonald will be at Building Business Capability in Las Vegas November 14. His session will cover "Analysis in Agile: There's More to it than User Stories."

Premium How-To Course

New! Trying Out Agile, Step by Step
Presented by Kent McDonald, Knowledge Bridge Partners

Premium Co In this mini-course, Kent McDonald discusses tips and provides advice for introducing agile methodologies in your organization. Kent walks you through a detailed checklist, which will help you decide which project to try it on, which team to involve, and how to give your team the best chance for success. 1 PDU Learn more »

Site Highlights

Calculating Expected Monetary Value (EMV) of RisksPREMIUM
There are risk lists, and there are risk lists. You may know what could affect your project, but do you have a clear sense of the potential impact in financial terms? In other words, is it really worth worrying about? This template helps teams assess the financial impact of a given risk and determine how much time and money to spend avoiding it.

Multi-Project Kickoff Meeting AgendaMEMBER
If you tend to spend the holiday season knocking little projects off your list (or wishing you could), check out this guideline for some ideas on handling those little, related items as a single unified effort. This file provides a sample agenda for a meeting kicking off several projects at once, to launch a portfolio or orient (or re-orient) a team to their project set, relative priorities, and how it all fits in with business objectives.

"Sweet" Team Building SuggestionPREMIUM
Looking for a good way to get rid of the extra Halloween candy? Have a look at this "sweet" team building case study in cookbook format. This guideline provides a how-to approach using candy and Management By Walking Around (MBWA) for team building. Find the gremlins lurking in your project, and lose a few extra calories into the bargain.

Stakeholder Analysis Summary TablePREMIUM
Your project team has to balance the interest of many different project stakeholders. Some of these stakeholders may have competing goals and interests, and many may have limited resources. This stakeholder analysis can help the team schedule appropriate attention to each, and decide how best to mitigate conflicting stakeholder interests when they do happen.

User Impact AssessmentPREMIUM
Even projects that seem simple can open a Pandora's Box of user concerns, questions, and frustrations caused by overlooked impacts. This template guides the team through an assessment of the user impacts of technology changes, to enable better planning and communication and a smoother deployment experience for everyone.

Selecting Appropriate Agile MethodsSPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until November 21, 2013
Assess some key characteristics of your project team and environment, and compare them against the characteristics of several Agile methodologies to determine which is the best approach for you. A great companion to this month's free mini-course.

Project Practitioners

Alfonso Bucero offers 10 best practices for building your career, and explains why he attends the PMI Congress year after year.

Morley Selver describes more project sunshine and rainbows from previous projects. If you haven't read Morley's entries, you owe it to yourself. They're like sitting in on lessons learned, without the pain of learning the lessons. (Pro tip: If you're using a book of standards, make sure it's current!)

Where's ProjectConnections?

Morley Selver is running his three-day "Fundamentals of Project Management" workshop in Houston on October 23-25 and in Calgary on November 20-22. He'll also be offering 2-day workshops in 2014. For information & enrollment please go to

While ProjectConnections is not directly involved, DeAnna Burghart wanted to mention IIL's free International Project Management Day that's coming up on Thursday November 7. Participants can earn up to 12 PDUs, and the keynote presenters include Greg Balestrero and Nathalie Udo, who co-authored the Organizational Survival book DeAnna edited earlier this year. Judy Umlas, author of The Power of Acknowledgment (recently reviewed by DeAnna on the Project Practitioners blog) will also be a keynote presenter.

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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