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September 4, 2014 In this edition:
It's an imperfect universe. We all know this, but sometimes we still let perfection get in the way of really good options. But it's possible to find compromises for almost any situation -- even the imperfect ones. In the case of Alan Koch's most recent development team, that meant finding ways to be "agile enough" in a decidedly non-agile environment. For your team, it might mean finding ways to give the customer what they need, not what they want. It can be frustrating, but hey, it's an imperfect universe, right?

Stay tuned for Fast Ramp announcements in September. If you'd like to be one of the first to see the fall/winter schedule, email and we'll keep you posted.

» Wisdom, Perspective, & Advice
» Business-Savvy PM
» Agile Corner
» Personal Power Tools!
» Project Templates Spotlight
» Premium How-To Course
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Wisdom, Perspective, and Advice from the Field
Alan Koch Agile Compromises: Being Agile in the Face of Reality
by Alan Koch

Your development team wants to use agile techniques, but they can't. Now what? Alan Koch argues that it's not a question of agile activities, but of values and principles, and the willingness to compromise in the face of reality. Read More »

Deconstructing the PMO to Save the Brand
By Alan Zucker "What do the following have in common? Best Practices, Business Process Reengineering, Matrix Management, Six Sigma, and Management by Objective According to, these are five of the 10 worst management fads. Based on current trends, I fear that the PMO will join this list, as well." Are we overusing the PMO label and making it useless? Read More »

Agile Corner (tools for breaking the rules productively)
Selecting Appropriate Agile Methods – PREMIUM
Is Agile the right fit for your project? 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.
Being a Business-Driven Business-Savvy PM (the kind Execs adore)
What distinguishes between good project managers and great ones? In part, it's the willingness to look at the entire project landscape, before and after, and aim for business-driven results.

Guideline: Conducting a Gap Analysis – PREMIUM
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.

Benefits Realization Plan – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until September 18, 2014
Don't settle for a vague sense that the project was a good thing. A Benefits Realization Plan documents the expected benefits of the project, details how they will be measured, and captures those measurements for later assessment and use in lessons learned.
Say NO to Silos – Making the Functional-Project Matrix WORK!
Agenda for Preliminary Design Review Meeting – MEMBER
Make sure the whole cross-functional team can see what each design team member is considering for their element of the system, product, application, or service your project will create. This template provides a detailed agenda with typical timeslots for a PDR meeting. This is the stuff true cross-functional collaboration is made of.

Project Delivery Systems: Construction Management
When you are managing a project you always need how the contractors, engineering contractors and construction contractors working for you are organized. Last month, Morley Selver started a series explaining these various project delivery systems. This month's entry explains two types of Construction Management delivery system.
Personal Power Tools! (Grow critical strengths and keep your sanity, too!)
How an IT Team Broke Free From the Requirements Morass – MEMBER
What do you do when your team is six months into a nine-month project and they are still gathering requirements? This case study explains how a team broke free from a requirements gathering process that had become a barrier to project progress. Can you use these ideas to save a floundering project team?
Premium How-To Course
Using Meeting Notes Wisely
Presented by DeAnna Burghart

It's not as though anyone reads it, right? So how do you create and use meeting notes that fit your project needs and are worth everyone's time? This mini-course by DeAnna Burghart covers the ins and outs -- mostly outs -- of creating meeting minutes when you absolutely have to, and generating useful meeting notes when that's good enough. 1 PDU Learn more »
Where's ProjectConnections?
Cinda Voegtli has been "Fast Ramping" PMs and teams in pharma, energy, and product development companies this summer, and there are more on the slate. If you're interested in getting the FastRamp tools and techniques approach, email for more information.

Kent McDonald is speaking at the Columbus (Ohio) Chapter IIBA's BAPDD on September 5 why "Business Value is a Conversation, not a Number." September 18 he'll be in Sandton, South Africa, where he will speak at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa on Analysis in Agile. On October 8, "Business Value" will be repeated for the Salt Lake City IIBA.

Mike Aucoin will be presenting "Team Re-Building: Positive Shifts for Dysfunctional and Uninspired Teams" at the following venues in September and October: The PMI Tampa Bay 10th Annual Symposium on September 13, the Texas A&M PM Exchange on October 6, and the PMI Austin (Texas) Dinner Meeting on October 28.

Carl Pritchard teaches Niagara-Class Risk Taking in Baltimore on September 18, Chameleon Project Management at the PMI WDC Symposium on September 26, and Tools for the PM Toolbox at PMI SWVA Chapter on October 10. Stay tuned for more appearances by Carl in our next issue.

Randy Englund and co-author Alfonso Bucero present a four day pre-Global Congress seminar in Phoenix, Arizona October 22-25 for PMI's SeminarsWorld on Integrating People, Organizational and Technical Skills: the Complete Project Manager." Register now with 20% discount code AB20. Randy and Alfonso also present papers during the Congress. These events highlight material from their books The Complete Project Manager and The Complete Project Manager's Toolkit.

Brian Irwin will be at the PMI® Global Congress too, speaking on agile transformation.
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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