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September 18, 2014 In this edition:
Is it crazy to be thinking about Christmas in September? Crazy like a fox! Carl Pritchard thinks you should set your sights even further down the calendar. If project management is all about envisioning a better future, Futures Thinking will equip you to get there. Our new template for documenting and managing project assumptions and constraints will help you ensure you don't trip over yourself while building that better future. And this week Sinikka Waugh and Alfonso Bucero have dozens of things you can choose from right now to begin a positive approach to your project future.

We launching three Fast Ramp series this Fall! In addition to our popular PM Light™ Fast Ramp, you'll see series on managing without authority, managing meetings, and managing project risks. Sign up for our Risk Management Fast Ramp now to get the Early Bird pricing, and stay tuned for announcements on the rest of our fall schedule!

» Wisdom, Perspective, & Advice
» Personal Power Tools!
» Business-Savvy PM
» Say NO to Silos
» Achieving "Just Enough" PM
» Agile Corner
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Wisdom, Perspective, and Advice from the Field
Carl Pritchard It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like... Valentine's Day?
by Carl Pritchard

Halloween has not yet arrived, yet last night on a shopping trip with my lovely wife, I couldn't help but notice the Christmas display at a local fabric/craft store. I shook my head. And then I realized there were three people studying the merchandise in that aisle. Crazy? NO! These people are the stuff project managers are made of! Work project management magic with Futures Thinking »
Carl Pritchard presents Chameleon Project Management at the PMI WDC Symposium on September 26, and Tools for the PM Toolbox at PMI SWVA Chapter on October 10. He'll teach Risk Management Essentials at PMI Baltimore on November 6. Planning ahead? Look for Carl at the PMI Baltimore Dinner Event in Timonium on March 19, 2015 (topic to be announced).

Personal Power Tools! (Grow critical strengths and keep your sanity, too!)
Projectized Holiday Gift Shopping – MEMBER
If you're taking Carl's advice to heart, use Cinda's guide to holiday project planning to put your futures thinking to work. This seasonal (and only slightly silly) example of how project management frameworks and development processes can be tailored to provide benefits on any type of project. It's also a great way to explain the concepts of project management to new or reluctant project participants.

Last week, Alfonso Bucero shared his seven best practices for ensuring tomorrow will be better. Do you believe in your future as a project manager?

Conversation Starters for PMs and Sponsors
Sinikka Waugh has launched a four-week series on how to talk to your project sponsor, and you won't want to miss it. Read it, post it, pass it around, and the next time someone tells you they don't know how to talk to their project sponsor or project manager, point them to this series. Even if that someone is you. (Also, remember Cinda Voegtli's eternal advice: project sponsors have to eat lunch too!)
  • Part 1: Initiation -- build a relationship and make a good start
  • Part 2: Planning -- define roles, priorities, constraints, and expectations
  • Tune in next issue for parts 3 and 4!

Being a Business-Driven Business-Savvy PM (the kind Execs adore)
Documenting Assumptions and Constraints New! Documenting Assumptions and Constraints – PREMIUM
If you're doing project work, someone on your team is making assumptions. From there only two things really matter – whether you know what assumptions are made, and whether or not they're accurate. Use this advice and template from veteran project manager Dave Bouchard to document and manage assumptions and constraints, and control their impact on your project.

New! FAST RAMP! FastRamp to Masterful Risk Management
October 29 and October 31
Two 90-minute sessions
3 Category A PDUs
What don't you know about your project? In the face of competition and urgent business needs, it's our job to "go for it" as a team; sometimes we're even told outright to stop worrying and "just get it done." But whether it's willful or accidental, ignoring risk is the height of insanity. On the other hand, masterful and proactive management of risk and uncertainty by the entire team can save projects, save vacations, and enable teams to successfully take on even the most difficult projects.
Say NO to Silos – Making the Functional-Project Matrix WORK!
Project Performance Appraisal Process – MEMBER
Wouldn't it be great if people actually got credit for the great work they did on your projects? They might even be inclined to prioritize the work! This guideline includes a suggested process and forms for promoting recognition of project performance as part of someone's normal yearly performance appraisal. This template addresses both individual team members and project leaders.
Achieving "Just Enough" PM (Your team will thank you for it)
Change Control Form Change Control Form – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until October 2, 2014
"Just Enough" project management doesn't mean none at all. At some point, you still have to control for changes to the project plan and requirements. This form provides a low-overhead way to request and document changes to the project (e.g. adding new features) or to elements within the project (major specifications, for example). It includes fields for recording the impact of the proposed change on the project timeline, budget, etc., and on the components of the project deliverables. The goal isn't to deter changes, just to deter unconscious, unthinking changes.
Agile Corner (Tools for breaking the rules productively)
New! Agile Methodologies: Overview of Feature-Driven Development
Presented by Kent McDonald

Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an iterative and incremental software development process aimed at delivering tangible, working software repeatedly. It is meant to allow bigger teams to still act in an agile manner. This mini-course by Kent McDonald reviews the philosophies, roles, and five basic activities of FDD and explains how they interact to create what some observers have described as a phase-based approach to Agile development. 1 PDU. Learn more »
Where's ProjectConnections?
Cinda Voegtli is in New Orleans this week. When she returns, she'll begin a busy fall schedule of private and public Fast Ramp programs on a variety of topics, including our popular PM Light™ Fast Ramp. If you're interested in getting the FastRamp tools and techniques approach, email for more information.

Sinikka Waugh presents the morning keynote address and an afternoon breakout session at the IIBA-Heartland Chapter Annual BA Conference on September 18 in Omaha, Nebraska. She is also has a breakout session on October 3 at the PMI Central Iowa Chapter Professional Development Day (pdf).

Kent McDonald is in South Africa this week, speaking at the Business Analysis Summit Southern Africa on Analysis in Agile: There's More to it than User Stories. On October 8, the Salt Lake City IIBA will get to hear Kent explain why "Business Value is a Conversation, not a Number." Analysis in Agile will also be presented at Building Business Capability 2014 in Ft. Lauderdale on November 4, and at the Phoenix IIBA Chapter on November 11.

Mike Aucoin will be presenting "Team Re-Building: Positive Shifts for Dysfunctional and Uninspired Teams" at the Texas A&M PM Exchange on October 6, and the PMI Austin (Texas) Dinner Meeting on October 28.

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 speak on agile transformation at the PMI® Global Congress in Phoenix, Arizona October 26-28.
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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