ProjectConnections  Newsletter
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October 16, 2014 In this edition:
You'll have to forgive us for going full BuzzFeed on one of our blurbs below. It was the only thing that accurately conveyed just how surprised I was by the conversation I describe in one of my blog entries this week. Maybe it's just coincidence, but risk seemed to be on a lot of people's minds this week, so you'll find several more items below designed to make your projects a little less risk-prone.

We're happy to announce that J. LeRoy Ward has joined as a new senior contributor to the site! He has vast experience in large IT programs, as well as in large-scale implementation of project, program, and portfolio management in organizations. You'll find his debut article below, and if you've ever wondered why your projects are floundering despite all your active risk management, you'll want to check it out.

Finally, DeAnna and I will be at the Strategic Execution Conference at Stanford October 21 and 22, along with senior contributors J. LeRoy Ward, Jeff Richardson, and Adam Josephs. If you're planning to be there, come by and say hi! We'd love to chat! And if haven't registered yet, it's not too late; registration closes Friday evening, and you can get a $500 discount here using the code PROJCONNECT. Hope to see you there!

» Wisdom, Perspective, & Advice
» FastRAMPs and Training
» Business-Savvy PM
» Personal Power Tools!
» Achieving "Just Enough" PM
» Project Templates Spotlight
» Premium How-To Course
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Wisdom, Perspective, and Advice from the Field
Geof Lory Practice Compassionate Listening
by Geof Lory

As time and technology have changed, the methods and means of interrupting have increased. Now it feels more like regular work is an intrusion to a steady stream of managed interruptions. When it comes to communication that really matters, particularly fostering the relationships that lubricate good communication, distracted listening comes with a high price tag. How often do you engage in these five practices for compassionate listening? Quiz yourself »

J. LeRoy Ward What's the biggest risk an IT project manager faces?
J. LeRoy Ward provides an unexpected answer to that question -- a major risk we may not have even acknowledged, and may think is out of our control. Read about the steps he's used to counter this risk and his detailed advice for ongoing risk mitigation in this key area.

New! Making a Huge Leap Forward after a Project Disaster
They had 18 months to pull off a revolutionary new product design and have it ready for a tradeshow, and their business was very literally on the line. One problem: The last project like this had taken four years. This mini-case explains how they pulled it off.

Being a Business-Driven Business-Savvy PM (the kind Execs adore)
We Asked Why There Was No Risk List. The Answer Shocked Us
Yeah, we went a little BuzzFeed on that, but it honestly was surprising to hear something like this from a large, established, ostensibly successful organization. (We're not naming names, so don't ask.) Our success-obsessed culture can get the better of us sometimes. On sober reflection, we're willing to bet more than a few of you will identify with this response, and that's a real problem. Maybe even a bigger problem than your project's current risks. Of course, if you don't talk about them, you'll never know.

Localization Guidelines – PREMIUM
Expanding your market by localizing your product can be a great move, but it's not something you can do by just running the software through a translator. (If you've ever assembled furniture using a manual produced using Google Translate, you know exactly what we mean.) This guideline, written by an experienced software product manager, will help you develop a comprehensive strategy to adapt your North American product to an international marketplace.
Personal Power Tools! (Grow critical strengths and keep your sanity, too!)
Are You Recognizing Your Team Member's Contribution?
"Your real job, as a project manager is to get good results and do it in a way that makes your temporary organization (your project) a great place to work, I mean a place where people enjoy coming to work." As Alfonso Bucero points out in his column this month, that means saying thank you once in a while.

Closing a Project: Ask the Right Questions
Wouldn't it be nice to have a lessons learned meeting that involved some actual learning of lessons? Alan Zucker shares his favorite techniques for getting actionable information, while still leaving participants feeling good about the process. It's amazing what a few well-placed sticky notes can accomplish.
Achieving "Just Enough" PM (Your team will thank you for it)
Cinda Voegtli New! Monitoring and Judging True Project Progress
Percent complete can be useful, but it can also hide project issues instead of highlighting them. Worse, letting people report arbitrary percentages may provide cover for struggling vendors who are scrambling for resources or overloaded team members who are afraid to ask for help. This mini-course by Cinda Voegtli explains how to accurately gauge project progress by creating and monitoring well-defined milestone lists and tracking completion of tangible deliverables.

Sample Team Meeting Agenda Sample Team Meeting Agenda – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until October 30, 2014
You've heard us say many times that meetings should not be used to collect status. So what are they for? Glad you asked! Here's our take on the kind of thing that should be in your team meeting agenda. Want an even better take on it? Ask your team.
FastRAMP Programs and Other Training
Masterful Management of Risk New! FastRamp to Masterful Risk Management
October 29 and October 31
Two 90-minute sessions
3 Category A PDUs

Whether it's willful or accidental, ignoring project risks is the height of insanity. But 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.

New! FastRamp to Managing Without Authority
November 5 and November 7
Two 90-minute sessions
3 Category A PDUs

Whose help, effort, or commitment do you need? And how do you get it when you have no authority? The answers lie in how you lead your team and orchestrate critical interactions at different project stages, coupled with how you leverage your personal credibility, business-savvy insights, and communication skills.

New! PM Light™ Fast Ramp for Smaller Projects
Starts November 12
Four 90-minute sessions
6 Category A PDUs

Your small and/or short projects are important too, and deserve enough "management" to ensure that they successfully accomplish their goals -- without, of course, going too far. This focused, specialty FastRamp provides a set of lightweight, less formal techniques specifically for smaller and/or shorter projects. It's a "just enough" approach that will make sense to everyone, even if they think this project is too small to need project management.
Where's ProjectConnections?
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.

Mike Aucoin will present "Team Re-Building: Positive Shifts for Dysfunctional and Uninspired Teams" the PMI Austin (Texas) Dinner Meeting on October 28.

Kent McDonald is speaking on Analysis in Agile at Building Business Capability 2014 in Ft. Lauderdale on November 4, and at the Phoenix IIBA Chapter on November 11.

J. LeRoy Ward is presenting a keynote address on International Project Management Day on November 6, 2014, titled 6 Steps in Developing a Governance Model for Strategic Portfolio Management. Visit the IPMDAY registration page to learn how you can attend for free.

Carl Pritchard will teach Risk Management Essentials at PMI Baltimore on November 6. And if you're prepping for the PMP® certification exam, check out his prep course at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville (Maryland) November 20-21 (PDF info here).

Alfonso Bucero will also be in UAE on November 16 for a one-day workshop (7 PDUs) on The Influential Project Manager. For more information download the PDU brochure or call +971 4 311 6150.
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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