Thank you to everyone who visited us at the Stanford Strategic Execution conference at the end of October. It was so great to chat with you all and hear what's on your minds. We're really jazzed about the new connections we made too, and looking forward to bringing some more great new voices to ProjectConnections over the coming months. Thank you!
Wisdom, Perspective, and Advice from the Field
What Is Agile Testing?
by Alan Koch
The words "test" and "quality" do not show up in the Agile Manifesto or the 12 Agile Principles. But these documents contain many statements that imply the need for quality and testing. If Agile teams are to embrace the Agile Manifesto and 12 Agile Principles, they must treat testing as an important activity in their projects.
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Owning the Issue: A Profile in Courage
by Alan Zucker
At the weekly executive operational review meeting, the atmosphere was tense. We were having issues with the order processing systems and the sales reps were unable to install and fulfill the orders for the new product line. A raspy voice from the row of people sitting behind the conference table said, "It's all fouled up. We are working on the issue. I will have an update later in the day." It was the technology VP. He was direct, honest, and not afraid to be accountable.
Being a Business-Driven Business-Savvy PM (the kind Execs adore)
Requirements Management Plan – PREMIUM
Requirements are the backbone of the project, and how effectively they are managed can make or break a project, so don't leave it to chance or "common sense." Capture the tools the team will use to record and track requirements, reinforce the importance of traceability, and articulate the project's risk management and change control strategies.
Mini-Course: Proposing New Projects – PREMIUM
The biggest threat to a current project might be that new project that just snuck onto the list while no one was watching. Including a simple project proposal and screening process as part of your portfolio management approach can keep stealth projects from distracting your teams and siphoning resources. This mini-course explains how to make it work. 1 PDU.
Personal Power Tools! (Grow critical strengths and keep your sanity, too!)
I'm a Paranoid Bulldog and Proud of It!
Describing the PM role with mental pictures like this is a useful tactic. It can help new PMs "get" what is needed in terms of energy, attention, and taking responsibility. It can help team members get why we're acting this way -- and smile a bit too at the label. So, lately, "Paranoid Bulldog PM" does it for me.
Say NO to Silos – Making the Functional-Project Matrix WORK!
Knowing is a Human Act – MEMBER
Building an information repository isn't enough. "Knowing is a human act," and requires involvement, not just information. This paper by Richard McDermott explains why this matters to those developing knowledge management strategies, and proposes some key implications for leveraging the knowledge hidden in your organization.
Project Training Plan – PREMIUM
Don't leave your support team out in the cold. A thorough training plan describes the key decisions, tasks, and resources you need to develop a strategy for delivering needed training, whether it's for service technicians and help desk agents, or end users who need to help themselves.
Achieving "Just Enough" PM (Your team will thank you for it)
Master Test List – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until November 27, 2014
Testing needs at least some order to be at all valuable. This simple tabular format can serve as a master list for any project, and might be the only test document you need on smaller projects. Depending on how you use it, this could provide test tracking as well as documentation.
Project Definition - Statement of Work – PREMIUM
The Statement of Work is one approach to collecting high-level project objectives and parameters in a single, concise document. This helps ensure the team and stakeholders all agree on the reasons for doing a project, what the project will produce, and the important constraints and assumptions. You can pack a lot of information into just two pages -- which is good, because it's likely that's all most people will ever read.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Jeff Richardson discusses a recent HBR article and shares his secrets for setting stretch goals and actually meeting them. Even when they're "impossible."
Morley Selver concludes his series Project Delivery Systems by explaining EPC -- Engineer, Procure, Construct -- and sharing some of his lessons on making EPC contracts successful.
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Carl Pritchard is teaching a prep course for the PMP® certification exam at the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville (Maryland) November 20-21 (PDF info here).
Morley Selver will be teaching Fundamentals of Project Management in Calgary November 19-21, and again February 24-26. If you prefer a warmer locale, he'll be teaching in Houston, TX April 14-16.
Alfonso Bucero will 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.
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