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February 19, 2015 In this edition:
No matter what your current assessment of your project, you're probably off base somehow. Maybe you need better estimates, or your team could be hiding project issues from you because they're afraid to speak up. You might even need to develop a project recovery plan. But you'll never know unless you are honest with yourself and your team about what is happening. That includes understanding the crazy ways we can fool ourselves sometimes.

» Are You Kidding Yourself about Your Project?
» PM Light™ starts March 13
» The Study of Product Team Performance, 2015
» Mini-Course
» Project Templates Spotlight
» Corporate Subscriptions

Are You Kidding Yourself about Your Project? Probably!
It's Worse Than I Thought! The Global Scarcity of Rational Human Beings
Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling A few years ago I read an HBR article by Anthony K. Tjan that boldly claimed, ". . . there is one quality that trumps all, evident in virtually every great entrepreneur, manager, and leader. That quality is self-awareness. The best thing leaders can to improve their effectiveness is to become more aware of what motivates them and their decision-making."

I heartily agree! But in my most cynical moments I view much of the dysfunctionality I've witnessed in individuals, teams, and organizations as springing from automatic, largely unconscious behaviors rather than from self-aware, thoughtful choices. And after studying scientific research on human psychology, I wonder "How self-aware can a human being become?"

Do you feel like you know yourself pretty well? Think you can predict your own behavior, and the behavior of your teammates, in the project environment? Here's a short quiz to test how well you understand yourself »

Develop Your Curiosity as a Project Manager
"Curiosity is an important trait of a genius. I do not think you can find a successful project manager who is not a curious person. I believe every project manager needs to develop his/her curiosity. When you, as a project manager, feel curious, you will ask questions to your project stakeholders to get an answer, to mitigate the uncertainty that matters." Alfonso Bucero outlines 4 reasons curiosity matters to project leaders, and 6 ways you can encourage and embrace your own curiosity.

PM Light™ starts March 13
PMLight - March 13 The PM Light™ FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. You'll learn how to best use valuable PM approaches on different sizes and types of projects, without feeling like a micromanager. You get new tools and techniques you can use immediately, and you'll really understand the critical management and leadership role the execs want you to fill. Plus, 12 Category A PDUs! And all without a single day out of the office. Plan Ahead pricing ends Monday, February 23. Group pricing is available!

The Study of Product Team Performance, 2015
ProjectConnections is proud to be a major sponsor of the 2015 Global Study of Product Team Performance. The annual study, conducted by one of our Silicon Valley partners, closely monitors industry trends affecting product development teams. Topics of interest include product development methodology adoption rates and team perceptions of effectiveness. Past surveys provided critical insights like five factors that could raise the chances of creating a high-performing team from just 2% to over 65%!

Powerful insights like that require input from a wide range of competent, high-performing project and program managers. Add your voice to hundreds of others by taking the survey before March 21. It only takes about 6 minutes, and all responses are anonymous.

Request the 2014 study results to get a sense of the research results. (It's free!) If you prefer a high-level overview, try these four infographics summarizing key data points from the 2014 survey.

Mini-Course (Free for Premium Subscribers)
Communicating Up the Chain to Resolve Big Issues
Project teams need constructive ways to discuss issues with our team members. They need to make tough decisions and address risks before they're out of control. They need an escalation process. This 40-minute mini-course explains the importance of issue escalation processes and how they can help your team. Learn More »
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
  • Establishing Ground Rules for Issue Escalation (worksheet) – PREMIUM
    Hold a matter-of-fact discussion with your team about how you will communicate emerging project issues. Establishing ground rules early in the project can help reduce fear of escalating critical issues later in the project when tensions are higher.
  • Estimating Process and Methods – SPECIAL
    This Premium resource is free to registered Members until March 5, 2015
    So many project issues could be avoided with better estimating. This guideline provides an overview of a wide variety of methods you can use to get a better gauge on project work.
  • Fast, Effective Ramp Up of New Team Members – MEMBER
    If you're bringing in help to get your project out of the ditch, make sure they get up to speed quickly. This detailed guideline is excerpted from Teach What You Know by Steve Trautman.
  • Rescuing and Revitalizing the Problem Project – MEMBER
    This paper outlines how to get a panicked project team to stop, take a deep breath, analyze what has gone wrong and how to get it right again, and re-launch your disaster project with new, actually attainable goals.
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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