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March 5, 2015

What Kind of Manager Are You, Really?
Are You a Theory X (Project) Manager in Theory Y Clothing?
J. LeRoy Ward

J. LeRoy Ward A Theory X manager believes people need to be directed, are only motivated by money, and are generally lazy. Thus a Theory X manager tends to micromanage staff, makes all the decisions for the team because he or she does not trust them to do the right thing, and jangles dollar bills (or other carrots) in front of them (while wielding a big stick behind their back) to get them to do the things they may not want to do.

A Theory Y manager, on the other hand, believes that people are motivated by work and the rewards that flow from doing a good job. A Theory Y manager encourages his folks to do a good job, provides them with the right resources, and then gets out of the way. Most importantly, a Theory Y manager doesn't "beat people up" when they take risks and fail.

The Theory X manager I worked for tried to pass as being at the other end of the continuum. They talked a good game, tried hard to sound reasonable in debates around the conference table, and made a modest effort at allowing people to make their own decisions. But their Theory X self kept coming through. Do you know where you fall on the X-Y continuum? »

Improving Your Training/Coaching Results
Learning by Layering
Geof Lory

Geof Lory Some of the work I do with companies is straightforward training; learning in the academic environment where I, as the instructor, am expected to know everything, or at least a whole lot more than they do, and then crack open their brains and pour my infinite knowledge in for hours or even days. There may be some skills that can be learned this way, but I believe they are few and far between. Most skills are acquired through a practice/feedback loop that incrementally builds competency over time. This approach allows for the layering of the learning in deliberate and digestible chunks. You may be able to accelerate the skills development through intense exposure and rapid cycles of practice and feedback, but large chucks at a fast pace is almost always a recipe for indigestion. Read the rest »

Last Call for PM Light™!
PMLight - March 13 Practical, proactive, level-headed, no bureaucracy allowed. That's the PMLight approach. Our next PMLight FastRAMP series starts March 13, but there's still time to register. Learn how to adopt and adapt rational project management without feeling like a micromanager, and earn 12 Category A PDUs. Find out more, and register before March 10 to guarantee your seat.
Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Mini-Course: Communicating Up the Chain to Resolve Big Issues – PREMIUM
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.

Special Template: Project Management Software Tools Evaluation – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until March 19, 2015
If you're evaluating new PM software (or planning to), use this checklist to help you get to the short list of evaluation candidates. Document what features are important to your PM process, and keep track of which software packages have which features. It also helps capture comments on different packages.
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.

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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