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April 30, 2015 In this edition:
If there's one thing we hate around here, it's that defeated look, the slumped shoulders, and the resigned promise that we will "do our best." There are fewer warning signs more dire than that. This week, Kimberly Wiefling has her own take on the "doing your best" project plague, and she's pulling no punches. We also have the first entry in a new series by veteran project manager Chris Hill, who will be exploring the many untapped uses of Six Sigma tools far beyond manufacturing projects. Enjoy!

» When Doing Your Best Isn't Good Enough
» Holistic Methodologies
» PM Light™ FastRAMP: Early Bird Registration has begun
» Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
» Spotlight
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

When Doing Your Best Isn't Good Enough
Doing Your "Best?" Please Do It on Someone Else's Project!
Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling I used to want to live my life with no regrets, but lately I've come to realize that this is impossible. At best we get to choose our regrets. My biggest one these days is that I've "done my best," and my best has been woefully inadequate to my intended outcomes on a project that was particularly important to me.

Recently it seems that I've been besieged by people who are also "doing their best." When I rail against our lack of accomplishments, some teammates scold me that I'm too critical. They remind me that I should be more patient with crappy results -- or no results -- and that I should use my EQ skills to express compassion rather than frustration with the disappointing outcomes. Personally, I'm not buying it. Do we really want to set "doing your best" as an acceptable standard of professional performance in our projects? I think not. Read the rest »

Holistic Methodologies
Six Sigma and PMLC/SDLC: Odd Partners, Harmonious Relatives
Chris Hill

We tend to stereotype as belonging to a specific methodology such as Waterfall, Agile, or Six Sigma. It is almost sacrilegious to think of them being used in other methodologies, especially by methodology zealots. I think more holistically of tools and use them when appropriate, regardless of their origin.

In this series of articles, we will explore the opportunities that exist with adapting some Six Sigma tools for your toolbox and applying them to your projects. Along the way you will also get an introduction to what Six Sigma is all about, and why some organizations embrace it and feel it is so important to their DNA. Read the intro to this new series by Chris Hill »

PM Light™ FastRAMP: Early Bird Registration has begun
The PM Light™ FastRAMP series focuses on practical, just-enough project management, and how you can achieve it on your projects. 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. And all without a single day out of the office. Save $150 if you register before close of business Wednesday, May 13. 12 PDUs.
Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Recognizing and Dealing With a Lack of Urgency for Meeting Deadlines
Everyone's working, but nothing seems to be getting done. Every week the little schedule slips pile up a little bit higher. It's time to counter "death by little slips" with a dose of urgency. If you're trying to solve this problem with your current team, or even if you're just trying to keep it from happening to you, this course can help inject a much-needed sense of urgency when it's really called for, and without stressing everyone out or demoralizing the team.

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
When your team needs a bit more advice than "do your best," these guidelines can help.
  • Coding Review Guidelines: Give your team a formula for success that doesn't feel like they're being scolded or micromanaged. – PREMIUM
  • Software Test Transfer Forms: Instead of relying on faulty memories and tangled emails, try using some practical forms to follow your software (or other products) into testing, and keep a record of the results. – SPECIAL
    This Premium resource is free to registered Members until May 14, 2015
  • Release Decision Process Guidelines: Don't guess whether your product is ready to release. Know. – MEMBER
And remember that Team Rewards and Recognition can go a long way toward keeping your team members motivated and encouraged so they really do want to do better than their best.

Where's ProjectConnections?
Cinda Voegtli will speak at the PMI Northeast Wisconsin Professional Development Days May 6, on "Changing Perceptions to Influence and Improve Project Management in Your Organization." Then, on May 18, she will be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for IEEE ProCon where she will lead two half-day workshops -- one on Strong Project Starts, the other on Managing without Authority.

Sinikka Waugh will lead a session on navigating difficult conversations at the Madison, WI PMI Professional Development Day May 14. The next day, she leads a session on problem solving at IIBA Iowa BA Development Day (I-BADD).

Carl Pritchard will lead his highly rated and memorable PMP® Certification Exam Prep class in Rockville, Maryland on May 19-20. For more information email Carl at or register online.

Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero will present "Integrating People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: the Complete Project Manager" in London May 14-15, 2015, after the PMI EMEA Global Congress. They will also cover this topic in Orlando July 20-23 at PMI Mega SeminarsWorld, and October 7-10 prior to the PMI North America Global Congress. Please join them to enhance people skills in the project environment at one of these interactive, fun, and informative seminars.

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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