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July 9, 2015 In this edition:
This week, we specialize in provocative ideas. If you've got an appetite for new and exotic organizational structures (read: organizations that actually organize for work, not status), Kimberly Wiefling's discussion of holacracy this week is a can't-miss read. We also have the next installment in Chris Hill's series on using Six Sigma techniques in project methodologies.

» Featured Article
» Holistic Methodologies - New Template!
» Mini-Course: Clear Objectives
» Spotlight
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Holacracy Doesn't Mean Chaos!
Kimberly Wiefling

Kimberly Wiefling The March 2015 announcement by Zappos that they were fully embracing holacracy, an organizational structure that they've been experimenting with since 2013, has renewed my interest in hierarchy-induced dysfunctionality. In case you're not familiar with this approach for structuring teams, you should know that holacracy doesn't mean chaos. There is still an organizational structure and an org chart. There are still clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the positions in the org chart. The difference is that these roles, responsibilities and positions are NOT permanently associated with any one individual's name. Instead people flex and adapt to the changing needs of the business, which seems much more sensible to me than sticking to a structure that doesn't meet the business needs! Read the rest »

Holistic Methodologies — New Template!
Six Sigma and PMLC/SDLC Series: SIPOC/COPIS
Chris Hill

Projects all have one thing in common: They all have customers or stakeholders that use some product of the project. It could be a report, feature, or an indirect enhancement to the primary business process they are actors within. Regardless of their role, the product has some impact on these customers or suppliers. It is important to note that some of these customers may also be suppliers. Customers and suppliers can also be external to the team or company.

Those of you who came up through old-school System Analysis and Design will be familiar with the use of IPO charts. In that case, much of this topic will be familiar to you, but with a new twist. Do you remember having to create IPO charts to map the data usage needed in your program to produce a given output? This tool just adds a human element and raises it up to the macro level of a project vs. an individual computer program when dealing with data attributes.

So what do SIPOC and COPIS stand for, why are they different, why should you even care about them, and how can they be used at different points in the project lifecycle? Read the rest »

Mini-Course (A benefit for Premium subscribers)
Setting Crystal Clear Project Objectives
Have you ever looked around at a busy project team and asked yourself, What is this project really supposed to deliver? If so, it's time for a kickoff meeting. Even if you're halfway through the project, there's enormous value in getting everyone on the team aligned around goals. This mini-course by ProjectConnections founder Cinda Voegtli walks you through an overview of the project kickoff process and how to create a Project Vision with your team to avoid (or correct!) unclear project objectives, confusion, misunderstandings, misalignment of people's work with the business objectives, and wasted effort and money. 1.25 PDU.

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
An Open Letter to Executives Leading Agile Transformations
In this post from our archives, Brian Irwin writes passionately about not just introducing and mandating Agile methods, but instead creating an organizational environment where agility is the path of least resistance - why that matters and how to do it.

6 Ways to Keep Projects On-Track
One of a project manager's greatest challenges is keeping the project "on-track." Many forces conspire against meeting this goal. To overcome these challenges, the project manager should plan for success early -- even before the project completes initiation. Here are six recommendations for keeping a project on-track.

Agile Technique Guideline: Crystal – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until July 23, 2015
Scrum is not all there is to Agile. This guideline provides a quick overview of Crystal Clear -- an agile software development methodology intended for small teams working on low-criticality projects.

How an ASIC Company Selects the Right Projects, Manages the Customer, and Always Finishes on Time – MEMBER
Have you ever considered firing your customer? Read how an integrated circuit development company has honed their approach to project selection to take on only those projects they know they can complete on time, on budget.

Where's ProjectConnections?
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.

Carl Pritchard will lead his highly rated and memorable PMP® Certification Exam Prep class in Rockville, Maryland on August 18-19. For more information email Carl at

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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