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January 14, 2016 In this edition:
We're happy to be back after the holidays! To start the new year, we've got Alan Koch on generalists vs. specialists on Agile projects; Alan Zucker on valuing the people on your team appropriately (and higher than your processes!); and Chris Hill with an in-depth tutorial on how to ask tough questions to get to the real root cause of problems without placing blame.

Happy new year from all of us!

» Featured Article
» Holistic Methodologies
» Spotlight
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Alan Koch Agile Teams Need Generalizing Specialists
by Alan Koch

Most of the Agile methods describe team members as generalists. Some explicitly describe a team of generalists, with all team members having the authority to do anything that is necessary to achieve the goals of the User Story at hand. But can we achieve the Agile ideal of full and open collaboration when our team members are not generalists? Read More »

Holistic Methodologies
Why Oh Y Does X Mark the Spot?
by Chris Hill

In this article we will go back to Kindergarten -- or perhaps into the laboratory -- to try to reawaken that inquisitive nature we so often subdue. We will explore how "Whys" = x in the quest for the Big Y through some tools many of you will be familiar with.

Okay, you may ask, so how does this relate to the PMLC/SDLC? Actually, there are quite a few places in the development lifecycle where this concept can be used. In a prior article on Design of Experiment we explained how we change one characteristic to see its effect on the outcome. In this article we will explore ways to identify those inputs by asking the right questions. Read More »

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
From the blogs — Projects Are About People!
The people on your project are more important than either the process or technology you employ to get things done. Are you truly valuing the people most, by how you approach the project? Alan Zucker discusses how to do so and why it matters.

Template — Establishing Meeting Ground Rules – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until January 28, 2016
Screenshot If you want meetings to go better, start by making sure everyone has the same expectations!

Wherever people gather they begin to establish and follow a set of rules that guide their behaviors. Societies and countries agree on a common set of laws. Employees are governed by the company handbook and policies. But team meetings are usually left to follow their own devices, without any conscious guidance by the group. As a result, meeting participants may come to the table with vastly different expectations about the norms and behaviors for the group and how the meeting will run.

A basic set of ground rules is essential to maintaining order and structure in our meetings. It is also useful for educating new members about how the meetings are run. How formal the team is about the rules and their publication will depend on the group's size, culture, and how frequently they meet. But it is crucial that the team take some time to discuss these issues and decide them together, so the group members have common expectations of how the group will run, how differences will be settled, and what degree of participation is expected.

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 »

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