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January 28, 2016 In this edition:
Hi and we hope that almost a month in, your new year is off to a great start!

This week, Carl Pritchard makes me laugh and makes me think, with tales of Converse sneakers and old song and speech snippets, in his post about handling fears of the unknown in our personal and professional lives. Randy Englund discusses some key aspects of developing effective executive sponsors, not just having a sponsor name on your team list, and highlights his new book (with Alfonso Bucero) on the subject.

Finally, we are again sponsoring an annual survey of product team performance and invite you to participate so that our insights as PMs are strongly represented!
» Featured Article
» Spotlight
» The Study of Product Team Performance, 2016
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Carl Pritchard Converting Our Fears into a Comfortable Old Shoe
by Carl Pritchard

Bye, bye Miss American Pie. Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry. And good ol' boys were drinkin' whiskey and rye, saying . . .

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition . . .

Ever do an inventory of the rote memory of your brain? It's a pretty weird little place. And all of those songs, instructions, quotations just rattle around in there, waiting to be accessed. (And to those of you who will be humming Don McLean for the rest of the day, let me apologize early.) Over the holidays and heading through the New Year, I've been doing some coaching and listening to some collective fear. I'm coaching one student on coping with a new job, another on presentation skills, and still a third on the whole PMP® experience.

What I found myself eventually telling each one is their respective need to find a comfortable old shoe.

Find out what old songs and new but comfy shoes have to do with us handling difficulties and unknowns »

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
From the blogs — Do you know how to develop excellent project sponsorship?
"Executives need training, experience, and practice to be effective sponsors." So say Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero, who write extensively about creating environments for successful processes and projects, and about the skills required (at every level!) for people to work together well and teams to operate most effectively. This week they take on project sponsorship - with thoughts on how development of your sponsors may be needed, your role in making that happen, and info on their new book, Project Sponsorship: Achieving Management Commitment for Project Success.

Template — Project Sponsor Roles and Responsibilities – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until February 11, 2016
Screenshot Project work often crosses functional and organizational boundaries and areas of responsibilities. A senior management person is often needed to remove obstacles, arbitrate conflict, and mediate negotiations. This person can also support, coach, and mentor the Team Leader or Project Manager.

The Project Sponsor champions executive approval for the project. The Project Sponsor provides official backing, support for obtaining timely resources, and strategic direction. He or she acts as the focal point for project decisions beyond the project manager's scope of authority.

The Project Sponsor Roles and Responsibilities template will help you determine if your Project Sponsors are fulfilling the desired role. If your organization does not yet assign Project Sponsors to projects, this can help you get the practice started. Click here to get the Template »

The Study of Product Team Performance, 2016 - Contribute!
Study of Product Team Performance 2016 ProjectConnections is proud to be a major sponsor of the 2016 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. Last year our members' participation greatly increased our voice in the survey results, and we want to contribute strongly again this year. Add your voice to hundreds of others by taking the survey before February 20. It only takes about 6 minutes, and all responses are anonymous.

You can also Request the 2015 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 2015 survey.

Where's ProjectConnections?
Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero invite you to join them to "Integrate People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager." This informative, interactive, productive, and fun seminar is sponsored by PMI SeminarsWorld. Get PDUs while advancing your professional career through improved people skills. The seminar happens in Atlanta, Georgia on April 18-21, 2016 and in Barcelona, Spain on May 12-13, after the EMEA Global Congress.

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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