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April 7, 2016 In this edition:
Our columnists and bloggers have a variety of subjects on their mind this week, so specific theme! So enjoy the smorgasborg that encompasses being charismatic vs compelling; being valuable as a Business Analyst later in the project; what a bunch of "Ks" have to do with quality software development; the adjustments you may need to make to get your great ideas heard by executives; and a last chance to be heard as part of an influential survey on Product Team Performance.

Finally, I invite you to write me about subjects you want to hear more about. We're currently recruiting additional bloggers to share their real world experience and laying plans to grow some existing and new topic areas. Please let me know what you want us to cover! And if you're interested in contributing content from your own experience, drop me a line on that as well.

» Featured Articles
» Spotlight
» The Study of Product Team Performance
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Articles
Compelling versus Charismatic - Where should we be?
by Carl Pritchard
Carl Pritchard "What's the distinction between being charismatic and being compelling?" Carl hasn't been able to get that question off his mind. As project managers (or just human beings), we need to understand the distinction and leverage each at the appropriate time. From our team members to our managers and our customers, we build communication and relationships by feeling their pain and recognizing their passions. But we fail to be charismatic when we approach our encounters from our own "bubble," rather than theirs. Find out how to grow your charisma and why it matters!

Role of the BA in User Acceptance Testing
by Alan Koch
Alan Koch Testing isn't just for testers! How should others, especially the project's Business Analyst(s), be involved at that "late" stage? If you're not around at the end, you've missed an important part of your job!

The Business Analyst (BA) role is focused on understanding what the business needs and ensuring that our projects deliver on those needs. User Acceptance Testing (UAT) provides an important check to be sure that the business needs have been fully and correctly met, and that they have been met in a way that is acceptable to the business and the users. Participation in UAT provides the BA with a significant opportunity to ensure that the solution provides precisely what the business needs.

So how should the BA participate in UAT to meet those goals? Read Alan's advice.
Related resources:
[TEMPLATE]  User Acceptance Test Plan
[BLOG]  What is Agile Testing? A 4-part series
[ROLE FAST-TRACK]  Tools and Techniques for the Business Analyst Role

Spotlight – Other Project Templates, Tools, and Techniques
Special K! (Kaizen, Kano Model Delivered Through Kanban)
by Chris Hill
Chris Hill No, Chris Hill is not talking about the breakfast cereal! But these K's can be as valuable to your software development projects as the cereal claims to be for your health.

This in-depth article explains how Kaizen and Kano can be used in conjunction with Kanban approaches to benefit software development. Chris builds on his previous discussion on Poka Yoke, to explore additional continuous improvement topics and how they relate to software development or operational support of a legacy environment. Read the article.

Related resources: See Chris Hill's entire series on Six Sigma and SDLC, starting here.

[BLOG]  Ideas that Stick (aka, are your ideas even being HEARD?)
The fact that you have great ideas, and express them, doesn't mean that you are truly being heard. How you get the ideas across, how you time your conversations, how you chunk the info over time, how you bolster your case, all have everything to do with whether that "totally 100% obvious thing we need to do" gets even a smidgeon of traction with those whose support you need. Read how Ann Drinkwater has adjusted her approach for delivering insights and ideas in order to make them stick.
Related resources:
[GUIDELINE]  Speaking Up - How to Make Your Case
[BLOG]  Think You're Not in Sales? Think Again!
[BLOG]  Your influence skills as a Project Manager are key for project success

Requirements Workshop Planning Guide – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until April 21, 2016
A requirements workshop is a focused session, usually lasting from a couple of hours to a couple of days, during which a set of stakeholders or subject matter experts are assembled to help elicit and understand a specific set of requirements.

Traditionally, the Business Analyst (or a project manager acting in that capacity) conducts requirements workshops during the planning or early execution phases of a project to help elicit detailed requirements. Requirements workshops may also occur later in the project lifecycle to help identify and solve problems, prioritize requirements, and evaluate solutions.

This planning guide will help you plan for the key components needed to run a successful requirements workshop.

The Study of Product Team Performance, 2016 - Last Chance!
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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