ProjectConnections Newsletter
September 27, 2018
One of the unspoken truths of tradeoffs is that, generally speaking, everyone is convinced they have the right answer. And sometimes, everyone does. But which right answer is the best answer? That's where brilliant project management will really shine.

This week, Geof Lory reminds us that even if rules seem simpler, appearances can be deceiving. Keeping your eyes out for the tradeoffs, and being conscious about them, can make a world of difference for your project and your team. Plus, Chris Cook shows us how to proactively seek out problems to solve, and Alan Zucker encourages you to share your inspirational stories about solving those problems (and tells you how!).
In this edition:
» Featured Article
» From the Blogs
» Winning at Tradeoffs
» Where We are
» Corporate Subscriptions
Featured Article
Tradeoff over Rules
Geof Lory

Geof Lory Growing up I was not very good at following the rules. As a second and middle child, I felt it was my duty to frustrate nuns, teachers, coaches, and my parents with my antiestablishment behavior. Through 12 years of Catholic schools, I spend more than my fair share of time in the principal's office. While most of my offenses were not crimes in a legal sense, they were still violations of the socially agreed upon rules of the time. And by the way, not much has changed.

So it should come as no surprise that when I look at the Agile Manifesto, what I like most is that it is not a set of rules to follow. The Agile Manifesto, at its foundation, is not prescriptive. It identifies opposing values and then states that Agile emphasizes one set of values over the other. This approach respects both ends of the value spectrum, and in doing so, reminds us that it is a continuum. That is why I prefer to think of Agile as a mindset or framework and not a methodology.

Rules may seem easier, but there are always tradeoffs »

From The Blogs
Seek to Solve Problems, by Chris Cook
Project management tradeoffs are about more than time, money, and scope. They're also about your approach to and experience of your work. Chris Cook offers three suggestions for making yourself a standout PM by seeking out and proactively solving problems.

Our Own Inspirational Stories, by Alan Zucker
"We all have achieved great things. We have overcome challenges or difficulties. We have demonstrated integrity, courage, and bravery. We have succeeded beyond our expectations. We simply have not shared these stories." Alan Zucker offers advice, encouragement, and examples to help you tell your own inspirational stories. Pick one and try it. You may be the encouragement someone else needs.

Winning at Tradeoffs
Project Flexibility Matrix – MEMBER
If you need a simple but effective tool for guiding tradeoff discussions, this one-page matrix is the ticket. Gather the team around and decide together what matters most, and what it means for your project. Everyone will make better decisions with this in mind.

Project Alternatives Tradeoff Table – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until October 31, 2018
Slightly more detailed than our simple flexibility matrix, this template will help you cut through all the complex decisions that can plague the front end of a project. Document and communicate the alternatives you are considering and their impact on the project. Getting it all onto a page or two can really help a cross-functional team reach agreement on a reasonable scope that meets most important customer requirements.

Plan Development: Optimizing Project Plan Tradeoffs – PREMIUM
Tradeoffs are a core part of project planning, not just tech and scope discussions. Who will do the work? When? Why? This template provides guidelines for making tradeoffs and optimizing your plan to address conflicts discovered in the first base pass.

Cost Benefits Analysis – PREMIUM
Is your project worth the cost? Have you included long-term costs and intangible benefits in your decisions about your project's value? This cost benefit analysis template walks you through consideration of all the angles, and a careful evaluation of the results.

Project Escalation Process Guidelines – MEMBER
When you don't have the information (or the authority) you need to make the decision, it's time to escalate it. This guideline helps you develop a process for escalation to higher management, so it is done appropriately and in a timely manner.

Burning Questions: Getting team members to agree on the right project tradeoffs
Are team members battling it out to get what they personally care about most? This Burning Question explains what to do (and what tools you can use) when you can't get everyone to agree on what is the right or best choice for the project.

Where We Are
Discover and practice a (more) complete set of skills when you “Integrate People, Organizational, and Technical Skills: The Complete Project Manager.” Randy Englund and Alfonso Bucero invite you to join them for the next offering of this informative, interactive, productive, and fun in-person seminar, sponsored by PMI SeminarsWorld. The focus is on integrated people skills. Get PDUs, and a copy of their book, while advancing your professional career. The next seminar happens with PMI SeminarsWorld in Los Angeles on October 2-5, 2018, just prior to the PMI Global Conference.

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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