March 14, 2013, Sponsored by RMC Project Management, Inc.
From the Editor
What's the most important quality in a manager? Efficiency? Big picture thinking? What about kindness? Don't underrate it, says Kimberly Wiefling. It may be one of the most productive qualities you bring to the table. This week we also have a new mini-course to help you cope with the communication differences that have everyone chewing nails around the conference table. Plus, we've got new templates for project handoffs, a pile of resources for marketing projects, and a sample project plans and risk management processes. Be excellent to one another, and read on, dudes!
Kindness: An Essential Skill When Working with Humans
Somehow working with thousands of non-native English speakers from around the world over the past seven years has caused me to become a kinder person. Something about watching an accomplished senior professional struggle to express a simple business concept fills me with a desire to treat them gently. Perhaps it's because their lack of fluency reminds me how vulnerable they are, or of the innocence that they possessed as a child. Or it might be that their language difficulties make it impossible to speak with the affectation and disdain that I so despise in some of my Silicon Valley colleagues. Even if I perceive some hubris in their speaking, I'm likely to attribute it to their limited facility with English rather than a loathsome personality disorder.
By Kimberly Wiefling
Whatever the reason, over the years I've been inspired to treat people at work with a bit more tenderness. It's not that I demand less of my collaborators, it's just that I'm more compassionate in how I go about getting my ridiculously high expectations met. I suppose I've developed a greater sensitivity to the impact human beings have on one another in the workplace because of experiences like the one I had recently in Tokyo.
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Premium How-To Course
Resolving Team Communication Differences
Presented by DeAnna Burghart
Differences in communication styles can eat away at team buy-in, cohesiveness, and overall progress. This short course will help you understand and resolve these conflicts so you can get some work done. You can learn to recognize when heated disagreements are more likely to be about differences in communication styles than substantive differences of opinion, and identify some basic steps to overcoming those differences. 1 PDU
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Example Project Plans
Association High-Level Plan for PM Training Program – PREMIUM
Short, simple, and to the point, this example plan outlines a project management and leadership training program for a number of different "customers" of a professional association.
Development Project Plan – PREMIUM
This Development Plan document outline summarizes the project goals, along with the major activities necessary to achieve those goals. Activities cutting across all functional groups are included, even those that are sometimes neglected during planning, such as prototype builds, compliance testing, technical publications, service strategy, etc.
Marketing Plan – PREMIUM
This document provides an example of a thorough marketing plan outline, highlighting the activities and areas required for an effective marketing campaign. It can be customized for your new product or service, or applied to marketing a product or service already in the channel.
How Will We Sell It?
Product Manager Roles and Responsibilities in the Development Life Cycle – PREMIUM
This one-page table documents the Marketing Project Manager role in a way that lends itself to quick reference during a project. Created by a company as part of their project life cycle, it paints a detailed picture of this critical role's responsibilities to drive, contribute to, and review key project deliverables within the "big picture" of the life cycle.
Marketing Requirements Document – PREMIUM
Don't leave your engineers guessing. An accurate MRD -- created by the Marketing or Business group or other representatives of "customers" and "users" -- expresses the perceived customer wants and needs for the proposed product, system, or service so they can be sure they're building something someone wants.
WBS Example: Market Research Planning – PREMIUM
First-time market researchers will appreciate this detailed WBS outline. Considerations from budgeting to project motivation are considered at the outset, to ensure proper scope, and easily overlooked items like sampling techniques, questionnaire pre-testing, and return coding are included.
Risk Management Process – SPECIAL
This Premium resource is free to registered Members until March 28, 2013
When implementing a risk management process in your organization, follow these steps to get from risk-unaware to risk-aware and risk-ready.
Project Handoff Checklist – PREMIUM
This document is meant to help in situations where a portion of a project is being transferred to a new project manager and team. These checklists, meeting outlines, and reminders in this document are designed to make sure that happens smoothly, and could easily be adapted to complete project handoffs. It would also be appropriate for teams making a mid-stream decision to start or discontinue vendor production of a portion of the project work.
Why Do Projects Fail? Morley Selver has a few more ideas to consider. Make sure your teams aren't guilty of inadequate attention to quality, too many concurrent projects, or struggling with inadequate financing or functional authority.
Morley isn't the only one worried about having too many projects in the pipeline. Brian Irwin delivers an impassioned attack on WIP overload in his entry this month. "In agile organizations, the unit of capacity is the team, not individual roles such as developer, tester, tech writer, architect, project manager, etc. Read his latest entry to find out why that distinction matters.
Carl Pritchard is already planning this year's Seminars at Sea cruise in August, which will cover the newly released PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition and ISO 21500. Get more information from Carl's website.
Kimberly Wiefling is in Japan again, but she'll be in San Diego in May, providing a keynote and workshops for the PMI San Diego Chapter Annual Conference.
Morley Selver's workshop on Fundamentals of Project Management will be in Houston, Texas March 18-20. He will also be teaching Fundamentals of Capital Project Cost Control in locations around British Columbia in March and May.
Corporate Subscriptions and Licensing
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