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January 25, 2018 In this edition:
It's three weeks into the year, and already you don't know how you will get it all done. The first step is laying the groundwork with realistic estimates and real conversations. This time, it can be different.

This week, a classic column from Alan Koch on how to use estimates to negotiate constraints, a new column from Chris Cook on how to build your own personal skunk works, and a bevy of resources to get your team out of reactive mode and into proactive mode on your project.
» Featured Article
» From the Blogs
» Take Control of Your Project Environment
» Where's ProjectConnections?
» Corporate Subscriptions

Featured Article
Yes, You Can Negotiate Project Constraints!
Alan Koch

Alan Koch "This is what we need. You can use these resources. And you must deliver it by that date." Does this sound familiar? If so, you are not alone. Many project managers find themselves in just such a situation. There are lots of dictates, no flexibility, and more often than not little realism in the demands.

What value is there in estimation when your sponsor seems to have no interest in finding out what it will really take to do the project? The constraints have been chiseled in stone and we can't change them. End of story. Our job boils down to trying to keep the project from being too much of a disaster.

Although it may not seem to be true, we can negotiate unrealistic project expectations. And the key is to do a good job of estimating what it really will take to do the project.

Good estimates lead to (more) reasonable constraints »

From the Blogs
Create Your Own Skunk Works, by Chris Cook
Have you ever wanted your own version of Lockheed's famous “Skunk Works”? Chris Cook gives you three keys to success.

Take Control of Your Project Environment
When No Doesn't Mean No, and Now Doesn't Mean Now
When your sponsor demands action now is the message supposed to convey urgency of timeline, or high priorities? Savvy PMs know how to listen between the lines and find out what stakeholders are really trying to say. Here are a few suggestions to help you flex your negotiation muscles.
Where's ProjectConnections?
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 in Atlanta, Georgia on March 12-15, 2018. Cut-off date for hotel reservations is 19 February, but rooms may fill up sooner. Early seminar registration discounts end on 9 January.
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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