PM Minimalist Update: November 29, 2011

New Articles, Tools, & Resources from Michael Greer, The Project Management Minimalist

Issue Number 9: November 29, 2011  -- Click here to subscribe to these updates & get a Free Gift!
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In this issue...

See Other Issues

 * March 22, 2011   * April 13, 2011   * May 17, 2011   * June 21, 2011     * July 26, 2011    * August 12, 2011    * Sept. 14, 2011   * Oct. 25, 2011     

 * Dec. 31, 2011    * Jan 31, 2012     * Feb. 29, 2012    * March 30, 2012  * April 30, 2012    * May 31, 2012   * June/July, 2012   * Aug-Nov, 2012  * Dec '12-June 2013

What's New

One Simple Thing to Improve Projects & Project Management

A  couple of weeks ago I invited colleagues and visitors to my website to help me find answers to this question: 

What's one simple thing that can improve projects and/or project management?

Specifically...
* What tool...?
* What "best practice..." ?
* What change in the workplace... ?
* What senior management support...?
* What "one little thing..."
... can improve projects or project management? The responses have been enlightening!  

Reader Comments to date have included links to several good PM references and have elaborated on these topics:

To read the full text of these reader insights -- and to leave your own Comments -- go to http://michaelgreer.biz/?p=3330 .

Guest Bloggers Respond to the "One Simple Thing..." Question

In addition to the reader Comments, guest bloggers Kelly Kazimer and Stacy Pearson accepted the challenge of answering this question in full-blown blog posts. Check out their unique perspectives at these links:

Several other PM practitioners/experts have agreed to provide their insights on this topic through guest blog posts, so look for their contributions in coming weeks. (Currently formatting & soon to be published: Posts from Lindsay Chaffee , Michele McDonough, & Luis Seabra Coelho)

Get The PM Minimalist "To Go" for Your New Tablet

Are you the proud owner of a new tablet computer or e-reader? (I just got my first a few days ago... and I love it!) I'm happy to tell you that The Project Management Minimalist (the complete book and tool collection) is available for under $10 from Amazon for your Kindle, Barnes & Noble for your NOOK, or PDF (which all e-readers can read) from my website. Click one of the links below to get your PM Minimalist "to go."

Click here to get The Project Management Minimalist, Kindle edition.

Click here to get The Project Management Minimalist, NOOK edition.

The Project Management Minimalist: PDF versions

See this related article:  How to Use Your E-Reader (iPad, Kindle, NOOK, etc.) to Sharpen Your Web Presentations

5 Google Plus Features That Will Immediately Benefit Your Project Team

Google+

Projects move forward through communications among team members. And to achieve maximum impact, project communications should be timely (immediate, if possible!), well-targeted to the specific team members who need the info, and universally retrievable from wherever team members happen to be located physically.

Google's amazing new web space, Google Plus, can provide your team with a free, easy-to-use, communications infrastructure that meets all three of these criteria. Google Plus Features & Benefits for Project Teams Below are five important Google Plus features and their benefits for project teams.

  1. Circles -- Allows users to organize their Google Plus contacts into unique subgroups and share announcements, discussions, documents, and more with one particular subgroup -- and exclusively (i.e., privately) with that subgroup.  In other words, the "circles" feature will allow team members to isolate your project's private, proprietary communications and document sharing from their other Google Plus contacts who aren't working on the project. In effect, project teams can operate behind independent, private "fire walls" by organizing themselves as separate, unique circles.
  2. Hangouts -- A "place" on the web (within the Google Plus web space) for up to 10 people to spontaneously hold a group video chat.  You can restrict your hangout to project team members who belong to a particular circle. Or you could invite anyone else on the web (such as one-time visiting experts) to join the hangout by simply sending them the hangout's unique URL. In addition to simple video chats, participants can share/discuss YouTube videos, conduct Mobile Hangouts, create instant web casts, and (currently in "preview state") allow sharing of documents, screens, and scratchpads.
  3. Messenger (formerly "Huddle") -- Communicate through instant messaging and/or share photos among all members of a circle simultaneously.  (Requires Android, iPhone, or SMS device.)
  4. Streaming by Circles -- Allows members of a particular circle to "cut through the clutter" and filter their overall stream of updates in order to see only updates from those in a particular circle. Also, by entering their update in an input box, users are able to post a status update, upload photos or videos, or share links.
  5. Universal availability in the "cloud" -- If you have a device that supports internet access, you can sign into your Google Plus account... period. So each team member's account is always available, wherever they are.  Even in a worse-case scenario, such as a lost or stolen device, you can always connect to your account through a friend's device or at a public library! And it's all FREE!

(Note: My "fact check" source for the above 5 items is the Wikipedia article "Google+" -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google%2B - It includes lots more info and reference links, so check it out.)

Getting Your Team Organized on Google Plus

Before your project team can take advantage of Google Plus' powerful sharing features, you'll need to make sure all project team members have an account and are properly connected with each other through one or more circles. Follow these steps:

  1. Have each person on the project set up a free Google Plus account. If some people already have accounts, they can simply use those. (Remember... the "circles" feature [above] will allow them to restrict their project-related sharing to other project team members only.)
  2. Have each person set up a unique circle for the project. Or you might have them set up several project circles. For example, you could have one circle for senior managers and clients, one circle for certain task specialists, one for SMEs/reviewers, one for everyone on the project, etc. (Note that any individual person -- for example a project manager -- could be part of several circles at the same time. So all sorts of communication patterns are possible!)
  3. The project manager or team leader should send out a list of all project team members' Names, Project Roles, and Google Plus IDs.  For example, my Google Plus ID is: https://plus.google.com/104624609492311320731 . Since there are several Michael Greers on Google Plus, this unique URL will help people find exactly the one Michael Greer that is me! (And don't worry... while you are free to add me to your circles and include my updates in your stream, it's up to me to "add you back" in one of my circles. So there's no danger of spam... unless, of course, I was dumb enough to allow a spammer into one of my circles in the first place!)
  4. Each team member should sign in to their Google Plus account and locate the other project team members on Google Plus by their ID/URL. They should then place all these team members in the appropriate project circle.
  5. (Optional) Determine some rules or protocols for communications among members of various project circles. For example, you might want to encourage (or discourage?) routine daily updates among the circle that includes people building your deliverables, while limiting updates to circles that include customers, clients or sponsors to once-a-week (and maybe require pre-approval by the project manager).

The five steps above will get your team organized and ready to take advantage of Google Plus. The rest is up to you and your team. The story of Google Plus as a free and powerful project management tool is just beginning to be told. The next chapters will be shaped by hard-working teams like yours. And who knows... since you're getting in on the "ground floor" of this amazing product/web space, you may end up inventing PM uses for Google Plus that the Google folks never dreamed possible!  And, better yet, you may even push Google to develop some new features that will benefit the entire PM field for years to come. Recommended References

New Project Management FREEBIES

Project Management FREEBIES website

Since my last Update, I've posted the following at the Project Management FREEBIES website:*

* See the article in July's update, "Project Management FREEBIES: A Whole New Website is Born!" for a complete overview of the Project Management FREEBIES website.

Let's Connect on Google Plus!

Michael Greer on Google Plus

You can see my Google Plus public posts and connect with me via Google Plus at this URL:  https://plus.google.com/104624609492311320731

Or you can stay up to date on the latest blog posts by adding Michael Greer's PM Resources Google Plus page to one of your circles .

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To learn more about Google Plus, check out my article and links above or go to:

New Video: "Website Tour: Michael Greer's PM Resources"

Go to video

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I just released a new video that provides a quick (5 minute) tour of my website, Michael Greer's PM Resources.

This video will help you see how the site is organized and help you find that buried PM treasure you may be looking for.

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Project Management Bookstore Promotion Continues: The PM Minimalist Softcover Just $12!

For a limited time , The Project Management Bookstore  is distributing The Project Management Minimalist softcover version (122 pages) for a special introductory, preorder price of ONLY $12... less than 1/2 of retail! If you've been waiting for a rock-bottom price, here's your chance!  Click one of the links above.

$10 Off Sale on PM Minimalist Mentor and DVD Series

To celebrate the The Project Management Bookstore's webinar and half-price introductory sale on The... Minimalist (above), I've decided to offer a $10 discount on the other two PM Power Tools. For a limited time, you can get The PM Minimalist Mentor: Scripted Coaching Tools to Guide Your Project Teams and The Project Management Minimalist Video Series (DVD/12 videos/82 minutes) for $10 off the retail price of each product. Click here for details.

Reminders, Resources & Footnotes

Video Overviews of The PM Minimalist Collection

I've created three brief video overviews of the items in The PM Minimalist Collection (http://michaelgreer.biz/?page_id=2632 . )Video Overview & Discount Codes: The PM Minimalist Collection

PM Minimalist Support System & Freebies

The PM Minimalist Support System & Freebies page includes a chart summarizing links to multi-media collection of resourcesto help individual project managers, project teams and entire organizations go Minimalist. Check it out! (Note: I'll be adding to this grid as I make more support items available.)

Now Available: One Dozen Private & Customizable PM Webinars!

Private PM WebinarsSo… you don’t have time to stop working for several days and send everybody to PM training? Or maybe you don’t have the money to spend on a full-blown, on-site workshop w/T&L expenses? See how you can take a Minimalist approach to your PM training through brief, one or two-hour customized webinars! [Click here to download the full 7-page PDF: The PM Minimalist Private Webinars: Buy Your Custom PM Training By the Hour!

Live Video Chat Now Available at My Website

I've just set up a chat room at my website where we can talk live, one-on-one (or one on two, since it will handle 3-way live video conversations). All you need is a web cam, a microphone, and a browser connected to the 'net. Live Video ChatNo other software is needed. If you would like to meet me in a live video chat room for a free, private, one-on-one discussion, just email me at pm.minimalist@gmail.com. I’ll send you a password and arrange a time. After you have the password, simply click the link below & follow the instructions. Click here to go to the PM Minimalist Live Video Chat Room

Footnotes

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