PDU White Papers: FREE Downloads

New Leaf is pleased to offer this convenient service for PMPs: PDU White Papers. Read a white paper, then sign on, complete a brief power quiz, pay the registration fee, and receive an e-mail awarding you from 1 to 6 Category C PDUs per paper (or .1 to .6 Continuing Educational Units [CEUs]) for professional accreditation. It’s that simple!

The white papers are free – you pay only after you have passed the power quiz. To begin, click on any title below.

Earned Value: Ideas and Exercises (4 or 6 PDUs)

($39.95 or $59.95 for the test) Earned value calculations can give you a picture of the project’s progress to date. This information lets you forecast the total project cost and schedule, then make appropriate adjustments. Exercises illustrate how to predict where your project is going so you can modify it in a timely fashion.

An Economic Look at the White Collar Project Portfolio (6 PDUs)

($59.95 for the test) Companies struggle with a limited pool of resources to accomplish an exploding number of projects, each one vying for attention. With all the competition, assembling and maintaining a sensible collection of projects – a solid project portfolio – is a challenge for the best of organizations. Applying Nobel-laureate economics to portfolio analysis can improve your results in important ways.

Embracing the Dragon’s Tail (4 PDUs)

($39.95 for the test) White-collar project management is beset with external problems: not enough resources, overly ambitious deadlines, last-minute scope changes, and unpleasant technical surprises. But many problems come from within the project itself, frequently originating in a plan that was poorly put together. The estimation techniques explored in this paper will help you build a robust plan and enable you to manage your project more effectively.

An Earned Value Tutorial (2 PDUs)

($19.95 for the test) Since 1996, PMI® has included the earned-value method in The PMBOK® Guide and has added earned-value questions to the PMP® Exam. Using a simple project, this tutorial shows you how to use earned value to measure project progress.

Earned Value Benchmarks for Re-baselining a Project (4 or 6 PDUs)

($39.95 or $59.95 for the test) To re-plan a project, you must integrate many concerns: lessons learned to date, scope changes, stakeholder expectations, schedule demands, staffing conflicts, and technological changes. The discussion and exercises in this paper will show you five earned-value benchmarks to help you create a re-baselined plan that works. Note: this piece is a sequel to ‘Earned Value: Ideas and Exercises.’ You may want to download and read Ideas and Exercises from our site first. ‘Benchmarks’ begins with the simple example featured in the earlier paper.

Good Estimates & Bad Biases (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) When you do a poor job of planning a project that involves a new technology or unfamiliar work, you can blame your bad estimates on the “difficulties of unfamiliar work.” If your estimates remain inaccurate for subsequent projects in a familiar environment, could your difficulties be caused by something other than just personal shortcomings? Over the past forty years, psychologists have identified “psychological traps” in our thinking, places where our judgment goes awry because we are human. This paper will review several of these traps and show how they affect our work estimates. Once aware of these traps, we can engage in compensating behavior that will lead to better estimates. Better estimates of effort and duration will mean a better project plan, better project control, less re-planning, and a greater likelihood of meeting the final schedule.

How Not to Run a Meeting (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) A meeting is a golden opportunity to waste a great many people’s time. Here is a humorous look at how to take full advantage of the situation.

Loosening Dates: QPM™ and Microsoft© Project (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) Stripe 15 of New Leaf’s Quantitative Project Manager (QPM™) Series explores project spreadsheet tools with “tight” dates and how to “loosen” them to make room for additional, real-world details. Microsoft® Project can help organize the project’s proliferating details. This white paper shows how a project manager can get the best out of both MS Project and the New Leaf tools.

Invisible Earned Value and The Magic Table (5 PDUs)

($49.95 for the test) The Magic Table tracks the progress of small projects. Meant for small, 5-to-10 task projects, it may, with care, be extended to 30-40 task projects. When additional schedule forecasts are included in the Magic Table, users should understand how and where forecasting errors can occur. Part I introduces the Magic Table and explains its use. Part II reviews what’s behind the “magic” (earned-value forecasts using CPI and SPI), shows three alternative ways to forecast schedules, and ends with an error analysis of all five project projections.

Meeting the Challenge of Multi-Project Management (6 PDUs)

($59.95 for the test) In response to the challenge of “multi-project management,” this white paper first examines the problem of “multi-assignment” management. Beginning with a knowledge worker juggling both a regular job and a temporary project, the solution to this common problem should point the way to a solution for more complex cases of multi-project management. If the knowledge worker’s problem can be solved, the minimum requirements for what the white-collar organization must do to support the worker’s needs can be specified. The author then explores how these minimum requirements may be turned into “just enough process” to meet the challenge of multi-project management.

Multiple People on Multiple Projects (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) This white paper introduces the MM spreadsheet (MultPeopleMultPjctsV2), designed to help a council of project managers balance the workload of their joint staffs on multiple projects over a 3-month period. The spreadsheet displays an easy-to-grasp view of the allocated work, along with two handy summaries.

The Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) Among the many tools used to manage a project, the RAM stands out. It is especially useful to projects that cross functional boundaries. Once established, the RAM is usually a very stable representation of the project, often changing less than the project plan. Even on a small project, the RAM can improve everyone’s understanding of each participant’s role.

From ROI to Eureka (2 PDUs)

($19.95 for the test) Developing project managers raises some immediate questions for CEOs. What are the business benefits? Do the benefits accrue only to the individual participants or do they extend beyond? How long do the benefits last – months, years, or decades? And how can we measure any of these benefits in a business-like way? Over the years, New Leaf has found answers to the CEOs’ questions – answers that add up to a strong business case for developing project managers.

The Business Benefits of Better Projects: The Oak Associates Simple Business Model (SBM) of Project Performance (2 PDUs)

($19.95 for the test) One way to understand the business benefits of better projects is by modeling the effects of various good project management practices. New Leaf’s predecessor company, Oak Associates, created a model that shows how better projects help business performance. Better projects improve both revenues and profits. By understanding how this model works, you will understand how and why it pays to improve your project management practices.

The Remaining Work Index (RWI) and the Staffing to Schedule Index (StSI) (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) Frequently, part way through a project, a team will discover that things have not been going exactly according to plan. The deliverables have not all been completed on schedule, a major milestone may have slipped, the people working on the project are not the ones envisioned in the plan, and extra work has already been done to keep the project from falling further behind. This paper answers the question: How do you add sufficient staff to recover the original schedule while preserving the shape of the original staffing plan?

StSI and RbSI Compared (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) A few years ago, New Leaf introduced two earned-value indexes, the Staffing-to-Schedule Index (StSI) and the Re-baselined Staffing Index (RbSI). In certain circumstances the two indexes appear to have the same value. Are the two indexes the same? The answer turns out to be that they are equivalent. However, each index’s formula remains convenient in its own context and awkward in the other’s, so both have their uses. Note: this piece is a sequel to two earlier white papers: “StSI and the Remaining Work Index” where the Staffing-to-Schedule Index (StSI) is defined, and “Earned-Value Benchmarks for Re-baselining Your Project” where the Re-baselined Staffing Index (RbSI) is defined and used. You may want to download and read these earlier papers from our site first. This paper begins with the simple example featured in the previous articles.

The Reduced Scope Index (RScI): How to Estimate Your Adjusted Scope As You Finish Your Project (or Your Agile Iteration) on Time and on Budget (1 PDU)

($9.95 for the test) Earned-value metrics that you are already collecting can give you a quick answer that’s captured in New Leaf’s handy new index. This index joins New Leaf’s older indexes, the Remaining Work Index (RWI) and the Staffing to Schedule Index (StSI) both of which are described in white papers on our web site. Together, these indexes allow a busy manager in mid project to quickly adjust either staffing or scope in order to complete the whole project on schedule.

Working the “Educated Plan: How effective is corrective staffing in a typical white-collar project? (6 PDUs)
($59.95 for the test) Past reports have claimed that earned-value metrics are inadequate to manage a dynamic project. This report shows how a project can use earned-value metrics to respond to the full range of tests that most projects encounter. The tests assume the project goal is to finish on time with full scope and correct the staffing (the cost) to achieve success. The results show how to work through realistic project delays in unplanned-for staffing, and how the “desert of resources” expands Brooks’ Law that “adding staffing to a late project only makes it later.”

Snow White’s Castle Renovation: MS Project Template for QPM Tools (1 PDU)
($9.95 for the test) QPM has developed several handy tools that are captured in two MicroSoft Project Templates: FULLSTARTERPLANSnowWhiteCastleQPM.mpp and HALFACTUALSnowWhiteCatleQPM.mpp. This short white paper describes the details of the templates and how to use them. The on-line quiz allows the enterprising PMP to purchase 1 or 2 PDUs. As always, the white paper is free. If you are interested in acquiring a copy of the templates, write to info@newleafpm.com.