Knowledge Shelf

The mission of Knowledge Shelf is to help project professionals and organizations advance our practice by sharing their experiences and viewpoints. It is comprised of a wide range of practitioners from a wide range of fields, covering both popular and niche topics. From lessons learned and case studies to opinion pieces and articles, the information presented may be either specialized or general, but will be current and vital. This platform gives a voice to peers new to our online community, and allows for longer form contributions on ProjectManagement.com. For more information on contributing to Knowledge Shelf, including licensing information, please see our Editorial Guidelines.

Practical Methods for Successful Change Adoption

by Aimee Baxter, PMP

What are the elements that can ensure a successful project adoption? What are some basic tactics that can be used to help make sure that stakeholders and in-the-trenches users have the best attitude possible to make the change and spread the news to their colleagues?

Relating Project Risk Appetite to Project Management Activities

by John Manfreda, PMP

The alignment of project management activities with project risk appetite can be a powerful tool to help illustrate and communicate the relationship between these two important areas. Adopting a more formal process to frame and document project risk appetite can maximize positive outcomes.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid During the Contracting Process

by Vivek Gondi

The success of a project depends on the processes that are followed, the people who execute them and the contractual terms and conditions. This subject is all the more relevant to companies who take up work with little background and experience. Understanding some of the common pitfalls that should be avoided by sellers is essential.

The 10 Secrets of Customer Dispute Management: 'Compromise'

by Kevin Joyce

In business, disputes happen. They are an unfortunate, but inevitable, consequence of the financial interests of the supplier and the customer. What happens when we, as project managers, are faced with a customer who says they are not happy, who refuses to pay or who threatens legal action? What steps can we take to address this challenge?

Emotional Intelligence for Leaders: Leading During Times of Uncertainty

by Jayne Booth, PMP

Project managers with high emotional intelligence, or EQ, are more likely to succeed while building great teams. Using the leadership style most appropriate for the situation is putting EQ in action. Three leadership styles are discussed: the intentional leader, the attentive leader and the iron leader, each emphasizing different aspects of EQ.

Project Performance Reporting

by Allen Chilmeran, PMP

Project-status reporting is intended to enable decision makers to make informed decisions that will increase the chances of achieving a favorable outcome. The process of establishing an effective and proactive reporting system that ensures engagement of the project executive team is discussed here.

Is India's Information Technology Story Ending? Can We Sustain It?

by Jayanth P. Reddy, Pankaj Tiwari, PMP

India has been a focal point of the IT revolution in the last two decades. This overview frames the IT landscape and evolution; and what organizations, start-ups and workers can do in this era of confusion and transition to create more jobs, sustain jobs and try to maintain India’s edge on the industry overall.

Communication Issues and Solutions for Project Implementation

by M. Aslam Mirza, CEngr, MBA, PMP

Generally, communication is taken for granted; we assume that everyone understands it. But this is not enough when implementing a project. When communicating on a project, you need information to be in a required format, to the right person, at the right time—which is, essentially, an efficient communication.

Infrastructure Improvements: Guidance on How to Be Successful

by Ronald Smith

Software infrastructure such as databases and core applications must be available 24/7 to support the business. As these infrastructure elements age, you should start planning when they will be updated or replaced. Take a look into three main areas of achieving this—making decisions, design success and selecting vendors.

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Research Results: What IT Project Managers Think About Financial Investment Firms Pursuing Straight-Through Processing With Agile and Workflow Management Systems

by Dr. Geoffrey Webster, PMP

Changes in the financial services sector have made achieving straight-through processing—a dedicated commitment to settle a securities transaction within 24 hours and minimize risk—a monumental effort. Can agile software development and workflow management systems have a positive impact on addressing straight-through processing?

Creating a Portfolio of Prioritized Projects

by Dr. Richard Bayney, PMP

By rank ordering projects, many companies mistakenly assume that all projects above the resource line constitute a “prioritized portfolio.” An optimal portfolio is a combination of projects that seeks to maximize value subject to a resource constraint while paying no attention to rank order. Follow this blueprint to implement portfolio optimization and maximize portfolio value in your company.

Digital Transformation

by David Shaw, PMP

Cloud computing and services are central to digital transformation. The cloud improves an organization's agility to rapidly roll out new IT solutions to meet business needs. The cloud by its fundamental nature reflects an adaptive (agile or value-driven) approach to delivering products or services. How does that fit into the usual five-gate phases in IT project governance?

Meeting Management: Lessons for the Project Manager

by Robert Barger, MBA, PMP

As a project manager, you need meetings in order to increase collaboration and resolve obstacles, but you may be taking productive time from the team member’s workday. Recognizing this helps you understand that maximizing your time together is essential. Learn how to make your meetings efficient, purposeful and interesting.

The Art of Stakeholder Conversations

by Soumya Maitra

Projects live and die by decisions. Such decisions are seldom made in isolation and are often the product of deliberations ripe with dominant management culture, stakeholder egos, their politics, risk appetite and resistance to change. Learn how you can maneuver these moving pieces skillfully to influence project sponsors and stakeholders toward concurrence.

You Can Become a Powerful Project Leader by Taking These Steps

by Andrea Masek, PMP

Project leadership takes guts. Face it, you take on some of the most complex assignments and are responsible for large budgets, resources and operational impacts. The steps outlined in this article will enable you to tap into your leadership potential, engage your teams and utilize proven techniques for successful project outcomes.

Insights for Managing Global IT Projects Virtually

by Charmaine Karunaratne, MS, PMP

Providing an introduction to virtual project management and its benefits to the audience, the author offers strategies and tactics to work in a virtual setting and addresses the challenges, application and appropriate technology. This paradigm shift can allow businesses to evolve and succeed by gaining a competitive edge.

The Business Case, Product and Process

by Klaus Nielsen, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMI-PBA, PMP

We all recognize the importance of benefits realization management. But benefits are identified and derived from the business case. Without a realistic business case, benefits realization management is hardly worth the effort. A development process based upon an iterative model and the use of best practices can increase the quality and trustworthiness of the business case.

Does Your Corporate Ladder Have the Right Project Management Rungs?

by Jon Vordermark, PMP

In many organizations, the career track for project managers can be a rather one-dimensional climb to the top. This article (for career-minded project managers and employers alike) recommends an alternative model, one that is more realistic, dynamic and strength-driven. It is in an organization’s best interest to leverage and reward such strengths in order to reap corporate benefits.

Automating Portfolio Status Reporting Using Microsoft PowerPoint

by Nilanjan Kar, PMP

Simple and effective automation can be used to publish and communicate one-page (or dashboard) project status reports using MS PowerPoint. This is one of the many uses possible and can be adapted to other needs. This approach, involving some VBA programming, can reduce repetitive and periodic tasks of reporting and uploading status reports.

Why Bad Projects Are So Hard to Kill

by Michael O'Brochta, PMI-ACP, PMP

Bad projects waste money and resources, divert attention from good projects, and sow doubt about organizational competence. Using project stories, this paper takes a look beyond why projects go bad to explore behaviors that contribute to keeping bad projects alive. Actions are provided that project managers can take to avoid being victimized by bad projects.

In-Between or Neither-Nor? Challenges and Opportunities for Meso Management in Development Projects

by Peter Pfeiffer, PMP

International Development addresses a vast array of issues related to social and economic transformation. This article draws attention to the importance of the meso management level, which helps to bridge the gap between the macro level where strategies are defined and the micro levels where the interventions occur. To be effective it must face challenges related to project governance and management competencies.

The Project Manager and the Subject Matter Expert – A Hidden, Yet Critical, Project Risk

by Thomas Conway

Some risks are not easily identified. Technical Interpersonal Risk (TIR), the complexity of managing technical projects wherein there is a significant reliance on subject matter experts (SMEs), fits neatly into that category. Awareness of potential impacts and mitigation strategies can help your project go much more smoothly.

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