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.

Managing a Healthcare Project in the Era of Cloud Computing

by Dr. Nidhi Gupta, BDS, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMP

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business is done, offering increased efficiency and new models for work in many industries, including healthcare. Learn the basics of cloud computing, with options for service and deployment, to enable you to customize your own model to serve the unique requirements of your work environment.

Blended Learning for Maximum Impact

by Nicolas De Dobbeleer, M.Sc., PMP

How often do people go off for a few a days to a training event and then return to work, struggle to apply what they have learned, eventually forgetting it in a matter of months? The author explains why his experience supports a blended-learning approach mixing standard training, custom training, e-learning, coaching, and communities of practice to produce the best results.

Sustaining Competitiveness via Cumulative Advantage

by Pang De Xian

The changing nature of competitive advantage has one constant—the trust and comfortability of products and services to consumers garnered by the value propositions that accumulate throughout the years, referred to as cumulative advantage. Discover tactics to build cumulative advantage and how they align with your project delivery strategy.

Project Management – Alternative Lensing

by George Freeman, PMP

Seasoned project managers know there is no such thing as a pristine project, although you can often find one in a well-crafted corporate narrative. How can you have ultimate success when this type of clandestine reality (reality gap) is confronting you? If you are interested in seeing methodology viewed from challenging perspectives, then read on.

How Can You Fail Gracefully in a Lean Lab Environment?

by William Hom

In order to keep up with market changes, organizations must figure out a faster way to deliver new features. The lean lab methodology is a proven delivery method, allowing teams to fail fast and identify winners quickly. Lean labs offer the team an opportunity to learn from mistakes, become more efficient, and show business value quickly.

The Best Project Managers Are Themselves

by Leticia Peevy

Being genuine can give you an edge as a project manager because it helps build and strengthen connections you have with your peers and project team. Authenticity builds trust and enables you to increase your circle of influence in your personal and professional life. Employ these practical actions to help you be yourself.

Transformation Project Manager – An Understanding of What You Are Up To

by Valaiporn Niramai, PMP

Transformation appears to be a top-agenda item for the C-level. Project managers may find it tempting to opt in to a project management role in the transformation, but before saying “yes,” they should understand how the transformation team is structured, how talents are acquired, what skill sets are needed, and what key considerations to look for.

Practical Steps for Implementing an Agile Process in a Non-IT Company

by Cristian Hoger

Agile approaches, originally conceived to manage software projects, can be implemented in non-IT settings to provide more predictable outcomes on a shorter-term schedule. Use of agile methodologies starts with less complex projects to encourage an agile mind-set, expanding into the organization and more complex projects when there is greater experience.

Examining Stakeholder Relationships via Organizational Network Analysis

by Pang De Xian

Project managers who have difficulty handling stakeholder interactions can become frustrated and turn to micromanagement, losing sight of their overall role guiding the team. Organizational network analysis (ONA) can be used to examine the health of stakeholder engagement in a project environment and promote better relationships.

Size Estimation – Some Thoughts From the Trenches

by Karl-Erik Hirviniemi

Estimating something to be developed in a product—something that has not been done before—involves inherent uncertainty, not the least about how much work is required to produce a finished product. Estimation is about having a grip on the size of a project in terms of the amount of work, complexity or functionality, and is critical to the business.

Scaling Agile: An Existential Threat to Project Management?

by Louis J. Taborda

How might efforts to "scale agile" and apply its self-organizing principles to the development of increasingly complex solutions impact the project management discipline? Two key challenges are identified: the purposeful avoidance of the project manager role and favoring stable, persistent teams over temporary organizations.

8 Techniques for Using Subcontractors That Deliver Effectively

by Latoya Morris, PMP

When you work with subcontractors, they become an extension of you to your clients and you want them to deliver quality and continue your good name and good standing. Subcontractors, just like employees, can either be a joy or a nightmare, but you can impact which it will be. This article provides eight techniques that deliver effectively.

Security in IT Project Management

by R. Sarma Danturthi, PhD, PMP

Security foundations for a project should be strongly laid in the initiation phase, preferably when the project charter is created and signed to document all possible risks, threat vectors and security loopholes, and should include conceivable remediation measures. Internal, external and technology-related risk are examined in alignment with project management processes.

Is There Something Going Wrong on Your Project? Look for System Behavioral Archetypes

by Lenka Pincot

System archetypes are reoccurring patterns of behavior that can be found in any type of organizational system. They serve us as effective tools to diagnose projects, identify and manage risks, and point out underlying structures that are signaling where fundamental decisions must be made in order to fix a root cause.

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Applying Project Management Skills to Guide Production of an Off-Road Triathlon Film

by Joseph Lagerstrom, PMP

Leaving a career as an IT professional to become a principal in a video-content firm, the author thought he might also be leaving his project management practice behind. But in the middle of his first film project, wondering how to achieve his next milestone, he realized how his project management skills would transfer into his new role.

Strategic Risk Management in the Boardroom Is Vital in an Age of Uncertainty

by Ray Bruneau, PMP

Strategic risk management belongs in any collection of organizational process assets! By examining domain-specific types of risks (strategic, operational and tactical) and how corporations react to them, this article demonstrates why strategic risk is of the utmost importance to corporate governance and, by extension, to the chairman and board of directors.

Enterprise Agile Transformation: Challenges and Ways to Overcome

by Falguni Rolekar, Srinivasan Balasubramaniam

It is a critical decision process for executive teams as to whether, why and when to embark on an agile transformation. Practicing new ways of working and transforming an entire organization is a huge challenge but can help enterprises to deal with digital disruption, reduce costs, boost efficiency and improve quality.

Logistics Project Management: The Basics

by Kimberly Halos

“Where’s my package?” It’s a question we are all familiar with. Project management in the field of logistics requires broad insight into a true end-to-end process, quality documentation and far-reaching team management skills. How does one manage this process for a customer?

How Much Management Reserve Do You Need?

by Mac Sauls

Effective decision-making requires forecasting the outcome of each option based on the probability of alternative scenarios. As a project manager, you must become the financial advisor on your project. Management reserve should be added to your baseline costs, then used to manage the uncertainty of risks and to mitigate variability.

Manage Yourself: Timeless Principles to Manage the Most Important Project

by Chad Husted

Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People teaches timeless, universal principles to help us be our best. Take a quick tour through the 7 habits with a special emphasis on their relation to project management. Self-reflective questions prompt readers to consider how they might execute projects more effectively.

Software-Simplistic Prediction Model for Bug Forecasting

by Steve Poessnecker

Project bugs and the forecasting of progress can be complex. An Excel spreadsheet can be employed to gauge the progress of the testing and resolution teams. Using this simplistic method in conjunction with test-estimation techniques can help the project manager determine the completion date for testing efforts.

FrAgile Agile: Agile Transformations Require Change Management

by Grace Willis, MBA, SPC4.5, SA, CSM, ICP, CSSGB, PMP

Something is going wrong with business agility in many organizations. Everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and saying they’re “agile,” but in reality they’re not. Few identify the problem as a lack of change management, but a formal agile transformation integrated with a change management program is critical to success.

A Comparative Analysis of Agile, Six Sigma, and Critical Pathway Methodologies

by Michael Perry, MS, PMP

Tailoring your approach to project management promotes the ability to fulfill strategic organizational goals. It is necessary to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to be able to determine which fits your project’s needs. This analysis provides insight to aid in making an informed decision.

Productivity Beyond Prioritization

by Pang De Xian

Faced with overwhelming workloads, we are often advised to “prioritize,” as if that is some sort of magical spell. We need to look beyond prioritization. Here are some useful tools and techniques that can be applied by individuals as well as teams to increase productivity.

Managing a Software Upgrade Project in an Energy Commodities Trading Environment

by Jayant Bardalai

Software upgrades are a necessary part of the information systems life cycle and there are various requirements that drive the need for upgrades. Upgrading systems is not an easy process, but utilizing best practices and applying PMI’s project management principles can play a big part in ensuring a positive outcome.

If Quality Slips, Check Your Risks

by Ronke Luke

Quality management is not independent of risk management yet the two are often decoupled after a project goes operational. When the quality performance of an operation falters, project management principles offer a useful framework for getting things back on track.

Agility in Project Management

by Susan Irwin, PhD, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-SP, PMP, PfMP

Project managers need leadership skills—specifically emotional intelligence (EI)—to augment technical expertise. But agile thinking, leadership and EI skills are just one facet of project success. Businesses need to invest in project management processes that are agile to respond to the changing needs of the organization.

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I hate asking for change. They always make a face. It's like asking them to donate a kidney.

- George Costanza

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