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.

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.

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.

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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.

New Age Organizational Roles

by Vivek Gondi

A new organizational model with a dedicated project management office and alternate roles can offer multiple benefits to deal with increased scale and diversity in the execution of projects. Learn how these new roles can provide opportunities to bring about positive change for enterprises large and small.

The 8 Cognitive Biases Project Managers Need to Watch For

by Rich Butkevic

What are cognitive biases and how could they be impacting your decision-making process? As a project manager, you need to be able to separate "fact" from "feeling." Here are eight of the most common biases that individuals will encounter, in addition to the best ways to defeat them.

Managing Projects Sun Tzu's Way

by Henry Lie

Why would you want to use an ancient Chinese war strategy to manage a project? It can provide a different perspective on project planning and making tough decisions, and it enhances your cross-cultural understanding. And by using this ancient analogy, you can gain insight in a more amusing way!

Technical Risk Possibility at Symcor: An Illustration of Risk Mitigation Strategy

by Mark Bails

Technical risks, actions or events that may impact project success after delivery can be addressed during implementation if properly anticipated in the project design phase. This discussion explores one mitigation strategy that enabled improved financial results and increased customer satisfaction.

Introducing Program Maps

by Gregory Fabian, PMP

A program map is a diagramming technique used for showing the relationship between various components (usually operations and project-type activities) of a program and program events plotted against time. Program maps, when properly constructed, can convey a lot of information that stakeholders can easily absorb.

Data Quality Management in Engineering and Construction Projects

by Valentin Kouprine, PhD, PEng, PMP, Daron Kinsey, MIEAust, Randy McMeekin, PEng

The engineering and construction industry is transforming from a document-driven to a digitally driven sector. Besides the physical assets delivered, managing project data and information is essential to providing better quality deliverables, cutting costs and controlling risks.

Can Agile Transformation Work in the World of Beer Brewing?

by Paul Odell

We all have an agile team in our minds whenever we take on mastering any new process. Parts of your mind are similar to a product owner, a scrum master and a development team. If you can organize a team with agile, could it not also work with organizing your mind?

Telecommuting Teams with Agile Projects

by Joshua Render

It may seem counter to the “rules” of agile, but distributed, telecommuting agile teams can be more effective than their colocated peers—and most of what you have to do to be successful are things you should already be doing.

X-Ray of the Project Portfolio With Design Thinking

by Lourdes Medina, PMP, PfMP, ITIL, CSM

Design thinking is a systematic approach to problem solving centered on customers and the capability to create a better future for them. In the portfolio management context, design thinking is applied to the design of business prototypes or corporate strategies and promotes innovation.

Managing Power in Interactions in Team Relationships

by M. Aslam Mirza, CEngr, MBA, PMP

The way power is wielded determines many aspects of the team’s performance affecting a project’s outcome. The discussion here provides an understanding of the bases of power one derives and exerts, particularly a project manager in team relationships, and discusses ways to create an environment of high performance.

Project Crashing Using Critical Path Method

by Yogesh Bhila Patil

Project crashing is the name given to schedule compression techniques that are used to shorten the duration of a project without changing the scope. Two techniques, fast tracking and crashing, with cost and schedule trade-offs, are analyzed to determine how to obtain the best result.

Making Meetings Meaningful With a Project Management Mindset

by Jennifer Morin

Meetings are often viewed as "business as usual," with stakeholders dreading each occurrence and calendar invitation. Adopting a project management mindset will propel meetings to the next level by treating each meeting as its own project, enabling you to plan proactively, execute effectively, adjust accordingly and close meaningfully.

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