Project Management

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 Project Management Lessons from Watching Nature

by R. Sarma Danturthi, PhD, PMP

What can we learn from the ever changing but closely woven network of nature? Taking the opportunity while sheltering at home, the author spent some time watching nature programs and found there were many lessons that could be applied to project management.

The Regular Project Manager 'Managing' in a World Gone Agile

by Katherine Nnanwubar, PMI-ACP, PMP

Being agile means being adaptable. Now, more than ever, a project manager must be ready and willing to move and shift focus at the slightest opportunity. Agile is not just a mindset to be used exclusively when managing projects or “working”; being agile trains the mind to adjust to change with a minimum amount of resistance.

Vendor Selection and Trust in the Age of Search Engine Optimization

by Brian Galhouse, PMP

We can’t always do it all ourselves. Choosing the right vendor is critical to your project’s success. Ensuring your goals are aligned, conducting deep due diligence, and creating a win-win scenario will get you there. This article looks at approaches to help you gather accurate information about your vendor and their capabilities.

Leading Virtual Sessions

by Louis Alderman, PMP

Project management relies heavily on teams, and teams need to communicate and share project information and techniques. With virtual teams and remote sessions increasingly becoming the norm, it is essential for project managers to be adept at leading virtual sessions. These techniques will provide the foundation for a great virtual session.

Developing Authenticity

by Pang De Xian

Developing an authentic personality, through tapping into positive values or ethics, enables us to be true to ourselves and sincere in our interactions with others. Authenticity helps to gradually build trust and collaboration with our stakeholders and provide a sustainable contribution to organizations.

A Client Framework Can Improve Organizational Effectiveness

by Jacquelyn O’Connor, PMP

Similar to the technology frameworks behind the scenes of our everyday lives that improve our user interfaces, a client engagement framework can improve how organizations interface with clients, making the organization more effective and improving the quality and level of client satisfaction.

How Risk Mitigation Plans are Incorporated into the Integrated Master Schedule

by John Ayers

How do you incorporate risk mitigation plans into the integrated master schedule (IMS)? It is useful to be able to see the status of the mitigation plan in the IMS and the impact on other tasks if the mitigation plan begins to slip. This discussion presents a risk scenario to show you how to implement a risk mitigation plan on your own projects.

Study on the Main Causes of Project Schedule Delays

by Saleh A. Al-Wadei

Nearly 50% of projects worldwide during the previous eight years have experienced delays in their schedule. By examining several sources, with a focus on oil and gas projects but applicable to most projects, the paper consolidates the identified causes, categorizes them, and ranks them in the form of a top 12 list of the most common delay causes in projects.

Capital Program Management in the Food and Beverage Industry

by Bernard Fonseca, PMP

Capital program management is an effective method for managing engineering improvements in a facility. Too often, project engineers are managing projects on a short-term basis in a “firefighting” mode. A strategic capital management program provides the foundation for good project execution, improved plant infrastructure, cost savings, enhanced quality, and meeting customer deliverables.

Recommendations for Handling Disputes and Claims in Construction Projects

by Juan Horita, PhD, PMP

During the execution of large-scale construction projects, the occurrence of conflicts is probable due to variations to the project. Dispute resolutions can be considered as projects in and of themselves and require preparation. Integrating these recommendations and lessons can increase the quality of claims and limit the costs of elaboration.

Can Big Pharma Benefit From Agile?

by Amir Nasiri, PMP

What areas of the pharmaceutical industry related to clinical trials can benefit the most from adopting an agile approach, which is based on lean, no-waste process management? More importantly, after you have figured out where you want to apply agile, how can you make sure it gets adopted across the organization?

Nailing the Decision-Making Process: A Project Manager’s Guide

by Temitope Dabo, PMP

Regardless of how small or large a project is, there will be a need for quick and strong decisions. Following the critical steps in an effective decision-making process, properly defining the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and applying group decision facilitation techniques can help project managers nail the act of decision making.

Project Failures: Their Impact and Your Ability to Deal With Them

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

Project issues will plague even the best-run projects. The project manager must have a strategy to deal with issues, but it is just as important for the practitioner to support the team and control the narrative. Here are four suggestions that project managers can use when conducting issue management.

Benefits of Project Management Training to Leaders of the Nonprofit Sector

by Amy Gorecki, PMP

In the nonprofit sector, where all ideal resources may not be available, the benefits of leaders with Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is increasingly being recognized. Explore the reasons to support PMP certification for nonprofit leaders and how the competencies attained can add value for organizations.

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Scrum Framework Team Roles and Transitioning to an Agile Approach

by Karen Z. Sullivan, PSM, PMP

Expanding on an earlier article, the author details roles within the Scrum framework along with the organizational environment that needs to exist to transition to an agile approach. The benefits of agile and path to adopting agile practices are discussed, including use of a gradual incremental hybrid approach.

It Takes Both—A Belt and a PMP—to Win

by Michael Herskovitz

Through detailed delineation of a dual-leadership model, this paper promotes the idea that to be successful, companies pursuing business process improvement or transformation strategy need to assign both a Belt and a PMP to jointly plan, manage, and deliver the transformation strategy.

Developing an Effective Project Management Mentoring Program

by Bruce Gordon, PMP

One of the most effective methods for improving the capabilities and performance of project managers is through mentoring by more experienced practitioners. Learn how to start your own program with these key techniques employed by the PMI Chicagoland Mentoring Program along with four success stories based on direct feedback from participants.

Effective Stakeholder Engagement: A Tool for Project Success

by Manavasi Ramesh

In complex infrastructure projects, external stakeholders may have the greatest impact due to land acquisition problems, right of way issues, environmental issues, and government regulations. Using case studies, this article presents the challenges of stakeholder management and supplies tools to help find solutions and ensure positive outcomes.

Approach to Project Management Fundamentals

by Fraser MacDuffee

With the PMBOK® Guide as the foundation, organizations can build their project methodologies to meet their specific business needs. The focus in this article is on the fundamentals of project execution. All of these elements are interdependent and take time and effort to build. Principled execution is the goal for our customers and ourselves.

Good Benefit Statements Are Essential for Effective Benefits Realization Management (BRM)

by Paul Shaltry, MA, PMP, Dave Violette, MPM, PMP

A robust Benefits Realization Management (BRM) focus starts with crafting benefits statements that speak to why project-based results are needed. This article suggests ways of constructing useful statements and provides a framework for you to engage benefit statements in a thoughtful way in your business setting.

How Collaboration Outperforms Competition

by Rajesh Shankaranarayana, Shalini Ramaswamy

In a large program, it may be necessary for competitors to work together to achieve customer goals. Insights are presented on various collaboration techniques, when they should be employed to have the most impact, and the business benefits that the program, customer, and each of the partner teams receive in working toward shared goals.

No PMO, No Problem? A Project Manager's Survival Guide

by Fatima Touré, PMP

While the vast majority of organizations understand the value of having a project management office (PMO), about 15% do not have one. How can project managers be successful in organizations without a PMO? The project manager still has the main responsibility for project success and can take ownership of its outcome by following a few best practices.

Project Management for Energy Reform: An Opportunity for Government

by Dan Potash

The benefits of project management for traditional energy projects, such as building a power plant, are well known. But there are also benefits for energy sector reform, particularly government initiatives. Project management techniques can help by clarifying objectives, engaging stakeholders, improving the speed of legislation, and managing scope and schedule.

Before You Dive In...Make Sure the Water Is Warm

by Brent Langevin

The Pay for Success (PFS) approach provides a compelling “try before you buy” platform for conducting a new product or service analysis. Is there a way to “experience” the needs and challenges of engaging in a PFS initiative, and to “visualize” the potential benefits of the offering, without a large commitment of resources to such an up-front effort?

It Works: Applying Project Management Techniques to Due Diligence Efforts

by Rob Seiler

Project management techniques help to establish order and clear lines of responsibility and can be invaluable tools for successful implementation of due diligence efforts. The application of a WBS and a project schedule remove the potential bias of a “done deal” mentality and focus the effort to develop an informed opinion.

Factors, Approaches, Impacts, and Effects of Communication

by Pang De Xian

Our fluency in conveying our messages affects the fluidity of the messages’ transmissions, and thus the effectiveness of their intentions. Learning the relationships between factors, approaches, impacts, and the effects of communication can help to improve our communication and correspondence skills in listening, writing, and conversation.

Managing Projects in a Desert Environment During the Summer Period

by Olusegun Akinniyi, PMP

Managing projects in a desert environment during the hot summer period presents unique challenges. The author shares his experience and lessons learned from three major oil and gas projects in the Middle East. Tips for managing projects in a similar environment are presented to assist other project managers.

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

- Bertrand Russell

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