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.

Construction Industry Project Management Lessons Learned: Phase 4 - Execution

by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

Inspired by construction questions heard while managing tier 1 projects, in part 3 of his series the author explains contractor requirements for project execution, including workforce management, reporting, safety practices, change management and field activities. Each element is described along with humorous stories and lessons learned.

Identifying and Managing Technical Project Risks

by Jamie Blum

Project risk is inevitable and must be managed to the maximum extent possible. Risks for complex software projects can be divided into two categories—project risks and technical risks. A potentially avoidable technical risk of Lockheed Martin’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) software is discussed, along with a treatment plan that could have reduced the risks earlier in the project.

Construction Industry Project Management: Priority 3 — Planning

by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

In his first article, the author examined design and preconstruction in tier 1 construction projects (over US$ 100 million). This entry in the series explains the contracts and contractor requirements for planning. The project management plan consists of multiple parts requiring contractor submittal and owner approval. The elements of the plan are described along with instructive stories and lessons learned.

How to Accelerate Government Projects

by Barbara Eilenfield, MHA, PMP

Transformation in government agencies often comes up against bureaucratic hurdles. Employing a crucible, consisting of four elements (do more with less; lean project management; phasing; and consistency), paired with Kotter’s eight-step change model enabled a government team to successfully complete a difficult consolidation effort.

Detailed Design and Engineering & Preconstruction

by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

Within tier 1, construction projects’ values are usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Based on experiences in the tier 1 environment, this is the first in a series of articles describing basic tier 1 requirements and the project manager’s responsibilities running a live construction project. The articles are particularly intended to provide real examples to young, up-and-coming hopefuls to the project manager role.

Scope Decomposition of Complex Programs: Key Methods to Define and Manage the Scope of Large-Scale Change Initiatives

by Mustafa Hakimuddin, PMP

For complex programs to achieve their strategic goals, it is not only important to decompose their scope into controllable constituents, but also to stitch the pieces back again into a cohesive whole. Scope decomposition techniques—systems thinking, WBS, and progressive elaboration—help to effectively manage programs so that they meet their stated objectives.

Operations as a Final Destination to Successful Project Delivery

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

Operations play a critical role in the successful maintenance and sustainability of products or services once they are released into production. Employing a disciplined approach to operations management can lead to increased effectiveness, cutting costs and a competitive advantage.

Prioritizing Projects and Requirements for Organizational Success

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

The need for prioritization appears when multiple projects are planned in an organization and there is a shortage of resources. In order to deliver business goals and objectives, the focus should be on projects that provide strategic value. Learn about the factors and methods involved to better prioritize your projects.

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.

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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.

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.

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