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.

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.

Managing Entropy and Increasing ROI in Post-Merger and Acquisition Organizations

by Amir Nasiri, PMP

What happens when a company is acquired by a larger entity that fails to provide adequate leadership support with the resulting loss of corporate culture? Self-inflicted wounds can be avoided with a working project management framework, proper governance and a customer-centric focus.

Digital Transformation: Strategies to Transform Organizations

by Deveer Bellur, CSM, PMP

To stay ahead of emerging competition and expand their customer base, established organizations are embarking upon digital transformation. The challenge lies in changing existing lines of business and aligning organizational culture. This article shares transformation strategies for a process-mature organization.

Process and Project Management: Complementary Disciplines

by Jeff Dauphinee, PMP, Alan Vercio, CPA, MBA

Project and process management are two disciplines used by organizations to advance the work of delivering value to customers, clients and patients. While there are a few differences between the two, there are many similarities that can be used for best practice sharing, enabling the organization to meet customer and business objectives.

Efficient Project Team Consolidation in Post-Merger Companies

by Nat Schatz

When evaluating the acquisition of a company, many organizations emphasize the financial aspects but downplay facets of the consolidation dealing with project execution. This paper examines the major considerations and discusses how to improve the integration process to avoid negative impact.

How to Manage Off-Specifications

by Tahir Khan

No matter how many projects you have worked on in your professional life, every single one of them has some form of change. Change is a constant throughout the project life cycle. This article provides details on what off-specifications are, and how an off-specification can be managed effectively.

Project Team Organization in Product Innovation as a Success Factor: Perspective of the Practitioner

by Frédéric Robin, PhD, PMP

The influence of project team organization as a factor in its performance has hardly been reported. This work reviews the most common project team organization models. Although no perfect model exists, this paper highlights the criticality for senior leaders to design the most appropriate team organization and provides some thoughts on how to tackle potential pitfalls.

Support: The Lost Deliverable

by Niels De Weyer

Did you ever have to call a project team back because the project was delivered and support was not set up? Not setting up support can give a good project a bad name. Throughout the phases of a project, support should be defined, planned, and set up. Be well prepared by asking the basic questions outlined in this article.

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Cultural Agility: Are You in Need of Developing Cross-Cultural Abilities for Your Executives?

by Angelica Larios, PMP

Agility refers to the ability to change the position of one's body without losing balance. Cultural agility then becomes a competency that enables professionals to change their state of mind to perform successfully in cross-cultural situations. Global professionals that develop cultural awareness and agility will be the ones who gain a competitive advantage in a global economy.

Practical Portfolio Optimization

by Vladimir Shnaydman, PhD

How can you optimize project portfolio selection? The key question is how to select a “right” mix of projects aligned with company resources and strategic goals, and maximize portfolio value. The most popular techniques are described and an example illustrates the advantages of optimization modeling as the most effective and accurate technique for portfolio selection.

Strategic Lessons Learned From a Battle-Hardened Project Manager

by George Freeman, PMP

Project managers strive to learn from past experiences and guide others to do the same. However, these lessons learned normally exclude topics related to the plight of the project manager, who must regularly navigate the “domain of the unpredictable.” This article proposes a new device, “strategic lessons learned,” to address this void.

What Is Skinny Agile?

by Keith P. Hogan, CSM, PMI-ACP, PMP

In adopting agile, management may choose to implement a “skinny” version consisting of selected features. Any one feature of agile selectively introduced into the legacy environment may seem sure to fail. But agile is not static and with continuous improvement will mature it into a more comprehensive methodology.

The Execution of FMEA in Risk Management of a Project

by Niansheng Chu

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is one of the first structured techniques of failure analysis and is a very important tool in the engineering industry. The innovation discussed by this paper is that the engineering analysis method is applied to the project management process; the paper also calls on the importance of the exchange of engineering analysis tools and management methods.

How to Embrace and Truly Delight Your Customer!

by Brian Anthony O'Malley

Having well-honed customer relationship management skills is a key differentiator in project management. Embracing and truly delighting your customer goes well beyond the basics of traditional customer satisfaction. Take a closer look at some ways to move beyond the mundane to delivering a truly great customer experience!

Feed the Energy

by Melissa Gottschalk, PMI-ACP, PMP

Positive energy, an important predictor of organizational success, is often overlooked or poorly represented. Evidence has shown that positive-charged project leaders create high performance within the organization. Enact these suggestions to promote positive energy in your projects.

Project Constraints on a Journey Toward Being Agile

by Pawan Rai

Every project manager is familiar with the project management triangle, comprised of scope, time and cost. Quality, resources and risk are additional factors that must be accounted for to achieve project success. The focus here is to understand how these constraints are still relevant in the age of agile.

Distributed Authority in Project Management

by Dr. Jerry Mulenburg, PMP

Successful management in organizations is the result of a willingness by senior managers to distribute authority to those who are responsible for “getting the job done.” Learn how results can be improved when authority, responsibility and accountability work together on a project.

Honesty as the Basis of Ethics in an Organization: Why Ethics Are That Important

by Angelica Larios, PMP

At the bottom line of ethics, there is honesty, which should be part of every transaction, interaction, decision or action that an organization and its employees take. Six steps are proposed to help improve relationships between organizations and their employees, orienting the application of ethics through steps of honesty.

Transforming Life Insurance: A 7-Stage Journey Just to Get Started

by Philipp Masefield, MA, HSG, PMP

Intending to transform the established life insurance business of a leading insurer is a multi-dimensional challenge. It is also a story of the level of adaptability, perseverance and collaboration. In this case study of a leading Swiss insurance Company, the author shares the insights gained from the four-year journey as the company prepares for implementation.

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