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.

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.

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.

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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.

El Rol de la Comunicación en Proyectos y Pequeñas Empresas

by Angelica Larios, PMP

La comunicación interna genera ideas, y las ideas pueden convertirse en procesos, productos o servicios innovadores, o llevar a la adopción de nuevas tecnologías y conocimientos. La comunicación abierta juega un papel central en negocios creativos e innovadores. Aprenda cómo mejorar la comunicación puede mejorar los resultados y beneficiar a su negocio.

The Role of Communication in Projects and Small Organizations

by Angelica Larios, PMP

Internal communication generates ideas—and ideas can become innovative processes, products or services, or lead to the adoption of new technologies and knowledge. Open communication plays a central role in creative and innovative businesses. Learn how improving communication can enhance results and benefit your business.

Scope Creep in Projects: Looking From the Lens of Critical Thinking

by Vanita Bhoola

It is a VUCA world—volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous—and project management is no exception. In such situations, the final project may hardly resemble the original or initial plan. Welcome to scope creep! How can critical thinking help?

Governance Around Projects: An Organizational Approach

by Lourdes Medina, PMP, PfMP, ITIL, CSM

An efficient frame of governance helps to ensure the strategic alignment of the organization with corporate initiatives and their realization. This article analyzes governance around projects with an organizational approach at the strategic level, at the tactical and portfolio level, and at the program and project level.

Project Managing the Start-Up: What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Project Managers

by Dr. Riaan Steenberg, MBA, PMP

There is a strong correlation between the success of a start-up and the extent to which the entrepreneur executes on the disciplines of finding customers, enabling operations and managing resources. How can entrepreneurs gain insight into the link between the methods needed to manage projects and the processes of establishing a business?

How to Get Executives to Act for Project Success

by Michael O'Brochta, PMI-ACP, PMP

The trap of applying best-practice project management only to have the project fail because of executive inaction or counteraction can be avoided. This how-to paper describes how project managers can get their executives to act, and it identifies executive actions most likely to contribute to project success.

Effective Facility Closure: A Risk Management Perspective

by Amin Terouhid, PhD, PMP

Project management techniques can ensure that a facility closure is completed effectively, with economically, environmentally and socially responsible outcomes. Applying risk management processes assures the right set of strategies are incorporated into the project execution to respond to possible risks.

How to Connect With Organizational Culture and Enhance Meaningfulness

by M. Aslam Mirza, CEngr, MBA, PMP

Connecting with organizational culture to enhance productivity is paramount in project management; it helps to not only improve performance, but also adds meaningfulness. How can organizations align their values with talent management to inspire team members and create a high-performing culture?

From Banking to Building Site: Are Project Management Skills Transferable?

by Melanie Eichhorn-Schurig, Prince2, LL.M., Diplom-Kauffrau (FH), PMP

While applying her experience in the banking industry to a home expansion project, the author learned some key lessons: Project management skills are transferable between sectors and project managers should not be afraid to take on projects in areas where they have little or no industry knowledge.

Project Scope: Managing Complexity and Uncertainty

by D. Mari Rengarajam

Projects with many influential stakeholders face difficulty in arriving at an agreed-upon scope. And even after this agreement, complex project requirements may fluctuate from relatively stable to uncertain. The author shares insights into effective scope management and the role of governance boards.

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