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.
Sometimes good projects can fail or stagnate. Introducing the risk of change to a project can revitalize it for success. This article will focus on the 10 steps that should be taken to successfully reboot a project and ensure optimal performance and deliverables.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
The effort and cost involved in risk model implementation, as well as a tendency toward optimism, can make it difficult to build consensus for a structured risk management process. The author offers tips for building trust in the process starting with simplifying the risk model to gain management involvement.