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.

Project Performance Demystified: The Five Project Phases and How to Master Them

by Elizabeth Dorey

This article proposes that the most effective projects naturally develop and evolve through a series of distinct phases and asserts that failing to recognize these transitions helps explain why so many projects fall short. Each phase calls for a distinct level and type of engagement. And that’s where your project management approach becomes critical.

Creating PMO Dashboards for Reporting Projects, Portfolios and Programs

by Nilanjan Kar

Consolidating and reporting all aspects of a project can be a challenge. Experience with managing projects teaches the importance of emphasizing relevant data versus following a prescribed format—follow these key points to create a template for dashboard reporting that is tailored to the needs of your audience.

Transparency in Project Management

by R. Sarma Danturthi, PhD, PMP

Transparency in everyday project management practice sets the bar high and gives project managers and their teams a sense of responsibility to stand by. Aligned with selected Process Groups and their Knowledge Areas from the PMBOK® Guide, this paper serves as a starting point to cogitate, initiate and implement transparency.

Coaching Skills to Become an Effective Strategic Project Manager

by Ana Isabel Jaramillo López, PMP

Organizations whose senior leaders make an effort to coach others achieve higher business results. Project managers should implement coaching methods by improving the four skill sets highlighted in this article: active listening, powerful questions, direct communication and creating awareness. These tools help to solve problems effectively and serve to empower each team member.

Leading a Megaproject? Three Things to Know First

by Casey Freeman

You’re about to close the deal on a megaproject with all the potential in the world and everyone involved is ready to sign on the dotted line and get started. Before you do, here are three lessons from the trenches that are straightforward, actionable and can save a great deal of time, frustration and guesswork.

Lessons for the Project Manager from French and Raven's Bases of Power

by Robert Barger, MBA, PMP

The project manager must interact with many different roles in organizations and it is almost a guarantee that during the life cycle of a project, you will have to interact with someone you don’t “control.” Learn how French and Raven’s bases of power can help you build relationships and negotiate the turbulent waters of complex projects.

It’s Chinese to Me, the PMP®

by S. D. Nelson, PMP, Evelyn Chen

Basic Mandarin skills give a project manager advantages and promote productive communication with Chinese teams. What are some communication challenges a project manager may encounter? How can learning about Mandarin help?

Scope Changes Within the Agile/Scrum Framework

by Karen Z. Sullivan, PMP, PSM 1

The approach to scope changes used within the agile/Scrum framework provides a stable environment so the development team can focus on getting work “done.” Frequent feedback about the product allows for less upfront planning and means the Scrum team can quickly adapt to changes. Delivering business value early and often results in increased customer satisfaction.

Solving a Multi-Criteria Decision Problem of Process Technology Selection

by Partha S. Ghose, PMP

Selection of the correct process technology for a manufacturing industry, with several complex variables that will dictate success, is of vital importance. This article applies Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) to complex problems with both objective and subjective criteria. Here, the methodology is used in a selection decision for identifying the optimal technology for a steel-making enterprise.

The Cost of Quality

by Ayhan Özcan

Many organizations consider quality improvement as a critical factor of success for competitiveness. The goal of continuous improvement attempts to not only meet customer requirements, but to also do it at the lowest cost. Values obtained as a result of the calculation need to be analyzed to prepare plans for improvement and set goals for reducing the cost of quality.

Company X Projects in IT and How to Apply Knowledge Management

by Dr. Raed Skaf

Knowledge is the cornerstone for all operational activities. In order for an organization to grow, the need of storing and utilizing the information in an efficient way is critical. Applying proper knowledge management principles can improve effectiveness, foster innovation, improve the quality of solutions and lead to the generation of core value.

How to Fix a Broken Project: Lessons for the Project Manager

by Robert Barger, MBA, PMP

When you are assigned to a project during its infancy, it is easy to get the project to follow the lines you lay out. You are there at the beginning and you have a good commanding view of the landscape. But what should you do when you inherit an existing project that is already in trouble? Finding the missing elements will help recover your project.

Agile is Fragile—Handle it With Care

by Sal Zafar

The agile approach needs to be understood thoroughly before it is introduced to a company. This explanation will give leadership the information they need for deciding if agile project execution is right for their organization by discussing key points including core framework, high-level benefits, and risks in the project-based environment.

Waterfall Versus Agile

by Jesús Pérez Rosales, PMP

When should you use waterfall and when should you use agile? The usual answer to this question is vague: Apply each approach according to circumstances. This article discusses the main positive and negative aspects of the waterfall and agile approaches, deconstructing some of the myths behind them and suggesting where one could be used over the other according to different factors.

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The Job Hunting Project

by Eran Prigat, PMP

You have worked for your company for several years and have made the most of it; but now, it’s time to move on. With job search activities based on Process Groups in the PMBOK® Guide, this article explains how you can treat job hunting like a project, meaning that you set a timeline to execute it, it should be temporary and you should have a start date and a finish date.

Red, Yellow, Green: Lessons for the Project Manager

by Robert Barger, MBA, PMP

Many organizations use a red, yellow, green rating system to quickly update senior management on the status of a large number of projects. Red indicates that some aspect of the project has fallen behind, encountered a setback or is outside of expected parameters. As the project manager, red is not necessarily your fault, but it is definitely your time to shine.

Rules of Considerate Conduct and the Aspirational Standards of the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

by Katherine Holderbaum

The aspirational standards of the “PMI Code of Ethics” provide practitioners with the “what” of professional and socially responsible conduct. Applying Forni’s Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct can enhance the “PMI Code of Ethics” with specific actions and behavior and support more effective management of project management processes, especially communications. The discussions that may result can further benefit project managers and their teams.

Boost Positive Risks

by Ronald B. Smith, PMP

Risks get a bum rap! Many believe a project risk carries a negative connotation—meaning an adverse event or threat may occur. You may be missing out on positive risks or opportunities that can potentially have a beneficial effect on your project’s deliverables and goals. Learn how to recognize positive risks.

Earned Value Management Formulas...Illustrated

by David L. Rico, PMP

The whole point of Earned Value Management is to use past project performance measurements to depict the current standings and predict future efforts and resources required to complete the project goals. If you think in pictures, this illustrated formula will aid in your pursuit of certification or provide a refreshing perspective for veteran practitioners.

Intelligent Project Management: Adopting a 'Program Mindset'

by Nic Horn, Mark Seymour

Establishing a “program approach” allows leadership to control performance across multiple projects to achieve maximum efficiency and ensure alignment to strategic goals. The “Intelligent Project Management” model (iPM) provides a fully integrated approach utilizing smart controls, greater visibility of performance data and ensuring people have the right capabilities to support delivery.

The Scale of Stakeholders

by Nawar Najjar, Ahmed Agwad

A project manager is like the coach in a soccer match; he has to have a game plan, built according to the features and properties of each player in the game. The Scale of Stakeholders (SOS) is a tool that gives the project manager a sense of what each stakeholder means to the project in order to enhance their positive impact.

Project Stakeholder Management

by Preston Charles, PMP

It may be tempting to overlook stakeholder management when facing tight deadlines. The author explains the perspectives of the many stakeholders along the supply chain and how each of them has an impact upon someone else. Everyone from the manufacturer to the final customer is able to recognize the benefits of successful project stakeholder management.

Integrating Change Management with the PMBOK® Guide for ECM Solutions

by Douglas Calem, PMP

This paper advocates for a shift in approach to change management, from the tactical to the strategic, in which change management is integrated into a project management framework for Enterprise Content Management (ECM) implementations. Preparing a client for change is a good business practice that makes strategic sense—both for the client and for the organization implementing the change.

Managing Workshare in Indian Matrix Organizations

by Tushar Chaudhari

Every project manager wants to have full command over a team of high performers. But in a weak matrix organization, it can be difficult to fulfill such demands. This article discusses the routine demands experienced by a project manager in India or workshare coordinator, and also provides a constructive way forward to handle these concerns effectively.

The New Logical Framework: A Tool for an Effective Development Project Design

by Peter Pfeiffer, PMP

The Logical Framework (LF), also known as the Logframe, is generally referred to as a planning tool. The author demonstrates how a new tool, called the New Logframe (NLF), goes a step further in order to increase the effectiveness of project design. The result is a tool that is more practical, summarizes critical project information and is fundamental for strategic planning projects.

Meeting Management: A Sniff Test for Project Success

by Toni Fuller

Team meetings may provide insight into how the project will be managed. In many cases, the same strengths or weaknesses exhibited in conducting meetings will be pervasive throughout the project. Mastering meeting management can establish your reputation and produce results.

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