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.

Automating Portfolio Status Reporting Using Microsoft PowerPoint

by Nilanjan Kar

Simple and effective automation can be used to publish and communicate one-page (or dashboard) project status reports using MS PowerPoint. This is one of the many uses possible and can be adapted to other needs. This approach, involving some VBA programming, can reduce repetitive and periodic tasks of reporting and uploading status reports.

Why Bad Projects Are So Hard to Kill

by Michael O'Brochta

Bad projects waste money and resources, divert attention from good projects, and sow doubt about organizational competence. Using project stories, this paper takes a look beyond why projects go bad to explore behaviors that contribute to keeping bad projects alive. Actions are provided that project managers can take to avoid being victimized by bad projects.

In-Between or Neither-Nor? Challenges and Opportunities for Meso Management in Development Projects

by Peter Pfeiffer, PMP

International Development addresses a vast array of issues related to social and economic transformation. This article draws attention to the importance of the meso management level, which helps to bridge the gap between the macro level where strategies are defined and the micro levels where the interventions occur. To be effective it must face challenges related to project governance and management competencies.

The Project Manager and the Subject Matter Expert – A Hidden, Yet Critical, Project Risk

by Thomas Conway

Some risks are not easily identified. Technical Interpersonal Risk (TIR), the complexity of managing technical projects wherein there is a significant reliance on subject matter experts (SMEs), fits neatly into that category. Awareness of potential impacts and mitigation strategies can help your project go much more smoothly.

Cybersecurity Impacts Upon United States Navy Undersea Tracking Ranges

by Adamson E. Streit, MBA, PMP, Bradley T. Dame, CISSP

Government agencies have recently found themselves asking questions about cybersecurity threats that they had not previously anticipated. In response, program managers must carry out a mandate of ensuring cybersecurity compliance while remaining on-budget. This paper seeks to provide answers and strategies while examining impact to schedule and budget.

Fast Tracking: A Special Area of Risk Management

by Anne Gromöller

Fast tracking can shorten a project’s schedule or easily cause rework to be required. It is of utmost importance to carefully weigh the risks prior to deciding whether or not fast tracking is the right option for the project. A quantitative estimate for calculating the monetary value translates the risk into hard currency.

Workmageddon: Project Management

by Giles Miller

Project management is the application of tools, know-how and skills needed to accomplish project activities, satisfy stakeholders and make a little money, too. These skills are particularly valuable to entrepreneurs in a wide variety of fields. What can entrepreneurs in the hip-hop business teach us about project management?

OPCV™: The One-Page Curriculum Vitae

by Alessandro Cervellin

Decision makers typically have a short amount of time to select a candidate who best fits a job position and the One-Page Curriculum Vitae (OPCV) provides a useful tool. By using a timing diagram, it is possible to evaluate the time sequence of the most meaningful information and, at the same time, to evaluate previous professional experiences and activities.

Overcoming Objections: Lessons for the Project Manager

by Robert Barger, MBA, PMP

At some point in your project management career, you will be given a project that deals with a product or technology that you have not experienced in the past. Driving your project doesn't require that you be a subject matter expert in anything but project management. Asking five questions will help you resolve the obstacle.

Delivering Business Value on Agile Projects

by Dina Laresch, PMP

In a shift from traditional on-time and on-budget metrics, project managers increasingly collaborate with business analysts to measure business value as a key metric. Adopting a model based on feature analysis and determining feature business value sets the stage for results-driven, high-value project delivery.

Building Trust Through Project Management Practices

by Arunkumar Vijayapur, PMP

Trust and risk are closely related and go hand-in-hand. Use the project management practices built around Risks, Issues, Assumptions and Dependencies (RAID) to build both a trustworthy team and a trustful atmosphere.

Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide – A Glance at the Third Edition

by Fabio Teixeira de Melo

The third edition of the Construction Extension to the PMBOK® Guide was recently published. A supplement to the PMBOK® Guide for those in the construction field, this article is a teaser of the new edition. It makes brief comments about the changes from the previous edition and hints at the challenges experienced.

Quality Is Everybody's Concern and Project Management Is No Exception

by Jiwat Ram, Davide Bruschi

Quality is everybody’s concern. The rising stakes resulting from increased investments—combined with a shift from traditional to complex project management—has made quality an important pillar of the project management discipline. A case study illustrates the organizational benefits of continuous improvement through Kaizen.

Project-Managing Innovation: The Required Key Ingredients

by Colin Lough

How do we support innovation strategy in a way that best delivers business benefits and growth? Review the key enablers and common pitfalls and learn how project management can help you realize the greatest value from innovation.

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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.

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