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  • Project Management

    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.

    Approach to Project Management Fundamentals

    by Fraser MacDuffee

    With the PMBOK? Guide as the foundation, organizations can build their project methodologies to meet their specific business needs. The focus in this article is on the fundamentals of project execution. All of these elements are interdependent and take time and effort to build. Principled execution is the goal for our customers and ourselves.

    Good Benefit Statements Are Essential for Effective Benefits Realization Management (BRM)

    by Paul Shaltry, MA, PMP, Dave Violette, MPM, PMP

    A robust Benefits Realization Management (BRM) focus starts with crafting benefits statements that speak to why project-based results are needed. This article suggests ways of constructing useful statements and provides a framework for you to engage benefit statements in a thoughtful way in your business setting.

    How Collaboration Outperforms Competition

    by Rajesh Shankaranarayana, Shalini Ramaswamy

    In a large program, it may be necessary for competitors to work together to achieve customer goals. Insights are presented on various collaboration techniques, when they should be employed to have the most impact, and the business benefits that the program, customer, and each of the partner teams receive in working toward shared goals.

    No PMO, No Problem? A Project Manager's Survival Guide

    by Fatima Touré, PMP

    While the vast majority of organizations understand the value of having a project management office (PMO), about 15% do not have one. How can project managers be successful in organizations without a PMO? The project manager still has the main responsibility for project success and can take ownership of its outcome by following a few best practices.

    Project Management for Energy Reform: An Opportunity for Government

    by Dan Potash

    The benefits of project management for traditional energy projects, such as building a power plant, are well known. But there are also benefits for energy sector reform, particularly government initiatives. Project management techniques can help by clarifying objectives, engaging stakeholders, improving the speed of legislation, and managing scope and schedule.

    Before You Dive In...Make Sure the Water Is Warm

    by Brent Langevin

    The Pay for Success (PFS) approach provides a compelling “try before you buy” platform for conducting a new product or service analysis. Is there a way to “experience” the needs and challenges of engaging in a PFS initiative, and to “visualize” the potential benefits of the offering, without a large commitment of resources to such an up-front effort?

    It Works: Applying Project Management Techniques to Due Diligence Efforts

    by Rob Seiler

    Project management techniques help to establish order and clear lines of responsibility and can be invaluable tools for successful implementation of due diligence efforts. The application of a WBS and a project schedule remove the potential bias of a “done deal” mentality and focus the effort to develop an informed opinion.

    Factors, Approaches, Impacts, and Effects of Communication

    by Pang De Xian

    Our fluency in conveying our messages affects the fluidity of the messages’ transmissions, and thus the effectiveness of their intentions. Learning the relationships between factors, approaches, impacts, and the effects of communication can help to improve our communication and correspondence skills in listening, writing, and conversation.

    Managing Projects in a Desert Environment During the Summer Period

    by Olusegun Akinniyi, PMP

    Managing projects in a desert environment during the hot summer period presents unique challenges. The author shares his experience and lessons learned from three major oil and gas projects in the Middle East. Tips for managing projects in a similar environment are presented to assist other project managers.

    Immunize Your Project from Toxic Team Members

    by Wendy Liberko, PMP

    Much like a flu shot protects you from a specific strain of the flu, this article presents actionable techniques for project managers to take to immunize their team from the negative effects associated with a toxic member. Learn how to identify and mitigate the contagious spread of toxic behaviors before the risk to your project becomes too great.

    Flex for Success: Case Study on Maintenance, Repair and Operations

    by Manu Siddharth Paliwal

    MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) services today have greater challenges to deal with to meet the present demand-supply requirements of an increasing number of aircraft flying. This case study identifies opportunities that can be realized by slightly steering strategies and realigning priorities with respect to resource planning and buffer management.

    Using the Project Management Process to Improve Lessons Learned Resolution Results

    by Peter Anderson

    The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has an established lessons learned program that documents both shortfalls for corrective action and best practices for wider dissemination. Most phases are effectively accomplished—except for resolution. Using the project management process during the issue resolution phase will provide a firm foundation for action officers to evolve a more efficient and effective organization.

    Coordination in the Supply Chain Management of Complicated Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning Projects

    by Niansheng Chu

    Coordination plays an important role in both project and supply chain management, especially in regard to complicated engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) projects. Analysis of supply chain management for a floating production storage and offloading unit (FPSO) building illustrates the differences between traditional-industry and complicated EPCC projects.

    Component-Based Work Breakdown Structures – A Simplified Version

    by Brenda L. Taylor, MS, PMP

    Using a component-based work breakdown structure (WBS) can enhance your organization’s planning efficiency. Components can be put into a “catalog of components” to be used as “building blocks” to quickly construct a baseline project management plan. Components are a simple solution to give you a starting point and transfer useful knowledge from project to project.

    Construction Industry Project Management Lessons Learned: Phase 5 - Closeout and Summary

    by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

    In the final article sharing his experiences on tier 1 construction projects, the author examines the closeout process before relating the management and technical challenges project managers face on these projects. He concludes by examining the personality traits needed to navigate the unique requirements of construction projects.

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    Ethical Project Management

    by Michel Wagner, PMP

    Project success is traditionally focused on delivering a project within the constraints of time, budget, and scope. This article outlines the risks associated with the “new world disorder” and the challenges that require new ethical perspectives on the delivery of projects. An improvement to the project management framework is proposed to analyze the ethical value of the product, as well as the conduct of the provider in case of defect or failure.

    Construction Industry Project Management Lessons Learned: Phase 4 - Execution

    by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

    Inspired by construction questions heard while managing tier 1 projects, in part 3 of his series the author explains contractor requirements for project execution, including workforce management, reporting, safety practices, change management and field activities. Each element is described along with humorous stories and lessons learned.

    Identifying and Managing Technical Project Risks

    by Jamie Blum

    Project risk is inevitable and must be managed to the maximum extent possible. Risks for complex software projects can be divided into two categories—project risks and technical risks. A potentially avoidable technical risk of Lockheed Martin’s En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) software is discussed, along with a treatment plan that could have reduced the risks earlier in the project.

    Construction Industry Project Management: Priority 3 — Planning

    by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

    In his first article, the author examined design and preconstruction in tier 1 construction projects (over US$ 100 million). This entry in the series explains the contracts and contractor requirements for planning. The project management plan consists of multiple parts requiring contractor submittal and owner approval. The elements of the plan are described along with instructive stories and lessons learned.

    How to Accelerate Government Projects

    by Barbara Eilenfield, MHA, PMP

    Transformation in government agencies often comes up against bureaucratic hurdles. Employing a crucible, consisting of four elements (do more with less; lean project management; phasing; and consistency), paired with Kotter’s eight-step change model enabled a government team to successfully complete a difficult consolidation effort.

    Detailed Design and Engineering & Preconstruction

    by Mark A. Annunziata, Sr., PMP

    Within tier 1, construction projects’ values are usually in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Based on experiences in the tier 1 environment, this is the first in a series of articles describing basic tier 1 requirements and the project manager’s responsibilities running a live construction project. The articles are particularly intended to provide real examples to young, up-and-coming hopefuls to the project manager role.

    Scope Decomposition of Complex Programs: Key Methods to Define and Manage the Scope of Large-Scale Change Initiatives

    by Mustafa Hakimuddin, PMP

    For complex programs to achieve their strategic goals, it is not only important to decompose their scope into controllable constituents, but also to stitch the pieces back again into a cohesive whole. Scope decomposition techniques—systems thinking, WBS, and progressive elaboration—help to effectively manage programs so that they meet their stated objectives.

    Operations as a Final Destination to Successful Project Delivery

    by Dr. Nidhi Gupta, BDS, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMP

    Operations play a critical role in the successful maintenance and sustainability of products or services once they are released into production. Employing a disciplined approach to operations management can lead to increased effectiveness, cutting costs and a competitive advantage.

    Prioritizing Projects and Requirements for Organizational Success

    by Dr. Nidhi Gupta, BDS, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMP

    The need for prioritization appears when multiple projects are planned in an organization and there is a shortage of resources. In order to deliver business goals and objectives, the focus should be on projects that provide strategic value. Learn about the factors and methods involved to better prioritize your projects.

    Managing a Healthcare Project in the Era of Cloud Computing

    by Dr. Nidhi Gupta, BDS, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMP

    Cloud computing has revolutionized the way business is done, offering increased efficiency and new models for work in many industries, including healthcare. Learn the basics of cloud computing, with options for service and deployment, to enable you to customize your own model to serve the unique requirements of your work environment.

    Blended Learning for Maximum Impact

    by Nicolas De Dobbeleer, M.Sc., PMP

    How often do people go off for a few a days to a training event and then return to work, struggle to apply what they have learned, eventually forgetting it in a matter of months? The author explains why his experience supports a blended-learning approach mixing standard training, custom training, e-learning, coaching, and communities of practice to produce the best results.

    Sustaining Competitiveness via Cumulative Advantage

    by Pang De Xian

    The changing nature of competitive advantage has one constant—the trust and comfortability of products and services to consumers garnered by the value propositions that accumulate throughout the years, referred to as cumulative advantage. Discover tactics to build cumulative advantage and how they align with your project delivery strategy.

    Project Management – Alternative Lensing

    by George Freeman, PMP

    Seasoned project managers know there is no such thing as a pristine project, although you can often find one in a well-crafted corporate narrative. How can you have ultimate success when this type of clandestine reality (reality gap) is confronting you? If you are interested in seeing methodology viewed from challenging perspectives, then read on.

    How Can You Fail Gracefully in a Lean Lab Environment?

    by William Hom

    In order to keep up with market changes, organizations must figure out a faster way to deliver new features. The lean lab methodology is a proven delivery method, allowing teams to fail fast and identify winners quickly. Lean labs offer the team an opportunity to learn from mistakes, become more efficient, and show business value quickly.

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