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Project Management – the discipline of organizing and managing resources in such a way that the project is completed within the defined scope, quality, time and cost constraints. – Wikipedia Now let’s talk about the truth of the matter: Chaos Management!. . .
The Reality of Project Management
When will I ever manage a project? Well, let’s see. . . u u u Need to build a new building or renovate an existing one? Need a way to manage your electronic resources? Looking for a way to have a federated search of resources or offer content via the web? How’s that ILS working for you? Staff and patrons still need to be trained, right? u u u Do you have any events to plan? Love that open source stuff? How’s it going to work for you? What about standards? Got digital photos or documents to access or preserve? Any new software to implement? Offering new services to your patrons?
The Answer? PROJECT MANAGEMENT!!!
Hard Truths u u u Project management is a series of negotiations with staff, vendors and stakeholders. Project management is often about taking responsibility for a project but not necessarily having the authority to assign the tasks. Project management is about being flexible and not being afraid to fail (this is where best practices are developed). Project management is often about change management – which can be one of the hardest things to manage. Boils down to people, resources and decisions.
The 3 skills you need to have for successful project management. Pat Wagner. Information Outlook 10. 8 (August 2006): p 24.
Before a Project u u u u Explore your options (in terms of features and cost). Seek input from the potential users of the product or service. Always have a demo or trial period if possible. Think about what this project will mean in the shortterm and long-term for users and staff. Get the right people to the table to make the decision. Set goals and a potential timeline. Make sure all questions or concerns are answered by the vendor before signing the contract. If asking for anything custom, make sure it’s in the contract!
Developmental Planning u u u Develop a plan with tasks, milestones, time frames and allocation of resources. OR review the plan the vendor provides and make modifications as necessary for your organization. Develop a vision and goals for the project – what are the expected outcomes? These may be different for different audiences. Communicate the plan and goals to your staff and patrons. Constant communication and clarification is key. Involve staff and users as much as possible in guiding the implementation, providing feedback and helping you accomplish the goals you’ve set. Make edits to the plan as necessary when things change – Being flexible is key!
Ex Project: INFOhio u u u Project Page: http: //www. infohio. org/Library. Staff/Transition/Rooms. html Project Targets: http: //www. infohio. org/ABOUT/Meetings/OELMA 2006/School. R ooms. Project. Targets 20061128. pdf Pilot Participants: http: //www. infohio. org/Library. Staff/Transition/Rooms. Pilot. Contri buters. html Project Update (12/2006): http: //www. infohio. org/Library. Staff/Transition/Rooms. Update 20 061204. html Also included: Slides from conferences, press releases, marketing/training materials, etc. . .
Additional Examples u University of Michigan ILS Implementation: http: //portal. mlcnet. org/objects/rte/mediaupload/File/eventsdocs /annmtgs/04 Mac. Adam_files/frame. htm#slide 0001. htm u UIUC Library: Digital Projects: http: //www. library. uiuc. edu/digproj/dcct/index. php u Implementation of Library Standards in Missouri: http: //www. sos. mo. gov/library/libstan. pdf u Open Source Implementation (Koha): http: //webjunction. org/do/Display. Content? id=1172
During the Project: Tips for Success u u u u Be realistic in your planning and flexible. Set up a pilot test is possible to help you establish best practices. Talk with people at all levels of the organization to find out their questions and concerns. Constant updates are key! Involve the right people at all stages. Determine a measurement for success. Seek constant feedback. u u u Be clear about the plan and explain what it means for EVERYONE. Plan the work based on the resources you have. Know when to discuss and when a decision needs to be made. Look for opportunities to promote the project – constantly build support. Be aware of cost considerations. Test the product/project at every phase!
After a Project u u Record your experience and determined best practices. Publish or present if given the opportunity. It provides valuable info for other libraries. Seek feedback from staff and users about the success of the project and how it could have been better. It might be necessary to have a more formal evaluation to determine whether you've met your goals (i. e. To increase test scores; To increase usage of databases; To foster better partnerships, etc. . . ). So, make plans accordingly. Take your experience and lessons learned into your next project. But remember that no project is ever entirely repeatable. Be willing to make adjustments.
Project Management Software u Open Source: n n n u Proprietary: n n u Zoho Basecamp Open Workbench MS Project Kick. Start List of software @ Wikipedia: http: //en. wikipedia. org/wiki/List_of_project_management_software
Additional Resources u u u PM Podcasts: www. thepmpodcast. com Project Mgmt: Are We Having Fun Yet? Presentation: http: //www. lib. msu. edu/lucasn/staff/presentations/project. htm Washington State Library – Digital Best Practices: http: //digitalwa. statelib. wa. gov/newsite/projectmgmt/index. htm Urban Libraries Article: http: //www. urbanlibraries. org/showcase/eli_projectmanageme nt. html Explaining the Napkin (Lib. Tech. Bytes Blog): http: //librarybytes. com/archive/2007_01_01_libtechbytes_archi ve. html Project Mgmt Software: http: //www. project-managementlibrary. com/index. htm’
Questions? Tell me and I’ll forget; Show me and I might remember; Involve me and I’ll understand -- Chinese Proverb & Also the Best Way to Manage a Project