NISO Training Series: Project Management for the Information Community: Managing and Communicating the Process

About this Event

Objective: To provide a general introduction to the project management process for early and mid-career professionals working in the publishing, technology and library environments.

There are three major levels of Project Management training:

  • Basic understanding of project management goals, terminology, and techniques to communicate more effectively with project managers and be a better decision-maker and/or team participant.
  • Training to manage projects using project management principles and tools.
  • Training and certification as a professional project manager.

          The sheer variety of types of projects, organizational settings and environmental factors means initial exposure is likely to lead some to seek additional training and “lab work” with a professional, with further training and explorations of how to best apply to the projects and situations one encounters.  To effectively manage a project, training usually requires experience to fully grasp the principles.  Well organized and executed projects also lay the foundations for future successful cooperative relationships and initiatives. 

          This introduction provides the attendee with a basic understanding and exposure to traditional project management techniques and new developments.  The goal is to familiarize the user not only with basic project management but to also lay a foundation for future training for those who would like to do a deeper dive.  Later sessions will include presentations by special guest speakers in education, technology, and librarianship to further explore how they have implemented project management principles in different settings, including for technology projects and in academic libraries.    

Course Moderator/Instructor:  Maureen Adamson, Principal, Adamson & Associates

Maureen Adamson is an information industry consultant offering business planning grounded in market research and market insights, optimizing knowledge of appropriate enabling technologies to deliver on business and organizational goals. Projects often include qualitative and quantitative market research and analysis of market needs, trends, and value propositions. Assignments can also include product / service development. Her approach to business planning and project management focuses on the importance of understanding goals and context, clear objectives and communications. This includes bringing marketing and technical knowledge into the planning process to ensure strategic goals are pre-eminent in development.

    By the end of this training course, attendees will have learned:

    • What is meant by “project management” and the various approaches available (agile project management, lean project management, etc.)
    • How to establish and frame the scope of a proposed project, avoiding “scope creep”
    • How to establish a timetable for completion of the project;
    • How to assess costs and create a workable budget for the project;
    • How to assemble a collaborative team and manage workflow;
    • How to track and monitor task performance
    • How to assess potential risk(s) and manage perceived impact
    • How to do a post-project review and subsequently exit the project management process, once objectives have been met.

    This Course Is Targeted To:

    • Early career content professionals working in editorial/production environments of small to mid-size scholarly societies or similar publishing entities.
    • Early career information professionals working in institutional library environments
    • Mid-career managers or supervisors whose roles require them to manage multiple teams and shepherd complex projects to completion

    Event Sessions

    Friday, February 22: Introduction to Project Management

    What constitutes effective project management?  Why is it so useful for information professionals to become familiar with and conversant in the processes of project management? This initial overview addresses the benefits and value of project management skills and a context for the rest of the webinar and the discussions that follow.  Maureen Adamson will review major approaches from predictive to agile, core concepts, language and terminology as background. We will also review the overall structure of the rest of the webinar, starting with simple projects with clear goals as a foundational understanding, to be followed by more complex projects and situations later in the webinar.

    Friday, March 1: Initiating the Project

    A successful project always begins with a clear statement of objectives agreed upon by all stakeholders.  How is this defined and documented?  What type of project is it, i.e. clear goals or does it involve considerable uncertainty or change? What resources are needed?  How do you form teams and communicate effectively, especially when work cuts across organizational lines?  This second session will show attendees how to correctly define and document project goals, establish preliminary milestones and indicators of success.  Attendees will come away with understanding how to identify key stakeholders and recognize potentially intangible motivations for the project.

    Friday, March 8: The Setup

    This session delves deeper into creating a project plan.  For illustration, we will review how to set up a simple predictive (‘waterfall’ style) project plan.  What functional skills are needed to do the work?  How do you build your team?  What types of time commitments will you be requesting and for what tasks?  How do you define the roles and responsibilities? How do you negotiate for resources with stakeholders, handle meetings and communications? Your preparedness in thinking through such issues and communicating with decision makers and team members will be critical to success.

    Friday, March 15: Blueprint for Managing Your Project

    Up to this point, the only time constraints put on the project are based on expectations and broad estimates.  In predictive project management, the practical realities of the plan are now entered into a formalized project planning system. What work can be done independently and what work relies on task completion by other members? Where do milestones lie on the calendar when based on completion of tasks? What is the critical path and how can you make adjustments?  The advantages to using software involve the ability to use it organically as a tool to negotiate with stakeholders through ‘what if’ planning steps.

    Friday, March 22: Execution and Tracking for Success

    The project is now in motion and the most challenging part is the execution. You can now use all the planning work to help manage it, including comparing the real to the ideal of your plan, and the ability to make changes as required.  How do you support your team members when there are bumps in the road, or circumstances shift?  We’ll review managing communications with the team and with stakeholders on an ongoing basis, followed by effectively closing a project.  

    With an understanding of the basics of a predictive planning process, we will close this session with a brief comparison of how this will vary if a more agile approach is used as a setup for the next sessions with guest speakers.

    Friday, March 29: Guest Lecturer: Eugene Spiegle, Project Management Expert

    By now, participants will understand elements and likely many questions regarding how to apply this to your particular circumstances and projects.  Participants are likely to have many questions that go beyond the basics, whether how to manage multiple projects, or the unique complexities of large organizations.  We will be asking participants to send us these questions, to be addressed during this session, with the goal of tailoring this session with an expert to those questions.

    Eugene Spiegle has an extensive background as an educator, teaching and training project management.  He will summarize the state of the art both as an evolving field and as an opportunity for further training and certification.

    Friday, April 5: Project Management in the Context of Publishing and Technology

    During this session, participants will hear from a publishing industry insider.  Bill Trippe will share his experiences using the agile project management for publishing and information industry projects.

    Confirmed Guest Lecturer: Bill Trippe, Founding Partner, Publishing Technology Partners

    Friday, April 12: Applying Project Management to Academic Libraries

    During this session, participants will hear from two librarians working across sectors, discussing their experiences in managing projects for both the library as well as the university press.

    Confirmed Guest Lecturers: Kate McCready, Director of Content Services, University of Minnesota Libraries, and Kirsten Clark, Director for Access & Information Services, University of Minnesota Libraries

    Additional Information

    • Cancellations made by February 15, 2019 will receive a refund, less a $35 cancellation. After that date, there are no refunds.

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