A Twitter discussion earlier today regarding PMP certification application reviews by PMI highlighted the importance of PMI's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. This code includes a combination of mandatory and aspirational standards, with the latter being “an expectation that we have of ourselves as professionals—it is not optional."
I summarize the four primary areas of this code, below:
Responsibility: We accept only those assignments that are consistent with our background, experience, skills, and qualifications.
Analysis: This is one area that was covered in discussion during my 2016 PMP certification training with Steve Norton. For a stretch assignment, it's essential to be candid and complete in describing your PM experience so that the employer can make an informed judgement on your hire.
Respect: Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us.
Fairness: Fairness is our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self interest, prejudice, and favoritism.
From the Mandatory standard section: "We do not discriminate against others based on, but not limited to, gender, race, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation.”
Analysis: I see this as one of the most challenging areas, given the current US political and cultural climate - Note, nationality.
Honesty: Honesty is our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct.
I don't see the code referenced often on projectmanagement.com, where the focus is often on technical project management and the use of predictive and agile approaches. I'm now inspired to work on a post for that space.
I'm currently focusing on the Create Work Breakdown Structure process in the PMBOK Guide Scope Management Knowledge Area.
Louis Alderman (in the audio recordings for Velociteach's PMP examination preparation textbook, Sixth edition) notes the importance of the WBS: employing a WBS is the number one way for a PM to improve his/her project management practices.
How to build the WBS? In my job, I currently do a lot of task management work using the Smartsheet tool. Smartsheet has the advantage of being employed as a tool across multiple units in my organization. But I'm skeptical of Smartsheet's support for building graphical presentations, including the WBS chart. There are likewise limits to Microsoft Excel. As a result, I'm using the Cacoo online diagram and flowchart software.
Cacoo has templates for WBS charts (like the section of a WBS shown below. Note that I added numbering manually - it isn't included on the template.
Beyond WBS charts, Cacoo has templates for other project management needs, including fishbone diagrams, and Gantt charts.
In 2011, consultant Marshall Breeding described Library Services Platform products as follows:
The products are library-specific, they enable the library to perform its services, internally and externally though their built-in functionality, as well as exposing a platform of Web services and other APIs for interoperability and custom development. [source]
With years of implementation and usage experience behind us, I suggest an alternative definition, one that contains important commonality with Breeding's:
It's important to note that the LSP model is entirely different than integrated library system (ILS) model for library systems that preceded it. Releases were much less frequent (typically annually) and API usage was not a core component of the service. Thus, the migration to an LSP model with local extension supported isn't a trivial matter for an academic library.
The question is, how can PMI help?
One presentation that stood out to me at this year's ELUNA annual meeting was given by Jan Waterhouse from SUNY Albany, "Project and Change Management for a Successful LSP Migration." Jan's approach, as a Project Management Professional, was to approach the topic with a focus on change management and on Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide principles. I can't recall seeing a PMBOK Guide-focused presentation in library technology prior to this one. Jan and I later worked together on a session for the 2019 American Library Association annual conference that describes the PMI resources and opportunities listed above. I'm hoping that it gets accepted!
But, in summary, the move from the legacy ILS to the LSP is a significant one from a project management perspective. In my view, the potential for academic libraries to employ PMI's tools and approaches remains largely unexplored.
My experience in project management has been in the domain of academic and research libraries and institutions. On September 27, I had the privilege of attending an Association of Research Libraries/Coalition for Networked Information forum, "Innovation in Research Libraries." It was a chance to meet with colleagues whom I've worked with in my years in academic libraries, including graduate school at LSU; my NLM stint in the late 90s; and with colleagues from the Pacific Northwest.
The kickoff speaker, Bernard Banks, referenced this Ronald Jantz article in his remarks. From Jantz's article on the need for management-led innovation: "The library focus on service quality and adherence to rules and processes is part of the culture that can limit the ability to innovate." And continuing, the author describes attributes of many academic libraries: "Resistance to a new way of doing things and perpetuating established practices. This cultural inertia typically results in incremental innovations and only minor improvements to existing services."
In the project management context, the use of agile or adaptive approaches offers promise in terms of making service development more externally-focused. The Agile Practice Guide is a good starting point for thinking through the opportunities offered by agile approaches.
I have a couple of takeaways from this meeting.