Project Management in the Library Workplace: Volume 38

Cover of Project Management in the Library Workplace
Subject:

Table of contents

(20 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xv
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Purpose

Pre-project planning can be an important process for libraries managing large project portfolios. The process allows anyone within an organization to put forth a potential project, and it clearly articulates the process both for developing an idea into a project and for approving and prioritizing projects.

Methodology/approach

Drawing from experience, the authors introduce a preliminary step for proposing projects before the project management principles are applied.

Findings

Benefits of the process include: promoting stakeholder input; preventing organizational overwhelm; documenting the library’s project portfolio; and improving communication, transparency, and decision-making. Libraries implementing this process should define a project for their organization, build buy-in among those involved, and ensure that approved projects advance library goals.

Originality/value

This chapter is largely practical and derived from experience. It provides an in-depth look at pre-project planning, a concept largely ignored in the project management literature.

Purpose

Libraries have a growing interest in project management; however, the application of formal project management practices remains small. Are libraries using formal practices and do different organizational cultures foster or hinder the use of project management?

Methodology/approach

A survey was used to investigate the prevalence of project management in the 14 Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) libraries and to assess the organizational culture of these libraries to identify whether the culture fosters project management. A two-part questionnaire included the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) by Cameron and Quinn (2011) and questions about project management practices. A project management maturity model was applied to determine the degree of project management maturity.

Findings

Even though libraries report perceived project management success, this is not often associated with the use of project management practices. Libraries with hierarchical organizational structures are less likely to have formal project management practices and libraries with clan cultures are more likely to use formal project management practices.

Originality/value

This study contributes to a small base of research on the use of project management practices in academic libraries. Specific suggestions on the value of including formal project management practices and the relationship between organizational culture and the use of project management could provide an impetus for libraries to explore the formal adoption of this practice.

Purpose

Project management has become the hip new trend in librarianship, appearing more and more in job listings, position descriptions, and professional development offerings. How did project management become the latest buzzword, and what does it have to offer our profession?

Methodology/approach

The answers to these can be explored through a look at the evolution of project management from the concept of Scientific Management to the certifiable skill set it is today, and how that evolution connects with librarianship’s own changes over time. This examination is done through a literature and historical analysis.

Findings

A deeper look at the basic concepts behind project management in light of this historical and practical connection with librarianship demonstrates how project management not only can be a useful skill for library workers to embrace today, but will also illuminate how our service-oriented structure may not mesh well with a concept rooted in business and computing. However, libraries that take a systems approach to implementing project management may see that they are better able to find success.

Originality/value

This study is largely theoretical and based on literature and historical analysis rather than practical implementation and testing. However, it does offer us a different way of looking at a trendy concept, one which helps ground the concept in theory and practice in a way that is seldom done. It also provides examples of tools to help libraries implement project management with a systems approach, which has not been addressed much in library literature.

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual chapter is to highlight the disadvantages of project management to help the reader put project management work in context.

Methodology/approach

Different project management methodologies such as waterfall project management, Agile project management, Six Sigma, and Kanban are discussed in terms of overall problems and then specific problems with each methodology. Managing multiple projects and the problems with program and portfolio management are discussed.

Findings

The findings are that most formalized project management methods are ill-suited to most library-related situations. However, some aspects of project management are well suited to any project, at any size, and those are discussed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is that readers will get a strong understanding of project management methodologies in context and a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Purpose

In the spring of 2016, the University of Kansas Libraries piloted Research Sprints: One Week, One Project, a program aimed at cultivating relationships with faculty through deep project-based engagement.

Methodology/approach

Three faculty members, matched with a team of library experts, worked intensively to complete a research or pedagogic project for one week in May. Critical to the program’s success was the use of project management methodologies and tools. These tools were essential to identifying task dependencies, developing workflows, and documenting work processes.

Findings

The overall success of the Sprints demonstrated to faculty that library staff can be more than one-shot consultants; faculty collaborators learned first hand that the library can be a true partner throughout the scholarly process. As an approach to user engagement, Sprints pose some considerations for library management, including the need for robust staff training in project management and teambuilding, internal resistance to utilizing project management tools, difficulty finding staff time and resources to commit for a short but high-concentrated period, and the need to align projects with staff expertise and availability.

Originality/value

This chapter provides an assessment of the Sprints pilot, addressing some of the implications, potential benefits, and challenges of adopting and adapting Research Sprints to support library work. It will be of interest to project managers and library staff who are considering integrating project management methods into their outreach and services, and provides examples of how project management can inform library efforts to more deeply collaborate in advancing the scholarly work of local research and teaching communities.

Purpose

To demonstrate how the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), a formal project management framework commonly used in corporate settings, can be used to manage library projects, even in situations where the librarian does not have authority over project resources, like personnel, scope, and budget.

Methodology/approach

This chapter uses a conceptual review of the library, project management, and library project management literature to construct recommendations and best practices.

Findings

Many of the PMBOK tools are effective for project managers working without formal authority. These tools include the Stakeholder Register, which allows a project manager to track stakeholders based upon their interest and influence; the Responsibility Assignment Matrix, which allows a project manager and team members to quickly and easily see work and personnel relationships; and Integrated Change Control, which provides project managers with a process for understanding and documenting the impact of project changes. These tools, as well as the PMBOK’s strategies on managing project communication and monitoring and controlling project work, which help orient stakeholders to the work and expectations of the project, while also making sure there are no surprises, provide effective project management tools for librarians working without formal authority.

Originality/value

While the PMBOK is occasionally discussed in the library literature, this chapter extensively uses the framework to connect the framework to library project management. This chapter also shows how the PMBOK, which relies on formal authority, can also be used in situations where the project manager lacks it.

Purpose

Academic library work has often been project-based; however, the interest and adoption of formalized project management techniques has come late to these organizations. The desired outcomes of good project management systems include excellent communication, organized work in manageable tasks, clear expectations, and responsible management of resources.

Methodology/approach

With an aim to improve on these elements, a new focus on project management at the University of Minnesota Libraries provided a unique opportunity to showcase the development of an informal, in-house set of standard processes for a large, academic institution. Honoring the processes found within individual departments and divisions was key to the work of the Project Management Processes Task Force that created common language and standard processes for project development and implementation to support the growing focus on cross-divisional, cross-departmental projects.

Findings

The outcome of this work was to greatly streamline the ability of any staff member to successfully develop and move project proposals from idea to completion. Transparency of process led to stronger understanding of not only project status but also key stage gates and decision points to ensure projects stay on track in supporting the Libraries’ strategic planning. The clarity in scope and the outcomes of projects creates more potential for the Libraries to align their work with that of the University as a whole. Well-developed and implemented project management standard processes create stronger connections between all library units, through consistencies of practice and language, as well as shared expectations and outcomes, by both staff and administrators.

Originality/value

The University of Minnesota Libraries’ process for developing practical project management processes identifies the benefits of this approach for similar organizations as well as outlining specific methods for implementing a set of standards within academic libraries.

Purpose

Project management techniques for digital initiatives must shift with the transformation of content from analog to digital, from singular projects to mass-digitization and large-scale digital preservation. How are project management methods employed across digital practices, from digitization, to online access, to preservation? How can project management methods evolve to create a collaborative workflow across collection and service areas of librarianship, centered on digital stewardship?

Methodology/approach

Solutions for these questions are illustrated in an explanation of the workflows implemented at the University of Maryland, College Park Libraries and reflected upon in a case study of a recent digital initiative.

Findings

Centered on the efforts of two departments in the Libraries’ Digital Systems and Stewardship division, this chapter outlines the origins, techniques, and integration of digital project management with a focus on Waterfall and Agile project management. Furthermore, the integration and transition of project management methodologies and tools between groups is emphasized, mirroring the transformation of analog media to digital formats and the requisite shifts in thinking such projects require.

Originality/value

These case studies are based on research across the profession and implementation at the University of Maryland, College Park Libraries. The local application of two established project management techniques, Waterfall and Agile, are summarized and compared. Though regularly employed in application development, applying Agile project management in libraries is a relatively new practice and has not been widely documented in library literature.

Purpose

The purpose of this chapter is to introduce library and information science professionals to the idea of combining the tools and techniques of project management and change management to support the success of their projects. Combining these two methodologies can assist professionals not only in carrying out their projects efficiently, helping them to meet project objectives, but can also increase the likelihood that their project objectives will be accepted by their organizations.

Methodology/approach

This chapter provides an overview of project management and change management methodologies with numerous examples from academic and practitioner literature and supplements them with concrete, specific examples of how these tools and techniques were implemented in an information management project.

Practical implications

This chapter contributes to the development of change management and project management competencies for librarians by providing explanations of project management and change management which include advice and evidence from the literature combined with examples of how these techniques and processes were applied in a library and information management project. This chapter should therefore serve as an educational tool for library and information management practitioners seeking either to develop their project management and change management skills or to apply these techniques to their own projects.

Originality/value

Articles which combine project management and change management methodologies are rare. This chapter takes these concepts and applies them in a library and information management setting in a way that should be practical and approachable to library and information science practitioners.

Purpose

This chapter discusses how digital project management has fundamentally changed the nature of collection service models in university archives and special collections.

Methodology/approach

Through a conceptual overview of case studies, this chapter examines the establishment of “digital content hubs,” with a special focus on the ways in which a variety of library units share the work of surfacing distinctive collections through cross-functional team-building.

Findings

To successfully build “digital content hubs,” academic libraries have embraced a new alignment to incorporate special collections and archives staff, services, and collections more holistically into larger library collecting initiatives and organizational structures. This chapter posits that, through the stewardship of digital projects, archivists and librarians have had to sharpen and expand requisite managerial and technical skills to support “distinctive collection teams” who work cross-functionality with outward-facing approaches to integrated collection building. In addition to embracing assessment tools and diversified funding strategies, archives and special collections have also adopted new collaboration models reliant on centralized but flexible project management structures that emphasize cross-training, complementary subject and technological specializations, and a team-based focus in order to ensure interoperability, sustainability, and broad accessibility of digital collections.

Originality/value

This chapter offers readers a new way of conceptualizing “distinctive collection teams,” proposes some strategies for marshaling resources from across library units, and suggests ways in which librarians and archivists can collaborate on content selection, copyright clearance, metadata creation, and web design and information technology development.

Purpose

The first part of the chapter discusses the premise that “wearing many hats” impedes a professional’s ability to get successful project results in a library setting. Offering their own experience as an example, the authors explore the issues that led to the implementation of project manager as a full-time position at Hesburgh Libraries. Part two of the chapter offers practical suggestions for incorporating a project management office (PMO) into a library setting. It includes the definition of the virtual PMO model, how this model fits into the organizational structure, and why this model might be preferred in a library environment. It includes descriptions of basic project management tools, techniques, and methods as well as graphic representation of division and overlap of responsibilities.

Methodology/approach

The methodology of this chapter is based on a review of the literature as well as a description of the authors’ experience with implementing project management at their institution.

Findings

Project management is a profession that requires dedicated personnel and resources. Actively involved project sponsors and dedicated project managers play a critical role in assuring project success. Basic project management tools, techniques, and approaches can be successfully implemented in libraries.

Originality/value

Full-time project management in libraries is still a novel concept. Readers will benefit from Hesburgh Libraries’ implementation of new methodology and learn about tools and approaches to introduce project management in their organizations.

Purpose

To provide a primer on the major project management protocols and examples of how these protocols have been used to manage library projects.

Methodology/approach

The chapter presents a broad review of the literature on project management in general, and as it has been applied in library settings, including brief histories of each major methodology, its development, component elements, and examples of its use in libraries.

Findings

Many of the major project management protocols, such as Six Sigma, Agile, Lean, Scrum, and Waterfall, have been used successfully in library settings across a broad range of areas and project types.

Originality/value

As libraries continue to innovate and expand their services, the management of complex projects and processes has become commonplace. This chapter will serve as a primer on the major project management protocols, highlighting the ways in which they can be used in libraries, and to which types of library projects they have been successfully applied.

Purpose

The aim of this chapter is to help library managers and administrators understand the core processes of project management and how adopting a project management mindset as an approach to library administration can help libraries more efficiently achieve the goals and objectives outlined in their strategic plans and to simultaneously grow library leaders, at all levels of the organization.

Methodology/approach

The chapter is a combination of general overview, literature review, and conceptual paper. It will begin by discussing the basics of project management and project management processes, the shell, that makes project management such a valuable management tool to help guide staff through work processes. Next will be sections focusing on core literature resources for further understanding the value of project management and the project management mindset, both from the library and non-library literature. Relevant library literature presented will highlight the portions of the literature that tie to the core project management process and its value as a managerial, strategic planning, and leadership building tool. This will be followed by a slightly more in-depth examination of project management processes, followed by a section detailing the practical benefits to libraries. The chapter will end by summarizing the benefits of utilizing project management as a managerial tool and ties into the overall concept of employing a Project Management Mindset as one’s approach to management or administration.

Practical implications

Practical implications to embracing a Project Management Mindset in libraries include improving efficiency, realizing goals and objectives tied to strategic plans, and building staff knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities. The ideas gleaned from this chapter can be applied in any library type: academic, public, special, or school.

Originality/value

Library literature related to project management is solid, but generally focuses on processes and tools, and often has an IT focus. This chapter fills a gap in literature geared specifically to managers and administrators and focuses less on specifics and more on the higher-level benefits organizations such as libraries can gain from project management as well as the benefits to the library profession as a whole by increasing employee skills, knowledge, and leadership.

Purpose

This chapter discusses the project to investigate, recommend, and create user-focused solutions for opening and operating Severn Library, a high-density storage facility, at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.

Methodology/approach

This chapter takes the case study approach, discussing the practical application of project management techniques to various stages of a large-scale project to plan for a high-density storage facility.

Findings

Although the Severn Library project began with a large project team, lack of formal project management expertise and the massive nature of the project led to its breakdown into smaller constituent projects, with the two authors filling the roles of “accidental project managers” to complete the work on time. Although this approach was ultimately successful, the overall success of the project could have been improved through more formal application of project management techniques.

Research limitations/implications

This chapter discusses the experience of the authors at one large, public state university. The experience of other libraries and library managers may vary based on institutional context.

Practical implications

This chapter will be valuable to library managers interested in project management techniques in libraries, and/or in planning for high-density library storage facilities.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the only writing on the application of project management techniques to construction and operation of a high-density library storage facility.

Purpose

This chapter makes the case for imparting effective project management training and collaborative skills for information professionals. The authors identify the challenges of collaborative project work in online environments by reviewing the relevant project management literature within the library and information science (LIS) discipline and discussing the role of LIS schools in addressing project management and collaborative skills for information professionals.

Findings

The literature review revealed a significant lack of project management and collaborative skills among LIS professionals. However, most LIS schools are still falling short when it comes to offering project management courses on a regular basis. The authors examined the challenges of teamwork in online environments, identified project management strategies and approaches for successful teamwork, and proposed guidelines for strategic project management education for information professionals. It is recommended that information professionals should have the skills to prepare a team contract, develop a project schedule, create mechanisms for transparency and accountability, and use effective communication strategies through project management techniques.

Methodology/approach

In addition to reviewing the relevant literature on project management within LIS, and the challenges of teamwork in online environments, the authors analyzed the relevance of some collaborative concepts and frameworks that might be useful in managing collaborative projects. In particular, the implications of Tuckman’s (1965) team progression theory, lessons from Harvey’s (1988) Abilene paradox, and de Bono’s (1989) six thinking hats method were analyzed and discussed in managing collaborative projects.

Social implications

By obtaining effective project management and collaborative skills, LIS professionals will be able to better meet the demands of contemporary libraries and information organizations.

Purpose

This chapter describes and explores the relationship between formal and semi-formal systems of programme and project management and broader strategic programmes and leadership approaches in the academic and research library context.

Methodology/approach

The leadership perspective of this chapter allows assessment of the contribution of programme and project management techniques to the strategic development of the library. A case study approach is taken, and the methods used for programme and project management arise mainly from the UK’s Office of Government Commerce.

Findings

The chapter provides insight into how a variety of practical project management techniques can be bound together within strategic programmes, together with appropriate governance structures for monitoring and judging successful outcomes.

Practical limitations

The chapter describes the application of programme and project methods in two research libraries, but the techniques used have been used widely in many organizational settings and so should be transferable to other research library contexts.

Social implications

The cases in the chapter reveal the social world of the academic and research library, illuminating the real-life experience of project work within the library and its broader institutional context.

Originality/value

The chapter presents an original typology for differentiating projects in the research library. The chapter is unique both in describing 30 years of continuous application and development of programme and project methodologies and frameworks, and also in its leadership perspective.

Purpose

This chapter explores the increasing use of Scrum, a project management framework used in software development, in libraries. This conceptual piece examines the advantages and disadvantages for a library profession to obtain training and professional certification for implementing Scrum.

Methodology/approach

Beginning with a brief literature review that surveys the use of Scrum and related frameworks in libraries, this chapter then provides a brief explanation of Scrum, the role of the ScrumMaster, and the certification process. An examination of the difficulties of project management in libraries leads to a discussion of the advantages of ScrumMaster certification for the library organization and the library professional, with caveats and alternatives.

Findings

Scrum offers lightweight methods to bring project management expertise to libraries lacking formal project management training. ScrumMaster certification is a quick and easy way to learn and implement the process, while offering professional advantages.

Originality/value

While the library literature has case studies of library professionals using Scrum and related Agile software development methodologies, this chapter looks at the ScrumMaster role in particular, the certification process, and the advantages for the organization and the professional.

About the Authors

Pages 327-334
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Index

Pages 335-350
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Cover of Project Management in the Library Workplace
DOI
10.1108/S0732-0671201838
Publication date
2018-06-01
Book series
Advances in Library Administration and Organization
Editors
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
ISBN
978-1-78754-837-4
eISBN
978-1-78754-836-7
Book series ISSN
0732-0671