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PDF Web Project Management for Academic Libraries

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She has published numerous journal articles and book chapters relating to libraries and the Web and is editor of the Journal of Web Librarianship. Jennifer A. Keach is Director of Digital Services and Associate Professor at James Madison University, where she leads a department focused on Web development, software and hardware for library users and staff. She has managed academic library Web projects, both large and small, for more than 10 years.

Managing the process of building and maintaining an effective library website can be as challenging as designing the product itself. Web Project Management for Academic Libraries outlines the best practices for managing successful projects related to the academic library website. The book is a collection of practical, real-world solutions to help web project managers plan, engage stakeholders, and lead organizations through change.

Topics covered include the definition and responsibilities of a web project manager; necessary roles for the project team; effective communication practices; designing project workflow; executing the project; and usability testing and quality control. The techniques recommended are drawn from the experiences of the authors and from library and project management literature.

The book is an essential text for library staff working as project managers or on web teams, library administrators, library school faculty and students, and web consultants working with libraries. Read more Read less. No customer reviews.

Web Project Management for Academic Libraries by Jennifer A. Keach, Jody Condit Fagan - gyqacyxaja.cf

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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. March 12, - Published on Amazon.

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Since I am one of the co-authors of this book, this review runs the risk of tooting my own horn, but I want to be sure to provide information on this page that might help potential readers make this decision: there are several outstanding core texts on web project management out there see below - why should you buy this one? It enables you to teach more effectively, understand student misconceptions, structure class discussion, and save time. It is based on extensive patent-pending behavioral research at Harvard University and is used by a growing number of faculty and students at different universities.

To get started, register as an instructor to set up your course and adopt this or another title, try out a live demo , or contact us for more information about adopting Perusall in your course. Skip to content. Perusall turns often-skipped solitary reading assignments into engaging collective activities students don't want to miss. Students collectively annotate each reading — asking questions, responding to each other's questions, or sharing other perspectives or knowledge.

Perusall's novel data analytics automatically grade these annotations to ensure that students complete the reading, and as an instructor, you get a classroom of fully prepared students every time. This result is not surprising given the responses to previous questions in which the more formalized activities did not receive responses which would indicate they are completed frequently. Respondents were asked if they strongly disagree, disagree, agree, or strongly agree with statements about how projects are managed at their library.

I am to use when initiating projects at my library" These responses could indicate that where there is no formal approach to managing projects many individuals have a system that they themselves use when managing projects. Respondents were asked to select as many answers as applied regarding PM training received from a range of reading books and articles to in-house training with one's employer to formal coursework. Most respondents indicated that they had read books 42 of 92 and articles 47 , attended a seminar, conference presentation or webinar 37 , or read websites and blogs Twenty-two responded that they had received no training.

Like the survey respondents, interview subjects were asked to characterize the approach used to manage projects at their library using the Project Management Maturity Model scale see Table 4 above for description of this scale. In addition, they were asked why the selected approach was used as opposed to other approaches, and if the selected approach was helping or hindering projects reaching successful outcomes. This was asked in order to get a broad, general picture of how projects are managed in these libraries, including opinions and feelings about the chosen approach and its usefulness.

The subjects were asked about their thoughts about rigorous versus flexible PM approaches with regard to what is needed or appropriate for libraries to complete projects. One response echoed a response to the earlier question about why a particular approach was chosen; in essence, it is a question of scope or fit; you do not need a lot of infrastructure for low level or departmental projects — but for high level projects, you do need it.

The subjects offered many great ideas around best practices that could perhaps be adapted for use at other libraries. All indicated that good communication is a key best practice for project success. They each discussed ways to achieve good communication on a project. Basic activities such as sending out a weekly email update about the project, or listing and reviewing all action items at the top of weekly meeting agendas so that team members are reminded of tasks, were mentioned as working especially well and yet not often done.

One subject listed four reasons why a weekly email report works well: 1 it improves accountability, 2 it helps the person sending the update the sender to keep on track, 3 it gives the sender an opportunity to receive feedback from others, and 4 it helps the sender get a sense of achievement along the way. Meanwhile, listing the action items at the top of each meeting agenda reminds team members of tasks to be completed and if tasks are not completed, the action item stays on the agenda until it is completed, offering a standard and consistent approach to ensure task completion.

Training helps to alleviate this anxiety. Meanwhile, pilots offer a way of fixing the bugs before the final product is implemented.

Project Management in Libraries: On Time, On Budget, On Target

The BSC identifies the strategic objectives, the measures used to determine success, and the strategic initiatives that are linked to those measures. Then for each strategic initiative, there is a project statement. For all of the high level project statements, there is the expectation that the project lead will go through the PM process and create the project charter, objectives, milestones, detail who the team members are, etc.

Writing down the key project information such as goals, objectives and milestones and checking in on those plans was highlighted as a best practice integral to this system.

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In addition, the status is reported to the leadership team so that feedback can be provided and all stakeholders are aware of the project status. This subject noted that providing not only "an opportunity for an update but an infrastructure that forces the update" is pivotal. The subjects were also asked about the challenges encountered when managing projects at their library.

As people perform projects, it was not surprising that many of the challenges mentioned had to do with human behaviour. One common challenge mentioned was getting staff to understand how to do project-based work and how it differs from operational work. The whole setting priorities, meeting milestones, communicating Table 7 summarizes the challenges mentioned.

The subjects were asked if they thought librarians needed PM skills or if they thought they weren't necessary. All agreed that librarians need PM skills. The following reasons were provided: 1 libraries undertake a lot of projects, and in fact, most library strategic plans are predominately composed of projects, and so it makes it easier to undertake the projects if librarians have these skills; 2 most libraries are becoming flatter organizations, and without a hierarchy, management through projects becomes more important, and 3 it is more cost-effective if projects are managed efficiently — staff costs can be hidden, and if staff need to spend more time on a project because they do not know how to manage it well, it can add to the cost of the project.

Two subjects noted that there is currently a gap in the PM skill set of librarians and that training and awareness are needed. The interview subjects were asked to describe the success criteria they would use to determine if a project was successful or not. All subjects mentioned meeting scope or original requirements, in some form or another, as criteria for success.

Others mentioned team members feeling happy or proud of their accomplishments and team members learning from the experience as success criteria. Another subject noted that if you can see the positive effect of the project or if the product resulting from the project does what it is supposed to do, even long after the project is over, success has been achieved.

University Library Website Project

Two subjects mentioned the importance of evaluating the project at the end in order to determine if success was reached, and implementing metrics, even metrics that aren't perfect, in order to gauge the project outcome. Management support for and involvement in the project, adequate staffing for the project, a project plan that details goals, timelines, budget and staff, a clearly defined mission for the project, project monitoring to ensure plan targets are being met, and clear communication channels are all highlighted as being the factors that lead to a successful project outcome in studies of PM practice.

While the studies that have reported these findings examined the private sector, participants in this study mentioned similar factors: monitoring progress, communication of progress to all involved, clear goals that are measurable and defined at the beginning of the project, and a good leader and team for the project adequate staffing.

Other factors mentioned were a team that is satisfied with the work and learning something new from the project, proper sharing of credit for the success of the project i. Another success factor mentioned was the ability of the team to articulate the value of the project and for administration to understand the value, or why the project is being implemented. Indeed, good communication was highlighted as a success factor by all participants. The limited library literature that addresses PM in libraries highlights the successful application of formal PM methodologies in library projects and the importance of adopting a formal approach in our current environment of rapid technological change, declining financial support, and rising operational complexity.

The results of the survey and interviews described here show that the respondents have not overwhelmingly embraced a formal approach to PM. Instead, approaches tend to be informal or ad hoc with only a few libraries employing mature strategies with formal approaches such as consistent use of templates and forms and a PM infrastructure that supports monitoring and controlling throughout the project life cycle.

The survey and interview results largely indicate that where project planning does occur it happens on an informal basis; for example, communication channels might be established, but a communication plan is not documented, and while a project might be monitored in some fashion, regular status reports are not distributed. Much of the literature about the successful application of formal PM methodologies is about experiences with large projects at large university or college libraries in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Little is written about PM methodologies used at smaller libraries or the appropriate PM tools to use for small library projects. This study attempts to uncover what is happening in all types of libraries, not just large academic institutions, and is therefore an important first step in beginning the discussion of this topic.

Some strategies to ensure validity in the survey were used. For example, questions about a single topic were asked in different ways in order to see if the respondents answered in the same way and they did. Also, respondents were asked what library they were from in order to ensure that a single library was not over-represented in the results. There were some limitations to the research strategy employed as noted in the Methodology section, above.

While the results are not representative of all libraries in Ontario, the study represents in broad strokes how libraries are managing their projects, librarians' perceptions of PM, and serves as an exploratory jumping off point to further research. As many projects in libraries are small short duration with few team members , one area of future research may be the appropriate use of PM for smaller projects.

Perhaps this is a topic for librarian researchers to explore also. The library literature does not address failures with using PM methodologies; only successes are represented. Research on what doesn't work as well as what works for small libraries is another area for future research. Moreover, this study was wide-ranging and attempted to cover many aspects of PM in libraries; future research might focus on a particular aspect of PM in libraries: for example, best practices for monitoring and controlling project work.

While the survey attempted to divide respondents by type of library, there were not enough respondents from each type to make a comparison of the results meaningful; a comparison of the PM approaches across library sectors might be another area of future research.

This research could be helpful in order to determine if there are trends within sectors and best practices that could be shared within a particular sector. Libraries are faced with declining budgets, competition from other information sources, an increasingly complex technological environment, and an intensifying need to prove their value to stakeholders. As well, many libraries are using a project-based workflow to accomplish the goals and objectives of their strategic plans.

A PM approach that attempts to ensure that projects are completed on time, on budget, within scope and with quality assured is one way to demonstrate to stakeholders that we are committed to increasing the value and relevance of our organizations. Afshari, Fereshteh, and Richard Jones. Anantatmula, Vittal S. Anzalone, Filippa Marullo. Atkins, S. Besner, Claude, and Brian Hobbs. Burich, Nancy J. Canadian Association of Research Libraries. Ottawa: CARL, Cash, Charles, and Fox, Robert.

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