Library

This is your source for definitions, tutorials and scholarly discussions on topics referenced in PMI's Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge.

Following is a permanent resource for tutorials and articles on a variety of subjects of interest to project managers, arranged alphabetically. The topics were introduced in various editions of PMBOK, commencing with the 2000 edition. Useful topics are not removed simply because they do not appear in subsequent editions of PMBOK.

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Ability tests: A source.

Affinity Diagram: Discussion from The Quality Tools Cookbook.

Agile Methods by Charles Cobb: An exchange with an author on Agile, with lead-in comments by Norris Goff.

Analysis of Alternatives: MITRE discussion.

Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP): AHP is a method of conducting Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis.

Attitudinal Survey: An example.

Brainstorming Tutorial: Brainstorming is a component of many project management processes.

Capability Maturity Model: The SEI 'ladder' of growth in software development organizations.

Causal Analysis: A discussion; also see Ishikawa.

Checklist: An interesting discourse on the topic, in pdf format.

Checksheet: Examples.

CMMI: The CMMI Institute web site.

Coaching vs. mentoring: A thoughtful presentation.

Communication Styles: A long lesson on communication styles from Adaptive Selling Today Training Video Series, believed to be more informed than the PMBOK Interpersonal Skills discussion. This will not be on the PMP exam.

Critical Chain article from Wikipedia: Well written description at post time, but Wikipedia is dynamic and it could change. I am currently reading a text on the topic, Be Fast or Be Gone by Andreas Scherer. The concept was introduced in 1997 by author Eliyahu M. Goldratt in a text titled Critical Chain.

Decision-making tools: From Mindtools.

Delphi Technique: Link to definition by inventor, Rand Corporation.

Design of Experiments: Two examples of the Taguchi method.

Earned Value Management noteboard: Note: You may get a warning that the site certificate isn't current. It is safe; proceed. For the serious practitioner of earned value management. Professional project managers exchange questions and information on this board.

Failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA): A pdf abstract.

Fast Diagram: An example.

Fault Tree Analysis: A tutorial, pdf.

Focus Group: A definition.

Force Field Analysis: By Accel-Team.com, a knowledge based organization based on the West Coast of Cumbria, in the UK.

Gantt, Henry: Interesting background on the 'inventor' of the Gantt chart.

GE Lost the Light Bulb Account: Did GE's obsession with six sigma distract it from product development?

Grouping Methods: A tutorial on factoring trinomials.

Hydraulic-Hybrid Trucks: Interesting story about a new innovation in truck engineering. Posted January 28, 2009.

Hydrogen Cycle: A pdf copy of an article about a commercially-available hydrogen-cell motor cycle.

Hydrogen Energy Sources: A projection by a Scientific American article of transitions in energy production. Posted January 29, 2009.

Influence Diagram: An illustration of a simple influence diagram.

Influencing: From Harvard Business Review.

Informal alliances by Jack Welch: Jack Welch is the former CEO of General Electric, and one of the most-respected CEOs of all time. He and his wife formerly wrote editorials for Business Week.

Interrelationship digraphs: A tutorial by University of Vermont.

Interfaces: Interfaces between work packages must be specified during WBS development. This illustrates what can happen if they are not.

Ishikawa Diagram: Also know as Fishbone, or Root Cause.

Joint Application Development (JAD): An online scholarly article by Professor Mei C. Yatco of the University of Missouri. He begins by stating "It is hard to find an agreed-upon definition . . ."

Lateral Thinking Puzzles: These are for entertainment, not education.

Leadership: Illustrating that people will follow a good leader with a cockamanie movement.

Matrix Diagram: Discussion of matrix diagram, from NASA.

Negotiating - What not to do: From Stanford Graduate School of Business.

MEMS and Nanotechnology Clearinghouse: A link to the site by this name. This is representative of emerging technologies as discussed in course segment 1. New technologies continue to be the source of thousands - probably millions - of new projects.

Mind Map: This is a 4th edition addition.

Monte Carlo: Illustrating the results of modeling the probability of achieving cost objective; a Quantitative Analysis example.

Motivational quotes: There are many collections like this.

NASA 100 Lessons Learned: as compiled by Jerry Madden, former Associate Director of the Flight Projects Directorate at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA Lessons Learned: A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems, with a view to their practical solution.

Nominal Group Technique: Discussion, courtesy University of Missouri, currently off the air.

Organizational Breakdown Structure: An OBS for development of a concrete canoe, by a team at Oklahoma State University.

Pairwise comparisons: A method of conducting Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis; a Scholarly description used with permission of Dr. Filippo A. Salustri of Ryerson University.

Performance Bonds: A commentary from US Department of Health & Human Services, providing advice to corresponding state agencies.

Plan-do-check-act: The ASQ article.

Poke Yoke: Berry College John Grout's collection of everyday examples.

Positive Risk? Read about an 'accidental' discovery - But this kind is hard as heck to plan for!

Prince2: Definition from Prince2.com.

Prioritization Matrix: Discussion from Arizona State University.

Process Flow Chart: An illustration.

Project-Based Organization: A paper by By Jon Olson and Kristi M. Branch discussing a research organization; pdf.

Project-Based Organization: A Science and Technology Policy Research (SPRU) paper by Englishman Mike Hobday; pdf.

Project Decision Progress Chart: A link to ASQ tutorial and illustration.

Quality: An opinion by Norris Goff. Needs updating.

Quality Audit: A listing of ISO 9000 registration organizations. They can be employed to conduct quality audits.

Quality Function Deployment: A thorough description and illustration by Kenneth Crow.

Regression Analysis: Explanation by MIT.

Requirements: A classical illustration of the importance of getting the requirements right.

Requirements Traceability Matrix: Examples.

Resource Sheet: A pdf copy of the MS Project resource sheet for construction of the Goff residence.

Risk Analysis: A link to a well-written paper on Dr. David T. Hulett's web site.

Risk Apetite & Tolerance: Executive Summary, pdf 20 pages, by permission of The Institute of Risk Management.

Risk Apetite & Tolerance: Complete paper, pdf 42 pages, by permission of The Institute of Risk Management.

Risk Apetite & Tolerance: A 'slide show', pdf 19 pages, by permission of The Institute of Risk Management.

Root Cause: A tutorial on understanding and constructing an Ishikawa 'fishbone' diagram.

Saga of a Project Manager: A true story.

Salience Model: An explanation and a picture.

Scatter Diagrams: A tutorial From Clemson University, by permission.

Scenario Building: A tutorial from University of Arizona.

Sender-Receivable Model: An illustration.

Six Sigma in Service Businesses: Six sigma spreads beyond manufacturing, with emphasis on General Electric.

Six Sigma: The goal of six sigma (six standard deviations) is 3.4 defects per million (or 2 per billion, depending on the spokesperson). One can be certified as a green belt or black belt Six Sigma professional.

Solar energy: A fascinating story, but it has been long enough to demonstrate a breakthrough if it were going to. It didn't happen, and the company was purchased by a French energy firm in 2010.

Specification limits vs. control limits: An explanation.

Specific Assessment: A project by SRI, a not-for-profit US Government contractor.

Stakeholder Analysis: A tutorial.

Stakeholder Analysis Template: A blank Excel sheet for recording stakeholder data.

Structured Interview: A definition.

SWOT Analysis: From Mind Tools.

Systems Engineering: Used by permission of Frank Dean of Sandia National Laboratories and Terry Bahill of Arizona University.

Taguchi method: A paper describing the Taguchi's approach to design by computer modeling. Also see Design of Experiments.

Team building: I haven't studied it. Student feedback solicited.

Tornado Diagram: A placeholder.

Traceability: Illustrations of the traceability concept.

Tree diagrams: An ASQ tutorial.

Trend Analysis: This lesson by Young & Associates in projecting housing prices could have led people to buy into the housing bubble.

Tuckman's Hypothesis, or Developmental Sequence in Small Groups: by Bruce W. Tuckman. One of the articles that spawned 'Tuckman's Hypothesis'.

Utility Theory: Pro, Con & Indifferent Definition, discussion and debunking.

Value Analysis: A paper describing the value analysis process, by Dr. Theodore C. Fowler, a Fellow of the Society of Value Engineers. Written in response to a request from NASA.

Value Engineering: The value engineering process as described by the US Federal Highway Administration.

Virtual Team: Want to have your appendix, or something, removed in a US hospital (or at home) by a surgeon in Asia?

WBS Interface Specifications: Though not discussed in PMBOK, the specifications between WBS work packages is essential.