“If I look for better ways to manage projects, then I can increase competitive advantage for our entire organization, but it’s hard for organizations to learn from their activities.”
Whatever way you look at Action Research, you’ll find it the favorite of project managers, and by the way, the most valuable part of being in a community. The purpose of action research is to develop new skills or new approaches and to solve problems with direct application to your project, Integrated PM methods, or within the working PM setting.
- An Integrated PM training program to help train PMs to work more effectively with project team members; to develop an exploratory program leveraging less approval points for efficiency; to solve the problem of apathy in chartering meeting with the project sponsor; to test a fresh approach to interesting more clients in project progress prior to project completion.
- A community initiative to get more community members contributing their thoughts and solutions in the community forum called Straight Talk.
- Teaching site visitors how to use the pmNERDS’ website annotation features to further their Integrated PM studies Characteristics:
- Practical and directly relevant to an actual situation in the working Integrated PM world. The subjects are the project managers, the sponsors, community members, or others with whom you are primarily involved. Provides an orderly framework for problem-solving and new developments that are superior to the impressionistic, fragmentary approach that otherwise typifies develop¬ments in project management. It also is empirical in the sense that it relies on actual observations and behavioral data, and does not fall back on subjective committee "studies" or opinions of people based on their past experience.
- Flexible and adaptive, allowing changes during the trial period and sacrificing control in favor of responsiveness and on-the-spot experimentation and innovation.
- While attempting to be systematic, action research lacks scientific rigor because its internal and external validity are weak. Its objective is situational, its sample is restricted and unrepresentative, and it has little control over independent variables. Hence, its findings, while useful within the practical dimensions of the situation, do not directly contribute to the general body of Integrated PM knowledge.
- Define the problem or set the goal. What is it that needs improvement or that might be developed as a new skill or solution?
- Review the literature to learn whether others have met similar problems or achieved related objectives.
- Formulate testable hypotheses or strategies of approach, stating them in clear, specific, pragmatic language.
- Arrange the research setting and spell out the procedures and conditions. What are the tasks you will perform in an attempt to meet your objectives?
- Establish evaluation criteria, measurement techniques, and other means of acquiring useful feedback.
- Analyze the data and evaluate the outcomes.