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Action Research

Action Research

“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.

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Call For Papers

Call For Papers

“If I write-up a study of our experiences with Integrated PM, then it could be published in the R&D Journal of Integrated PM, and be improved upon for all our benefit, but I don’t have the quantitative data that is expected in a scholarly R&D Journal.”

The difference between qualitative and quantitative studies is more than just levels of abstraction. Turns out acceptance is another difference. We need papers utilizing the power of qualitative assessments. Let me explain.

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Case & Field Study Research

Case & Field Study Research

“If I gain a wholistic understanding of why projects succeed and fail, then I can take measures to encourage success, but I’m not sure of how to conduct this kind of investigation.”

I don’t know. Living out with the wild creatures doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. But I’m glad someone is doing it. My wife and I love watching the films, but don’t need the dirty and danger part. It’s a good thing that while studying Integrated PM you rarely need to live with the Lions. Can you imagine hiding behind a rock or bush building a case study for someone?

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Causal - Comparative Research

Causal - Comparative Research

“If we want to reduce the amount of changes made at the end of our projects, then we need to find out the causes to so many changes, but that means we should do causal-comparative research.”

Nowadays they tell us that the Boston Massacre wasn’t really what it was claimed to be. What was the cause? There are times that we might feel discovering the cause of project problems might be just as unpopular as digging around in the Boston Massacre. But if you must, then do it right.

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Correlational Research

Correlational Research

“If we compare project managers to the project performance, then we might understand what is causing good project performance, but we don’t understand how to conduct good correlational studies.”

Have you ever wondered just what caused you bad hair day? This is the purpose of ‘Correlational Research’, well not really. It’s not this at all, but we can still benefit from the research. The purpose is to investigate the extent to which variations in one factor of Integrated PM correspond with variations in one or more other project factors based on correlation coefficients.

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Descriptive Research

Descriptive Research

“If I use observation, surveys, and market evidence to test developed hypothesizes, then I may discover important concepts, but I’m not sure how to do it, and I may lead myself off track.”

Keith Goffin, author of ‘Identifying Hidden Needs’ indicates “that a survey researcher asks people questions in a written questionnaire … or during an interview, then records answers. The researcher manipulates no situation or condition; people simply answer questions.” The trick is to gather information without influencing it.

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Developmental Research

Developmental Research

“If I studied past projects, then I could identify areas of improved performance, but I’d like an overview of the process before beginning.”

Ok, I’ve got a real fancy pants set of words for you today, “Developmental Research.” Yes, it is a R&D method, but we already are doing this less formally at some time. In fact, that’s the case with most of the methods in this series.

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Historical Research

Historical Research

“If I collect data like Lessons Learned, and risk logs, then I could learn from the past, but I really don’t know how to conduct historical research effectively.”

Give me any three clients, and I'm betting they will have at least five different ways to do ‘Lessons Learned’ at the end of their projects. They’ll tell me, “Oh I didn’t know Lessons Learned was historical research.” Sarah Adams, a Sr. Project Manager, PHP and somewhat of a monster … well let’s just say, Application Development Team Lead under a lot of pressure.

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Open Access Journals

Open Access Journals

“If I publish my research papers in the R&D Journal of Integrated PM, then other members of the community can base future research on my finding, but people outside our community won’t see it, and the benefit of publishing my studies is directly proportional to the number of other researchers reading it.”

You bet, there have been many different models for publishing journals containing research and development material. With electronic publication, we are no longer limited to a single publishing model, and it appears that for the foreseeable future a variety of different publishing models will operate in parallel. While still accounting for only a fraction of the overall scholarly publishing system, there are currently in excess of 2,700 Open Access Journals in the Directory of Open Access Journals. OA Journals operated by groups of colleagues, will never be the dominate form of scholarly publishing; but at the same time their numbers continue to grow, as does the quality of material they contain and their acceptance among scholars.

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Quasi Experimental Research

Quasi Experimental Research

“If we used a true experimental research method, then we would have the best-results, but we can’t control all the relevant state variables.”

Many times, our clients don’t have the time, or variable control required for true experimental research, but still need estimates to provide direction for their performance improvement initiatives. In these cases, they can approximate the conditions of the true experiment in a setting which does not allow the control and/or manipulation of all relevant variables. The researcher must clearly understand what compromises exist in the internal and external validity of the design, and proceed within these limitations.

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Research & Development

Research & Development

“If I conducted an Integrated PM experiment, then I’d learn more about how Integrated PM improves project performance, but I haven’t had training in designing and conducting experiments, where do I start?"

Research projects come from Workshops, and our members interests. Once a project is proposed, members are needed to repeat and validate findings. Others apply the results to new practices of Integrated PM.

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True Experimental Research

True Experimental Research

“If we research practices to identify project constraints, then we can identify ways to improve project performance, but how do we know we can trust our findings before we commit irrevocable resources into the performance improvement effort?”

The perspective of Integrated PM is perfect for true experimental research, and performance improvement. This is how a program center can finally explore the correlations and interconnections between all the facets of the project, and other projects within the program and portfolio. This True Experimental Research is the investigation of possible cause-and-effect relationships by exposing one or more experimental groups to one or more treatment conditions, and comparing the results to one or more control groups not receiving the treatment.

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