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Center of Excellence

“If I participate in the Center of Excellence, then I will receive the benefits of a community of practice, but then I will most likely have to change and improve some aspects of my life.”

Yes, the pmNERDS Center of Excellence is a (CoP) or Community of Practice. Looking back, we see that some connections are inevitable. Given enough time and networking, some people are bound to meet and find that they share a passion. For more than a decade, these three; Etienne Wenger, Richard McDermott, and William M. Snyder, had been working with communities of practice in their own ways. Etienne had been involved in the original research at the Institute for Research on Learning as well as some early work at Xerox and National Semiconductor; He had also written a seminal book on communities of practice. Richard had been building “Learning communities” for a dozen years at companies such as Ben & Jerry’s, Shell Oil Company, and Hewlett-Packard, as well as writing articles and developing tools to help change agents build such communities. Bill had found the concept in Etienne’s dissertation and used it as a key element in his own dissertation on the connection between learning and performance in organizations. He also used it to perform his work on knowledge and communities at Colgate-Palmolive, McKinsey & Company, and the federal government.

A decade later, when Val Workman left EDS Services to found the Center of Excellence with RYMA Technologies and Services, it was only natural to go back to old contacts and leverage the proven structures that these gentlemen had started, applying these principles to the development of community-based knowledge development to the domain of Integrated PM. Here at the Center of Excellence, we share the early vision that communities of practice will help shape society with pervasive knowledge-oriented structures. They will provide new points of stability and connection in an increasingly mobile, global, and changing world.

Here at the Center, we have attempted to:

DESIGN FOR EVOLUTION- The community of practice is organic, design is more an act of shepherding the evolution rather than creating it from scratch. The community’s technology is a catalyst for the community’s natural evolution.

ENABLE OPEN DIALOGUE BETWEEN INSIDE AND OUTSIDE PERSPECTIVES- Our community is built on the collective experience of each community member. Only members can appreciate the issues at the heart of Integrated PM, the knowledge that is important to share, the challenges that this field faces, and the latent potential in emerging ideas and techniques. It also takes an outside perspective to help our members see the possibilities. Our community brings information from outside the community into the dialogue about what the community could achieve.

INVITE DIFFERENT LEVELS OF PARTICIPATION- We anticipate many different levels of participation. We invite all to participate in the CORE group of leadership, but recognize that some may prefer to maintain an active role in the community, contribute to dialog and help build intellectual capital, but not participate in a leadership role. Still others may prefer to stay outside of even an active role, and enjoy only a peripheral status. Of course, it is the desire of the CORE group, to build a fire in the center of the community that will draw people to its heat.

DEVELOP BOTH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE COMMUNITY SPACES- Like a local neighborhood, dynamic communities are rich with connections that happen both in the public places of the community; meetings, webinars; and private space, groups, and the one-on-one networking of community members. We have public events where members meet face-to-face or electronically to exchange tips, solve problems, or explore new ideas, tools, and techniques. However, our community is much more than these public events. The heart of the community is the web of relationships among community members, and much of the day-to-day occurs in one-on-one exchanges.

MAINTAIN A FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT OF PROJECTS- our community thrives because it delivers value to its members. Some of that value comes from focusing on current problems and needs of community members. Developing a systematic body of knowledge that can be easily accessed is also important to our members.

COMBINE FAMILIARITY AND EXCITEMENT- As a community, one of our goals is to offer familiar comforts of a hometown, but also to have enough interesting and varied events to keep new ideas and new people cycling into our community. Like a neighborhood bar or café, our community desires to become a “place” where people have the freedom to ask for candid advice, share opinions, and try their half-baked ideas without repercussion. It’s a place for people to drop by to hear about the latest tool, exchange technical gossip, or just chat about technical issues without fear of committing to action plans.

CREATE A RHYTHM FOR THE COMMUNITY- Our everyday lives have a rhythm: Waking up and preparing for work, commuting, checking e-mail, attending meetings, commuting home, engaging with kid’s activities, enjoying quiet time. Although there are different rhythms for different people, most of our lives do have a rhythm, which contributes to its sense of familiarity. At the heart of our community is a web of enduring relationships among members. Regular blog posts, comments, teleconferences, podcasts, forums, courses, and group meetings become the community’s rhythm. Your participation becomes this rhythm of life pulse of the community. If you find the community to be dead, then participate more and increase the strength of the community’s pulse.

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Capitalization of Ideas

“If I develop ideas for new products and features, then I should be able to make some money from it, but I don’t know how to convert ideas to solutions, nor distribute those solutions so that they are profitable.”

Some types of information assets are more readily turned into cash than others. When information assets are close to being turned into cash, it's easy enough to recognize it as the intellectual capital of a firm or person. As information moves further and further away from liquidity, it may become harder and harder to recognize it as intellectual property, or an information asset.

In the diagram above, having a complete launch plan, with a set of developed requirements, a release roadmap, a business plan containing a market analysis, the set of problem statements you intend to address, and supporting market evidence, would be worth more than just a single piece of undeveloped market evidence. Under normal conditions this is correct.

The diagram illustrates 7 processes (illustrated as gears) and 7 repositories (cones) or ‘Warehouses’ filled with information assets. One asset is ‘consumed’ or purchased and taken off the market to produce another. These cones together represent the innovation portfolio of the firm or individual, and has real value. One responsibility of Portfolio Management is to maximize the value of this portfolio of innovation assets. Collectively, these warehouses of innovation assets are referred to as the Seven Pillars of Innovation Assets.

The seven types of assets are produced by the activities of each of the Seven Pillars respectively. The asset is a work product of that pillar's process, and is the primary business purposes of that process. The Market Sensing Pillar collects data to produce market evidence. It is typically listed first, or on the far left, because this activity and its corresponding asset, is the furthest from liquidity.

In practice, each of these processes run independently of each other, and there is no head or tail. Individuals start where they have resources to develop other assets. After a launch, you certainly want to do market sensing to determine the success of the past launch.

Now, the warehouses containing your innovation assets are called Vaults within GrandView. The innovation assets within these Vaults are valuable to you and others. If someone desires an asset that you put up to be sold, they pay you for the asset, and the asset is transferred from your vault to theirs.

Whenever a product is sold, any asset linked to it receives a portion of the sale. Some people receive revenue for selling assets, and others from taking the product to market. Just how to create competitive innovation assets are taught in the e-Learning courses.

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Open Market

“If I create innovation assets, then I can sell them for real money, but I need a place to sell my assets.”

GrandView is an Open Market for buying, selling and trading innovation assets. We provide an Open Market with no barriers to free market activity. There are no licensing requirements, education requirements, or practices that interfere with people participating. Our Open Market does create some competition and you do have to join the pmNERDS community to participate, but membership is free. In an Open Market, there is a difference between barriers to entry and costs of entry.

Barriers to entry are imposed upon a market process. Because they are a political phenomenon, they’re unrelated to the cost (in terms of resources used) of a particular product. Unlike costs of entry, barriers can prevent value-added enterprises from satisfying unmet needs. They’re an unnecessary obstacle. i.e. PMI certification, college degrees, licenses or other certifications. In GrandView, we aim to remove or at least reduce the impact of traditional barriers to entry.

Costs of entry are also an important part of the market process. They represent the scarcity of both time, supply of innovation assets, and trained resources. Our community addresses some of this. Collaboration on the development of assets can further reduce these entry barriers. Our aim, is to reduce these barriers until the only barrier is your time investment. It’s true, if you decide to, you can accelerate time to value by investing in training to move your enterprise ahead faster.

Because GrandView is an Open Market, there are no barriers to entry, in political terms and financial terms. The only, not so political requirement, is community membership. This is necessary for security and member identification. It is through your membership that we identify who develops what, and who to pay.

You might be asking yourself, is GrandView going to be a competitive market, of course. There is a presence of competition and self-interest among individuals, but we also recognize there is a blurry line between competition and cooperation. The concept of cooperation is embedded in the meaning of the word “compete.” A valid meaning of competition would be "to aim at together," "to try to reach together," and "to strive after together." While teams and virtual companies are cooperating with each other to take a new product or service to market, individuals compete by developing competitive innovation assets. There is a competitive advantage to the person who creates assets more efficiently with higher levels of perceived value. More of their assets will be purchased and used in tangible products that are sold. Each individual develops a brand or reputation. Their assets may carry higher perceived value, and are sold at higher prices.

In GrandView, we want people to be competitive, since competition creates the best products to meet the needs of the customer, but also be cooperative. The type of cooperation implicit within competition does not require that competitors be warm and friendly toward each other, but it does allow them to work together to create a better product. Cooperation gives us a situation in which the participants seek out win-win outcomes from working together. We want to think of GrandView’s Open Market as a blend of competition and cooperation.

Join the Community today and start learning how to build assets, contribute to the market, create virtual companies, sell to a global market, and generate personal revenue!

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Alden Ibbetson
I've actually been on those mountains! Love the picture! Who can I speak with to learn more information about grandview? When I go... Read More
Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:56
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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.

Integrated PM research is a project value realization activity, and project value realization is a philosophy concerning how to create competitive advantage using projects. As a philosophy, project value realization competes against other philosophies that make different prescriptions for business success. Notable among competitors to the project value realization philosophy are

  • the marketing philosophy (success comes from focusing on markets and customer’s needs to guide business decisions),
  • the innovation philosophy (success comes from technology leadership),
  • the quality philosophy (success comes from building the highest quality products),
  • and the financial philosophy (success comes from making the most efficient use of resources).

At pmNERDS, we believe that Integrated PM is a combination and acceptance of all these philosophies as essential parts of the entire system. Because Integrated PM research reflects an enterprise wide business philosophy, and because this philosophy focuses on learning, organization change may be required when the firm desires to improve its project’s performance with respect to Integrated PM research. Put another way, to be truly effective, Integrated PM research cannot be treated as an isolated function assigned to specialized staff. It must be a cultural orientation that suffuses the organization.

For Integrated PM research studies, the core competence is problem formulation skills. Most business situations do not present themselves as clearly delineated problems but as tangled messes that might be approached in a variety of ways. To succeed in an Integrated PM research study requires that the author clearly articulate the problem to be addressed and the specific kinds of information needed.

If someone was to pick up a project study you might think that factor analysis was a more important component of commercial Integrated PM research than focus groups. In fact, statistical techniques have their place, but are more likely to be seen in academic than commercial research contexts.

There are good historical and sociological reasons for the relative neglect of qualitative Integrated PM research techniques. First of all, the path to promotion and prestige in academic social science rests on the ability to master arcane statistical analysis. Ph.D. programs in projects and in supporting disciplines such as psychology and economics heavily emphasize training in statistics and associated mathematical subjects such as probability theory.

The best journals feature the most elaborate and advanced statistical treatments. Publication in such journals is sine qua non for promotion and tenure. As a result, most instructors teaching projects, particularly those teaching in the better graduate programs, owe much of their career success to their facility with and mastery of statistical analysis. It should come as no surprise if their course syllabi and the textbooks they choose also emphasize the analysis of quantitative project research data.

In IT, as in academia, there is also a bias towards quantitative data. In most technology firms, especially those that sell business to business, management staff consists of engineers and scientists. These are people whose career success may initially have rested on the mastery of the intricacies of the physics that underlie electrical engineering. This background leads quite naturally to a demand that Integrated PM researchers deliver precise numerical estimates.

Unfortunately, training in the physical sciences is not always a good preparation for training in the social sciences. Human data are different from physical data. Most notably, measurements on humans are subject to much greater uncertainty than the measurements taken on things, and are much more mutable- what is true today may not be true tomorrow, and what is true for this client may not be true for another client. Qualitative techniques are ideally suited to grappling with uncertainty and novelty.

In summary, the discipline needs Integrated PM research papers that corrects for the unequal and subordinate emphasis typically placed on qualitative techniques. Members of this community are in particular need of the potential benefits delivered by qualitative research. That is, technology managers, PMO Directors, Marketing Directors, are less familiar with non-quantified but disciplined social science research.

Perhaps more important, quantitative Integrated PM research techniques are often unsuitable for project markets, inasmuch as they may presume a sample drawn from a large homogeneous population (projects are most often fragmented and small), easy -to-explain product functionality (project products are complex), and a stable competitive and pricing environment (projects change rapidly). All these factors play to the strength of qualitative techniques.

Please then, don’t hesitate in submitting your research, there are additional blog posts that can help point you to research methods, and section editors who have volunteered to help bring your ideas to the rest of the community.

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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.

One of our reasons for going this direction is to provide information access to those who otherwise would not have the resources to acquire such resources. One of the most striking differences between paper and electronic publication is the cost of distribution. For paper journals, the cost of distributing each copy is significant and the only practical means of funding these journals is through subscription fees. With electronic distribution, the cost of dissemination disappears, making it possible to distribute journals freely to anyone who wants to access them and find other means of funding the operation of the journal. Calls for distributing at no cost and finding other means of funding began almost as soon as journals appeared in electronic formats.

The R&D Journal of Integrated PM is built on an open access journal framework which provides access to the OAJ community and is part of a global network of indexed journals, and can be accessed at most universities worldwide. There are five main purposes for pmNERDS to sponsor this R&D Journal on Integrated PM.

1) Most would agree that OAJ provides the most comprehensive, up-to-date and authoritative archive of information in a given scholarly field. Obviously, the accuracy and quality of the material contained in this archive is of central importance. Peer review services are one of the most important mechanisms for validating the information contained in these journals.

2) Communication among professionals working in the same field is another important objective. Within the Center of Excellence, Communication is King. The R&D Journal provides the foundation for that initial discussion which leads the practices of both innovation and learning.

3) The Journal also plays an important role in maintaining community standards on how research and practice development are conducted.

4) Recognition and reward might seem unimportant to some, put the submission of papers would justifiably stop if there wasn’t a benefit for doing so. The distribution and acknowledgement of achievement is an important role of the R&D Journal

5) Not all the information in the Journal strictly focuses on scholarly research. The Journal also acts a means of tying our Center Of Excellence together. The Open Access Journal provides many benefits to the community and the research contributor. We are constantly adding new capabilities to the journal in terms of submission process automation, reviewing, publishing, and distributing content. Feel free to reach out and volunteer to review submitted articles, and proofread submissions.

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