Academic library implementation of project management standards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Purpose Academic library work has often been project-based; however, the interest and adoption of formalized project management techniques has come late to these organizations. The desired outcomes of good project management systems include excellent communication, organized work in manageable tasks, clear expectations, and responsible management of resources. Methodology/approach With an aim to improve on these elements, a new focus on project management at the University of Minnesota Libraries provided a unique opportunity to showcase the development of an informal, in-house set of standard processes for a large, academic institution. Honoring the processes found within individual departments and divisions was key to the work of the Project Management Processes Task Force that created common language and standard processes for project development and implementation to support the growing focus on cross-divisional, cross-departmental projects. Findings The outcome of this work was to greatly streamline the ability of any staff member to successfully develop and move project proposals from idea to completion. Transparency of process led to stronger understanding of not only project status but also key stage gates and decision points to ensure projects stay on track in supporting the Libraries’ strategic planning. The clarity in scope and the outcomes of projects creates more potential for the Libraries to align their work with that of the University as a whole. Well-developed and implemented project management standard processes create stronger connections between all library units, through consistencies of practice and language, as well as shared expectations and outcomes, by both staff and administrators. Originality/value The University of Minnesota Libraries’ process for developing practical project management processes identifies the benefits of this approach for similar organizations as well as outlining specific methods for implementing a set of standards within academic libraries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Library Administration and Organization
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Library Administration and Organization
ISSN (Print)0732-0671

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by Emerald Publishing Limited All rights of reproduction in any form reserved.


  • Academic library staff
  • Cross-divisional projects
  • Library administration
  • Project management processes
  • Project management standards
  • Project tracking


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