Skip to Content

Digitizing - Project Management

Q. What project management skills do I need?

Managing digitization projects requires strong project management skills.  If you do not have formal project management training, it will be worth your time to read about project management practices or take some classes. 

JISC Digital Media in "Learning Lessons from Other Digitisation Projects" provides the following advice regarding project planning and management:

  • Do your homework before launching into the project – it's vital to carefully assess both your users' needs and your available resources
  • Make sure you have sufficient institutional backing: ensure that the key stakeholders are on your side and that your project is a good fit with your institution's mission and strategic aims
  • Be sure to involve those with knowledge of the collection as well as those with a technical knowledge of digitisation
  • Set clear and achievable objectives and get them down on paper to avoid being diverted or pushed into doing other things ('scope creep')
  • The use of professional project management techniques (e.g. PRINCE2) will help to keep things on track
  • It is important to undertake a risk assessment to help you in monitoring and managing your project's risks
  • Don't underestimate the time required to recruit and train staff, or presume that your staff will stay till the very end of your project


Take action

  • Read about project management principles
  • Take project management courses


  • Allan, Barbara.  Project Management: Tools and Techniques for Today's ILS Professional.  London: Facet, 2004.
    Offers in-depth guidance on project management for librarians working alone and for those working in large organizations.  Topics covered include project life cycle and analysis, planning, implementation, evaluation and dissemination, finance, personnel, partnerships, and more.  Allan explores both paper-based and management software approaches to large and small scale project management.
  • Campbell, G. Michael.  Communications Skills for Project Managers.  New York: AMACOM, 2009.
    The number one factor in the success or failure of projects is the quality and consistency of communications.  If you’re a project manager, the bulk of this responsibility falls to you. In Communications Skills for Project Managers, Michael Campbell unlocks this critical component of project success, illustrating how to keep every project stakeholder in the loop every step of the way—from concept through delivery and beyond.  A veteran of countless projects on every conceivable scale, Campbell gives you the universal elements of all communications as they pertain to the specific demands of a project management environment.  And you’ll get a generous selection of powerful tools to help you.
  • Carpenter, Julie.  Project Management in Libraries, Archives and Museums: Working with Government and Other External Partners.  Oxford: Chandos Publishing, 2011.
    Aimed at practitioners and managers, this practical handbook provides a source of guidance on project management techniques for the academic and cultural heritage sectors, focusing on managing projects involving public sector and other external partners.  Issues under consideration and illustration include: different approaches to managing projects and how to select appropriate methods; using project management tools and other applications in project development and implementation; ensuring the sustainability of project outcomes and transferability into practice; realistic monitoring methodologies and specifying and commissioning evaluation work that has real value.
  • Horine, Greg.  Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management.  2nd ed.  Indianapolis, IN: Que, 2009.
    "You’ve just been handed your department's biggest project. Absolute Beginner's Guide to Project Management will show you exactly where to start–and walk you step by step through your entire project! Expert project manager Gregory Horine shows you exactly what works and what doesn’t, drawing on the field’s proven best practices. Understand your role as a project manager...gain the skills and discover the personal qualities of great project managers...learn how to organize, estimate, and schedule projects effectively...manage deliverables, issues, changes, risks, quality, vendors, communications, and expectations...make the most of technology...manage virtual teams...avoid the problems that trip up new project managers! This new edition jumpstarts your project management expertise even faster, with all-new insights on Microsoft Project, challenging project situations and intriguing project management topics of the day."
  • JISC Digital Media.  "Project Management for a Digitisation Project."
    From the website: "This paper takes a look at the role and responsibilities of the digitisation project manager. It addresses common managerial challenges such balancing the expectations of stakeholders and ensuring the of quality of output. It is intended to be of use to the management team of time limited digitisation projects or to resource management staff planning to digitise their collection."
  • Mugridge, Rebecca L. Managing Digitization Activities. ARL SPEC Kit 294. Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, September 2006.
    This SPEC survey was designed to identify the purposes of ARL member libraries; digitization efforts, the organizational structures these libraries use to manage digital initiatives, whether and how staff have been reassigned to support digitization activities, where funding to sustain digital activities originated and how that funding is allocated,how priorities are determined, whether libraries are outsourcing any digitization work, and how the success of libraries’ digital activities has been assessed. The focus of the survey was on the digitization of existing library materials, rather than the creation of born-digital objects.


Last updated on 10/03/13, 2:18 pm by emilykader



about seo | group_wiki_page