People Interact

Blog about people-centered design by Lisa Chow and Sandra Sajonas.

Tag Archives: monthly-method

Monthly Method Spotlight: SMART Project Management

SMART Project Management

What & Why?: We talk a lot on our blog and in our presentations & workshops about setting SMART goals as part of your career strategy –


smart goals

In preparing for our November webinar on project management for librarians, we learned that the “A” in the popular and well-known SMART criteria acronym could also stand for assignable (from The November 1981 issue of Management Review containing a paper by George T. Doran), which is an important aspect to remember for good project management. When it comes to project management, you need to make sure that the project tasks are SMART including being assignable to members of the project team.

How: As project tasks are developed, ask yourself and the project team the following questions based on the SMART criteria if these tasks are:

Specific – what exactly is the task at hand?
Measurable – how do we know if the task is completed successfully or if we’re making progress?
Assignable – is this task assignable? Who can this task be assigned to? Which team member would it make sense to assign it to?
Relevant – is this task relevant to the project or relevant to the current phase of the project?
Time-bound – when is this task due or when does this task need to be completed by in order to ensure timely project completion or project success?

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.


SLA Project Management Webinar – From Idea to Implementation

We presented “From Idea to Implementation: A Project Management Case Study for Book a Librarian” as part of a project management webinar series for librarians from the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

See our webinar slides.

project management cycle

For more ideas and methods for your project management needs, check out our Monthly Method Spotlight Series.

If you attended the webinar, we would like your feedback; share your thoughts via comments.

Monthly Method Spotlight: Story Share & Compare

Story Share & Compare

What & Why:  Story sharing is a way for team members to get up-to-date on what other team members saw and heard in the field. This method also allows those listening to draw out anything significant or meaningful from the experience that the person may have initially overlooked.

How: Air out all of the stories and observations that stuck out to you about what you saw and heard during fieldwork. Each member of the group should tell their story and share notes while other members write down quotes, surprises, and other interesting bits. Use post-it notes and limit it to one significant item per post-it note.

Tips: Combine with other methods discussed in our previous posts like Fly on the Wall and Foreign Correspondents.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Monthly Method Spotlight: MoSCoW Prioritization

MoSCoW Prioritization

What & Why:  There can be a lot of features/requirements when it comes to project ideas and projects, also many with short timelines and quick turnaround times. How do you prioritize them? One way to prioritize when managing projects is to use the MoSCow method.

Features/Requirements that are non-negotiable for the success of the project.

High-priority requirements/features that are not critical to launch but are considered important and of a high value.

Features/requirements that are desirable but not necessary. May be removed or pushed to future stage of development if project completion timeline is at risk.

W – WOULD LIKE TO HAVE BUT WON’T HAVE (AT THIS TIME): Features/requirements that will not be implemented in a current release but may be included in a future stage of development. Such requirements usually do not affect the project success.


How: Request input from your project team and stakeholders using the method. Use a combination of other methods such as dot-voting. This method can also be used in your personal life; anything from making a major purchase like a house or a car (what features are a must have, etc.) to cooking a meal (what ingredients are a must have, what can be skipped, etc.)

We cover the MoSCoW method and other project management methods in our getting started in project management workshop for librarians

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.

Monthly Method Spotlight: Value Proposition

Value Proposition 

What & Why: A value proposition is a short, concise description of a service and why it’s valuable. It helps a team to narrow down and come to a consensus of what you are aiming for with a design.

How: Early in the process, reducing the process to answer what it is, who it’s for, where/when it will be used etc. can help to simplify designs.

Interested in using/applying these methods in your work? Contact us for information.