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Call for Speakers Now Open2022 Virtual Project Management Symposium

We Are Looking for Speakers As a seasoned project manager, have you ever thought about the fact that your everyday work experience executing projects results in valuable lessons learned.  Your experiences provide an extremely valuable learning opportunity, but only if they are shared with other practitioners.  It does not matter if those other project managers work at the same company or even in the same industry.  Project Management best practices and lessons learned transcend all industry types. Your job is demanding and as a result you’ve got stories. War stories, success stories, failures, and lessons learned. The Project Management community . . . continue reading
Five Reasons Why Project Management Skills are Just as Important as Your Technical Degree

Perception is if you’ve got an engineering degree, you’re an engineer, so you know everything.  Well….you’ve got excellent technical skills, but do you really know everything?  Of course not. The fact is, to be a truly successful engineer, in addition to technical skills, you also need project management, communications and leadership skills.  In today’s market, engineers who lack these skills could be regarded as having only half the training and knowledge they need to offer full value to their company. Project management courses are important for any engineer because projects can be extremely complex, risky, and high stake.  It is . . . continue reading
What Have We Learned?

Context At the University of Maryland, when the campus closed suddenly in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, all classes moved to the online environment. This was not a problem for the graduate courses offered by the Project Management Center for Excellence.  Our faculty regularly teaches both on campus and online courses so each instructor has an extensive library of previously recorded lectures and uses our LMS (Canvas) for assignments for both on campus and online courses. The graduate faculty have years of experience facilitating virtual classes, discussion groups, and assignments so the sudden switch to all . . . continue reading
What is Active Learning?Tips for Designing and Managing an Active Classroom

In September 2020, we published an article promoting Blended Learning[1] as our recommended approach to structuring a course. Blended Learning combines the best aspects of both classroom and online learning, and our version incorporates a flipped classroom approach. All course content is designed and posted on a learning management system (LMS) and students review the content and complete any assignments prior to participating in a synchronous class. The class meeting with the instructor could be either in person or online or could switch between the two seamlessly. Simply stated, instructors assign various asynchronous activities for learners to complete before class (lecture . . . continue reading
Non-verbal Communications in Video ConferencingWhat It Says About You!

Since spring of 2020, I have written several articles providing guidance to our faculty that had never taught an online course.  I discussed different topics all related to teaching in a virtual environment; Blended Learning Classroom Guidance, Video Production Guidance, and Facilitating Virtual Classes to name a few. In a recent video class that I observed, it stuck me that everyone needs to understand that “You Can Not; Not Communicate.” In the article on Facilitating Virtual Classes, we briefly discussed having a good webcam, lighting, and microphones. But we really focused the article on conducting the virtual class. This article . . . continue reading
5 Necessary Skills for an Aspiring Product Manager

A product team without a product manager is a bit like an orchestra without a conductor. No matter how talented the musicians, the sound would quickly devolve into dissonance without a conductor’s lead and guidance. Much like the orchestra conductor, a product manager must conduct the communication and workflow between all the units and departments within a company to ensure everyone on the team is aligned toward the same goal: satisfying the customer, meeting their needs while reducing their pain and increasing their gain is their most important job.  The internet has completely changed how people find products that meet . . . continue reading
Speaker Guidance – Present Like a Pro

Introduction Eight years ago, when we launched our successful annual Project Management Symposium, we rapidly learned that while many speakers had very good content, they were not necessarily up to speed in preparing their visual support, which is generally PowerPoint, so, we began to offer some guidance. Over the past several years, the guidance has been refined and I believe is now applicable for any presentation, virtual or in person. This article is a modified version of that guidance. Preparing Your Presentation This section may be adjusted for the specific time allocation of your event, but the timing is what . . . continue reading
Managing Effective Meetings

As the pandemic has forced us to meet virtually, I now hear complaints about being “Zoomed out”! People are past the fascination of learning how to physically setup and participate in a video conference and generally probably know the mechanics of proper lighting, camera angles, backgrounds, etc. But do they know the rudiments of running a meeting, starting with do we actually need a meeting? There are many established forms of communication including written memos & reports, emails, telephone calls, and text messages are some of the examples. Each has an appropriate and effective use. We will go into this . . . continue reading
PM Graduate : Why PM Skills Are Just as Important as Technical Degree

University of Maryland alum Maryam Dadabhoy hails from Karachi, Pakistan—one of the world’s busiest and most congested cities. According to a study conducted 2017, 90% of the water in Karachi is unfit to for human consumption—a major problem in a city of more than 20 million inhabitants. Maryam, who believes that “water is every citizen’s basic right,” is hoping to help solve that problem. According to Maryam, “The state of affairs in Karachi is unfortunate and has sparked my interest in water treatment.” She channels that interest into her work—in DC, Maryam is part of a project directly related to . . . continue reading
Individual Time Management

Early in my career at the University of Maryland, I was asked to run a workshop on project management fundamentals for a campus group. Much to my surprise, when we opened the Q&A session, many of the questions had nothing to do with PM basics but rather on how to manage their time! Not the project schedule, but individual time management! So, I started to incorporate the topic into my PM fundamentals presentations and over the years the presentation has evolved. This article shares some of these ideas with you. To view the recording of the FREE webinar, scroll down . . . continue reading
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