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Agile Course Earns Top 100 MOOC RankingClass Central—a search engine and review site for massive open online courses (MOOCs)—has named a University of Maryland Project Management Center for Excellence offering among their top 100 Best Online Courses of all time.  Agile Leadership Principles, the fourth course in our Agile Project Management Professional Certificate, earned the honor alongside MOOCs offered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Harvard University; University of California, Berkeley; Princeton University; Yale University; University of Michigan; and others.  Agile for Project Control, the 5th course in the program was ranked 1st among the Ten Most popular MOOCs for April 2019. The response has been overwhelming since . . . continue reading
The Future of Academia in a Virtual EnvironmentINTRODUCTION The coronavirus pandemic has been the motivation to quickly move campus courses online. The Project Management Center of Excellence has long been offering online classes in a variety of formats initially at the graduate level, but increasingly at the undergraduate level as well. Many faculty on campus have traditionally resisted teaching their classes online. However, the convulsive shift caused by the pandemic has given us a new opportunity to assess which aspects of teleworking and moving classes online have worked pretty well. What can we learn from this experience and what might the future look like? When we think . . . continue reading
5 Reasons Why Ineffective Communications Can Lead Projects to Fail

Ineffective communications between project managers, their teams and their clients can have a disastrous effect on project outcomes. Even when miscommunication is clearly the culprit, many project managers simply don’t know how to constructively address the problem, instead chalking the experience up to usual and even acceptable risks of project management. The lack of a carefully thought-out communications strategy with the appropriate tools to regulate and store information can ultimately cause companies to lose millions of dollars. Here are five important reasons why poor communication can cause a project to fail: Misunderstandings. In the late 1990s, NASA and the European . . . continue reading
Tips for Working at HomeIf you are generally new to working from home on a full-time basis, we at the University of Maryland’s Project Management Center for Excellence have put together a few ideas that may be useful. Routine It is best to develop a schedule and routine that works for you. Treat the day like a workday and get up on time, dress for the office (even if it is casual) and try to keep a regular schedule. Plan your day to work with your natural energy cycle. We all have one and they are different. Maybe you are a morning person or . . . continue reading
Grant Enhances Learning Opportunities for Project Management StudentsStudents who wish to learn without limits must be guided by innovative teachers. At the University of Maryland, we are breaking ground to support students seeking more options to continue their education. With funds from the Teaching Innovation Grant sponsored by Mary Ann Rankin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Maryland, six courses offered by the Project Management Center for Excellence are becoming more accessible, more enriching, and more interactive for students. The grant engages in rigorous education research projects designed to learn about, develop and plan outstanding online courses that are adaptable, accessible . . . continue reading
UMD’s First “VIRTUAL” Project Management Symposium Deemed a Success!The last minute change to a VIRTUAL delivery did not alter the outcome of the University of Maryland’s (UMD) annual Project Management Symposium held on May 7-8, 2020.  Amazing, wonderful, outstanding, awesome, fantastic, exceptional and exceeding expectations were some of the expressions used to describe the two-day event!  Survey results indicated that a whopping 99 percent of attendees stated they would attend another UMD Project Management Symposium as well as recommend the event to their colleagues. Also gleaned from survey results were the top five reasons participants attended the event which included: Gain insights I can implement PDUs Interesting Topics . . . continue reading
Video Conference EtiquetteUsing Zoom video conferencing is pretty simple and a great tool for meetings and discussion. Here are a few tips for a productive session: Technology Be sure that your computer / smart phone / tablet has a good high-speed connection to the internet. We find that the vast amount of the difficulty you may experience with a stable connection is on the user end and not the system. Test your setup before the scheduled start time of the video conference in case you need assistance. If doing this for the long haul, it is worth the investment to get good . . . continue reading
Converting to Online Teaching: A series of short guidance articles for educators and institutionsAn Introduction to the SeriesSince erupting in China in December 2019, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease has spread worldwide to become the most devastating international pandemic since the Spanish Flu in 1918. Following devastating outbreaks in Italy, South Korea and other countries earlier in the year, the disease reached the United States in late January 2020.  As infections began to spread rapidly, various city and state leaders took action, issuing stay-at-home orders, shutting down businesses and services, and accelerating various containment strategies.  By early March 2020, a nation-wide emergency was in full swing. Schools were some of the first activities to shut down in order . . . continue reading
Deliver Faster and More Innovative Solutions with Agile Project Management

Agile project management is often overly simplified as the project management practice of varying scope. This simplification loses the emphasis on the true benefits of Agile which are speed, innovation, leadership, and control. Proof that Agile can deliver these benefits in even the most complex environments is shown in its history. Agile project management can trace its roots back to World War II, when Kelly Johnson formed “Skunkworks” within Lockheed Martin. Johnson used his 14 Rules of Management to run Skunkworks and create the world’s first fighter jet, the P-80, in just 143 days. Kelly Johnson’s 14 Rules of Management . . . continue reading
Green Contracting…with Incentives Baked InGreen technologies help protect the environment, but are they a boon to business? In the past, many companies and organizations balked at the cost. But not all planet-friendly practices dent the bottom line; indeed, some can save costs and yield added revenue. An example, says UMD civil and environmental engineering professor Qingbin Cui, is the use of recycled highway materials to build or replace pavement. It’s not only cheaper than hot-mix asphalt, but generates less emissions. The lowered emissions earn credits that can then be traded on the carbon emissions market. “It’s one way to move green technology from the ‘cost’ to the . . . continue reading
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