March 2017 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Guest Blogger: Drew Rosen, Ph.D., professor of operations management
Often I am asked about the value of project management education. Whether your organization is small or large, private or public, old or new, the answer is always the same. If you are looking for a way to stay ahead, forward-thinking organizations are turning to project management to consistently deliver superior business results.
Do any or all of the following sound familiar?
- Do you find the solution delivered is not what was asked for?
- Are your projects continually over budget and running late?
- Are team members frustrated by the constant demands to change the project parameters?
- Are team members and contractors stressed out by the mad panic to get things done toward the end of the project?
- Is the end product or service riddled with errors and defects?
- Are you not sure why the project was started in the first place?
- Are project team members constantly arguing among themselves and with other employees?
- Do executives and senior managers show little interest in the project, even though it will benefit them?
- By the end of the project is everyone burned out, vowing never to volunteer for another? (1)
If the answer is yes to some or all of these, your organization needs a more structured approach to implementing and managing your projects. This will result in getting your projects done on time and on budget, ensuring a quality product or service to your client, improving internal and external communication, reducing risks, and ensuring that your employees will leave the project with a sense of achievement and satisfaction.
Given intense world-wide competition, project management has emerged as a crucial factor that determines the success of any organization. Implementing a structured process to your project management initiatives has been shown to result in: “average improvements on the order of 50 percent in project/process execution, 54 percent in financial performance, 36 percent in customer satisfaction and 30 percent in employee satisfaction.” (2)
An Economist Intelligence report showed that 80 percent of global executives believed having project management as a core competency helped them remain competitive during the recession. McKinsey & Co. found nearly 60 percent of senior executives said building a strong project management discipline is a top-three priority for their companies as they look to the future. Executives from leading organizations across all sectors have discovered that adhering to project management methods and strategies reduced risks, cut costs and improved success rates, all vital to survival. (3)
On a personal level, acquiring a certificate in project management or attaining PMP (Project Management Professional) certification should be a “must have” component of your personal toolbox. In today’s market place, project management education has been promoted as the fastest career accelerator. Aside from making your resume stand out, it can be the catalyst for acquiring that new coveted position. A review of job postings in any discipline shows PMP required or desired. Having the PMP certification can also result in a higher salary as compared to those project managers who are not certified. Surveys have indicated that the PMP is the highest paid IT certification, and overall PMP’s make 10 percent to 15 percent percent more than those who are not certified. (4)
The Swain Center through the Cameron School of Business at UNCW can help you reach your goals. For the last seven years we have offered extremely successful programs in project management. Our 35-hour project management certificate program is one of the prerequisites for taking the PMP exam. We offer customized in-house programs for nonprofits, government agencies, and manufacturing and service firms, as well as our open enrollment programs, which are taught twice a year. The next Project Management Course is being offered September 6 - October 11, 2017.
To learn more about our Swain Center programs, please visit http://uncw.edu/swain.