Mastering Project Management

22 June, 2016

Project management is becoming big business. According to the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Talent Gap Report 2013: “From 2010 to 2020, as the profession grows by over US$6.6 trillion, the global economy is seeing 15.7 million new project management roles created”.

This sounds like good news until you see the Institute’s Pulse of the Profession Report 2016 where we learn that there is “US$122 million wasted for every US$1 billion invested due to poor project performance”. In short, we are not only going to need more project managers, we will need better ones!

According to U.S. academic, Dr Jeff Pinto, many projects fail because project managers do not have the confidence to stand up to their sponsors and assert that the constraints being imposed on the project are unrealistic. How many times have we gone along with unworkable schedules or budgets, knowing in our hearts that we are heading for disaster?

Obtaining a professional accreditation, such as the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP)®, endorses your ability as a project manager. But it will not necessarily give you the gravitas to take on executives at the C-Suite level and to convince them that their objectives have no chance of succeeding.  However, armed with a master’s degree in project management, you will equip yourself to communicate with the organization’s directors because you will understand how projects contribute to the overall strategy and what outcomes your leaders are looking for.

Here at Velopi, we have been aware of this need. So working with University College Cork (UCC), our advice was to set up a Master’s programme that will equip practicing project managers with the tools to manage projects but also to take them into the higher levels of corporate strategy and the realization of benefits.  To this end, we have established with UCC a Master’s programme that incorporates both PMP® accreditation and executive-level strategy as part of the syllabus.

Starting this September (2016), project managers can undertake a two-year, part-time MSc programme in project management, with a number of exit awards, depending on circumstances. We acknowledge the need for flexibility, due to work or family commitments.

So, if you can only manage the first year of the programme, you can exit at that point with a Post-graduate Certificate in Project Management. Then, if you complete the coursework for the second year, you can opt to graduate with a Post-graduate Diploma in Project Management. When the second year’s coursework is finished, you can study for the PMP® accreditation. Finally, complete a 15,000 word thesis and you will have earned your MSc.

Being designed for practitioners, classes during the two-years are scheduled from 2pm to 6pm Fridays and from 10am to 2pm on Saturdays, every second week.  The course modules for the first year are:

  • Project Management (10 credits)
  • Strategy, Leadership and Change (10 credits)
  • Innovative Problem Solving and Decision-making (10 credits)

Having completed year 1, it is time to tackle the second year’s modules:  

  • Current Issues in Project Management (10 credits)
  • Realizing Strategy through Programme Management (5 credits)
  • Management and Organization (5 credits)
  • Research Methods (5 credits)
  • PMP® Boot Camp (5 credits)

Velopi has been closely involved in the design of this programme and will contribute to the teaching work as well, providing a balance with the academic perspective of the UCC lecturers. All Velopi’s trainers are PMP® certified, with over 20 years’ industry experience each. They will ensure that the students will be offered practical applications for the knowledge gained and will ground the material in the real world. Our academic colleagues will provide opportunities to critique the field – why are we doing things the way we do? How will project management evolve over time? Between us, the graduates of the MSc in Project Management will be well qualified, not only to manage projects, but to drive their organization to adopt project management as a corporate competence.

So, if you want to take your project management career to the next level, learn more about this MSc programme by clicking here.

By Velopi Seamus Collins

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