by George Spain
The groups huddle around their tables pondering the bucket of Lego
blocks like they were Space Shuttle components. Each of the half-dozen
teams had been given a project to build a back deck within budget and
time restraints. Skeptical at first, they soon got into it and the game
began in earnest. They don’t stop until the timer dings.
Valerio, an employment consultant with human resources, records the
cost of materials as Stan Flowers, programmer/analyst with OCIO-IS,
constructs a deck according to specifications set out in a recent PM101
Only it wasn’t really a game, but was part of the teaching technique
used by Dan Furlong, project management officer with MUSC’s Office of
the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), and lead trainer in the
Introduction to Project Management (PM) 101, the class in which the
group was participating.
The training takes place in an MUSC warehouse on Albermarle Drive. The
ambiance isn’t much, but Furlong provides some nice accompaniments—a
popcorn machine, cappuccino maker, a variety of soft drinks—in a small
kitchen where the class can gather and graze during the breaks in the
Furlong developed South Carolina’s Introduction to Project Management
class while representing MUSC on the State’s Project Management
Training & Certification Committee. He then modified his original
program into the PM101 class he offers at MUSC.
He begins class with warm-up activities designed to catch interests. He
uses interactive polling, video clips, charts, and even a Magic 8 Ball
as props to answer the question on everyone’s mind, “What am I doing
here today?” After the introduction, the class of about 20 breaks into
groups that get to tackle the back deck project.
“It’s interesting to compare not just teams to teams but groups to
groups. Designs vary widely. Compare an engineering group’s solutions
to those of a group of nurses, or to those of business managers,” said
Frank C. Clark, Ph.D., vice president of information technology and
chief information officer, created the PMO in 2003 as part of his IT
governance structure. The purpose is to provide team members training
in structured project management, to keep large projects on track, on
time, and on budget.
“While we are closely aligned with technology initiatives, we provide
services to managers across the enterprise,” said Furlong.
Current projects include e-CareNet, a patient safety-focused clinical
information system with its component projects Admin Rx, ClinDoc, and
CPOE, an Enterprise Data Warehouse designed for clinical and
operational research; and Sharepoint, a collaborative, enterprise-wide
information sharing platform.
The MUSC PMO includes a small, but busy staff. There are two full time members and one part time member.
“Most of our project managers work within the Office of the CIO as
working managers and team leaders. We want customers to take ownership
of their projects, so most of our major initiatives include a
customer-side project lead,” said Furlong.
These project leads now include nurses, doctors, business analysts, researchers, and staff from a variety of other disciplines.
Sign up for PM 101 at https://www.123signup.com/servlet/SignUp?PG=1531858182300&P=153185800.
Friday, Dec. 5, 2008