Developing Project Management Expertise

Author(s):

Karl Smith , Lori Engstrom , Brandon Pierce , Connie Kampf

March 2004

Report no. MnDOT 2004-38

In 1993, MnDOT contracted with the University of Minnesota Executive Development Center to develop a training program that would enhance the skill sets of MnDOT employees whose responsibilities include managing projects. Ten years later, researchers developed a process to determine whether the academy experience is producing the desired results. Their investigation, based on extensive literature search and interviews with former participants, uncovered several weaknesses of the program. 1.The academy lacked a central message that reflected the overall mission and focus of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 2.The instructional format was not structured in a way that enabled participants to apply the skills to daily work experiences. 3.The content and manner of presentation did not take into account the varied backgrounds and levels of experience of the participants. As a result, the authors conclude with a comprehensive list of suggestions for making improvements in each of the areas listed.

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