Across campus, there are several Communities of Practice (CoP) groups. The CoPs are a helpful way to grow your network with fellow practitioners, develop competencies, share solutions, and create standards. This fall Melissa Wisner, IT Portfolio Manager & Project Librarian, will begin leading the Project Management CoP. The Project Management CoP (PM CoP) has been in existence for several years and originated with Yale ITS. Based on new goals set forth by Yale ITS leadership the CoP is looking to broaden the group’s reach by inviting members from different unit’s practicing project management university-wide.
A survey conducted in late spring by Yale ITS identified over 300 people campus-wide who are interested in project management. The CoP plans to do more research to see if they can discover untapped members across campus to expand membership and create momentum.
Melissa has been a long-standing member of the CoP and is looking forward to bringing a new structure to the community this fall. One of the structural changes will be to offer meetings monthly from September to May, following the academic year. The monthly meetings would have a set agenda with a topic being explored and will provide members with an opportunity to present. Melissa is pursuing another new idea, of introducing a summer months’ cohort to help staff prepare for Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
Melissa is also working with Yale ITS to explore using Slack as a way to communicate as a community in between the monthly meetings. The addition of an immediate form of communication will enhance the members’ ability to share ideas or educational opportunities directly. Having access to the CoP in between monthly meetings will help forge a stronger network, and promote a sense of community.
Melissa is also working with Yale Learning Center staff to identify future training opportunities for staff. Currently, Yale staff can participate in several project management courses offered through Lynda.com. To access Lynda.com, visit yale.edu/lynda, and log in using your NetID and password. Melissa is also discussing with Yale ITS administration the possibilities around longer-term objectives to improve project management teaching and training and establishing a career path for project managers on campus. The PM CoP is investigating additional ways to offer classes. One additional approach would be to provide half-day training through human resource’s Training and Management programs. Another longer-term possibility is to evaluate the feasibility of serving as registered education providers for the Project Management Institute (PMI) like other local universities are doing.
The PM CoP is also looking to create a document library for Yale project managers across campus. The document library would have templates, manuals, and other materials used and generated by Yale project managers. The library would be a way for members to share expertise and establish best practices.
The first meeting for the PM CoP is tentatively set for mid-September. More details are to follow, but if you have questions, you can contact Melissa Wisner at email@example.com. Another important date to put on your calendars is November 1st — International Project Management Day. On November 1st, the Institute for Learning (IIL) will hold an online conference. The IIL has a schedule of online webinars taking place that day for people to participate. In the future, the PM CoP hopes to have more of a presence at the IIL conference as the PM CoP gains momentum.