Jan. 20, 2015

Project Management Workshop 2015

Article by Brad van Paridon (PhD student, Gilleard lab, University of Calgary)

An enlightenment in Project Management 

Early this year the Host Parasite Interactions group arranged their second project management workshop. This is normally a workshop designed for project management professionals and members of the private sector. However, education is never wasted if students take what they can from new areas and apply them to their own work.

This idea was stressed at the beginning of the two day workshop with the analogy of this course being a buffet of info and tips; you won’t like every option but take what you do find useful and incorporate it into your work. For graduate students and researchers in general, organization plus time and project management are very useful skills as much of our work can be broken down into individual or team projects.

For example, a research study often has many phases to it starting with study design. What it is we are going to study, why and what is the hypothesis, and why are we interested in the result? From here we think about what types of samples we will need and what will be the necessary methods or tests required to answer to test our hypothesis? Next comes execution, dividing up labour amongst the team and writing up the results. We learned how project management is comprised of the very same phases or principles: planning, execution and reporting.

A course in project management therefore was useful in outlining the skills and tools that professional project managers will use to accomplish these. We also learned about communication amongst team members and also with those who are invested in the success of the project. In research this would be graduate student supervisors, faculty and department members and most importantly funding agencies.

HPI organizers and attendees would like to thank Emil Tarka, MA, PMP from Tarka Consulting Inc. for his time and enthusiasm leading the two day workshop. We would also like to thank the HPI for continuing to provide new learning opportunities for its trainees to further develop skills and practices useful in a wide range of career options.