Project management in growing demand for businesses

This piece is presented by the USD Beacom School of Business executive education program.

Two years ago, USD professor Tom Martin’s project management class had 27 students. Last year, he had 38.

“This year, I have 48,” said Martin, who has taught the subject at USD for five years.

“And since I started teaching project management here, the number of job ads I’ve seen that are project management-related have definitely increased.”

Businesses increasingly are seeking employees with project management skills, as more are using the function within their organizations.

“It meshes very well with companies trying to be lean and use that continuous process of finding ways to eliminate waste and do things better,” Martin said.

Many people already in the workplace are finding themselves managing projects – whether they have formal training or not. To help provide a strong foundation of project management skills, the USD Beacom executive education program is offering a two-day course taught by Martin this October.

To learn more and register, click here.

The growth of project management also is reflected in the membership of the 250-person chapter of the Project Management Institute.

“We grow by about 10 members a year,” chapter president Jeff Miller said. “There’s just a lot of software development going on in Sioux Falls, from hospitals to banking and just a tremendous number of businesses.”

Employees at Interstates Control Systems have embraced project management.

At the company where he works, Interstates Control Systems, Miller is the director of project management. Interstates works with industrial control systems and construction, and has used project management for years.

“What Interstates figured out is you put a professional in there and they manage projects much different than having someone whose second job is project management,” he said.

“We noticed a significant difference. We track things on our projects that lose gross profit, and there’s been a significant drop in loss since we switched completely over to project management.”

Others in his industry have had similar experiences.

“They have all come back to me and said, ‘Why didn’t we do this before?’ If they haven’t switched, they will see some value in doing it. I’m 100 percent sold on it.”

Adding the function creates relief for teams along with monetary value, he added.

“Communications go up and the team knows more about what they have to do and there’s someone there to find out information for them before they actually have to have it. That’s a big benefit.”

Everyone from entry-level managers and supervisors who have never had formal project management training to someone who has managed projects but wants to learn new techniques will benefit from the USD course, Martin said.

“Companies do find when they invest in training their teams to formally manage projects, they save time and money,” he said. “We’re looking forward to sharing best practices and new techniques and know they will find it valuable.”

To register for Foundations of Project Management, click here.

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Project management in growing demand for businesses

Businesses increasingly are seeking employees with project management skills, as more are using the function within their organizations.

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