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Continuing Education and Workforce Development


"Technology and the economic downturn have made the employment environment much more competitive. Companies are demanding employees with problem solving skills, business writing skills, an understanding of verbal and nonverbal communications and self-starters who are ready to engage every day."

–Jeannette Grace, MCTC Continuing Education Business and Communications Instructor

Project Management

Project management is a temporary group activity designed to produce a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. So a project team often includes people who don’t usually work together—sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.

Projects are varied and come in all shapes and sizes. The development of software for an improved business process, the construction of a building or bridge, the relief effort after a natural disaster, the expansion of sales into a new geographic market—all are project. All projects must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need.

Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills and techniques to execute projects effectively and efficiently. It’s a strategic competency for organizations, enabling them to tie project results to business goals—and thus, better compete in their markets. It has always been practiced informally, but began to emerge as a distinct profession in the mid-20th century. PMI’s A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has become the industry standard.

See our course schedule for classes being offered in Project Management. 

Customize it!

Our courses can be tailored to your organization's needs and delivered at your site or ours. One of our popular basic project management courses is outlined below. Contact us today to discuss customized training for your team!

For more information about courses or customized training contact us at 612-659-6500 or continuinged@minneapolis.edu.

Project Management: Core

This two-day course will an opportunity for you to learn and apply basic project management tools as well as the interpersonal side of project management. The course is hands-on, and you will be working on projects from your own work environment. The four phases of project management are covered: the definition phase, the detailed planning phase, the working phase and the completion phase. The materials we provide are designed to be a reference guide as well as a workbook for you to use back on the job.

Course outline:

  • Phase 1: project/problem definition
    • Understanding the problem or opportunity
    • Determining if a project team is needed
    • Identifying skills/roles required
    • Identifying key stakeholders
    • Writing the statement of work
  • Phase 2: detailed planning
    • Planning and conducting the kickoff meeting
    • Work breakdown structure
    • Time estimating 
    • Cost estimating
    • Requirements
    • Schedules (Gantt, Milestone and Network Diagram)
    • Critical path analysis
    • Roles/responsibilities matrix
    • Change of scope
    • Risk analysis
  • Phase 3: working
    • Monitoring and controlling the schedule
    • Monitoring and controlling the budget
    • Monitoring and controlling quality
    • Communicating status
    • Managing changes to project
    • Conducting team meetings
  • Phase 4: completion
    • Completing project documentation
    • Evaluating project management effectiveness
    • Soliciting feedback from customer/sponsor
    • Evaluating team members’ performance
    • Documenting lessons learned

All of the subjects in the outline will be emphasized or minimized based on the your specific needs.

Instructor: Mary Slack is a management consultant in human resource and organization development. She specializes in the areas of project management, management development, quality improvement, leadership development and interpersonal skills. Mary has over 15 years of corporate experience in training, administration, course development and project management and holds a number of certifications including PMP. Mary is an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas, University of Minnesota, Hamline University, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Anoka Ramsey Community College and St. Mary’s University. Mary holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Iowa State University and a Master of Arts degree in Human Resource Development from Ottawa University. She has completed her coursework for a doctorate in Organization Development from the University of St. Thomas.

MCTC–Thermo King Partnership

hermo King President Ray Pittard, left, and MCTC president Phil Davis.

MCTC was awarded $300,000 by the Department of Employment and Economic Development Minnesota Job Skills Partnership to develop and implement lean process improvement training. The training will be delivered to more than 550 engineering, design and management staff at Minnesota-based Thermo King, a manufacturer of transport temperature control systems for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand.

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