This course will enable participants to successfully lead projects in higher education institutions — projects implementing strategic planning objectives, continuous quality process improvement projects, or initiatives undertaken to comply with regional and professional accreditation. Employing a wide range of examples from higher education, it focuses on seizing opportunities and overcoming the barriers to completing effective projects imposed by academic structures, culture, calendars, and governance. As part of the course, participants will conceive and design a specific project for their own institution.
|June 11-12, 2013||Minneapolis, MN||Open|
Length: 2 days (14 hours not including lunches) Prerequisites: None
Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Explore and brainstorm possibilities for transforming ill-defined yearnings for improvement or chronic problems into winning projects that will make a real difference for your institution
- Recognize the characteristics that make prospective projects most likely to succeed, and identify steps you can take to increase their success more probable
- Assemble and charge high-energy, cross-functional, effective project teams
- Develop leadership and management skills in project team members, preparing them to lead future project teams
- Charter improvement projects to define clearly and communicate widely their scope, cost, timetable, and goals
- Create formal project charters to define project objectives, guarantee the support of administrative leaders and project stakeholders, and sustain commitment and enthusiasm
- Work with institutional leaders to develop key objective measures that define project success
- Involve the customers or users of the project in developing the design specifications and functionality of the product
- Set realistic target dates, scheduling project tasks effectively to finish the work and close projects on deadline
- Develop a project plan and keep it on schedule, avoiding “project creep” to ensure stakeholder satisfaction
- Identify and plan the tasks, milestones, activities, support, and software needed to deliver final project outcomes and successfully complete a project
- Analyze what might go wrong and how to address surprises that may arise during a project
- Keep the entire institution aware of projects’ status — and motivate project teams to work toward success
- Communicate the importance and progress of projects effectively, both internally and externally
- Select and employ creative, problem-solving, and analytic quality tools and techniques to discover the best approaches for improving key institutional processes and services
- Recognize where iterative (Plan-Do-Study-Act) approaches make enabling and sustaining strategic change more probable
- Celebrate your success and the people who made it possible
- Evaluate projects to advance organizational learning, recording suggestions for improvement (“lessons learned”) and passing them on to new project teams
This workshop is right for you and your institution if…
- An agency that accredits your institution (or a part of it) requires you to carry out an improvement or enhancement project.
- Your institution has a growing agenda of critical “to do” improvement or fix-it project ideas but is unable to decide which ones to do first.
- In spite of careful thinking and well-designed strategies, institutional plans often fail to get implemented on time or in the ways the planners envisioned.
- With the challenges facing your institution, you no longer have the luxury to do things at the pace and schedule that academics find comfortable, but you are unsure how to break out of that mold.
- You employ smart people with good intentions and creative ideas, but somehow haven’t yet discovered how to mix those ideas, intentions, and people to advance your institution’s success.
- You have more improvement ideas and project than people capable of leading them, and you want to build your institution’s capacity to reach its potential quicker.
- You are unhappy with current performance in specific areas, and have no reason to believe it will improve unless major changes take place.
Those who should attend include faculty or staff who might assume leadership roles in upcoming critical improvement projects or strategic plans. Send a small team and go home with the beginning plan for a project you can begin immediately.
If your institution requires a larger number of faculty and staff to be experts in project management, consider hosting a session on campus exclusively for those you want to train. Call for a quote.
Plexus training emphasizes concrete, practical results for participants and their organizations, and may include the use of face-to-face training, e-learning, activity based workshops, coaching, webinars, and e-books. A robust “Train-The-Trainer” program has been part of the Plexus curriculum since 1995. All Plexus training utilizes this unique Plexus Learning Model, an interactive learning methodology that emphasizes learning through interactivity and action, as opposed to the old standard classroom “lecture-learning” pedagogy. Confucius captured it well in saying “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” The Plexus Learning Model allows the attendee to assimilate the knowledge, and more importantly, apply it effectively.
The Plexus Learning Model ensures that its higher education training immediately and directly benefits your institution and people. It translates into action learning through a set of givens that govern how we structure training when we work with institutions:
- The best way for an institution to build its capacity for and understanding of continuous improvement is by tackling consciously structured improvement projects — and learning from them as it makes real improvement.
- People learn best how to do quality improvement though and from action — action learning comes from direct involvement in an institution’s improvement projects. Learning about quality separately from using what you learn is far less effective.
- The motivation to learn a tool or technique is highest when the need for it is strong and immediate, and the knowledge it imparts is most appreciated when it is used as or immediately after it is learned.
- Less is more: Learning a few things, putting them to use quickly, and seeing their value immediately is better than acquiring a large inventory of things held in reserve for some indefinite future application.
- Having people work in teams, focused on improving key processes, consistently turns out to produce the most effective learning, the most rapid advancement, and the highest morale.
The effectiveness of Plexus training is acknowledged internationally, with a proven track record of effectiveness throughout the many industries that Plexus serves. This global recognition is best exemplified by ongoing partnerships with international quality standards groups (like the International Standards Organization, the Automotive Industry Action Group, the International Aerospace Quality Group, and many others) and international corporations including the Boeing Company, General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Chrysler Group LLC, Airbus, Fiat, and many others. Plexus provides a wide variety of training and development services around the world in a myriad of languages, yet in a consistent and value-added method. It maintains administrative offices in fifteen countries; its US office in is Minneapolis.
Instructors for Quality Plans, Projects, and Initiatives are carefully selected, practiced Plexus International trainers with extensive experience in higher education and project management. Specific information about instructors for scheduled offerings is available on demand.
Dr. Stephen D. Spangehl has been a forceful advocate for quality performance improvement in higher education and accreditation, and currently directs the higher education division of Plexus International. Before joining Plexus, he served as Vice President for Accreditation Relations at The Higher Learning Commission, where founded and directed the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP), an celebrated alternative accreditation process for universities and colleges pursuing systematic continuous quality improvement. He has also worked intensely with more traditional accreditation processes, serving as staff liaison for over 400 institutions during his tenure. He has experience in several academic affairs positions, as an academic department chair, as director of developmental education, and as faculty member in literature, linguistics, and humanities at several large public universities. He has been an examiner for the national Baldrige Award program, and served on the boards of the American Society for Quality’s Education Division, the National Consortium for Continuous Improvement, and other organizations.
Dr. Henry J. (Hank) Lindborg is a teacher and senior leader in quality, accreditation, and assessment for higher education. He is a graduate professor of leadership and consultant… A pioneer in the application of quality systems to higher education, he has made significant contributions to quality approaches to regional accreditation. He has served as division chair, dean of faculty, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Senior Vice President. As a consultant, he has worked with organizations ranging from Fortune Five Hundred Corporations to an Indian Nation on strategic planning, quality systems, and values integration. He is a founder of the American Society for Quality’s Education Division, and has chaired the Career Workforce Policy Committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA).
Day 1 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Project Selection and Chartering
- Projects and Processes in Higher Education
- Identifying the need for a project.
- Creating the project charter.
- Defining the scope and boundaries of the project
- Estimating the time and resources needed to do the work
The Project Manager and the Project Team
- Leading the project team’s planning
- Selecting the right project manager and team for the project
Day 2 8:00 AM — 4:00 PM
- Validating the project plan
- Getting management sign-off and support
- Leading the project team
- Managing project communications
- Monitoring and controlling project progress
- Troubleshooting project problems
- Resolving project interference
Project Evaluation and Action Learning
- Confirming that people got what they expected from the project
- Ending a project and recognizing contributions
Participants who demonstrated understanding of the critical ingredients to conceiving improvement efforts and moving them from problems to solutions through chartering effective teams; planning, conducting, and communicating projects; and evaluating results will receive Plexus International’s-Higher Education Project Manager certificate, and documentation that they have earned 1.4 CEU’s for participation.