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From the Desk of...
Author: Lori Silverman, PSU Program Manager, Professional Development Center  Extended Studies
Posted: July 8, 2008
Words of Wisdom
"When a team outgrows individual performance and learns team confidence, excellence becomes a reality."

By Joe Paterno

OIT Partners With PDC To Teach Employees Project Management

As Portland State's information technology needs grow, our Office of Information Technologies (OIT) is answering the call. Literally, in the case of the Help Desk. Need assistance? Call 5-HELP and you'll get just that.

Yet OIT does much more than answer user questions. According to Chief Information Officer Sharon Blanton, OIT is currently implementing or planning a series of large, enterprise-wide projects. Successful project deployment is dependant on collaborative, detailed project planning and management.

OIT project manager Kirsten Newbury came to PSU last year to help create a stronger culture of project management within OIT to ensure that these projects succeed. From the conversion from WebCT to the Blackboard online learning platform that launched in March and already has 15,000 users, to Luminis, a new campus-wide web portal set to roll out in August, OIT is leading several high profile initiatives that demand efficient planning and teamwork across our campus.

To help build that project management culture, OIT is partnering with Portland State's Professional Development Center. PDC is delivering its 60-hour Project Management certificate of completion to a group of 28 OIT employees, and not just project managers but also staff members involved in projects in a variety of other ways. The classes, covering project planning, tracking, team communications, leadership, and conflict management, take place at PDC's new facility on the 10th floor of the Market Square building at SW 5th and Clay.

PDC regularly offers project management and other professional development courses to the public. But did you know PDC also works onsite with dozens of organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest each year? PDC happily works with PSU departments as well, with OIT just the latest example. These onsite training programs are a great way for organizations to learn together and bond as professionals working toward common goals.

With help from the Professional Development Center, OIT looks to deliver its long list of projects successfully, paving the way for future projects that will inevitably arise. As Newbury says, OIT must continually do more and more work with the same level of resources, so strong project management skills are a must.

For more information on working with the Professional Development Center, contact Vincent Fritzsche, manager of custom onsite programs, at 5-5846. And, for those of you looking for a shorter commitment but still interested in project management, consider the following option. Note the discounted rate for PSU faculty and staff:

Seventh Annual Managing Projects & Programs Conference

Looking for some inspiration to help you get your projects done more effectively?

Join us on Thursday, July 17th from 8-5 at the Oregon Convention Center.

Not sure project management skills are relevant to your work? Do you have time-constrained activities aimed at producing a specified deliverable within a limited time-frame? If so, this material can be applied in many different ways.

The conference provides a wide array of topics that encompass all aspects of project management from tools to teams, planning to assessment, and techniques and tips for smoother implementation.

Presentation topics include:

  • Quality Leadership, Team Building and Timely Communication
  • Speak, Align, and Execute: How People make Programs Succeed
  • Visual Tools for Building Effective Teams
  • Wicked Problem Projects: Creative Approaches for Apparently Unsolvable Problems

Take a look at the schedule on our website at: Regularly priced at $199, PSU Faculty and Staff can register for $99, call 503-725-4832 to register with the discount. Questions about the conference or other Project Management courses? Contact Charles Ryan Brown, Program Manager, at 503-725-5865 or

Founded in 1982, the Professional Development Center(PDC) is part of PSU's School of Extended Studies and serves as a primary provider of continuing business education programs in the Portland metropolitan area. PDC provides comprehensive business training for management, supervisory, front-line, and other personnel in the business, industrial, government, and nonprofit communities of the Portland Metropolitan area.