The recent THEProject 2012 WMPMI Collegiate Competition was the first in PMI’s history!
As a volunteer during the one-year planning process and as a newly elected Director of Public Relations at the Western Michigan Project Management Institute, I spent April 9, 2012 at the special one-day finale.
What is THEProject?
According to THEProject’s website, the purpose is to:
Develop business leaders by partnering with college students, community leaders, and Project Management Professionals to competitively tackle a commonly shared business challenge.
As a volunteer, I personally feel our chapter was trying to help individuals realize the importance of project management not only for businesses, but as a career choice. Everyone who served on our committee entered project management as an accidental career choice, not as part of our career path.
- WMPMI Chapter volunteers and Board Members
- Dick Posthumus, Senior Advisor to Govenor Rick Snyder
- Carol Valade, Editor of the Grand Rapids Business Journal & Gemini Publications
- Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering
- James A. Mitchell, Chair of Intellectual Property at Mitchell IP Law, PLLC
- Matthew VanVranken, Executive Vice President of Spectrum Health Delivery Systems
- Tony Johnson, President and Founder of Crosswind Project Management
- Student Teams
What Did They Have to Do?
Students had to research what would be involved for a company to be certified by B Labs as a B Corporation. In this process, they had to produce artifacts that would meet project management standards and business executive standards.
As luck would have it, the project picked for the students is currently being considered by the State of Michigan as a new form of corporation.
The website for THEProject 2012 contains more details about the project including the deliverables and a video of the project selected for competition.
Personally, I was surprised at how skilled and well prepared students were during the final presentations. Judges presented difficult business questions such as “Can you cut the price in ½?” or “What competitive advantage does this project give us?” Students were extremely persuasive in explaining why the executives should choose to move forward and some student teams got real companies to participate during THEProject.
The winning teams (Grand Valley University, Michigan Tech Team B, and University of Phoenix) shared $10,000 in prize money.
College students are coming prepared to be project team members and apply project management principles to business projects. If your organization wants to improve PM skills, Advisicon can help.