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Project Management at Top Business Schools

 

SECOND EDITION

By Marco Sampietro

SDA Bocconi School of Management, Milan, Italy

and

Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Visiting Professor at Duke CE, Durham, USA

 



Abstract

If we summarize what all companies and organizations around the world do, we can state that they perform two types of activities: they execute processes to produce, sell, and distribute products and services, and they implement projects to ensure that the organization survives and keeps growing in the mid and long term. Based on this reasoning, leaders, such as managers and executives, should possess process and Project Management competencies. Many current and future managers and executives go to learn the skills needed to lead a business at Business Schools. In fact, Business Schools are particularly relevant as they are well known for creating the next generation of leaders and for strengthening the competencies of existing leaders. The main question is: are Business Schools teaching Project Management? Since Business Schools all around the world are almost countless, we decided to focus on top Business Schools. From a methodological perspective, we started by defining and identifying “Top” Business Schools. In order to do that we took the leading sources of Business School rankings as inputs. In particular, we considered global rankings, avoiding regional or national rankings. We listed all the Business Schools present in the rankings and removed duplicates. The final list was made up of 197 Business Schools. We then explored their websites in order to identify and analyze:

  • Project Management courses in MBA programs,
  • Project Management courses in Online MBA programs,
  • Project Management courses in Executive MBA programs,
  • Project Management courses in Specialized Masters,
  • Certificates in Project Management,
  • Open Executives Programs in Project Management

Results indicate that Project Management courses are not very frequent among Business Schools and differences can be found depending on the type of training programs.

Key words: Project Management, Business Schools, rankings

JEL code: M54

Introduction

All the companies and organizations around the world do execute processes to produce, sell, and distribute products and services, and they implement projects to ensure that the organization survives and keeps growing in the mid and long term. While most traditional organizations are process-based, it is hard to find an organization that does not perform projects as well.

Yet, over the past decade, organizations have been relying more and more on projects. The reason is quite simple, in fact, access to broader and cheaper information, fierce competition and customer preferences have:

  • Shortened product life-cycles by about 25% (Roland Berger, 2012) and 50 percent of annual company revenues across a range of industries are derived from new products launched within the past three years (Inform, 2012), that is, new products become obsolete much faster and ask for replacements or enhancements more frequently.
  • Reduced the possibility to have best seller products. The long-tail effect (i.e. sales less concentrated on a few products) has pushed for an increase in the product variety, which is more than doubled in the past 15 years (Roland Berger, 2012).

As a result, new products or services have to be developed more frequently and processes have to be improved and updated (significant process improvements, such as digitalization, or business model transformation, represent huge transformation projects) more often as well.

The bottom line is that organizations perform more project compared to the past and not having the competencies to successfully manage projects can be detrimental to the current performance and to the ability of the organization to succeed in the long term. As pointed out by many authors (Archibald and Archibald 2015, West 2010, Englund and Bucero 2006, Love and Love 2000, Pinto and Slevin, 1988), project success is not only influenced by Project Managers and Team Members but also from middle and top management roles who can support projects activing as project sponsors or can design an organization that supports the proper management of projects. Based on this reasoning, leaders, such as managers and executives, should possess Project Management competencies. Many current and future managers and executives go to learn the skills needed to lead an organization at Business Schools. In fact, Business Schools are particularly relevant as they are well known for creating the next generation of leaders and for strengthening the competencies of existing leaders. The main question is: are Business Schools teaching Project Management?

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Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally presented at the most recent Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States at the University of Latvia in Riga in April 2018.  It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers

How to cite this paper: Sampietro, M. & Nieto-Rodriguez, A. (2018). Project Management at Top Business Schools; Proceedings of the 7th Scientific Conference on Project Management in the Baltic States, University of Latvia, Riga, Latvia, April 2018; republished in PM World Journal, Vol. VII, Issue VIII – August.  Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/pmwj73-Aug2018-Sampietro-Nieto-Rodriques-project-management-at-top-business-schools.pdf

 



About the Authors


Marco Sampietro, PhD

SDA Bocconi School of Management
Milan, Italy

 

 

Since 2000 Marco Sampietro has been a professor at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. SDA Bocconi School of Management is ranked among the top Business Schools in the world (Financial Times Rankings). He is an Associate Professor of Practice at SDA Bocconi School of Management and teaches Project Management at the MBA – Master of Business Administration and GEMBA – Global Executive Master of Business Administration. He is also responsible for the following executive education courses: Project Management, Agile Management and Team Leadership. He is also a Faculty Member at SDA Bocconi Asia Center, the Indian subsidiary of SDA Bocconi School of Management.

Since 2001 he has been a contract professor at Bocconi University where he teaches Project Management and Project and Team Management. In 2008 and 2009 he has been Vice-Director of a Master Degree in IT Management at Bocconi University. He is also Contract Professor at
the Milano Fashion Institute where he teaches Project Management. Some of his international experiences are: speaker at the NASA Project Management Challenge 2007, 2008, and 2011, USA; speaker at the PMI Global European Congress, 2010; speaker at the IPMA-GPM Young Crew  Conference, 2008, Germany; Visiting Professor at IHU-International Hellenic University, Greece and Visiting Instructor at the University of Queensland, Australia.

He is author or co-author or editor of 11 books on project management and 7 books on IT management. Finally, he is an author of internationally published articles and award-winning case studies.

Dr Sampietro can be contacted at: [email protected]

 


Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez

Belgium

 

 

 

 Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez (www.antonionietorodriguez.com) is the world’s leading champion of Project Management and Strategy Implementation. He is the creator of concepts such as the Hierarchy of Purpose, featured by Harvard Business Review, or the Project Revolution; which argue that projects are the lingua franca of the business and personal worlds from the C-suite to managing your career or relationships.

Antonio’s research and global impact in modern management has been recognized by Thinkers50 with the prestigious award “Ideas into Practice”.

A seasoned practitioner, he has held senior executive roles at major corporations, currently, he is Director of GSK Vaccines’ Global Project Management Office. Antonio is the former chairman of the Project Management Institute and co-founder of its Brightline Initiative.

His next book, “The Project Revolution: How to Succeed in a Project-Driven World”, endorsed by Alan Mulally, Roger Martin, Rita McGrath, Marshall Goldsmith… will be published by LID early 2019. Previously he authored the best-selling book “The Focused Organization” and contributed to several other books.

Antonio is a much in demand keynote speaker at events worldwide. Over the past 15 years, he has presented at more than 160 conferences around the world, including European Business Forum, Global Peter Drucker Forum, Gartner PPM Summit…

A pioneer and leading authority in teaching strategy execution and project management to senior executives; he is visiting professor at some of the world’s top Business Schools: Duke CE, Instituto de Empresa, Solvay, Vlerick, Ecole des Ponts, and Skolkovo.

Born in Madrid, Spain, and educated in Germany, Mexico, Italy and the United States, Antonio has an MBA from London Business School and is fluent in six languages. He can be reached via email: [email protected]