Connecting Academically Rigorous Research with Practical Applications



UMD 2015 Project Management Symposium on Track to Shatter Previous Attendance Record

By John H. Cable, R.A., PMP
Director, University of Maryland Project Management Center for Excellence

11 April 2015 – College Park, MD, USA – Last June, more than 250 project management professionals from across the Baltimore-Washington region and around the world filled the University of Maryland’s Stamp Student Union ballroom and conference areas, eager to learn from and network with some of the most renowned game-changers in the field of project management.

Reflecting back on the planning process, my colleagues and I at the University of Maryland Project Management Center for Excellence first envisioned our annual symposium as an opportunity to demonstrate the capital region’s significance and contributions to the field. Located just a short drive from downtown Washington and little more than 30 miles from Baltimore, our symposium in many ways represents both the geographic and symbolic epicenter of project management, joining together government, academia, and industry.

Recognizing an unmet need for a cross-disciplinary event that would draw experts representing all walks of project management, we opened registration for the 2014 symposium and were immediately blown away by the overwhelming response we received.

On the heels of last year’s capacity event, we look forward to an even bigger audience for this year’s symposium, taking place June 8-9 in the same location.

Project Management Institute chapters and their leaders, as well as practitioner groups, work tirelessly throughout the year to organize invaluable conferences and workshops that provide critical “how-tos” and updates on changes impacting the field. Conversely, the research community and academics host and contribute to annual events, during which up-to-the-minute project management facts and statistics are freely exchanged between fellow researchers.

We at the Project Management Center for Excellence realized that bringing together these two groups could take project management education to a whole new level. Together, these project management leaders and researchers are able to take top-level discussions beyond lessons learned and common practices, to provide a vision of what the future of the field might look like and why.

Driven further by the goal of “Connecting Academically Rigorous Research with Practical Applications,” each of this year’s speakers will draw from his or her own experiences and focus areas to tackle some of the most pressing topics in project management today.

Topping this year’s star-studded line-up are Dr. Harold Kerzner of the International Institute for Learning; Jocelyn Davis, President and CEO of Nelson Hart, Chip Hastie, Vice President of Clark Construction Group, LLC; Dr. Ed Hoffman, NASA Chief Knowledge Officer; and Karen Richey, Assistant Director for the Applied Research and Methods Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Kerzner will kick things off with a June 8 morning presentation, “Project Management 2.0: Planning for the Future of Project Management,” during which he will discuss how executives have increasingly recognized the value of project managers in recent years.

Switching gears a bit, Davis will present, “Happiness Works – Rethinking Competitive Advantage,” demonstrating why high morale is key to being sustainably competitive in all sectors. Later that afternoon, Hastie will provide a case study of the first social infrastructure project in the U.S. procured using the Performance Based Infrastructure (PBI) delivery methodology during his presentation, “Long Beach Courthouse: Influence of Performance Based Infrastructure on the Design-Build Process.”

Kicking off day two of the symposium, Hoffman’s presentation, “Creating Knowledge Services for Modern Technical Project Organizations: The REAL Knowledge Approach” will demonstrate how organizations and practitioners can best leverage project knowledge and knowledge services to get things done in the modern complex project environment. Following Hoffman’s presentation, Richey will provide an insider’s look at the inner workings of the U.S. Government Accountability Office during her presentation, “GAO Cost Estimating, Scheduling, and Earned Value Management: Best Practices and Recent Audit Findings.”

Along with this year’s keynotes, nearly 60 session speakers will cover a wide range of topics, allowing symposium attendees the unique opportunity to choose from tracks in human factors, construction and sustainability, agile and information technology, federal programs, project management methodology, public-private partnerships, and more. As such, the breadth and depth of the topics covered in this year’s symposium reflect the myriad interests of the project management community.

This event is the only of its kind to join together project managers and researchers from across the globe – right on the outskirts of the most powerful region in the world.

We are thrilled to welcome some of the brightest minds in the field to the University of Maryland campus this June for what promises to be a high-value opportunity for project managers of all career stages and disciplines. For that, we encourage interested parties to register before the early-bird deadline of April 15. Additionally, PMI members will receive an additional discount of $50.00.

For more information, to register, or to explore available sponsorship opportunities, visit the UMD Project Management Center for Excellence website.


This event is made possible, in part, by a media sponsorship from PM World Journal