What does it take to create or promote a community garden or urban farm in Michigan? There’s planning, of course. There’s designing, funding, and cultivating partnerships with local communities. All of these elements were part of this year’s challenge set forth by the WMPMI competition "The Project 2017".
Lettuce tell you about long-time DPT team member, Shawn Rathbun who has attended or volunteered with the competition every year. She is an adjunct instructor at Michigan Technological University leading their Advanced Project Management course. This year, she served as project champion two Project Management teams at Michigan Technological University over the course of a semester. Both MTU teams decided to create a community garden for a real community in the western upper peninsula.
The competition was divided into four stages with deliverables that needed to be sent in to a panel of judges. Preparing these deliverables taught the students how to write a project charter, a scope statement, develop a risk register, a communication plan and other project management documents. But the chief learnings were practical, real world lessons on time management (to avoid over-thyme as milestones approach), stakeholder management, scope management (pruning the scope to meet budget), teamwork (turnip for team meetings), open communication, and patience.
The students also gained confidence answering questions, and honing their public speaking skills by holding several public forums to gain feedback from their stakeholders in their respective community. By the end, they knew their project’s details better than anyone and were prepared for the final step of the competition--presenting the project to the judges.
Shawn described her students this semester as talented, mow-tivated, and enthusiastic – all of which the judges saw. In the end, they awarded team MTU team, Turnip the Beet first place, squashing the competition and making them the first Michigan Tech team to bring home the big check, the big trophy and even bigger bragging rights. This is a really big dill because Michigan Tech has always placed in the top 3, but had never taken first until this year.
So congratulations to Turnip the Beet! It takes a lot of growth, hard work, and mow-tivation to compete in The Project. It also takes great leaders like Shawn. We’re thoroughly impressed by them and can’t wait to see their gardens in bloom. And - we can’t resist one last pun! - if you carrot all about Project Management, come talk to us here at DPT!
Business leaders expect more than the traditional view of project management which has often been relegated to tracking, managing and reporting time, scope and resources. DPT Project Leadership certainly manages time, scope, and resources - but then we go beyond.
Watch a two-minute video to learn more about what Project Leadership is, and how it can help your strategic projects succeed:
As demand for Project Leadership expertise is growing, so is our team! Enter Shawn Rathbun. As an experienced project and program manager, Shawn brings a strong combination of excellent communication, technology implementations management and problem-solving skills together to maximize resources, and improve project results for companies in West Michigan.
A certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and LEAN / Six Sigma Black Belt, Shawn works from a toolbox of technical project management expertise balanced with skills for managing the human side of change to accelerate project success. She approaches her work with a professional, yet friendly and enthusiastic style to build rapport and strong teams while applying her understanding of how technology must serve the needs of the business - not the other way around.
Shawn is an avid bicyclist and annually takes a bicycle-based vacation. Last summer she completed an 800-mile solo bicycle trip from Grand Rapids to Bemidji, Minnesota. This spring she led DPT's involvement in Active Commute Week in Grand Rapids, culminating in 60% of DPT's staff bicycling to work on National Bike to Work Day. We're looking forward to improved DPT numbers for Active Commute Week 2014!
The Western Michigan Chapter of the Project Management Institute (WMPMI) held its second annual awards gathering for an inter-collegiate project management competition on April 16, 2013 at Davenport University. DPT sponsored this event that brought seven teams from five schools together to compete for cash prizes and the real world professional experience of crafting a project plan. The project plans were reviewed and judged by a panel of prominent executives from West Michigan.
In keeping with DPT's guiding principles to be a contributor in our community, attract and retain top business people in West Michigan, and to remain locally-focused to best serve our clients, we were proud to support this year's project that was linked to one of Governor Rick Snyder's Reinventing Michigan strategic initiatives: "Keeping Our Youth – Our Future – Here."