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Mitacs Project Management

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them” Aristotle argued [Nicomachean Ethics] and by subscribing to the same philosophy Mitacs designed this two-day workshop to provide us with a great introduction to project management.

I had no previous experience in this topic, yet in two days I managed to work effectively with a group of people and plan a project to its completion! In brief, we were guided through:

  • Team building: the characteristics of an effective team and some recognizable stages of team development. As a result, we learned how to combine the individual talents of our team members to deliver outstanding results.
  • Team meetings: effectiveness aids and understanding team interaction. We learned how to make our meetings a productive experience by applying the following practices. Firstly, half-way through our meeting we did a “process analysis” to understand how the group had been working so far and to identify areas that could be changed to improve the rest of the meeting. Secondly, we conducted an “end of meeting process analysis” and “meeting critique”, where we assessed the quality of our meeting and came up with recommendations to improve the effectiveness of future meetings.
  • Project planning and scheduling: work breakdown, the critical path method, estimating activity durations, planning and scheduling of resources and risk analysis. These tools are best learned by experience, so we put everything into action by scheduling to completion a fun project of our liking!

We concluded the two-day workshop by sharing invaluable feedback with our team members. I took away a lot from this workshop and I am confident that I can apply the skills I developed to all individual and team projects I have to manage in my career.