Getting It Done

Industry experts Jennifer Diamond and Josh Bates bring pro-level power to the UW Certificate in Project Management.

Day-to-day business depends on getting things done right.

From basement-based startups to global conglomerates, the most successful enterprises meet business goals with thoughtful planning and skilled execution.

The pros call it project management.

“From the pyramids, to Big Bertha, to my nephew’s birthday party, there’s an element of project

If you think about how the world is different from five years ago, project management had a lot to do with that.

 — Jennifer Diamond, Instructor, Principal Consultant at Slalom Consulting

management in each,” says veteran Seattle project manager Jennifer Diamond. “These concepts are how we get anything done and how we’ve gotten everything done. If you think about how the world is different from five years ago, project management had a lot to do with that.”

The discipline of project management mixes hard science and soft skills: strategy, planning, scheduling, risks, communication, quality. Puget Sound-area professionals are building their know-how with the Certificate in Project Management, offered by UW Professional & Continuing Education, a unit backed by UW Continuum College, which makes sure learners are prepared to be leaders.

Keeping It Real

In industry, nonprofits, health care, startups, you name it: The call for knowledge-economy project managers just keeps growing. Grads of the Certificate in Project Management stand out as candidates for these jobs, in part, because professionals are at the head of the class.

Students get team-based learning experience in strategy and planning straight from Diamond, a principal consultant at Slalom Consulting, who serves as one of the certificate instructors. She’s a retail specialist who’s helped infuse the certificate curriculum with real-world lessons from her 25 years in organizational change, system implementation and process improvement.

“You come out of the program with a real sense of what it is to do this job,” Diamond says. “We’re here to teach the why of it, the what of it and the how of it — all in a way that lets you be situationally nimble. It makes us ready to face the magic of Seattle, where everything’s always changing and we’re changing the world.”

Critical Connections

The Certificate in Project Management is approved by both the UW Foster School of Business and the UW Department of Construction Management. And, like many of the programs offered by UW Professional & Continuing Education, it engages an advisory board — top thinkers, doers and leaders in the field who ensure course content stays relevant as industries evolve.

Advisory board member Josh Bates says project manager is an easy title for job seekers to claim, but the best have both formal training and practical experience. He should know: As a client service partner at Slalom Consulting, he hires and trains project managers who serve the firm’s Seattle-area clients. Bates credits Continuum College for creating learning experiences that combine the best of UW’s academic quality with expertise from outside the University.

“It’s critical for the University to be connected with industry and understand what these graduates need,” Bates says. “When employers look at project managers who have a certificate from the University of Washington, they know they’ve been through a rigorous program.”

A Destination for People Who Care

Project management is evolving in the knowledge economy, just like many professionals in the workforce. Certificates are critical for workers who want to retool, says Bates, an attorney by training who pivoted his own career to project management; he’s now a 20-year veteran of the field.

“I love being able to share some of what I've learned in all the different industries I've worked in over the years,” he says of his advisory-board role. “I love that we have instructors who are doing the same, really imparting that knowledge to the students.”

I love being able to share some of what I've learned in all the different industries I've worked in over the years.

 — Josh Bates, Advisory Board Member, Client Services Partner at Slalom Consulting

The project management certificate emphasizes relationships, and that’s creating a nexus of leadership among grads. Its alumni are building career networks, and increasingly, UW-trained project managers are driving successful endeavors and improved services for constituents, customers and communities all around the Puget Sound.

Diamond says she appreciates the range of students — from MBAs to learners with no previous formal training — who devote time to the kind of professional-education courses Continuum College helps develop.

“Project management is a destination for people who care and want to do more with less — and want to do it better, faster and with more sustainability,” Diamond says. “What they're coming to, every single one of them, is a journey of their own — to continue to learn, to continue to build.”