CIT leads a cross-departmental team whose mission is to develop and champion consistent project management practices which help Oberlin College fulfill its strategic goals. The team is responsible for both promoting and advancing project management principles as well as developing and configuring supporting software, templates, and tools.
Why do we need project management?
The Academic & Administrative Program Review “One Oberlin” report produced in 2019 recognizes that “the ability of Oberlin’s workforce to build excellence with reduced resources will require … “effective business processes, effective and efficient business tools, ongoing measurement of process and organizational performance, and routine reporting across the administrative enterprise that facilitates data monitoring.”
To succeed in this work, Oberlin must develop a rigorous and flexible project governance structure that is supported by a well-implemented project management software application.
Anecdotal evidence also suggests that the volume and complexity of project-based work that Oberlin is undertaking is increasing. If consistently used, project management software can facilitate the successful shepherding of sophisticated projects to completion, giving employees a trusted place to record key project details and reduce the amount of meeting time required for status report-out.
Phase 1: Software Procurement & Pilot
September 2021–March 2022
This phase was focused on choosing and configuring Celoxis, a cloud-based project management software solution, and using it to manage a few real-world pilot projects. Feedback from this pilot was used to develop the roadmap for future phases.
Phase 2: Project Management Methodology Development and Training
This phase is focused on developing a standard method for project management at Oberlin. Our "just-enough" approach will ensure that projects are well-defined, that best practices are used to manage the project, and that expected outcomes are delivered successfully and without unnecessary overhead.
The Core Team will develop document templates and Celoxis forms (e.g., a sample project charter, stakeholder analysis worksheet, risk matrix, suggested communication plan, &c.) to support the Oberlin project management standard.
Training on Project Management Concepts and Terminology
Training will be offered to staff members who participated in the phase 1 pilot (the Finance & Administration division, Arts & Sciences Dean's Office, and the Office of Communications). Participants will become familiar with the Oberlin project management standard concepts and terminology, begin to develop a shared language to talk about projects within and across departments, and will be eligible to receive a Celoxis account and software-specific training.
Phase 3: Software Meets Training
Staff members who were trained on the Oberlin project management methodology during the third and fourth quarters of 2022 will receive access to and training on Celoxis. These offices will begin to use project management techniques consistently to manage real-world projects.
The Core Team will begin to identify and prioritize additional staff and departments to be included in future training efforts. Ongoing lunch-and-learn sessions will be offered to project managers who have already been trained.
Phase 4: Expansion
Identified departments will receive project management methodology and Celoxis training. Ongoing lunch-and-learn sessions will be offered to project managers who have already been trained.