The Recap of the Certificate in Project Management Program


Today, I finished the very last class of the Certificate in Project Management program offered by University Washington. In the nine-month journey, I sincerely thanks my wife’s great support and my employer’s generous sponsorship.

Retrospect from 30,000 feet

Projects are the realization of the business goals. The project manager, PM thereafter, is responsible to convey the business vision, aka the ”big picture” to the project team, and enforce the alignment by formalizing the workflow, protocols and processes.

The key factor is the communication. The PM needs to sell the concepts to motivate team members, to negotiate with gain the support and authority.

Changes are only thing that do not change. It is vital for PM to manage the risks during the whole project life cycle.

About the program

We learn the “big picture” in Project Strategy & Planning, the processes in Project Estimation & Execution, the communication in Project Leadership and Communications, the risk management in Project Control: Risk, Quality, Procurement; and practice in the Capestone.

It is too long. I would rather to merge the first two courses into one and cut one fourth of the time; cut the third class into half and split the fourth class to two and make procurement management optional. It will save about 2 months of time and make the course more condensed.

I also have mixed feeling of the instructors. Some are really awesome, their valuable insights in the battlefield are quite intriguing. Some are boring, it becomes common sense lecturing if the instructor fails to engage the audience.

About the class

My classmates come from various industries: finance, medical, IT, government etc; and have various job roles: IT managers, engineers, marketing, PM etc. The majority are ladies(15:9), so it is with instructors(3:2). I consider that the female project managers may have an edge for their communication skills and carefulness.


It is a great experience to go through the program, and I will try to leverage what I have learned in my day-to-day job.