Fifth Class Graduates from Project Excellence Course

December 30, 2016

Fifth Class of Core Project Management Graduates Cap Off Highly Successful Year for Project Excellence Program

On a night where temperatures in Pittsburgh dropped into the single digits, the fifth graduating class of Core Project Management stayed warm inside the city’s historic Duquesne Club, celebrating their accomplishments with their extended network of Michael Baker International peers from around the company.
Project-Excellence-(2).jpgCEO Kurt Bergman’s defining message to the 24 graduates in attendance stressed using their new connections to help create a singularly unified company: “The important thing is creating one company. While we are made up of a lot of different cultures, the power of our company is simple and it’s a statement that really resonates with me: ‘The strength of the wolf is the pack and strength of the pack is the wolf.’ Together we are stronger and together we are better. When we collaborate and cooperate together, this is the greatest company in our industry.”
Mr. Bergman’s message resonated with the graduates as they completed the program’s three sessions in as many months. “Talking to my colleagues and sharing how we can bring value to their client work will be immensely beneficial and also will bring added value to my efforts,” explained Sarat Peyyeti, Project Manager – Transportation, in the Newark, N.J., office.
Michael Baker’s Core Project Management program—which is part of the company’s larger Project Excellence training program—includes more than 60 hours of training spread out over three months, and includes trainings on project management capabilities, leadership, presentation and negotiating techniques and, more importantly, gives participants an extended network of their Michael Baker peers from around the company.
Project-Excellence-(3).JPGTo further emphasize the collaborative spirit of the program, which will ultimately translate to the larger company, the graduates had to work together on a Class Project where they envisioned the Michael Baker Office of 2026. The project meetings and resulting presentation helped participants learn about the different requirements that regions have for office space design and the different methods colleagues employ for information gathering, said David Dunne, Project Manager – Planning, in the Alexandria, Va. office.
The graduation of this Core Project Management class wrapped up a highly successful and game changing year for the larger Project Excellence training program. Highlights for 2016 include:
  • -98 graduates across four classes completed the Core Project Management program.
  • -Reduced the number of sessions for the Core Project Management program from four (4) to three (3) to create program efficiency and eliminate remedial coursework for experienced project managers.
  • -626 Michael Baker team members completed Foundations of Project Management, Financial Immersion or Operational Oversight classes.
  • -Launched the Foundations of Project Management program as a supplement for new project managers to learn the basics of their craft.
  • -Launched the Financial Immersion course for experienced project managers new to Michael Baker International or those that need a financial refresher.
  • -Launched the Operational Oversight course for Office Executives and Department level Managers to establish or enrich Best Practices for managing their portfolio of projects.
  • -Beginning in October, took project manager training to the next level, teaching 51 classes in 10 weeks to emphasize the need for better reporting processes on projects across all levels of team members.
Project-Excellence-(4).JPGAs the Project Excellence Program continues to evolve, the Michael Baker Learning & Development Team has plans to enhance the company’s entire training program through a single Learning Management System (LMS). Using a consolidated system to capture all Michael Baker trainings – completed, ongoing and upcoming – team members will have a better understanding of where they stand in the program and what they need to accomplish to advance in the curriculum and their career path.

This singular training platform is a natural step to help team members achieve their goals and continue to grow into leaders. As COO Brian Lutes stated: “We’re a people business and the leaders matter.”