Magazine article Information Outlook

Project Management Seminar at the University of Trent - Carrying the Message of Project Management Techniques to Northern Italy

Magazine article Information Outlook

Project Management Seminar at the University of Trent - Carrying the Message of Project Management Techniques to Northern Italy

Article excerpt

Managing change and designing, planning, and accomplishing defined goals, as well as using human and physical resources effectively has captured the intellectual curiosity of Italian librarians and information workers. Italian librarians have been looking to American library management literature for information on how to use project management techniques in libraries. Working collaboratively, the Simmons Graduate School of Information Science (GSLIS), Boston, MA, and Cenfor International, Genoa, Italy, have provided onsite continuing library education seminars for Italian librarians. These efforts were spearheaded by Dr. James Matarazzo, dean of Simmons GSLIS, and Dr. Anna Merlo, president of Cenfor International.

Under this training program, DR. Paolo Bellini, director of the Athena University Libraries at the University of Trent in Italy, invited Professor Filippa Marullo Anazlone, director of Northeastern University School of Law Library, to give a three-day seminar to members of his staff as well as to several other Italian librarians. The initial professional exchange took place at the University of Trent last February, with a two-day follow-up in June.

The first day of the seminar included an overview of the historical and theoretical underpinnings of project management and the four phases of project management: conception, planning, implementation, and termination. In the ensuing discussions of how best to use resources in the project management life cycle, the role of human resources in the process were considered at length. The unique roles of the project manager and team members in project development were considered in terms of the management issues associated with those roles. Communication and the resolution of interpersonal conflicts also were discussed as essential parts of successful project management.

During the second and third days of the seminar, the class spent time planning projects, and presenting and negotiating initial project proposals with "upper management" via interactive role playing. The energy in the room during these negotiation simulations was absolutely palpable; the Italian libraries enjoyed both doing the negotiations and critiquing one another's work.

During the third day of the seminar, the students tackled a case study that introduced elements of the learning organization to the group. …

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