Instructor Profile – Shannon Hoolihan – Project Management (PM)

Shannon HoolihanWhat class do you teach in the Project Management program?

Microsoft Projects for project managers.

Can you tell me what students will learn in your class?

They will learn the ins and outs of learning Microsoft Project as it applies to the project management process.

What are the highlights of the class?

The highlights are putting together a schedule from start to finish. Also, learning how Microsoft Project can create the budget, and learning how Microsoft Project handles the resources.

Is there any homework or group activity in your class?

There is no homework in the class, which a lot of students like. With the group activities, I give a quiz usually every week, but I make it open book, so they can talk to their classmates during the quiz. Generally, I just want them to think about what they’ve done and answer the questions.

Can you tell me something about Microsoft Project that most people don’t know?

I think most people think Microsoft Project is not going to magically manage their projects. But I think that they realize in the end that it can be quite labor intensive to start utilizing the software.

Is there anything unique about the class, that maybe they can’t find in any other program?

First of all, I think what’s unique about the class, is the people that are in the class are starting to know one another, and they all seem to enjoy that.  And secondly, we get six weeks together.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and why you’re able to teach the subject?

Sure. Well I’ve been a software instructor for about 20 years, and I teach all of the applications, the Microsoft Office applications as well as all of the Adobe products. And within the Microsoft applications, I teach Microsoft Project. I’ve been teaching it for about 15 years. My experience has also been working as a project manager on several IT projects.

What do you find most interesting about project management?

You know there’s a science behind project management. So that’s what is interesting, being able to apply that science.

Why is Microsoft Project a good tool for a project manager?

Microsoft Project is probably the most troubling of all of the software managing tools. There are several out there that are available, but since it’s a Microsoft application and most people use Microsoft applications, I think the learning curve is a lot less using Microsoft Project compared to the rest.

What will a person learn in your classroom? What will they take away?

By the time they leave my class, they should be able to build a project form the ground up which would include tasks, resources, and budget.

Is there anything I didn’t ask or we didn’t discuss that you think might be important for potential students or project managers?

I think that even if someone isn’t using Microsoft Project and they’re using another tool, a lot of the topics that we cover are project management topics. They don’t really have to be specific to Microsoft Project, so even if you’re not using the software, you’ll definitely be able to gain project management knowledge.