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Expanding Horizons, A Behind-The-Scenes Look at the Future of Parliament Hill and Elgin Street, and a Step into the world of Not-For-Profit Management

The only program of its kind in Canada, the Telfer Masters of Business in Complex Project Management is distinct in its academic specialization – designed to equip the program managers and executives of today with the expertise and tools needed to become distinguished future leaders of complex project and program delivery.

In recognizing the existing knowledge gap of Canadian government and industry, the Telfer MBCPL strives to modernize the approach to tackling large-scale projects. Those enrolled are taught to meet these tasks with learnings in accordance to the International Centre for Complex Project Management (ICCPM) Competency Standards.

On September 10th, 2018, Telfer welcomed the incoming Class of 2020 into the 3rd Cohort of the MBCPL – the first step into their journey of becoming future executives of Canadian complex project management.

Inductive sessions were designed to acquaint new students with program structure and expectations, introduce faculty and the MBCPL team, and review critical academic skills - including guidelines for academic writing and sourcing. Students were also treated to a number of standout sessions during the week, aligned to the innovative and specialized mindset behind the creation of program, focusing on developing creative problem solving and leadership ability, exploring the nature of complexity in different business environments, and connecting with the Ottawa community to get a hands-on look at the biggest and most relevant projects underway.

The success of any complex project heavily depends on the interpersonal, leadership, and business acumen ability of the head manager or executive, and the MBCPL program has been designed in accordance. In line with the program’s keen emphasis on uniquely developing robust leadership skills, students received a taste of what’s to come with introductory sessions held with Expanding Horizons – a unique component to the program, built upon the foundations of a similar (and successful) module at the Queensland University of Technology. An experiential learning course focused on leveraging the arts to bolster leadership competencies, critical thinking and creative problem solving, and strengthening self-awareness, Expanding Horizons was met by the incoming cohort with much enthusiasm and open-mindedness.

MBCPL Students enjoy their first leadership-building session with Expanding Horizons

MBCPL Students enjoy their first leadership-building session with Expanding Horizons

Taking a look at complex project management from a Not-For-Profit perspective, students learnt of principle challenges being common to most sectors (IT, Construction, Health, etc.) endeavouring business transformation. The MBCPL cohort participated in a panel discussing featuring leaders in the local community – Karen Baker-Anderson, Executive Director at the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre, Yacouba Traoré, Executive Director at the Rideau-Rockliffe Community Resource Centre, and Michael Maidment, Executive Director of the Ottawa Food Bank, shared their stories, challenges, and insight with students, leading to innovative discussion and the identification of many opportunities within the charitable sector.

MBCPL Students enjoy their first leadership-building session with Expanding Horizons

“Have a road map that comes from your community. Remind yourself: what is the purpose of the service you’re working on?”

-Karen Baker-Anderson, OICC

To showcase the scope of complex project management in Ottawa, the MBCPL students were invited to get a behind-the-scenes understanding of two of the government’s most valued projects currently underway – the historic and culturally-relevant renovation of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block, and the equally aesthetic and functional Elgin Street Renewal Project (the unique plans of which included extensive public consultation). Students were then invited to present their insights and analyses regarding the varying degrees of complexity and technicality of the projects to the rest of the class – key takeaways included the importance of a strategic communication strategy, the importance of coordination and flexibility between stakeholders, and the innovative mindset required on the behalf of project leaders to adapt to dynamic project challenges.

MBCPL Students enjoy their first leadership-building session with Expanding Horizons

Project Managers from the City of Ottawa showcase their work on Elgin Street to the Class of 2020

Looking to the future, it is evident Orientation Week served as a fitting welcome for Telfer MBCPL’s Class of 2020. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with the students, immersing them in the community with their project management skills and other enriching experiences, and fostering their journey to becoming advanced leaders in the field.


Master of Business in Complex Project Leadership

Certificate in Complex Project & Procurement Leadership

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