The Project Notebook

Projects to Watch: Spring Garden Alive!

What do you get when you mix innovation, mentoring, education, and project management? Spring Garden Alive!, a product of PMI Founder Jim Snyder, PMI Delaware Valley Chapter, the School District of Phildelphia, Devry University, and the PMI Education Foundation. Here’s what I learned about this project while in Denver for the 2008 North American Leadership Meeting.

Using Perkins Title IV funds targeted at improving the life skills of High School students, the project teaches Project Management Skills within the Phildelphia school system. Students undergo a rigorous application (based on academic achievement and attendance) and testing process and have dual enrollment in high school and college (Devry University). The Delaware Valley Chapter of PMI supplies the mentors for the program which includes as instructional topics:

  • Charter and Scope
  • WBS
  • Network Diagrams
  • Budget
  • Resources
  • Project Control Plan
  • Risk Plan
  • Procurement Plan

The project students work on centers around developing a vacant lot near the school district headquarters. A number of students have already “graduated” from the program which has expanded to two Project Management classes. In addition to gaining 21st Century Life Skills, students completing the program are encouraged to further their education with the college credits earned by the course.

The PMI Education Foundation is actively seeking sponsors, mentors, instructions, and more to advance the program, perhaps taking it to other school districts based on the current levels of success, making it a “project to watch”.

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP