Project Management in Two Days
Conversation with Instructor Gary Slavit


If you’re in charge of a major project, you know the consequences of not staying on schedule and within budget.

Gary Slavit, an instructor at the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State and a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), says project management is a skill more employers are looking for these days.

Slavit will lead a two-day workshop, Effective Project Management for the Analyst, next month at the College of Continuing Education.

Q: How did project management get to be so important?

Gary Slavit: With advancements in technology and the general business environment, whether it is private or public sector, there has been a major upsurge in urgency and quality requirements meaning there is great pressure to get things done faster, within budget, and right the first time in a constantly changing environment. Project objectives are moving targets and people are assigned multiple projects. Project management skills are essential in order to complete these projects successfully.

Q: How is project management used in different fields?  

Gary Slavit: That’s the beauty of good project management.  The tools and methods are designed to be flexible, scalable, and universal so that regardless of whether the project is building a house, developing software, implementing a new government program, creating a manned spacecraft mission to Mars, or starting a business, the same project management framework will apply. Even small projects such as arranging a meeting, a small office move, or organizing an offsite workshop are all projects that benefit from using good project management techniques.   

Q: What can participants take away from a two-day course?

Gary Slavit: In this two-day program, we can cover the basic structure and tools along with providing a thorough enough overview so that the participant will have an understanding of what makes a project successful. We can demonstrate the project lifecycle and show how to take a project from inception to completion. Participants will know how to plan, execute, and manage a project and how to avoid some of the potholes in the road. 

Q: Is this workshop a testing ground for someone who’s not quite ready for a full-blown program?

Gary Slavit: Yes, past students have gone on to take the full project management certificate program, which goes into much more formal theory and advanced tools and methods to prepare them to become certified by the Project Management Institute as a PMP. But it also serves as a stand-alone course for those that just want to understand the basics.

Q: Can you tell us about your background?

Gary Slavit: I’ve been teaching project management for 15 years but have been a project manager for over 35 years. Projects have become more complex, larger, riskier, costlier and with more stringent deadlines. This, along with other factors, has created the need for stronger management, change control, and new project management methods. The old techniques of waterfall delivery (plan-build-deliver) are giving way to more iterative methods where projects are delivered in smaller pieces rather than one big product. This allows for change and more efficient use of time and resources, which gives more effective and better outcomes in meeting business objectives.

Q: Thank you, Gary.

The two-day workshop, Effective Project Management for the Analyst, runs on two consecutive Tuesdays, March 7 and 14, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. in Napa Hall at the College of Continuing Education. Participants will earn 1.6 continuing education units.

Sacramento State alumni receive 15% off course fees.

To register and learn more, please visit The Workshops page on the College of Continuing Education website.