SSBM Professor Spotlight: Power of Innovative Teaching in Project Management

Blog > SSBM Professor Spotlight: Power of Innovative Teaching in Project Management
Professor Spotlight

At the Swiss School of Business and Management Geneva, we believe that education should transcend theoretical boundaries, embracing innovation and practical application. In our ongoing pursuit of excellence, we are proud to spotlight Professor Tatjana Kotarski, whose innovative approach to teaching Project Management is shaping the future of business leaders.

As a seasoned educator in project management, could you share with us your approach to teaching this subject? How do you ensure that students grasp the fundamental principles and best practices of project management?

In my experience, Project Management serves as the inaugural subject for MBA students. By incorporating brief exercises and real-world examples, I try to train students for individual and group teamwork, which will benefit them in the continuation of their studies. By integrating real-life examples from their workplaces, students are able to contextualize theoretical concepts, facilitating a deeper understanding. Moreover, through team-based activities, students not only enhance their understanding but also forge stronger bonds, exchanging valuable insights from their diverse project experiences. I find this approach as a great recipe for mastering the discipline of project management.

Given the dynamic nature of project management, could you highlight any recent advancements or trends in project management that you incorporate into your teaching to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the field?

Project management is a discipline that continuously adapts to trends like any other. For example, I already introduced in courseware materials agile methodologies and agile principles such as iterative planning, continuous feedback, and adaptability to change, as they align with the fast-paced and uncertain nature of modern projects. Also, I integrate lessons on remote project management practices, reflecting the rise of distributed teams and the need for effective virtual collaboration to ensure students are prepared to navigate the evolving landscape of project management in a globalized world.

This year, I will probably include topics as practical application of artificial intelligence on projects and discussions on sustainable practices, stakeholder engagement, and corporate social responsibility, as organizations increasingly prioritize environmental and social impacts in their project initiatives.

Can you share any memorable teaching moments or methodologies that have proven particularly effective in helping students grasp complex project management concepts?

In addition to traditional teaching methods like group exercises and class discussions, I’ve implemented a multifaceted approach to enhance students’ understanding of project management. This includes inviting guest lecturers to share real-world project examples aligned with globally recognized methodologies. Furthermore, I’ve included presentations on establishing and structuring a project management office, drawing insights from large corporations’ practices.

For their final assessment, I’ve empowered students to select topics of personal interest within the project management field. They conduct thorough research and deliver presentations to their peers, fostering a deeper understanding of diverse project management concepts. Additionally, for teamwork assignments, students collaborated on project examples based on theoretical concepts covered in lectures. This approach enabled them to deepen their understanding of topics not extensively discussed in class and solidify theoretical knowledge through practical application. By incorporating these methods, students not only gain comprehensive knowledge but also develop critical thinking and practical skills essential for success in the field of project management.

Stay tuned for more insights and stories from our exceptional faculty members in future editions of Professor Spotlight!