This year Procept successfully hosted the 5th Annual PM Paper Competition. Founded in 2011 by Procept founder Keith Farndale, this event had students of project management courses at the post-secondary level compete in a "PM lessons learned paper competition." In past, contestants were primarily from University of Toronto, Queens, and Western.
The 2015 event successfully concluded on Saturday, September 12 with the final presentations, judging, and awarding of prizes. For a list of contestants and details of who won, go to the competition web site at www.PMPaperCompetition.com. This year's event included entries from an expanded list of five universities plus an entry in the newly-formed "professional" category for those who have completed school and have been in the workforce for at least two years. The quality of the submitted papers was excellent. Thank you to the volunteers who helped read through the papers to select the finalists who were invited to attend the second stage (presentation portion) of the competition.
Finalists had to present a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation summarizing their paper's key points and answer questions for 10 minutes from the audience and the judges. Finalists were judged both on their presentation and how well they were able to handle the audience questions. All finalists received $250 cash plus a "5th PM Paper Competition Finalist" T-shirt and two books "Project Lessons from the Great Escape" by Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland (a new Procept associate) and "Titanic Lessons in Project Leadership: Effective Communication and Team Building" by Ranjit Sidhu. The winning group in the academic category additionally received $1,500 in cash, with the second place team receiving $500 cash plus $25 Chapters gift certificates for each team member. The winners of the new professional category received $500 cash. In all, Procept gave out $4,250 in cash plus other prizes.
Special thanks to all those who helped out, especially Alana Hughes with the web site and marketing materials, Kevin Aguanno for managing much of the logistics and facilitating the day, Darya Duma for providing some prizes and helping out at the registration table, and Dr. Mark Kozak-Holland for providing an inspiring and engaging lunch-time presentation on using project lessons learned to foster project innovation.
Simon Baker (our videographer) recorded the day and he will be preparing a highlight reel and videos of each individual presentation so that those of you who could not attend can still get a bit of the experience. The videos should be available in about two to three weeks. Our publishing partner, Multi-Media Publications Inc. will be publishing the student papers in a book to be released later this year. And Procept will publish summaries of many of the paper submissions on our Farndale's Lessons Learned blog.
Perhaps we can close with a comment from one of the university professors who came to cheer on his students:
"I especially wanted to congratulate [Kevin], [his] family [who helped at the event], the people at Procept, the judges, Mark, and those others who contributed to make the day the complete success that it was. Everything was perfect - the venue, food, organization, awards, and especially the outstanding opportunity for all of the students from each of the institutions. If I may say, I am truly impressed with the interest that Procept Associates has taken with what we do in our various classrooms and the way in which you have helped students to leverage and build on the PM fundamentals that they have come to learn through this competition." — Peter Northrop, Trent University