Application Deadline: Closed
Program Dates: April 29 – July 18, 2024
What Is PMLA?
The Project Management Leadership Academy (PMLA) is a 12-week program specially developed for public sector professionals who wish to develop and grow critical project management leadership skills. Due to the rigor associated with this academy, it is helpful to possess at least one year of working directly or indirectly in a project management role.
While the PMLA welcomes applications from all candidates, those considered most ideal fall within one of the following categories:
- Those who are currently working as project managers but are newer to this career field and wish to enrich their skills in this area;
- Those whose primary job is not project management, but who manage projects on an informal basis or function in a support role;
- Those who wish to enter the project management career path or who simply want to strengthen their foundational skillset in project management; or
- Those who have private sector experience in project management but are new to the state’s unique practices.
As a result, students should anticipate a mixture of levels, abilities, and experience within their cohort.
Recommended PMLA Prerequisite: Foundations of Project Management (PM)
In an effort to incorporate a more unique and varied curriculum within the PMLA, the 5-day Foundations of Project Management Framework class traditionally offered through UC Davis, Continuing and Professional Education, is no longer offered as part of the PMLA. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that students complete this course (or a foundational course equivalent in project management concepts) prior to the start of the PMLA if they have not done so already and/or are limited in their understanding of basic principles associated with project management.
Examples of principles and processes that are beneficial for students to have some familiarity with include a high level awareness/understanding of California’s Project Management (PM) Framework, the state’s Project Approval Lifecycle (PAL) process, and California’s standards for project oversight and reporting, all of which are addressed within the course listed above.
To accommodate those who want/need to complete this course, the Department of Technology (CDT) will offer a Foundations of Project Framework session on March 19 – 20 (Days 1 – 2) and April 2 – 4 (Days 3 – 5) via open registration. For more information, visit our Course Schedule or have your department’s Training Coordinator contact Training@state.ca.gov.
Students who forego completing any foundational coursework do so with the understanding that the program curriculum frequently weaves in concepts based on this framework and assumes a baseline level of student knowledge and understanding.
The program cost is $4,800 per participant.
This cost does not include a 17% cost distribution fee charged by the Department of Technology (CDT), which is our standard practice and will be included in the direct billing to the student’s department. For more detailed information regarding this additional charge, please see CDT’s Service Rates webpage.
How It Works
PMLA participants will develop their project management skills through formal classroom training led by certified trainers and subject matter experts in project management. In addition, students will benefit from the shared experiences of their fellow students throughout the academy.
In addition, each academy class also has one or two carefully selected Program Coach(es) who is/are highly experienced in the field of project management. PMLA Coaches attend class sessions, share their leadership and project management best practices, challenges, and lessons learned, and provide guidance and support to students during the program.
Due to continued student interest in completing our training academies primarily using a remote platform, most class sessions for the 2024 program will be conducted online using Zoom. However, due to the high value associated with completing certain courses in-person, students should anticipate attending some sessions in-person at the CDT’s Training and Education Center (TEC), located in Rancho Cordova, CA. Classes scheduled to be in-person are Getting to Know You, Leadership for Project Managers, Business Chemistry, Conflict Resolution, and the PMLA graduation. In-person sessions are subject to change if needed.
It is important to note that while CDT always encourages non-local (outside the Sacramento area) students to apply for the PMLA, the expectation is that all students should make arrangements to attend in-person classes regardless of location. To assist with planning, the PMLA 2024 Program Schedule and Calendar will be provided to all students accepted into this year’s program for careful review before formally committing to the program and will identify which sessions will be conducted online versus in-person only so appropriate arrangements can be made.
Project Management Experience
All PMLA students are expected to actively participate in the academy’s “Project Management Experience” component. Each student will be paired with a highly experienced project manager and will then shadow and/or meet with that individual for at least one hour per week over the course of the academy (12 – 14 hours on average). Based on a preliminary skills assessment the student will complete, the assigned project manager will use this information to determine what experiences will provide the most value, such as shadowing specific meetings, providing advice/insight regarding areas of project management where the student is less experienced, and sharing tacit knowledge, lessons learned, and best practices gained over the project manager’s career.
It is important to note that this component is expected to take place outside of class time and can either occur virtually, in person, or a combination of both, based on the student and project manager’s availability and comfort level.
The PMLA provides many opportunities for students to grow professionally through networking with fellow students and curriculum focused on the specific needs of public sector’s project management workforce. From shared experiences, challenges, and departmental best practices, students learn from one another and gain valuable knowledge, skills, and abilities they can implement within their departments.
How To Apply
The PMLA application period is now closed.
Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at PMLA@state.ca.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost for the 2024 PMLA?
The cost for the 2024 PMLA is $4,800 per student and is paid for by their department/agency.
This cost does not include a 17% cost distribution fee charged by the Department of Technology (CDT) which is our standard practice and will be included in the direct billing to the student’s department. For more detailed information regarding this additional charge, please see CDT’s Service Rates webpage.
When does the 2024 PMLA start and end?
The 2024 PMLA takes place from April 29 – July 18, 2024.
What level of expertise and experience are you seeking from a candidate?
While the PMLA welcomes applications from all candidates who have a desire to enrich their project management skills, ideal candidates are project managers and project support personnel who are newer to this role (e.g., test managers, business analysts, contract managers). Due to the rigor associated with this academy, it is recommended that candidates possess at least one year working directly or indirectly in a project management role, but candidates need not be highly experienced to be successful in the program.
Staff who wish to enter this career path or who simply want to strengthen their foundational skillset in project management are also welcome to apply. In addition, candidates who have private sector experience in project management but who are new to the state’s unique practices are also ideal candidates for this academy. As a result, students should anticipate a mixture of levels, abilities, and experience within their cohort.
What is the time commitment required for this academy?
Students should expect to attend sessions three (3) days per week, on average.
In addition to class sessions, students will be expected to commit to meeting with their assigned project manager for at least one hour per week outside of class time throughout the program. It is important to note that the Project Management (PM) Experience has been specially designed to provide students with access to seasoned project managers who are eager to share not only their knowledge but access to high-value opportunities that arise throughout the program. Therefore, students should anticipate dedicating a significant amount of time to the program, both in and outside of class.
How will class sessions be conducted, and what are the technical requirements for attending?
As a result of continued student interest in completing our training academies primarily using a remote platform due to many departments’ incorporation of a remote/hybrid workforce model, most class sessions for the 2024 program will be conducted online using Zoom. However, because of the high value associated with completing certain courses in person, students should anticipate attending some sessions in-person at the CDT’s Training and Education Center (TEC), located in Rancho Cordova, CA. Classes scheduled to be in-person are Getting to Know You, Leadership for Project Managers, Business Chemistry, Conflict Resolution, and the PMLA graduation. In-person sessions are subject to change if needed. Dates for class sessions will be provided if accepted into the program.
It is important to note that while CDT always encourages non-local students to apply for the PMLA, the expectation is that all students should make arrangements to attend in-person classes regardless of location. To assist with planning, the PMLA 2024 Program Schedule and Calendar will be provided to all students accepted into this year’s program for careful review before formally committing to the program and will identify which sessions will be conducted online versus in-person so appropriate arrangements can be made.
The PMLA will be using Microsoft Teams to house all program-related documents and Zoom will be the primary delivery medium for all remote class sessions. Students must be able to access these platforms. In addition, students are expected to possess a fully functioning camera and microphone so they can actively participate and engage in class sessions.
What are the core hours for the academy?
With the exception of April 29, the core hours for the PMLA are 9am – 3:30pm, whether remotely or in-person. For the April 29 session, students should anticipate attending from 9am – 4pm (this session will be in-person at the CDT’s Training and Education Center).
To verify connectivity, virtual class sessions will be open at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to log in early to network and chat with one another.
How many candidates will be accepted into the program?
With only 22 spots in the program, the application process is highly competitive. Student selection is based on the quality and thoughtfulness of application responses. Therefore, before submitting their application, students should carefully craft and review their answers to ensure they thoroughly address each question.
What specific topics are covered in the curriculum, and how in depth is the training?
The course topics have been carefully selected to provide a meaningful blend of both technical and soft skills critical for the public sector’s project management workforce. Below is a tentative course listing for the 2024 program. Please note that course topics may be subject to change and that circumstances beyond our control may require adjustments to the program schedule. In addition, it is important to note that refunds will not be provided after the onset of the program (see below for further details on our refund policy).
- *Getting to Know You
- *Leadership for Project Managers
- The State’s Budget Process
- Budget Change Proposal (BCP) Workshop
- The Role of Control Agencies
- Top Project Challenges (The Dirty Dozen)
- Organizational Change Management for Project Managers
- *Business Chemistry
- Managing Up
- Effective Meeting Facilitation
- Enterprise Communications
- Building High Performance Teams
- IT Project/Budget Timeline
- Project Governance
- Agile Essentials
- Project Planning and Procurement
- Contract and Vendor Management
- Presentation Skills
- Speaker Day
- *Conflict Resolution
- *PMLA Graduation
*These sessions will be conducted in-person only and will not be recorded; therefore, students are expected to make arrangements to attend.
While the 2024 PMLA formally starts on April 29, students will also be expected to attend a Program Review session prior to the start of the academy to cover administrative and logistical topics of interest and ensure all students are set up for success once the program begins.
Do I have to attend all the training sessions to remain in the academy?
The PMLA covers a great deal of curriculum within its 12-week program; however, students are allowed three (3) absences. Students who exceed this limit will be withdrawn from the program. There are no make-up sessions for missed classes and sessions are not recorded. Therefore, candidates who have vacations or other planned time off during the academy that will significantly interfere with their attendance are encouraged to apply to a future academy that will not have conflicting dates.
In addition, before applying, it is strongly recommended that interested candidates have a frank conversation with their immediate supervisor about the significant commitment level associated with this academy and the probability that their workload will need to be redistributed if accepted.
If I drop out of the academy after it starts or if I am withdrawn due to excessive absences, will my department receive a refund?
Students who wish to drop out must do so no later than ten (10) business days before the academy’s start date or your department will be charged the full program amount. Those who drop from the academy less than ten (10) days from the program start date or who are withdrawn due to excessive absences will also incur charges to their department for the full amount of the program.
Where do I direct my questions?
Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at PMLA@state.ca.gov.