Application Deadline: March 11, 2022

Program Dates: May 11 – July 1, 2022

What Is PMLA?

The Project Management Leadership Academy (PMLA) is an 8-week program specially developed for public sector professionals who wish to develop and grow critical project management leadership skills. Project management skills are not only needed for traditional project managers and support staff, but for anyone who leads or coordinates a group of individuals in completing a task with a deadline. The state’s workforce has experienced a critical need for staff with project management skills for pandemic-led efforts. The ability to plan, coordinate, document, and follow up on tasks is needed in nearly every segment of our daily work.

What’s Changed for the 2022 PMLA?

To better accommodate the public sector’s busy project management workforce, the following adjustments have been made to this year’s program:

  • Academy commitment has been shortened from ten weeks to eight weeks
  • Number of classes required to attend per week has been reduced
  • Formal mentorship with a receiving department has been removed to allow for significantly less time away from the student’s home department and reduce the overall program commitment. This will be replaced with a new “Project Management Experience” component, which is described in more detail below.
  • Class session times have been adjusted to end earlier (core hours will be 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.) to allow additional opportunities for students to complete their “Project Management Experience” component or handle their normal work responsibilities.

 

Cost

The program cost is $4,400 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. This year’s program will also incorporate best practices and strategies needed to lead projects successfully in a remote or hybrid environment.

To accommodate the state’s evolving workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic, at the time of this writing (January 18, 2022), most training sessions are expected to use a hybrid delivery model. When feasible, instructors will deliver course content in-person at the Department of Technology’s Training and Education Center (TEC) in Rancho Cordova, and students may attend hybrid sessions on site or remotely. However, due to instructor location, some sessions will only be delivered using a remote format. The anticipated hybrid delivery model could change based on the Governor’s mandates related to COVID-19 and local health guidelines. Therefore, students could potentially complete the entire academy online.

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.

Project Management Experience

This year’s PMLA students will have the exciting opportunity to gain valuable insight through our “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 (8-10 hours total). 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 take place virtually, in person, or a combination of both, based on the student and project manager’s availability and comfort level.

Professional Development

The PMLA provides many opportunities for students to grow professionally through networking with fellow students and through curriculum focused on the specific needs of public sector’s project management workforce. Through 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 open and closes at 5:00 p.m. on March 11, 2022. The following documents must be submitted for your application to be considered complete:

For further information and/or to address questions, contact the Office of Professional Development at OPD@state.ca.gov.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for the 2022 PMLA?

The cost for the 2022 PMLA is $4,400 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 2022 PMLA start and end?

The 2022 PMLA takes place from May 11 – July 1, 2022.

What level of expertise and experience are you seeking from a candidate?

The PMLA welcomes applications from any candidates who have a desire to develop project management skills. Ideal candidates are project managers, project support personnel with limited experience, and staff who either wish to enter this career path or simply strengthen their foundational skillset in project management. While it is helpful to possess some background in project management, candidates need not have direct experience to apply.

What is the time commitment required for this academy?

Students should expect to attend sessions three days per week, on average, with one week in the program requiring attendance for four days. 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.

How will class sessions be conducted, and what are the technical requirements for attending?

Most class sessions are anticipated for delivery using a hybrid format. This means that students may choose to attend either in-person at the Department of Technology’s Training and Education Center (TEC), or remotely depending upon instructor availability and/or current health guidelines at the time of the class offering. Since some class sessions will only be delivered online, all students should possess a functioning camera and microphone.

It important to note that the anticipated hybrid delivery model is still tentative at this time, and students should anticipate completing the entire academy online based on the Governor’s mandates related to COVID-19 or local health guidelines.

The PMLA will be using Microsoft Teams to house all program-related documents and Zoom will be the primary delivery medium for all fully virtual and hybrid classes. Therefore, students must be able to access these platforms.

What are the core hours for the academy?

Core hours for the PMLA are 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., whether remotely or in-person. To verify connectivity, virtual/hybrid class sessions will be open at 8:30 a.m. Students are encouraged to log in to sessions early to network and chat with one another.

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 2022 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).

  • Leadership for Project Managers
  • The Role of Control Agencies
  • Top Project Challenges (The Dirty Dozen)
  • Foundations of Project Management
  • Organizational Change Management for Project Managers
  • Business Chemistry
  • IT Project/Budget Timeline
  • Governance
  • Agile Essentials
  • Project Planning and Procurement
  • Challenge-Based Procurement
  • Contract and Vendor Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Conflict Resolution and Communication Skills for Project Managers

Do I have to attend all the training sessions to remain in the academy?

The PMLA covers a great deal of curriculum within its 8-week program and attendance is mandatory; however, students are allowed two absences. Students who exceed this limit will be withdrawn from the program, and there are no make-up sessions for missed classes. 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 commitment level associated with this academy and the possibility that their workload may 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 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 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 OPD@state.ca.gov.