Join other business leaders in a community of practice leading projects to remarkable results

Based on the groundbreaking approach of author Dr. Alexander Laufer

Disruptive change in almost every industry means business leaders must go beyond traditional approaches to plan-driven management. But project-management methods still widely used today were devised in the late 1800s and popularized during WWI. The UW-Madison Consortium for Project Leadership (UWCPL) brings together business leaders in a community of practice around the groundbreaking project-leadership approach designed to succeed in today’s world by world-renowned expert and author Dr. Alexander Laufer.

At a glance

What: A gathering of individuals with the singular goal of sharing their expertise in leadership and project management with leaders and emerging leaders through seminars, publications, and tailored programs.

Who: A collection of extraordinary leaders from various disciplines across the globe, including management, government, and academia.

Questions? Contact us by email at uwcpl@dcs.wisc.edu or call 608-262-5699

Dr Alex Laufer talks about "Why Projects Must Be Led to Be Managed, and How You Can Become a Project Leader."

About the UWCPL

The prevailing theories of project management in most organizations are often inadequate insofar as they largely ignore the dynamic environment surrounding current projects. Adhering to these theories leads to projects that are over-managed and under-led and have poor outcomes.

The objectives of the Consortium are to develop and disseminate project leadership knowledge and practices by partnering with the best practitioners (senior managers and project managers) from industry and government as well as experts from academia.

The Consortium focuses primarily on the following questions:

  • How do we lead projects successfully?
  • How do we develop project leaders?
  • How can senior managers facilitate the development of project leaders?

What leaders stand to gain

UWCPL events, meetings, and resources give business leaders the tools they need to achieve remarkable results with even the most complex projects. You’ll “unlearn” outdated project-management concepts and replace them with unique methods proven in real-world situations to solve even the toughest challenges—regardless of industry, project goals, or stakeholders.

UWCPL events and resources will help you understand:

  • Why most projects are over-managed and under-led
  • Why most common models of project management are a liability rather than an asset
  • What practices are necessary for our dynamic environment
  • How you can develop your project managers to become project leaders

UWCPL founders, leaders, and coordinators

At a recent UWCPL event, Dr. Laufer presented “The Role of the Project Leader.” Click to view the presentation slides»

Dr. Alexander Laufer (PhD) is a chaired professor of civil engineering at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, an industry consultant, and director of the Consortium for Project Leadership at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He has served as the editor-in-chief of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership magazine, Academy Sharing Knowledge, and as a member of the advisory board of the NASA Academy of Program and Project Leadership. He has also served as the director of the Center for Project Leadership at Columbia University. Dr. Laufer is an Associate Editor of the IIEEE Engineering Management Review (EMR), and a member of the editorial review board of the Project Management Journal.

Dr. Laufer is the author or coauthor of 6 books; the 2 most recent ones are Mastering the Leadership Role in Project Management: Practices that Deliver Remarkable Results (FT Press, 2012) and Breaking the Code of Project Management (Macmillan, 2009).

He has significant consulting experience and has worked with a number of leading organizations including Boldt, Motorola, NASA, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Procter & Gamble, Skanska, and Turner Construction Company.

Terry Little (MS, MBA) was the Department of Defense’s most seasoned manager of major programs, with more than 25 years’ experience leading major weapons acquisitions. One of the Department’s most forceful advocates for program management innovation, he is cited by many people as the best program manager in recent DoD history. Currently he consults on acquisition leadership and business development with the Spectrum Group and with Modern Technology Solutions. An honorary professor at the Defense Systems Management College, he has presented case studies to every program manager class at the College for the past 15 years.

Terry Little recently presented "About Successful Project Leaders: The Difference Between Winning and Not Losing." Click to view the presentation slides»

Mr. Little served as executive director of the Missile Defense Agency—the senior civilian in an organization of approximately 8,000 employees—while concurrently directing the $14B Kinetic Energy Interceptor Program. Earlier, he was the first director of the Air Force Acquisition Center of Excellence, which enhanced all acquisition activities through developing RFPs, streamlining contracts, devising incentives, and overseeing contractors.

His many awards include the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Award (received twice), the Executive Service Presidential Rank Award; and the Air Force Stewart Award for Excellence in Program Management. Mr. Little holds an MS in systems analysis, Air Force Institute of Technology; and an MBA, University of West Florida. After graduating with distinction from Officer Training School in 1967, he served eight years’ active duty in the Air Force.

Dr. Linda Procci (MS, PhD) became vice president of service line operations at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles in 1996. Before that she served for 15 years as director, vice president, and chief operating officer at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles. She also previously held the position of director of training in nursing, University Affiliated Program, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Dr. Procci recently presented “Successful Project Management with No Line Authority and Negative Economic Benefits.” Click to view the presentation slides»

Currently a member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation Board of Directors and of the Board of Visitors for the UW-Madison School of Nursing, Dr. Procci recently led the Building Campaign Steering Committee for the UW School of Nursing. She is a past board member and chair for the Los Angeles Free Clinic, WISE and Healthy Aging, and the American Psychoanalytic Foundation. Dr. Procci holds BS and MS degrees in nursing from UW-Madison and a PhD in education from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Jeffrey Russell (PhD, PE, Dist.M.ASCE, NAC, F.NSPE) is Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning and Dean of the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Previously, he was professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, cofounder of the Construction Engineering and Management program, and Pieper Foundation Chair in Servant Leadership in the College of Engineering. His primary research areas are decision analysis and construction process improvement.

Dr. Russell recently presented “Developing Project Leaders.” Click to view the presentation slides»

Recipient of numerous national and regional awards for his research, Dr. Russell has published more than 200 technical papers and three books: Constructor Prequalification, Surety Bonds for Construction Contracts, and Perspectives in Civil Engineering. He served as editor-in-chief of the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering and as founding editor-in-chief of the ASCE publication Leadership and Management in Engineering. Presently he chairs the ASCE Committee on Academic Prerequisites for Professional Practice, which is charged with defining the future education requirements necessary to practice civil engineering at the professional level. Dr. Russell holds a BS in civil engineering from the University of Cincinnati and an MS and PhD from Purdue University; he is a registered professional engineer in Wisconsin.

Dr. Robert Toomey (MA, EdD) is Program Coordinator for the UWCPL and is responsible for all aspects of its operations. Before joining the UW-Madison Continuing Studies staff, Robert was a Senior Training Officer with the State of Wisconsin where he served in several agencies. Robert graduated summa cum laude from Concordia University with a BA in Business Management, has an MA in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University, and received a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Edgewood College. You can reach Robert via email or by phone at 608-262-2576. Click for Robert’s LinkedIn profile»

For more info about the UWCPL’s events, meetings, and resources, email uwcpl@dcs.wisc.edu or call 608-262-5699.