Team Facilitation Skills a core in New Zealand’s first Master of IT Project Management

10 students graduated on 11 December in New Zealand’s first Master of IT Project Management, a programme developed and led by the programme’s leader Dr Stephen Thorpe, from the School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Stephen is also a Director of Zenergy and former member of the IAF Board (2007-2009).

Along with advanced aspects of IT project management, a core focus of the programme is the Team Facilitation for IT Projects module that explores through reflective practice the experiential facilitation skills and techniques needed in information technology projects. Masters students learnt to develop their team leadership skills, cultural capacity and the ability to facilitate a group to meet its purpose.

One of the students commented,

“I tried to look at Team Facilitation’s significance to the masters programme as a whole, and to put it simply, I think it might be the glue that holds the entire program together. I started to realize that the Team Facilitation paper is teaching me something more for myself as a person and how to be able to handle human-centric situations that can be applicable anywhere. Unlike other IT and engineering papers, not only is it teaching me lessons on theories and applications, but it is also making me question my entire being.”

Facilitation is one of three core papers offered on the Master of IT Project Management.

Coupled with this is a module on Digital Transformation and Change Management that explores theoretical and contemporary thinking on organisational change in information technology and digital transformation projects. Focusing on contemporary approaches to technological organisational change, project failures, and the importance of organisational culture. Key aspects include approaches to project communications, multi-stakeholder engagement and assessing the change impact.

Growing student demand, and a strong push by the Auckland University of Technology’s industry partners have led to the creation of the programme and now students will be able to develop and deepen a focused set of complementing skillsets.

The vision for those graduating from the programme is for them to have theoretical frameworks and a set of tools in facilitation, stakeholder engagement, change management, and agile project management to complement their technical understanding and backgrounds in software engineering and business process analysis.

Stephen Thorpe is a Director of the Facilitators group Zenergy Global. Click here for his profile page on this site.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.