Making a difference with Oracle Academy
The spotlight is on Fuwad Bashir Awan, Project Management Lecturer, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Pakistan.
Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) is a private higher education and research institute in Pakistan with campuses in Karachi, Islamabad, Larkana, Hyderabad, and Dubai. It offers programs in management sciences, computer science, media sciences, social sciences, biosciences, and mechatronic engineering.
Dr. Fuwad Bashir Awan is an Associate Professor in the department of Management Science at the Islamabad campus, where he teaches a master’s degree program in project management.
With a background in human resources and performance development, he has taught project management related courses since 2002. Previously, he was part of project teams in the private sector, in government, and within development organizations.
Awan has used many project planning and management tools in his career, but he has standardized his teaching on Oracle Primavera P6 and the Oracle Academy Professional Project Management Fundamentals curriculum.
Oracle Academy: How did you come to select Oracle Primavera P6 for your classes at SZABIST?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: In the past, I had used Oracle Primavera P6 amongst other tools, but at SZABIST, I discovered compelling reasons to select it for my students. To start with, it is available free of charge for classroom use. Secondly, the computer science faculty uses Oracle Academy curriculum and resources, and therefore it was simple to add to our learning platform. But most important of all, Oracle Primavera P6 has broader scope than any other project management software.
Five years ago, five lecturers from SZABIST attended Oracle Academy in-class training in Islamabad.
Oracle Academy: And from the functional point of view, why Oracle Primavera P6?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: To answer that in a nutshell, I always say that other project management software is not in the same league as Oracle Primavera P6. Simply put, it has a level of functionality lacking in other project management software. And it has a lot of customization options that provide flexibility in a multi-project environment.
That’s important because it allows organizations to manage whole portfolios containing multiple projects simultaneously and prioritize the resources strategically.
Oracle Academy: Does Oracle Academy help facilitate those tasks?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: Yes indeed, accessing the teaching resources devised by Oracle Academy helps me standardize the classes. The curriculum is very comprehensive, well-structured and provides the industry context, with examples of the key issues and problems.
The resources help me set assignments. I use a combination of the well-crafted examples within the Oracle Primavera P6 materials and also create my own, based on my experience in the private and public sectors. At the same time, I encourage students to contribute issues, problems, and projects and then show how Oracle Primavera P6 handles them.
Oracle Academy: What type of projects have your students worked on?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: Quite a variety. In the last few semesters, I assigned tasks related to Islamabad International Airport, using real data from someone who worked on that mega-project, which was completed in 2018.
Another was the construction of a student hostel, including feasibility, location scouting, land acquisition, construction, and promotion. I also assign IT projects, such as building a computer lab and revamping infrastructure from “as is” towards the stage of “to be.”
And finally, also from my own experience, I get them to work on development sector projects in the areas of poverty reduction, health and education.
Students have to apply all the concepts taught to them during the course and demonstrate them in the execution and reporting of their projects.
Oracle Academy: What are some of the features that give Oracle Primavera P6 an edge?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: Primavera P6 has many superlative pieces of functionality that help students become employable for their project management skills; for example, quality.
I show them how Primavera helps in the quality control and quality management of a project, through constantly referring progress to the baseline, the fixed reference point for the project. This also involves comparing planned spending with actuals.
Another example is managing change and innovation. In my class Project Change and Risk Management, I explain that projects, by default, are based upon doing something never done before. Many routine tasks are handled through lessons learned from past projects.
But Primavera’s use of Work Breakdown Structure segregates and prioritizes what’s new and leads to efficient cross-functional brainstorming that avoids cost and time surprises.
Oracle Academy: How is the job market?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: In Islamabad and Pakistan in general, there is strong demand for Oracle Primavera P6 graduates. This goes for private sector, government, and development organizations. Students who learn this become equipped with vital skills for the market.
Oracle Primavera P6 is a marvellous product. It is a strategically important piece of software.
Oracle Academy: Thank you. And what are your interests outside of teaching?
Fuwad Bashir Awan: Outside of university, I am a trainer, speaker, and motivator in areas such as time management or stress management. My goal is to empower people with innovative mindsets to become self-confident. My approach is what I term workplace spirituality. I am a practitioner of spirituality in the sense of defining the soul of anything and applying that to whatever we do, be it project management or our lives. It’s not magic, merely a deep understanding of the intersection and harmony among mind, body, and soul that brings out our true potential.
Thank you, Dr. Fuwad Bashir Awan, for your passion for Oracle Academy and for preparing your students to make a positive impact.