Graduation day - joy, thrill, excitement, “what will my future hold?” “I can do anything,” “I can be anybody I want to be.”
That short-lived excitement comes to a screeching halt as you transition from college graduate to working professional.
For some, you could intern or co-op during your academic career gaining “true” experiences first hand, experiencing real life situations, utilizing skills you learned in hours upon hours of studying. For others, taking that leap into a “career” is unnerving and frightening. You have spent the past decade and a half preparing for this moment.
What if, on top of your degree, you could leave college with a mindset structured in all aspects of requirements management, understanding products, services, and the solutions you deliver? What if you could understand the complexities between supply chains, managing changes across departments, communicating effectively, and manage costs - Configuration Management 2! Configuration Management, as an Enterprise approach (CM2), is defined as a disciplined approach to apply rigor over items where you accommodate change, optimize standards and best practices, have clear, concise, and valid requirements, communicating promptly and precisely, and achieving conformance to all requirements (Institute of Configuration Management. (2011, Aug. 1). Course CMII-01: The CMII and IPE Model.).
Why is this important?
In a recent study performed by the U.S. Department of Education, the overall graduation rate for a bachelor’s degree was 60% (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). The Condition of Education. Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.) and only 86% of those graduates land a full-time job after graduation (U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018, Employment and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment.).
What if you could increase your chances of gaining a full-time job or decide to pursue other opportunities than college? Embedding certifications, such as CM2 certificates, allows students accreditation to either supplement their degree or allows them to leverage gained skillsets when stepping away from college. With the rise of online degrees, theoretical and technical skills, most recruiters are looking at the “extra” you gained while in your undergraduate studies. Certifications can make a difference in pointing the needle in your direction if squared off with another candidate (Moore, Emily. (2017, Oct. 20). 8 Certifications That Actually Impress Recruiters.).
Professional certifications give students an understanding of how the “real world” works. It allows the employer to focus on their job specific duties and capabilities, with an understanding that the graduate understands the foundations and principals for what they were hired. One of the professional certifications which recruiters look highly on is the Project Management Certification (PMP). This certification is especially helpful for those in the Project Management field, but the knowledge and skillset you gain can also be broadly applied to other fields (including CM2) at the manager and leadership level (Moore, Emily. (2017, Oct. 20). 8 Certifications That Actually Impress Recruiters.).
Purdue University is one of those colleges trying to steer the ship into the next century. They have begun implementing a Product Lifecycle Management System into their Freshman Level Classroom with a goal to familiarize students with the specific workflows and processes associated with real world situations (Camba, Jorge D. & Fuerst, Travia. (2019). Integrating a Product Lifecycle Management System into a Freshman Level Classroom Environment.). Camba & Fuerst explain that the “idea is to implement a Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system to provide students with key competencies to succeed in today’s complex design engineering environments. Being exposed to PLM systems early and in the context of entry level modeling courses allows students to become familiar with PLM concepts and how PLM systems are an integral part of modern design processes. Students entering the workforce will have a firm understanding of the various stages and changes a product goes through during its lifecycle and how PLM and CAD are not mutually exclusive, but complementary to each other.”
But how does a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and learning about Product Lifecycle Management tie into Configuration Management 2? If you boil the key parts of all these certifications, the practices, the lessons learned; one tangible piece of evidence remains; CLEAR, CONCISE, and VALID REQUIREMENTS (IpX. (1986-2018). IpX 4.0 Transformation.
). THIS is the key to CM2. THIS is the CORE which effects all other organizations; Marketing & Sales, Program & Project Management, Operations, Safety & Security, Quality, Environmental, Human Resources, and Logistics & Maintenance. This whirlwind of conflict, chaos and redundancy will negatively impact your operational efficiency and ultimately, your enterprise.
Configuration Management 2 teaches you that there are four critical elements which are required to achieve consistent conformance and continual improvement (IpX. (1986-2018). IpX 4.0 Transformation.):
1. Ability to accommodate change;
2. Keeping requirements clear, concise, and valid;
3. Communicating requirements to users promptly and precisely;
4. Ability to measure conformance to requirements
With CM2 utilizing a closed loop system, it allows you to manage and enhance the communication and requirements, while using a foundational approach to align requirements; PLAN, DO, CHECK, ACT. CM2 is a significant transformation towards process excellence and allows for an increase in engagement, a shift in top-down approach, and a realignment to organizational systems, structures, processes and technologies while increasing workforce capabilities (IpX. (1986-2018). IpX 4.0 Transformation.
). CM2 teaches students to think globally, be concise, and to openly communicate with customers, internal parties, and colleagues.
So, when you graduate with that college bachelor’s degree along with the 1+ million other students, why not give yourself an edge? Why not spend the additional credit hours to gain a certification? Why not have tangible, practical, experience, of business operations?
Meet the challenges head on.