Our Founder & Chief Instructor
Our founder and chief instructor: Bill Baxter
Bill has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA in Finance from Columbia University. He worked in the aerospace defense industry for nine years, doing stress and vibration analysis of flight-weight hardware at Pratt & Whitney; General Dynamics; Hughes Aircraft Space & Communications; Bell Helicopter. After business school, he worked in the IT industry: Product marketing at Anixter; Sales Engineering at MCI; Engineering Design as Telecommunications Practice Lead at OWP/P (an A&E firm now part of Cannon Design); and Data Center Strategic Planning at UBS AG. Project management was an overlay skill that Bill applied in many of his different roles.
Bill cares deeply about the long-term career success of his students, and delivering value toward that end.
For an overview of our training materials see this brief video
For a sample of Bill at the whiteboard, see this lesson on the Point of Total Assumption (PTA).
Agile Project Management
We are fascinated with the promise of 'Agile' and of 'Lean Startup' and continue to study these concepts and techniques. Bill has been on a quest for the past several years to identify the elements of 'Agile' that can and should be embraced within 'traditional' or 'classical' project management. We were way ahead of the curve when PMI embraced 'Agile' within the 6th edition of The PMBOK® Guide. This enabled us to address 'Agile' competently in our updated course materials, as we aligned them to the 6th edition of The PMBOK® Guide.
We enjoy working with US Military veterans and are actively involved in the PMI military liaison program, including especially the Black Diamond Charities (BDC) partnership with the Chicagoland chapter of PMI.
Bill speaks to each Transition Assistance Program class at Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL) to present project management as a useful skill -- or potential career path -- for service members planning their transition from military service into the civilian workforce.
Bill also volunteers as a mentor for Veterans who are interested in project management and in getting their PMP certification, through several other channels, including a LinkedIn group called Veteran Mentor Network, a mentoring portal called Veterati, a networking group called Roll Call Chicagoland and a networking group called Veterans Leadership Council (VLC). Through this activity Bill increases his understanding of the challenges Veterans face during their transition from the Military, which enables him to help them more effectively.
How We Roll:
Bill spends his 'free time' studying news, emerging trends and lines of thought related to project management so as to be able to continuously enhance his course materials.
Towards this end, Bill attends many PMI and other industry events, and especially the 'Agile Open Space' Meetup Group in Chicago -- to keep learning more about 'Agile' and how it can fit into 'Traditional' project management.
We are in business to make money because we need to pay the bills... but we are really here to be the very best that we can be at what we do, and to help our students advance in their careers. Their successes become our successes, and give us our greatest satisfaction.
We will not accept job placement referral fees.
We are not a staffing firm.
Our business is training our students. We want to help them advance in their careers.
We want to maintain transparency and avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest. Students can be sure we put their interest first — that we are not trying to make a buck off of placing them with one employer over another.
Recruiters can be sure that when we recommend a student, it is because we believe in that student.
Employers can be sure that we will not direct a student or former student to another employer in the quest for referral fees. We have never accepted referral fees, and we never will.
Sometime it pays to paint bright lines and stay within them.