INF 387: Administration: Managing Projects and Leading Change in Information Organizations


This course is designed to help you develop skills and awareness for administering and leading an information organization. The course emphasizes active learning primarily through a group project conducted with an external organization, combined with class exercises and case discussions. Personal reflection is also critical to your learning and is prompted by assignments. Practice and reflection are central to your learning in this course. Although oriented to developing practical skills to help you in your career, the material in the course is grounded in theory and research from finance, marketing, administration, human resources, strategy, innovation, and the like. We start at the top by focusing on developing a strategy that is expressed through a clear mission and vision, then explore how to implement your larger ideas via your organization’s policies, projects, and people.


Learning Outcomes

This course targets administration-related as well as general learning outcomes. Specifically, you will

  • Evaluate and write mission, vision, and values statements
  • Learn and use project planning tools and project management methods
  • Create a balanced scorecard
  • Practice strategic planning via a SWOT analysis
  • Write a job description
  • Learn how to recruit, interview, and develop staff, including volunteers
  • Gain insights for how to manage your board of directors
  • Build a media kit, learn to hone your organization’s message, and create a direct mail campaign
  • Plan an organizational event and gain advice on how to develop relations with donors
  • Learn how to build a professional network of people you like
  • Practice your teamwork skills while gaining firsthand experience in an organizational project
  • Hone your verbal, visual, and written presentation skills
  • Gain insights from experienced administrators about the challenges they face and skills they need
  • Ultimately, develop an understanding of what it takes to lead an organization, build confidence in your ability to lead others, and gain and demonstrate skills and knowledge through case studies, in-class activities, a group project, and numerous class discussions