Associate Professor, Computer Science and Administrative Sciences Director, Project Management
Dr. Kanabar has unique expertise spanning both business practices and computer science. A Project Management Professional (PMP®) and Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM®), he has advised numerous organizations on training and technology needs, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Staples, United Way, and Fidelity Investments. Kanabar is an internationally published scholar and is recognized by local and national media as an authority on IT project management, electronic commerce, and information security. In 2017, Kanabar received the Project Management Institute’s Teaching Excellence Award.
Curriculum development and assessment, IT project management, information systems security, database management and business intelligence, online marketing, and risk management and business continuity.
- MET AD 649 – Agile Project Management
- MET AD 688 – Web Analytics for Business
- MET AD 737 – Innovative Online Marketing
- MET CS 632 – IT Project Management
Kanabar, V., and Warburton, R. D. H. The Art and Science of Project Management (Newport: RW Press, 2013).
Kanabar, V., and Chitkushev, L. “Innovative Applied Certificates in Computer Information Systems for Undergraduate Students.” In Proceedings of the 9th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education. Fulda/Wurzburg, Germany, June 29–July 2, 2013.
“A Framework for Project Cost Estimation.” Proc. 7th Annual Computer Science Education & Computer Science (Sofia, Bulgaria, 2011).
Becker, K., Kanabar, V., and Nobre, H. “Company Integrity Management in the New Social Network Environment: A Comparison of Large and Small Firms on Facebook.” Advances in Global Management Development vol. 20 (2011): 268–72.
Warburton, R. D. H., S. Leybourne, and V. Kanabar. “The Third Decade of Online Education: What have we learned.” Paper presented at the 2011 Our Digital Renaissance Conference, Florence, Italy, November 10–12, 2011.
Warburton, R. D. H., and V. Kanabar. “Leveraging the New Practice Standard for Project Estimating.” Paper selected for presentation at the PMI Global Congress 2011–North America, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tex., October 22-25, 2011.
Burstein, L., L. Chitkushev, V. Kanabar, and T. Zlateva. “Innovative Instructional Practices in Design, Implementation and Execution of Blended Programs.” Proc. Boston University Instructional Innovation Conference (Boston, Mass., March 25, 2011).
Becker, K., Kanabar, V., and Nobre, H. “Company Integrity Management in the New Social Network Environment: A Study of Small, Medium and Large Firms on Facebook and Twitter.” Proc. 4th Annual Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business—Business Developments across Countries and Cultures (Elounda, Crete, Greece: EuroMed Press, 2011): 203–18. ISBN: 978-9963-711-01-7.
Kanabar V., Leybourne S.A., and Warburton, R.D.H. “Understanding and Overcoming Communications Complexity in Projects.” Proc. PMI Global Congress 2010 (Washington, D.C., October 2010).
Kanabar, V. Assenova, P., and Stainov, R. Ed., 6th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science CSECS (Fulda, Germany, 2010).
“Teaching Case Studies Online.” Proc. 6th International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science 2010 (Munich, Germany, June 29, 2010).
“Tightly Coupling Web Analytics with SEO Keywords and Web Design.” Proc. 6th International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science 2010 (Fulda, Germany, June 27, 2010).
“Communication and Collaboration in an Online Master’s Degree.” Proc. 2010 American Society for Engineering Education, NE (Boston, Mass., May 7, 2010).
“Teaching a Project-based Web-Development and IT Project Management Course at a
Distance.” Proc. 2010 American Society for Engineering Education NE (Boston, Mass., May 7, 2010).
Cormier, J., V. Greiman, and V. Kanabar. “Practice and Ethics Curriculum in Project Management Education.” In Proceedings of the North East ASEE Conference. Bridgeport, Conn., April 3-5, 2009: 29.
Kanabar, V., and R. Stainov. “R&D and Managing Risks for a Unique Product Launch.” Project Management in Practice Conference: Embracing Project Management Techniques & Tools. 2008.
Kanabar, V., and R. D. H. Warburton. “The Practical Calculation of Schedule Variance in Terms of Schedule.” In the Proceedings of the PMI Global Congress. October 18-21, 2008.
Kanabar, V., and R. D. H. Warburton. MBA Fundamentals Project Management (New York, N.Y.: Kaplan Publishing, 2008).
Project Risk Management (Copley Publishing Group, 1998).
Keynote, “Stakeholder Management in the New PMBOK Standard.” Project Management in Practice, Boston University, Boston, Mass., May 17, 2013.
Keynote, “Preliminary North American Results for Undergraduate Curriculum Framework in Project Management.” Project Management Institute, Brussels, Belgium, April 22, 2013.
Keynote, “Preliminary Results from Boston’s Undergraduate Curriculum Workshop in Project Management.” Project Management Institute, San Diego, Calif., February 9, 2013.
“Experiences in Applying Flipped Classroom Concepts to the Project Management Classroom.” Presentation at the Graduate Accreditation Council, PMI Global Congress, Vancouver, Canada, October 20, 2012.
“Leveraging the New Practice Standard for Project Estimating.” PMI Global Congress, Dallas, Tex., October 22–25, 2011.
“What Constitutes Quality Project Management Education?” International Project Management Research Conference, Montréal, Quebec, July 20, 2011.
“Communication and Collaboration in an Online Master’s Degree.” American Society for Engineering Education, Boston, Mass., 2010. Co-presented with Cormier, J., and Greiman, V.
“Teaching a Project-Based Web-Development and IT Project Management Course at a Distance.” American Society for Engineering Education, Boston, Mass., 2010. Co-presented with Schudy, R.
“Managing Project Cost and Risk.” Brussels, Belgium, October 30, 2010.
“Understanding and Overcoming Communication Complexity in Projects.” Proc. PMI Global Congress, Washington, D.C., October 10–13, 2010. Co-presented with Leybourne, S. A., and Warburton, R. D. H.
“Managing Information Technology Projects.” Skopje, Macedonia, June 22, 2010.
“Tightly Coupling Web Analytics with SEO Keywords and Web Design.” 6th Annual International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science, Fulda, Germany, June 2010.
“Teaching Case Studies Online.” 6th International Conference on Computer Science and Education in Computer Science, Fulda, Germany, June 2010. Co-presented with Greiman, V.
Research & Assistantships for Project Management Curriculum Resources. Sponsored by Project Management Institute (PMI), $10,000 (2013–2016).
What is your area of expertise?
My area of interest in the project management discipline continues to be the fascinating area of project risk management. Within this context, I’ve been focusing on project communications and leadership. My research indicates that communication lapses are a leading cause of project failures. I would assert that poor communication in the project environment is responsible for project failure at least a third of the time. In some cases, this results in totally catastrophic consequences. For instance, I believe the RMS Titanic sank due to several communication failures. From a technology perspective, it certainly was “unsinkable.” Project managers should make sure there are no communication gaps in the project environment, and should be skilled in the art and science of communicating effectively with different stakeholder groups.
On the IT side, I have interests if not expertise in agile software development, especially UI/UX, database systems, and web analytics. The IT domain evolves very quickly, and I find it really an exciting field to be in. I have assembled my own computers from parts as a hobby and have several websites that I program and maintain.
What courses do you teach?
I currently teach Project Management (MET AD 642) and Web Analytics for Business (MET AD 688), both online and on campus. Throughout my 25-year career at Boston University, I’ve taught a number of different courses in both the Administrative Sciences and Computer Science departments.
Tell us about the most recent changes to the curriculum for MET’s graduate programs in project management.
In order to ensure that BU MET’s programs remain a leader in graduate project management education, we took steps to enhance the curriculum for Project Management (MET AD 642), our foundational project management course for students in MET’s Project Management master’s and graduate certificate programs. In addition to the incorporation of lessons that reflect the most up-to-date version of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), the curriculum for AD 642 now includes access to the Project Management Essentials (PM 100) laboratory, which prepares students to succeed in MET’s rigorous project management graduate programs.
The success of the Pre-Analytics Laboratory (AD 100), designed for MET’s applied business analytics graduate programs, motivated me to strengthen our project management programs through the development of a non-credit preparatory laboratory called Project Management Essentials (PM 100). The curriculum for the laboratory—which all project management students are required to complete—includes content pertaining to the current PMBOK framework and the most up-to-date Microsoft Project software capabilities. By transferring prerequisite knowledge to a separate preparatory laboratory, instructors are now able to focus their attention on exploring case studies and exposing students to group projects and exercises. I don’t believe any other university offers a similarly unique preparatory course, where students have the opportunity to review the foundational concepts at their own pace using the Blackboard learning management system.
In addition to refining AD 642, we revised another course that was significantly impacted by the new PMBOK standards—Project Risk and Cost Management (MET AD 644). The new standards changed the risk management knowledge area significantly by adding a new process, which has been addressed in the newly-modified curriculum. In consultation with the director of digital learning in the Administrative Sciences department, we have introduced a new laboratory software called Risky Project. This tool allows students to perform Monte Carlo simulations of project costs and schedules using discrete risk events and uncertainties defined by three-point estimates. Cost and schedule risk analysis allows project managers to create realistic “risk-adjusted” cost and schedule estimates to complete their projects. Exciting new case studies have also been embedded in the updated curriculum.
In your opinion, what are the distinguishing characteristics of BU MET’s graduate programs in project management? What sets us apart from the competition?
Today, many schools offer a project management graduate program, but students prefer to come to Boston University due to our reputation of being a thought leader in this field of study. We have a rich history of teaching project management and we attract quality students. Our faculty are globally recognized authors and successful project management practitioners. They dedicate their time and effort to making sure that students succeed while at school and after graduation.
Through the newly introduced Project Management Essentials laboratory, our curriculum aims to prepare students with a foundational knowledge of the tools and concepts they will use throughout their studies before they dive into the nuanced world of project management. Upon completion of the core courses in the MSPM program, we prepare students to obtain professional certifications such as the PMP® and ScrumMaster®. Our programs have produced successful alumni—clear evidence that we are doing very well in the discipline of project management.
What are the career outcomes of the project management graduate programs?
According to the Project Management Institute’s 2017–2037 talent gap report, demand over the next 10 years for project managers is going to outpace other professions. Project leaders and project associates are required in every industry, and they will continue to play an essential role.
How do MET’s project management graduate programs prepare students to obtain their PMP® certification (both paid and unpaid versions)?
Every June, we have a complimentary preparatory boot camp for students enrolled in our project management programs. We also offer a very popular paid version of the boot camp through MET’s Center for Professional Education. This is discounted for students in our program and I strongly recommend it.
Tell us about the current nature of the project management industry.
Historically, the project manager was responsible for managing cost and schedules for projects. Today we are noticing that project managers are playing a key role in guiding organizations strategically. Project and program managers are introducing portfolios of projects and programs that bring strategic benefits to the organization. So, they are no longer back-benchers or passengers on the bus, but are in the driver’s seat leading organizations to their goals.
What advice do you have for new students?
Immerse yourself in our courses. We have outstanding students—network with them. Not too long ago one student in my class hired four others!