F8-TEAM3-3 - Assessing the Development of Soft Skills for Project Management using PBL: A Case Study

2. Research-to-Practice Full Paper
Maria Lydia Fioravanti1 , Bruno Sena1, Ellen Francine Barbosa1
1 University of São Paulo (USP)

This research-to-practice full paper presents an investigation on how to develop soft skills for project management using PBL in the context of undergraduate degree programs of higher education in computing.
Projects are a key way to create value and benefits in organizations and the project manager plays a critical role in the leadership of a project team in order to achieve the project's objectives. In order to fulfill this role, the project manager must have some technical and soft skills. In a related perspective, there are several studies concerned with the comparison between what is covered by Computer Science Education and what are software industry needs. Such studies point out in which areas graduates most frequently do not meet industry expectations, including technical skills and also soft skills. In this context, among the several approaches that have been proposed and applied to improve Computer Science Education, we can highlight project based learning (PBL). Aiming to address the lack of approaches focused on the development of soft skills in technology students, in this paper we conducted a case study in Information Systems courses, adopting the PBL approach. In this case study, a real project was developed by the students, and the soft skills were evaluated before and after the realization of the project, in order to verify if the PBL approach had any impact on their development. As a result, it was possible to identify improvement in the development of six out of the seven skills assessed, which indicates a satisfactory result for our study.