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DCE Magazine

Spring 2022

Ray Watanabe

Alumni Spotlight: Improving Japanese Animation Through Project Management

Ray Watanabe, Accelerated Project Management Certificate Program

Why did you choose the Accelerated Project Management certificate program?

I selected this program to learn the foundations of the PMBOK® Guide, which is the global standard for project management. While most of the project management programs offered by various organizations only explain the information covered in the guide through textbooks, this program allowed us to use the knowledge through virtual projects. For example, I created project management plans with our team and received feedback from experienced professors. This was perfect for me as I was looking for practical management knowledge.

The classes were also conducted remotely so I was able to learn safely from Japan during the pandemic. This was a new and wonderful experience. Having participated in the program, I was able to satisfy the education requirements to sit for and pass the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam.

What did you enjoy most about your experience in the program?

I enjoyed the group work, which was required every day. Our team consisted of five people from different nationalities and careers. We all participated remotely, so we used technology platforms like Slack and Google Meet to share ideas. All the ideas from the members were great and witty. I am still connected to the friends I made in this program and am grateful to them.

What was your favorite topic in the program, and why?

I liked the mock projects the most. We worked on a project to launch a restaurant in LA and had to create management plans such as the budget, schedule, and risk. I really enjoyed being able to expand my knowledge as a manager through this practical project and use my knowledge of the PMBOK® Guide, which helped me pass the PMP® exam.

What impact did earning your Accelerated Project Management certificate have on your career?

I am currently assisting my wife’s animation background studio as a project manager. Our latest work is the anime background concept art for a show which will be released soon on Netflix.

Japanese animation studios are facing challenges with quality, complexity, and distribution due to an increase in digitalization. By completing this program I’ve been able to improve the efficiency of studio operations and recognize new problems as they arise. When I run a studio, I can expect a variety of risks, big and small. Before I got this certificate, I didn’t do a proper risk analysis and dealt with problems as they arose.

Now, using my knowledge, I can regularly list each risk, conduct qualitative and quantitative analysis, and calculate the impact on the studio. Furthermore, I have adapted strategies to avoid, transfer, mitigate, and accept the risks, and am also working on setting up a reserve fund for the risks that cannot be avoided.

This three-month program is open to all students. Learn more about the Global Accelerated Project Management Certificate Program.