Derrick Walters

Dr. Derrick Walters likes NBA basketball, NFL football, major league baseball, boxing, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, gospel music, the Internet, video games and reading. He also enjoys teaching. Walters has been a COBHA adjunct professor for four years, teaching classes including Strategic Management, International Business, Project Management and Operations Management.

His background is diverse. His resume includes 30 years of maintenance, engineering, business, management, project management, university teaching, corporate training and consulting experience. He has held several middle management positions in engineering, maintenance and business, with progressive responsibilities that have allowed him to enhance and sharpen his project and business acumen—therefore enriching his teaching skills. He has been teaching online and on-campus courses at various colleges and universities for 17 years.

One way Walters has enriched the USF community is by authoring a book about project management that is actually used by USF students in COBHA. His road to becoming a published author came after a stimulating educational journey. He completed his undergraduate degree in engineering technology at Purdue University, obtained an MBA in project management at Keller Graduate School of Management, completed an Ed.D. at Northern Illinois University, then pursued and met the requirement for Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in 2005 through the Project Management Institute. He has been an active PMP for 13 years and now owns Walters Consulting, LLC.

His book, “Project Management: Novice-to-Expert!,” is a qualitative comparative case study that investigates how project managers initiate, navigate, and successfully traverse the arduous but rewarding path to becoming experts. While the book focuses primarily on the engineering procurement and construction management industry, the information can be applied to other professions such as IT, healthcare, banking, library science, real estate, marketing, sales, accounting, finance, government, sanitation, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and beyond.

The two-year process required for Walters to write his book was characterized by research, writing, interviewing, transcribing interviews and summarizing data.

“Proofreading, along with the citations process and synchronization of references, was a particularly tedious process that consumed a lot more time than I initially thought it would. The pain-staking hours of proofreading required me to read, reread, and reword much of my book several times before I produced what I believed to be the final draft. The publisher and I were even proofreading and re-writing portions of the book a few days before it was published,” explained Walters.

Walters says writing is a powerful tool, but recognizes that it’s not an easy process.

“The challenge is to write in such a way that your piece transitions smoothly, draws the reader in, provides an element of intrigue, is built on existing knowledge that cannot be shaken and makes a bold statement about what you are trying to convey to your audience. Remember, as the writer of a book (or article), if you have done your research properly, you become the authority and the expert on the topic you are discussing,” Walters reminds readers.

Walters thinks USF students should spend time mastering the art of writing because he thinks it’s one of the skills that people still struggle with in corporate America.

“I interviewed an executive vice president while writing my book, and he said that one of the biggest problems he sees with his senior project managers is their ‘inability to write a definitive holistic scope statement.’ He went on to say that grammar, spelling, and sentence structure were the single-most prevalent flaws or problems with their writing. Therefore, I believe students should be careful to not pass off these vital components of communication as unimportant tasks that people will overlook, because they won’t. Writing speaks to your ability to communicate, and you always want to be viewed as a good communicator.”