- Doctor of Human Resource Education, Boston University
- Master of Business Administration in Business Systems, DePaul Graduate School, DePaul University
- Bachelor of Science in Business Management and Finance, University of Minnesota
- Master’s Certificate in Project Management, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification, Project Management Institute
Watson is an instructor of Project Rick Management in the Master of Science in Project Management program. Watson has been directly involved in project management from various perspectives for over 35 years. He began his career working for Baxter Laboratories as a Programmer Analyst implementing enterprise financial, procurement, and administrative systems. He next relocated to Anchorage Alaska where he worked for Alyeska Pipeline for 17 years and served as a Senior Systems Analyst, a Project Coordinator, the Administrative Systems Manager, the Learning Resources Services Manager, and the Vice President of Human Resources. In 1997, he relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, where he spent seven years as a Process Improvement Manager and a Deputy Administrator for the State of Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. He began work in 2004 as a Senior Internal Consultant at UW-Madison with the Office of Quality Improvement which reports to the Provost. The office serves as a catalyst for continuous improvement at the university through its leadership and support of strategic planning, process improvement initiatives, and project management.
Watson’s commitment to lifelong learning and education includes serving as adjunct faculty and course developer continuously since 1984. His areas of focus include project management, information technology, human resources, and management/leadership. In addition to teaching for UW-Platteville, he has taught and developed courses for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Leadership Online, Cardinal Stritch University, University of Alaska, and Alaska Pacific University.
He obtained his Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) in 2003 and is a PMI and a Madison Chapter member. His projects include planning/deploying corporate ERP systems; planning/deploying technical training and professional development programs; planning/deploying multi-organizational administrative and process control computer systems; redesigning/implementing organizational structural changes; and planning/deploying strategic plans and process improvement initiatives.
Watson has been affiliated with the Association for Quality and Participation (ASQ), the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), and the Society of Human Resource Managers (SHRM). He was a contributor to Alan Gaynor’s book entitled Project Planning: A Guide for Practitioners and he was also a contributing author for Don Schutt’s book entitled How to Plan and Develop a Career Center.
He has empathy for students who work full-time while pursuing an advanced degree as he too worked throughout college and attended classes online and in the evening.
His personal interests include traveling, bicycling, and water sports. One of his favorite vacations was an extended camping trip to McNeil River - a bear sanctuary in Alaska where he and his wife were able to watch over 50 Alaska Brown Bears demonstrate project management expertise by successfully catching salmon and preparing for the winter.
Some of his favorite project management quotes include:
- All things are created twice; first mentally; then physically. The key to creativity is to begin with the end in mind, with a vision and a blue print of the desired result.” — Stephen Covey
- “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.” — Will Rogers
- “No matter how good the team or how efficient the methodology, if we’re not solving the right problem, the project fails.” –- Woody Williams
- “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra.” — H.E. Luccock
- “Of all the things I’ve done, the most vital is coordinating the talents of those who work for us and pointing them towards a certain goal.” — Walt Disney
- “Planning without action is futile, action without planning is fatal.” — Cornelius Fitchner
- “Trying to manage a project without project management is like trying to play a football game without a game plan.” — K. Tate
And finally… "A goal without a plan is just a wish" - Herm Edwards