U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives

U.S. Professor gives seminar at the Engineering College in Montevideo

H. William Dettmer spent two weeks teaching business systems management to university students

May 14, 2004


H. William Dettmer, a U.S. professor of business systems management, gave a two-week seminar to public university students in the Engineering College in Montevideo.

Dettmer, a former adjunct professor at the University of Southern California, teaches a complex method of managing multiple projects and resources. Dettmer earned his master’s of science degree in systems management at the USC’s Institute of Safety and Systems Management. The program was conceived in 1964 as a master’s degree in aerospace operations management in response to a request from the U.S. Air Force, which needed a large number of trained technical managers to help develop and deploy the Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile system.

Dettmer later returned to USC as a professor in the master’s degree program. Since the university closed the institute in 1996, Dettmer has been working as a business consultant and guest lecturer, using the same programs he taught in the institute. He has consulted in application of constraint management to businesses in the U.S., Canada, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Uruguay and Brazil.

“People don’t understand that systems management is more than managing a company’s computers,” said Dettmer. “This course is geared toward organizing societal, economic, management, resources and management systems of a company.”

Using a presentation of charts, lines and graphs, Dettmer explained how business can efficiently complete several overlapping projects by effectively scheduling labor and distributing available resources.

This was Dettmer’s second trip to Uruguay. He delivered a three-day seminar in 1998 at the same university. It was during that trip that Dettmer learned of Uruguay’s need for qualified operational managers in its industry in light of the country’s pressing economic condition. Dettmer sent materials and initiated contacts for the university to offer 35 courses necessary for a master’s degree. Currently the university offers a certificate program.

Dettmer is also the author of five books: “Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints: A Systems Approach to Continuous Improvement;” “Breaking the Constraints to World-Class Performance;” “Manufacturing at Warp Speed: Optimizing Supply Chain Financial Performance; “Strategic Navigation: A Systems Approach to Business Strategy;” and “Brainpower Networking Using the Crawford Slip Method.”

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