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Teaching Project Management

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Project Management"— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Project Management
Kathy Schwalbe, Ph.D., PMP March 17, 2005

2 Happy St. Patrick’s Day! My Danny boy! My son, my sister,
and me at a ND vs. Stanford game in 1999. GO IRISH!

3 Presentation Outline What is project management?
Why should students interested in technical fields learn about it? Suggestions for structuring a project management course Methods for engaging students and having them help you and others Using project management and other software Lots of resources

4 What Is Project Management?
Project management is “the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements” (PMBOK ® Guide 2004, p. 8)

5 Project Management Framework*
*This figure and others are from my book, Information Technology Project Management, Fourth Edition

6 Benefits of Good Project Management
Better control of financial, physical, and human resources Improved customer relations Shorter development times Lower costs, higher profit margins Higher quality and increased reliability Improved productivity Better internal coordination Higher worker morale (less stress)

7 Results of Poor Project Management
Getting “FIRED” on The Apprentice Billions of dollars wasted on cancelled and challenged projects

8 Standish Group Statistics*
*The Standish Group, “Latest Standish Group CHAOS Report Shows Project Success Rates Have Improved by 50%,” (March 25, 2003).

9 Why Should IT Students Study Project Management?
Even if they have no desire to lead teams, they’ll probably be on them Understanding project management will help them perform on project teams Project management continues to be an important career field Project management can help anyone in daily life challenges

10 Some Interesting Statistics
The U.S. spends $2.3 trillion on projects every year, or one-quarter its gross domestic product, and the world as a whole spends nearly $10 trillion of its $40.7 gross product on projects of all kinds Worldwide IT spending continues to grow, and Forrester Research predicts that U.S. IT spending will grow by another 5.7% in 2005, to reach $795 billion In 2003, the average senior project manager in the U.S. earned almost $90,000 per year, and the average Project Manage Office (PMO) Director earned more than the average Chief Information Officer ($118,633 vs. $103,925)

11 Top Ten Most in Demand IT Skills

12 Top Information Technology Skills
Percentage of Respondents Information Technology (IT) Skill Cosgrove, Lorraine. “January 2004 IT Staffing Update,” CIO Research Reports, (February 3, 2004).

13 Growth in PMP Certification, 1993-2004

14 Suggestions for Structuring a Course in Project Management
Know your audience and their needs and abilities Know your time constraints Plan your course well and follow your plan, yet… Be flexible to meet student needs

15 Sample Syllabi Examples available in the IM and on my site and other instructor sites Can cover entire text in one semester course (about 36 contact hours), but decide which areas to emphasize Use a structured approach to team projects Can use case studies for team projects or HW, can be difficult for some students

16 Strategies for Team Projects – Help Engage Students and “Practice What You Teach”
Make sure projects fit with the nature of your course Let students be involved in finding and selecting projects Give students guidance in the process for doing team projects Provide samples and templates Let students help grade projects and each other

17 Tailor Projects to Help You and Others
Experiment with team projects and homework assignments, and don’t be afraid to have the students help you in teaching your course Have students evaluate software/tools, interview PMs, set up events, help neighborhood organizations, etc. Personal examples: Blackboard eval, new case studies, creating review games, new SW eval, conference planning, etc. (show Jeopardy game)

18 Follow the Project Management Process for Team Projects
Project selection Initiating Planning Executing Monitoring and Controlling Closing

19 Project Selection for My Project Management Classes
Each students gets to propose a real project ( using a template for HW1) Each student must give a “sales pitch” for his/her project and think through what’s required to do the project The class as a whole selects projects, teams, and project managers Specific tools for project and team selection: student survey form, HW template, weighted scoring model or simple Excel file to help select projects

20 Student Survey Form

21 HW1 Template to Propose a Team Project
Student Name: Date: Potential Project Name: Project Sponsor’s Name and Organization: Need for the Project: Main Project Deliverables: Required Team Skills: Main Team Tasks/Roles: My Desired Role and Why: Project Sales Pitch:

22 Weighted Scoring Model for Project Selection

23 Initiating Projects Form teams based on projects selected
Have each team select a project manager Specify what each team must produce for the project and when Focus on clarifying roles and responsibilities for each team member (require students to show who will do what)

24 Tools to Enhance Team Building Early in the Project
MBTI assignment – have each student take an online MBTI test and write a paper about it for HW, also send MBTI to their project manager Each team must prepare a team contract a project Web site a project charter Each team member must give at least one presentation gets to assess project and each team member’s performance

25 Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI)
Many organizations use MBTI as part of team building Few students know their profile or how it affects communications and teams Several good sites to take the test for free List sites and assignment in course syllabus Have a team give a presentation on MBTI

26 Project Planning Tools
Require students to prepare several planning documents Scope statement (includes descriptions of all project deliverables and criteria for project success) Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Gantt chart Communications Plan (can be in team contract) Responsibility Assignment Matrix Decide what your students need to do to plan their projects

27 Project Execution and Control
Using progress review presentations and checking the team Web sites really helps the students focus on getting work done throughout the term Have the first progress review focus on teams showing their detailed project plan – have a signed charter Have the second/third reviews focus on showing what work has been accomplished (“show me” review) Rotate who presents review info

28 Closing Projects Have each team prepare Have each individual prepare
a final team presentation, focusing on what they prepared for their customer, what went right and wrong on the project, and what they learned a project notebook that includes all project materials Have each individual prepare a personal lessons learned a project and team grade assessment

29 Advice for Instructors: Have a Detailed Syllabus and Class Web Site
Most students are “S” or sensing types, so they like detailed, step-by-step instructions on what to do for assignments, presentations, and team projects Students love it when you have the syllabus, templates, and other info on a class Web site

30 Sample of My Site

31 Project Team Web Sites Require each project team to post all of their information on a team Web site – let them create it any way they please Use that Web site for progress review presentations and make it part of the project grade Link to all sites from your class Web page - peer pressure works! Include final exam questions related to all the team projects so they learn from each other

32 Sample Team Web Site (I was the sponsor)
The student project manager for this project gave a conference presentation with me on the results of this project.

33 Another Sample Team Web Site (a student org. sponsored it)
This project helped a student organization plan an important function.

34 And Another Sample (done for a non-profit group)
Let the students be creative. Most of the webmasters are very proud of their work and keep the sites up for a while. Some refer to them for job interviews.

35 Sample Templates Students Could Use for their Projects
My text and Web site include many templates and examples students can use for their projects Create your own templates to meet your class and project needs (feel free to download and modify any of mine) Make sure students use templates wisely/properly



38 Gantt Chart Template Work Breakdown Structure Schedule
You can also enter resource information on the Gantt chart.

39 Sample Responsibility Assignment Matrix – A Product of This Project

40 Progress Report Information
Have periodic reviews with team member “showing” project progress Work completed this period Work to complete next period What’s going well and why What’s not going well and why Suggestions/Issues Project changes  Amazing how well reviews keep teams on track and help them “get it”

41 Using Project Management and Other Software
Microsoft Project most popular tool I have students go through Appendix A (~100 pages) as a HW assignment and use software for planning team projects 4th edition also includes access to VPMi, online PM tool Need to understand PM basics to use software well!

42 Using Project Management and Other Software (cont’d)
4th edition comes with Fissure simulation software (quick demo) Can assign for HW, do in teams, or use in class Students should use other software (Internet, applications SW, etc.) to do assignments and projects Templates provided in various software applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project)

43 Lots of Resources Information Technology Project Management, Fourth Edition includes hundreds of references Companion Web site ( includes lecture notes, links to references, templates, review questions, etc. Evaluation versions of Project 2003 and VPMi provided with text Lots of info on my Web site ( including many sample documents, articles, information from my classes, etc.

44 Questions? Feel free to use templates, syllabus ideas, etc.
from my Web site at Contact me at

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