7 modules/ 9 days
October 18-November 29, 2022
live sessions (virtual delivery)
Tuition and Fees
Basic Project Management skills
Managing projects is a core competency for engineers
While project management skills have always been an essential part of large-scale civil engineering projects, these skills are now increasingly required as part of daily work routines. This requirement often applies when designing new products, implementing new delivery systems or integrating new technologies into an organization. For engineers, strong project management skills will help them to enhance their work performance, improve communications between teams and regularly make a positive impact. Most project management courses are designed for dedicated project managers working on large-scale projects. This course is different, because it is built for engineers in all sorts of roles and sectors.
Who Should Attend?
This course is best for engineers and technologists (usually graduates) who have assumed project management responsibilities or are about to assume them. Typically, course participants join the course with limited project management educational training. They may be leading their own engineering businesses, technology ventures or consulting firms, or working in large organizations that are tasked with developing new products and technologies.
What You Will Learn
1. The five main stages of the project management process and how they interact
2. The eight main project management documents to develop a project management plan
3. Project management trade-offs between time, cost and scope
4. Project risks (technological, operational, financial)
The introductory module will focus on an overview of Project Management, why it is useful and how it has evolved, featuring experienced engineering project managers from a variety of industries. It will introduce topics based on traditional waterfall methodologies, contrasting them with the increasingly relevant agile approach, and introduce many of the topics being covered in subsequent modules. While most of the material and examples will be directly relevant for engineers, there are two sections of note: (Module 4) the challenges of managing projects in a technology environment; and (Module 6), the increasing role of societal implications and ethical considerations in engineering projects, and how to address them. The first module will also include an overview of program expectations.
Module 2 – Project Management Foundation (1 day)
With or without direct project management experience, attendees will gain a unique perspective on how projects are created, managed, and executed. This module will address the five core stages of the project management process: Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring/Control, and Closure and the relationship between them. It will also introduce each of the critical documents created in the project management process: Stakeholder Analysis, Project Charter, Budget, Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), Role and Responsibility Assignment, Project Communications Plan, Risk Matrix and Project Schedule, identifying how each is used in practice with detailed instructions on how they will be used in this course. We will look at the three critical elements of every project during the start-up phase and build on the business case, which we will start to develop before the project is even started. We also address the common project management obstacles in the engineering field and lay a foundation for the modules that follow. A brief review of online engineering management tools follows to help you decide which to use, or how to use your existing project management system better.
Module 3 – Planning, Scheduling and Control in Engineering Projects (2 days)
This module will present a complete foundation for the successful planning and implementation of both simple and complex technical projects. We will look at how to form a project team, scope projects and manage within a matrix environment. Activities will include developing a detailed and high-level project plan, creating activity-based network diagrams and working with the critical path. Particular attention will be paid to the role of waterfall methodologies and the opportunities and challenges of agile. The different hurdles facing short, informal projects and large scale, multi-year complex projects will be compared and contrasted with guidance on how to choose the appropriate one for your project. This module will introduce the course project, which is critical to completing the course and attaining the course certificate.
Module 4 – The Human-Side of Project Management in an Engineering Environment (1 day)
There are unique challenges to managing people in an engineering project, in many cases due to the nature of the project itself. We discuss teamwork, and how to align team objectives, allocate responsibilities, and manage performance. We also help define roles in the project and provide insights into how the different individual, creative problem styles of team members can be harnessed to improve project outcomes. Critical attention is paid to communication and how the project management tools (especially online shared information) can enhance team performance and improve project outcomes. In addition, we will provide a brief overview of the challenges of change management for those involved in and affected by the implementation of a project.
Module 5 – Managing Risk in Engineering and Technical Projects (2 days)
Many risks in an engineering or technical project increase the complexity of the risks normally associated with traditional project management. This module will present risk identification and analysis tools that can be used to mitigate technology, implementation, operational, supply chain and financial risks by developing risk mitigation strategies and contingency planning. Specific attention is paid to the development of a project risk management framework, informal and formal risk response planning and how to embed risk management into the project plan. The importance of monitoring for risk will also be discussed, using a team-based approach and real-life examples.
Module 6 – Our Project Environment and How We Get Work Done (1 day)
This module will embed multiple challenges found in engineering project management and include several guest speakers who will share their experiences and answer specific participant questions. Topics include insights into engineering project life cycles and the increasing role of project management in the workplace. Participants will be asked to choose between a half-day where the focus is on project management in new product development (using design thinking) or the role of project management in innovation, especially when introducing new technologies into an organization. Given the increase in ethical issues being raised by the development and deployment of new technologies, we will also discuss the ethical considerations around project implementation, especially as specific projects impact: inclusivity, sustainability and equity.
Module 7 – Our Project Environment and Implementing Your Projects (1 day)
This module will invite guest speakers to share real-life case studies and the lessons they have learned from them. It will give participants the opportunities to share their projects and gain feedback from participants. This step equally provides the opportunity to discuss the challenges of implementation. The final class will focus on how project managers get work done in team-based work environments.
Founder and National Program Director, Centre of Excellence in Project Management
Schulich School of Business