Syllabus – ise 515: Engineering Project Management

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Syllabus – ISE 515: Engineering Project Management

Spring 2012, Tuesday 6:40pm – 9:20pm


Erich Kreidler


949.278.7001 (appointment required)


SSC 101


Office Hours

Tuesday 4:30pm – 5:30pm or by appointment


Maryam Tabibzadeh




OHE 340


Office Hours

Thu 3:30pm – 5:00pm

Course Description:

This course will provide you with a basic exposure to the tasks and challenges facing today’s projects and in particular, those of the project manager. Imagine managing globally distributed teams while adhering to scope, budget, time constraints while balancing project risks and rigorous quality demands. This course will provide you with the tools and – as important – behavioral skills to systematically manage projects for profit and non-profit organizations.

The course objectives are:

  • Acquire and fine-tune the skills and techniques for the 4 phases in the life cycle of a typical project: initiating, planning, executing and closing

  • Gain an understanding of essential principles associated with effective project management and how to apply these principles in the day-to-day business environment

  • Familiarize yourself with commonly available computer software tools

  • Understand and apply methods for solving and avoiding common difficulties associated with project management

The subject matter will be covered using lectures and discussions, case studies, text reading, individual research, group discussion and preparation of a comprehensive project management plan in a team environment.


Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme, 5th Edition by Robert K. Wysocki. Publisher: Wiley Publishing; ISBN: 978-047042367-7.

Project Management Body of Knowledge (optional): Available from the university bookstore or from the Project Management Institute website ( for PMI members.

Quantitative Methods in Project Management (optional), by John C. Goodpasture. Available from the university bookstore.

Riding the Tiger (optional): Leading Through Learning in Turbulent Times, by Priscilla Nelson, Ed Cohen. Publisher: American Society for Training and Development (July 1, 2010). ISBN 13: 978-1562867348

Software: Microsoft ® Project: Copies of Microsoft ® Project are available on the ISE laboratory computers in GER 309 (open M-F 8 to 5). A 60-day trial of Microsoft ® Project can be downloaded from Microsoft’s website.

Case Studies HBR Sourced (

9-303-003: The SK-II Globalization Project Case

308049: ATEK PC Project Management Office Case

910D16 American Constructors Inc.

9-483-098: Mat McGregor (A)

600021: Learning from Projects

Blackboard (Online access to materials):

The assignments, handouts, lecture notes, team rosters and other class information will be posted in All students are expected to be able to access information from here.

Class project:

The class project consists of a group project where project management skills will be demonstrated. The students will be provided with a project where all the elements of project planning are explicit and clearly defined. The class project will be graded based on the class presentation, final report and a 360° team rating. The groups will be created during the fourth week of class.


Participation: 25%. This includes class participation (in person or via Webex/phone). DEN students’ participation will be graded based on email interaction with the instructor, TA and other students as well as the discussion forum.

Homework assignments and case studies: 25%. Homework must be turned in at the specified due date or via DEN prior to the beginning of class. No late assignments will be accepted. One homework assignment (lowest grade) may be dropped.

Class Project: 30% (divided into 3 parts). The final report is due on 4/24/12.

Midterm: 10%. The midterm will cover all the materials covered until 2/28/12 (inclusive). This date will mark the end of the first part of the course.

Final Exam: 10%. The final exam will be comprehensive of all the course materials, with an emphasis on the second part of the course and guest lectures. The university schedules the final exam date and time. Please do not request an alternate date, as none can be accommodated.


Regular class attendance is strongly encouraged and recommended, but not mandatory.

Note: Attendance will be taken for the first two weeks of class. If a student fails to attend during this period, the student will be dropped from the class without further contact.

Quality Expectations:

Professional deliverables are expected at all times, both for content and presentation. This means that all the homework, project, papers and other artifacts must be prepared using a word processor, spreadsheet or any other relevant computer software (e.g. MS Project). Make sure all documents have at a minimum:

  • Your name and/or your team member names

  • No spelling mistakes

  • Date and document title

  • Professional analysis, conclusions and/or recommendations

Academic Integrity:

The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering adheres to the University’s policies and procedures governing academic integrity as described in SCampus. Students are expected to be aware of and to observe these academic integrity standards as they will be strictly enforced throughout the semester.

Course Schedule:




Reading Requirements




What is a project?

Starting a project

Chapter 1



Triple constraint

Organizing a project: Project team, manager

The work breakdown structure (WBS)

Chapter 2

Chapter 4 pages 124-140



Homework #1 due (individual)

Discuss The SK-II Globalization Project

Scheduling tools, time estimating

Class project release, assign project teams

Chapter 4 pages 141-179

Class Project (Company X)



Homework #2 due

Discuss American Constructors, part 1

Discuss The Mythical Man Month

How to plan a project: The project plan

The Mythical Man Month



Planning the budget

Resource allocation

American Constructors



Class project part 1 due

Discuss class project part 1

Guest Lecture: Leadership



Project cost reports

Project Reviews



Homework #3 due

Discuss American Constructors, part 2 Accelerating a project

Conflict Resolution

Accelerating a project.pdf



Midterm Exam



Spring Recess



Class project part 2 due

Discuss class project part 2

Risk and contingency

Handling project changes

Chapter 4 pages 180-191



Project control, Monitoring tools

Earned Value

Chapter 6



Homework #4 due

Learning From Projects Discussion

Completing a project

Hiring and Firing

Guest Lecture: Chain Project Management in Global Supply Chain Management Projects

Chapter 7



Homework #6 due

Discuss The AtekPC Project Management Office

Guest lecturer: Organizational Change Management



Homework #5 due

Guest lecturer: Managing a project crisis

Project Pathology



Class project part 3

Class project presentations

Review course materials, answer questions



Study Day



***Final Examination 7pm – 9pm***

Assignment Name and Description

Homework #1:

  • Submit your updated resume (one per team member)

  • Case Study: 9-303-003 The SK-II Globalization Project (team assignment)

Homework #2:

  • American Constructors case study, part 1 (team assignment)

Homework #3:

  • American Constructors case study, part 2 (team assignment)

Homework #4:

  • Learning From Projects Paper (individual assignment)

Homework #5:

  • Mat McGregor Case Study (team assignment)

Homework #6:

  • Case study: Atek Project Management Office (team assignment)

Class Project (part 1; 10% of grade) – Based on RFP, write a list of follow up questions, WBS, team structure

Class Project (part 2 10% of grade) – Based on RFP, write a list of follow up questions, draft Project Plan

Class Project (part 3; 10% of grade) – Based on RFP, write final Project Plan

Disability Services and Programs:

Any student requesting academic accommodations based on a disability is required to register with Disability Services and Programs (DSP) each semester. A letter of verification for approved accommodations can be obtained from DSP. Please be sure the letter is delivered to me or to the TA as early in the semester as possible. DSP is located in STU 301 and is open 8:30am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday. The phone number for DSP is 213.740.0776.
Note: This syllabus is subject to change as announced in class.
ISE 515 – Engineering Project Management Study Guide

  • Project management process – general understanding of elements

  • What is the distinction between management and project management

  • Difference between projects, programs and business processes

  • Conceptual idea of the triple constraint; understanding what we mean by cost, schedule and performance

  • Performance, schedule and cost issues – origin and avoidance

  • Why does one start a project?

  • Scope statement-elements, meaning and application

  • Understand project initiation within context of internal and external customers

  • Statement of work – what is it/application

  • Elements of proposal process

  • Requirements and specifications

  • Contract types

  • Program management plan

    • What is it

    • Elements

    • Planning issues

    • Benefit to PM

  • Role of triple constraint in PM plan

  • WBS

    • What is it

    • Meaning of product oriented, deliverable based

    • Features of a good one

    • Comparison of functional based vs. product oriented deliverable

    • Ability to construct one

  • Task size guidelines

  • WBS dictionary – be able to write one

  • Network diagrams

  • TESTETIL diagrams

    • What is it

    • Be able to draw and status

  • Scheduling options

    • Understand types and advantages/disadvantages

  • CPM and PERT

  • Slack and float

    • Definition

    • Identification and usage

  • Cost elements

  • Resource constraints

    • Identifying them

    • Effect on plan

    • Strategies to overcome

    • Solve simple projects with network concepts

  • Accelerating projects, “crashing”

  • Risk

    • What is it

    • Types of risk

    • Risk statement

    • Process to manage

  • Risk management plan – ability to write one

  • Risk mitigation strategies – ability to identify them for various problems

  • Effect of team size and project duration on project performance

  • Expectations of the organization on the PM

  • Skills needed by a PM

  • Conflict resolution

  • Measurements to show performance against the plan

  • How do you make “% complete” work

  • Program reviews – why, types

  • Task review – why, content

  • Tracking with cost vs. time upside/downside

  • Earned value terminology, definition, usage, upside/downside, calculations

  • Variances – definitions, calculation

  • Change control

  • Scope change control – elements, plan

  • Completing a project- understanding the elements

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