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Teaching Project Management


Teaching Project Management Kathy Schwalbe, Ph.D., PMP March 17, 2005 Happy St. Patrick s Day! Presentation Outline What is project management? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teaching Project Management

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

Happy St. Patricks Day!
My Danny boy!
My son, my sister, and me at a ND vs. Stanford
game in 1999. GO IRISH!
Presentation Outline
  • What is project management?
  • Why should students interested in technical
    fields learn about it?
  • Suggestions for structuring a project management
  • Methods for engaging students and having them
    help you and others
  • Using project management and other software
  • Lots of resources

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)

Project Management Framework
This figure and others are from my book,
Information Technology Project Management,
Fourth Edition
Benefits of Good Project Management
  • Better control of financial, physical, and human
  • 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)

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

Standish Group Statistics
The Standish Group, Latest Standish Group CHAOS
Report Shows Project Success Rates Have Improved
by 50, (March 25, 2003).
Why Should IT Students Study Project Management?
  • Even if they have no desire to lead teams,
    theyll 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

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
  • 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)

Top Ten Most in Demand IT Skills
Top Information Technology Skills
Percentage of Respondents
Information Technology (IT) Skill
Cosgrove, Lorraine. January 2004 IT Staffing
Update, CIO Research Reports, (February 3, 2004).
Growth in PMP Certification, 1993-2004
Suggestions for Structuring a Course in Project
  • 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

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

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

Tailor Projects to Help You and Others
  • Experiment with team projects and homework
    assignments, and dont 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)

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

Project Selection for My Project Management
  • 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 whats 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

Student Survey Form
HW1 Template to Propose a Team Project
Student Name Date Potential Project
Name Project Sponsors 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
Weighted Scoring Model for Project Selection
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)

Tools to Enhance Team Building Early in the
  • 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 members

Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI)
  • Many organizations use MBTI as part of team
  • 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

Project Planning Tools
  • Require students to prepare several planning
  • Scope statement (includes descriptions of all
    project deliverables and criteria for project
  • 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

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
  • Rotate who presents review info

Closing Projects
  • Have each team 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
  • Have each individual prepare
  • a personal lessons learned
  • a project and team grade assessment

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
  • Students love it when you have the syllabus,
    templates, and other info on a class Web site

Sample of My Site
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
  • 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

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.
Another Sample Team Web Site (a student org.
sponsored it)
This project helped a student organization plan
an important function.
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.
Sample Templates Students Could Use for their
  • 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

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Gantt Chart Template
Work Breakdown Structure Schedule
You can also enter resource information on the
Gantt chart.
Sample Responsibility Assignment Matrix A
Product of This Project
Progress Report Information
  • Have periodic reviews with team member showing
    project progress
  • Work completed this period
  • Work to complete next period
  • Whats going well and why
  • Whats not going well and why
  • Suggestions/Issues
  • Project changes 
  • Amazing how well reviews keep teams on track and
    help them get it

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!

Using Project Management and Other Software
  • 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
  • Templates provided in various software
    applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Project)

Lots of Resources
  • Information Technology Project Management, Fourth
    Edition includes hundreds of references
  • Companion Web site (www.course.com/schwalbe4e)
    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 (www.kathyschwalbe.com
    ), including many sample documents, articles,
    information from my classes, etc.

Feel free to use templates, syllabus ideas,
etc. from my Web site at www.kathyschwalbe.com. Co
ntact me at schwalbe_at_augsburg.edu.
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