Course Manager

Course Overview

Worldwide, project management continues to gain acceptance in most industry sectors at a phenomenal rate. Increasingly, companies espouse project management as a core competency (Conference Board of Canada, Project Management Council Meetings, 2000).

Experts such as Tom Peters suggest that the future of work is projects and that organizations need to improve project management practices. Most people manage projects on a daily basis. Few, however, apply project management practices. Even those that consider project management their profession (15 million strong world wide according to the Project Management Institute, 1999) often use only the most basic tools and techniques.

This creates an interesting paradox. On the one hand, we note a growing interest in using different elements of project management in virtually every segment of every industry. On the other hand, over 30% of projects end up being cancelled in midstream and over half of all projects run as high as 190% over budget and 220% over the original time estimate (KPMG, 1997; Standish Group, 1995). Clearly the project management being practiced today does not meet the needs of the organizations in which it is used.

Course Objectives

This course builds from a basic understanding of project management concepts to look at advanced topics that help improve the effectiveness of project management as a discipline.

Topics covered in this course include:

  • Risk management
  • New forms of contracting
  • The role of trust in project management
  • Managing in a multi-project environment
  • Linking project management to organizational strategy
  • Project management offices
  • Global project management
  • Virtual teams
  • Project information systems

By the end of this elective students will have:

  • An understanding of recent trends in project management
  • An applied understanding of concepts that will assist the development of effective project management practices
  • An awareness of available products and services to assist project managers.

Course Outline

The course combines lectures with case studies and other group based activities.

The course assumes a basic level understanding of project management.  Students will be required to participate in online database assignments during the first three weeks of the course, and complete assigned readings, including a textbook. The in-residence week combines lectures and discussions with case studies and other group based activities, and students will complete graded assignments and activities in groups. A final assignment must be submitted four weeks after the in-residence week.