Course Manager

Course Overview

Today most organizations recognize the importance of projects in delivering on strategic initiatives. Many are starting to recognize that project management is much more than a set of operational tools. Few, however, have successfully implemented a full and complete project management governance framework including portfolio and program management tools and techniques and a solid understanding of the role of senior executives in delivering successful projects. This course is designed to shed light on this emerging organizational issue that is expected to be of interest to both strategic management and project management.

This course will prepare managers to understand projects as part of the strategic management of organizations. We begin by exploring why projects fail and then go on to discuss the key attributes of effective project governance at the strategic management levels of organizations. By generating discussion between project managers and middle and executive managers about how to set up projects and project management for success, we will develop critical insights into the organizational supports necessary to successfully manage projects in today’s organizations.


Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students should be able to:
• understand what makes or breaks projects.
• describe the fundamentals of project and project management governance, governmentality, and leadership.
• assess theories, models, paradigms, and institutions of project governance.
• evaluate the costs, benefits, and consequences of implementing project governance.
• play an effective role in the leadership and management of project management within their organizations.

Course Outline

The course is divided into eight themes that are studied over an eight-week period:

  • Lesson 1: What makes or breaks projects? Project success and failure
  • Lesson 2: Why project management is not enough. Project and project management governance, governmentality, and leadership
  • Lesson 3: What approaches inform project governance? Theories, models, paradigms, and institutions
  • Lesson 4: What are the organizational enablers of project governance? Tactics and strategy
  • Lesson 5: What are the benefits and challenges of implementing project governance? Benefits realization and best practices in private and public sectors
  • Lesson 6: What are effective tools and techniques of project governance? Established practices and state of the art perspectives on earned value management, stage-gating, and systems engineering
  • Lesson 7: What are the consequences of project governance? Success, trust, control, and ethics
  • Lesson 8: Now what do we need to do? Shaping project success from the top down and bottom up

Student Evaluation

Your grade will be based on the successful completion of an individual assignment, two group case studies and on your participation in moderated group discussions.