Q7503 Principles of Project Management

Course Syllabus





Q7503 provides an overview of the roles, responsibilities, and management methods of the technology project manager.  The course assumes no prior knowledge in management techniques and is intended to teach students how to develop approaches and styles of management for software projects.  The course assumes a basic understanding of analysis techniques.


Instructor        John Musser

Email                jm2217@columbia.edu

URL                 http://www.columbia.edu/~jm2217

Class Session    Wednesday 6:10-9:10

Office Hours     After class, via email, or by appointment


Course Objectives


  1. To provide students with a clear understanding of the unique risks, issues, and critical success factors associated with technology projects
  2. To introduce students to the role and function of project management
  3. To explain the stages and process of the project life cycle
  4. To understand the various techniques for planning and managing a technology project
  5. To examine basic methodologies for software design, development, testing and implementation
  6. To examine various techniques for managing a software development team
  7. To understand the need and techniques for managing users and user expectations
  8. To learn project planning techniques through the use of Microsoft Project




Midterm                                                20%

Final                                                     20%

Course Project                                      25%

Homework                                            20%

Attendance/Class Participation               15%


Required Textbooks


  1. Rapid Development, McConnell, Steve, Microsoft Press, 1996, ISBN 1-55615-900-5.


  1. Information Technology Project Management, Schwalbe, Kathy, 2nd ed., Course Technology, 2002, ISBN 0-619-03528-5 (this text includes a 120 day evaluation copy of MS-Project 2000).


  1. Note that during the term I will also assign readings from online resources. You will be given the appropriate URLs during class and these will be listed on the class web site.



Microsoft Project ’98 or 2000 (evaluation copy included in Schwalbe text).



NOTE: This syllabus will change: Please use the class web site for the latest schedule.







Class 1

Course Overview

-          Course Introduction

-          Project Management (PM) Fundamentals

-          The PM field and job market

-          People, Process, Product, Technology

-          36 Classic Mistakes


Class 2

Overview of Project Management

-          PMI Processes

-          Software project phases

-          Organizational structures

-          Project charter

-          Statement of Work (SOW)

Readings (to be completed prior to this session):

·         McConnell: chapters 1-4

·         Schwalbe: chapters 1-2, 11 “Project Procurement Management” (336-345)


Class 3

Planning Phase

-          Development lifecycle models

-          Matching lifecycles to projects

-          Project plans

-          Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)


·         McConnell: 7 “Lifecycle Planning”

·         Schwalbe: 3 “Project Integration Management” (62-67), 4, “Project Scope Management”

·         URL assigned: “Project Plan Template”


Homework Due:

Project Charter for your project

Class 4

Estimation and Budgeting

-          Estimation

-          Budgeting

-          Project selection

-          NPV, ROI, Payback models


·         McConnell: 8 “Estimation”

·         Schwalbe: 6, “Project Cost Management” (157-175)



Class 5


-          Project network diagram fundamentals

-          PERT techniques

-          Gantt charts

-          Critical chain scheduling

-          Mid-term preview



·         McConnell: 9, “Scheduling”

·         Schwalbe: 5, “Project Time Management”


Homework Questions:

Initial Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) for your project

Class 6

Hands-on MS-Project & Mid-Term Exam

 -     Using MS-Project

 -     Mid-Term Exam



Class 7

Risk and Change Management

-          Mid-term review

-          Risk management

-          Change control

-          More MS-Project


·         McConnell: 5 “Risk Management”, 14 “Feature-Set Control”

·         Schwalbe: 10, “Project Risk Management”, Appendix A “Guide to Using Microsoft Project 2000” (447-477)


Class 8

Development Management

-          Team models

-          Requirements process

-          Configuration management

-          Software metrics

-          Programming languages & tools

-          Managing conflict and motivating

-          MS-Project: Assigning Resources

Homework Reading:

·        McConnell: 11 “Motivation”, 13 “Team Structure”

·         Schwalbe, 8, “Project Human Resource Management”

·         URLs to be assigned (on Requirements Process)

Homework Questions:

Top 10 Risk List for your project


Class 9

Project Control

-          Status reporting

-          Project metrics

-          Earned value analysis

-          Communications Techniques

-          Process Improvement

-          MS Project:
(a) Resource leveling

-          (b) Other views

Homework Reading:

·         McConnell: 17-19

·         Schwalbe, 6 “Project Cost Management” (175-184), 9 “Project Communication Management”, 15 “Controlling




Class 10

System Test Process

-          Test specifications

-          Black box and white box testing

-          Test scripts

-          Unit and integration testing

-          Acceptance test specifications

-          Test tools

-          MS Project:
(a) Reporting


  • Schwalbe: 7 “Project Quality Management”
  • URLs as assigned on class site



Homework Assignment:

Develop and submit an initial copy of the project plan (limited to tasks & milestones) for your individual project

Class 11

Final Phases & Other Issues

-          Project Recovery

-          Documentation

-          Cutover/Migration

-          Post Project Reviews

-          Closing

-          MS Project:
(a) Advanced features


  • McConnell: 16 “Project Recovery”
  • Schwalbe: 16 “Closing”
  • URLs as assigned on class site


Class 12

Project Success

-          Management support

-          Expectations

-          Success metrics

-          Final exam review

Homework Reading:

·         URLs to be assigned


Homework Due:

Develop and submit a copy of the final project plan (include durations, resources, links, successors & predecessors) for your individual project

Class 13

Final Exam






Class Projects and Policies:


1)      Homework Policy:  Unless otherwise noted, homework is due in the class following the assignment.  Homework should be printed and legible.  Homework on disk will not be accepted. 


2)      Team Project Policy:  Team projects should be submitted both in hard and soft copy.  Soft copy should be sent by e-mail only.  Team project pieces are due as assigned.


3)      Exam Makeup Policy: There will be no makeup exams except for extenuating circumstances.


4)      Return of Final Exam and Team Projects: According to CTA policy, students need to provide a self-addressed stamped envelope if they wish to have exams returned to them.  The CTA office will no longer hold final exams for pickup.  Team projects can be returned to one team member by providing a self-addressed stamped envelope.