Formal Syllabus for AD642: Project Management
Spring 2011
Roger D. H. Warburton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Administrative Sciences Department
Metropolitan College
Boston University

1.    Course Overview

This course provides a systematic and thorough introduction to all aspects of project management. Projects are an increasingly important aspect of modern business, so we begin with the relation between projects and the strategic goals of the organization. The course provides the technical, cultural, and interpersonal skills necessary to successfully manage projects from start to finish. The course emphasizes that project management is a professional discipline with its own tools, body of knowledge, and skills. Concepts are reinforced by case studies covering a wide variety of project types and industries.

The course covers both the managerial and technical skills required to plan projects, acquire the necessary resources, and lead project teams to successful completion. Topics include the strategic role of projects in contemporary organizations; organizational cultures, structures and managerial styles; technical management tools (WBS, network diagrams, estimating times and costs, risks, and earned value); dealing with customers, vendors, and subcontractors; leadership; and managing teams.

1.1    Course Description from Catalog

An examination of project management concepts, including organizational forms, planning and control techniques, and the role of the project manager. Develops the skills vital to effective management of multidisciplinary tasks through lectures, case studies, and business simulations. (4 cr.)

1.2    Introduction

Purpose and Importance:

As manufacturing moves offshore, more and more companies find themselves with the prospect of having to make money from projects: individualized, non-routine, one-time efforts limited by time and resources, and defined by performance specifications imposed by customers. Therefore, every project must be successful.

Effective project management begins with selecting and prioritizing the projects that support the firm's mission and strategy. Successful implementation requires both technical and social skills. Managers must understand the technical aspects of the project life cycle, and the tools to plan, budget, and accurately determine the status of projects. Equally important and challenging is the goal of satisfying customers’ demands by employing cooperating teams, and so managers must understand leadership, accountability, organizational structures, and alliances with external organizations.

1.3     Pre-requisites:


1.4    Student Competencies:

Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Power Point are used throughout. Students are expected already to be proficient in the use of these programs.

In this course, you will learn and become proficient in Microsoft Project. No prior knowledge of Microsoft Project is assumed. Competence in Microsoft Project is a requirement for some homework assignments in this course.

Microsoft Project is made available for free to all MET students. You willbe given information once the course starts on how to download a full version of Microdoft Project, 2010. You will nopt be required to use Microsoft Project until week 4. However, it is recommended that you insatll the software as soon as possible after the course starts.

Students will be expected to complete an Independent Research project and present it in APA Paper Format. Documents describing APA format are available in the course.

2.        Basic Information

2.1        Schedule

The course will be conducted online begiining Jan 18, 2011. Week #1 begins on Tuesday Jan 18th.

2.2     Delivery Mode

The course will be conducted online.

2.3    Instructor:

Roger D. H. Warburton, Ph.D., PMP.
Associate Professor, Administrative Sciences
Metropolitan College
Boston University

Phone:(617) 358-3583

If you want to contact me, it is always quicker and easier to write an email. During the course I am online many hours per day.

2.4      Other Information

a)     Getting Started, or What Should I Do First?

You are nervous and experiencing sensory overload. Welcome to the club.

You are not alone—almost everyone is in the same boat. For most of you, it is your first graduate course, your first BU course, and your first online course. That takes quite a bit of getting used to.

There's so much to see and do it might be confusing at the start. However, don't worry! The key to success in a blended course is not to panic!

            The job of a graduate student is to move forward human knowledge.

I know this is intimidating, but my job is to challenge you. I want you to improve—there wouldn’t be much point in taking this course if you didn’t. Taking this course is not about learning project management—you could do that by reading a book. This course is about becoming a critical thinker, learning to evaluate what you read, getting some data, evaluating the source of the data, and developing your own conclusions.

If that sounds ambitious, it is. I am here to help you through that process. This is hard! Don’t expect to master it in the first week. It will be difficult and unfamiliar. I only know of one way to succeed at this: try, try, and try again.

Reading the literature should be your starting point. You have access to the library—use it. When facing an assignment, think it through and write down some key concepts and terms. Don’t just start writing. Using the topics and vocabulary you have written down, try to find and read some scholarly articles. Learn to cite and reference correctly. Finally, write your own paper with your own thoughts, weaving in the research you have done.

Ask yourself the following question: What have I written that is original? Then focus your paper on your work.

b)         General Guidance

            There are no dumb questions!

I really believe and practice this, both online and in the classroom. If you have a question, ask!

            Challenge everything!

The internet has made data accessible to everyone. In fact, there is really way too much of it. The problem is that you don’t know how to evaluate it. Where does it come from? Who wrote it and why? What is their agenda? 

I encourage you to challenge anything and everything. Don’t just read the textbook, read with a view to challenging what is being said. This is project management, not math.

There is no 2 + 2 = 4 in project management. However, if you challenge something, be sure to be able to back up your claim with research and correct references.

c)         Academic Research

What constitutes “academic research?”

Academic articles have provenance. (Look up “provenance.”) Articles are submitted to journals and evaluated anonymously by referees who are subject matter experts. The author typically revises a manuscript based on the referees’ questions and comments. Publication of the refereed article disseminates the information. Mistakes are corrected, excellent and useful work becomes accepted, and progress is made. Over time, a body of work emerges that is validated and accepted.

Academic journal articles are what you are aiming for in your research. It is tough going early on to read this stuff. Read the abstract. If it looks interesting and you understand it, read the article. After a while, you get better at skipping over the stuff that is not relevant to your assignment. In other words, for the purposes of this course, a “Google” search returns junk. (Actually, of course, a google search gets you going and we all do it. It is just not polite to mention it.)

3.         Text & Materials

3.1        Required Texts

1)         MBA Fundamentals: Project Management, 2008
Vijay Kanabar and Roger D. H. Warburton
Kaplan Publishing, NY, NY.

2)         A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 2008.
(PMBOK® Guide)    Fourth Edition
Project Management Institute
Newton Square, PA.

3.2     Other Required Materials:

Microsoft Project 2010.
Microsoft Word, Excel & Power Point

Students are not expected to know how to use MS Project on day #1. Tutorials will be provided during the course. Other software products can be used – see the Resources section.

MS Project is provided free to all MET students.

4    Course Learning Objectives

4.1    Course Goals and Objectives

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

4.2    Course Learning Objectives

In pursuing these objectives, the course will:

4.3    Course Expectations and Delivery Mode

The course will be conducted online.

There will be two project management lectures each week. In general, one lecture will focus on management issues and the other on the technical aspects and tools. Students will be expected to work through each of the lectures, along with the relevant sections of the reading materials, on their own.

Each week there is one discussion topic. Every student will be expected to research and contribute to the discussion throughout the week. Students are expected to make multiple regular contributions to the discussions. Students are encouraged to conduct research and to seek out cases beyond the text and lecture topics.

Each week there are homework assignments. Every student will be expected to conduct research in the completion of these assignments.

Project management is more of an art than a science. While there are some technical aspects that have textbook answers, much of project management cannot easily be characterized by the “right way.” Therefore, students are expected to critically interpret the text, challenge assumptions, and use data from several sources (beyond the text) to make their case and support their arguments.

We will explore the fascinating diversity of projects, looking at how the standard techniques are modified to meet the needs of different projects, industries, and cultures. Students will be expected to contribute to the diversity of cases from their personal experience.

4.4    Class Schedule

A complete breakdown of all schedule information and assignments can be found in the table below. 

4.5    Schedule of Assignments

A complete breakdown of all schedule information and assignments can be found in the table below.

In the table below, “K&W” refers to the Kanabar & Warburton textbook; “PMBOK” refers to PMI’s “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge; and “PP” refers to your Party (Personal) Project.

Important Note:

The following table gives you a week-by-week schedule. In other words, content is available elsewhere, but the schedule for what to do when, is available here. 

Week Lecture No. and
Reading Homework
  1. Projects and Project Managers
K&W, Ch. 1-2;
PMBOK Ch 1-3.
The PM’s Role   0. Introduce Yourself
  1. Challenge Everything
  1. Specification Development
K&W, Ch. 3 Party (Personal) Project (PP) Scope
  1. Mission, Goals, Objectives.
    Project Portfolios

Lecture 3

Value of your Degree

  2. Cultural Differences: The Matsushita Case
  1. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)

K&W, 4;

PMBOK Chapter 5.

WBS for PP


  1. Organizing Projects
    Project Structures

K&W 6;


Cost Estimate for your PP

  3. PM v. TD
  1. Project Networks
    (MS Project) 

K&W Ch 5

Network for PP(By hand)


  1. Cost Estimation & Schedule Estimation

K&W Ch 9 

  4. Cassandra Case

  1. Critical Path
    GANTT Charts

Network for PP MS Project


  1. Management &. Leadership

Resources for your PP

  5. The Big Dig
  1. Scheduling Staff Project Resources


  1. Risks

K&W 10

Final Project

  6. The Big Dig(Analysis & Research)
  1. Earned Value

K&W 12


    Proctored Final Exam (Part #1)
    Essay Final Exam (Part #2)

Review for Final Exam 

  Final Exam: Part 1
  Final Exam: Part 2

The chapter references above include the topic. That is, they give you the place to find the topic. For example, Week 2: WBS. PMBOK Chapter 5 contains more material than just the WBS, it contains a lot about the scope too. 

The following chapters make up the content of the course (which means that any topic from the following chapters can be on the exam):

K&W:                Everything except Chapter 11 (Quality)

PMBOK:           Everything except Chapters 8 (Quality), 9 (HR), 10 (Communications), and 12 (Procurement).

4.5.1     Homework

·   Each week there are written homework assignments, which students are expected to complete. Assignments are due at the end of the last day of the week. That is, week #1 homework assignments are due on day #7 of week #1.

·   Each week there are 2 assigned discussion topics. Students are expected to research the topic and to contribute comments in the discussion forums. Students are expected to contribute to discussions throughout the week. 

4.5.2     Research Project s
Students are expected to complete a research project by the end of week #6. Each individual student completes their own project (there are no team projects in this course). 

4.5.3     Proctored Final Exam

Be aware that there will be a proctored final exam for this course that takes place in the seventh week of this course. This exam will be in two parts (Part 1 is proctored and Part 2 is not) and will cover material from the entire course. 

Part 1 (proctored) - The first part consists of multiple-choice questions and has a 60 minute time limit. This is a closed-book exam. You will not be allowed to bring material into the testing areas.

You will be responsible for setting up your own appointment with an ACT testing center or an independent proctor. Further information about setting up an appointment will be forthcoming from your instructor and student services.

Part 2 - The second part consists of essay questions and you will have the weekend to complete the essays.

4.6        Grading

You can expect to be challenged in this course, and excellent, research quality work will be rewarded with an ‘A’. Grades do not follow a prescribed curve. . If everyone submits research-quality work, then everyone will get an A. An A grade requires research-quality excellence in all aspects of the course: homework, discussions, project and both exams.

            This is a Boston University course; that means something. One thing it means is that we recognize and reward excellence. Excellence is uncommon, even rare. Your grade, then, will reflect the standards of excellence set by Boston University, in which only truly distinguished work will receive the highest grade.

While there are strict policies for grades at MET, I do NOT impose a grading curve. 

            Homework will be in the form of Essay Questions and Exercises. Each week students will be assigned a research topic, which will be the focus the online discussions. Every student will be expected to contribute regularly throughout every week. 

            There is a major Final Project that is expected to cover all of the major topics of the course, as well as use of the tools and techniques of the course. Students will be required to demonstrate their understanding of the key features of the course, as well as the practical application of tools and techniques.

The course will consist of homework, contributions to the discussion forums, a final project, and final exams weighted as follows: 

Evaluation Measures





Research Project


Final Exam