Formal Syllabus for

MG415: Project Management

Summer II, 2010

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:

a. Courses: None

b. 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 by the completion of this course. Microsoft Project is made available for free to all MET students.

Students will be expected to complete a Final 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 meet Wednesdays from 6 - 9 pm. The room is CAS B20.

2.2        Delivery Mode

The course will be conducted in the classroom.

2.3        Instructor:

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

Contact: Phone:           (617) 358-3583

If you want to contact me, it is always quicker and easier to write an email.

2.4        Other Information

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.


3.         Text & Materials

3.1        Required Text

1)         MBA Fundamentals: Project Management, 2008

            Vijay Kanabar and Roger D. H. Warburton

            Kaplan Publishing, NY, NY.

3.2        Useful Texts:

            A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, 2008

            (PMBOK® Guide)  Fourth Edition

            Project Management Institute

            Newton Square, PA.

3.3        Other Required Materials:

Microsoft Project 2007

Microsoft Word, Excel & Power Point

Students are not expected to know how to use MS Project. 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:

Define major terms and concepts related to project management

Discuss the role of the modern project manager

Discuss the range, scope, structure, culture, and complexity of modern projects

Develop a project plan

Apply project management tools and techniques to case situations

Estimate project costs, resources, and schedules

Measure the progress of projects

Acquire data from a real world project, analyze the data using project management tools, and present conclusions and recommendations about the project.

4.2        Course Learning Objectives

In pursuing these objectives, the course will:

1. Use the text and cases

2. Combine theory and practice

3. Combine the strategic with the tactical

4. Use relevant concepts to analyze and assess complex project management situations

5. Relate a project to the complex environments that influence it

6. Use project management software tools to aid in making management decisions

4.3        Course Expectations and Delivery Mode

There will be two project management lectures each week.

In each class there is one discussion topic. Every student will be expected to research and contribute to the discussion each class. Students are encouraged to conduct research and to seek out cases beyond the text and lecture topics.

Each class there are homework assignments. Every student will be expected to complete all of these assignments.

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.

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 here.






Introduction & PMI

The Project: Definition



Organizational Strategy & Project Selection

            Net Present Value, Portfolios



Organizational Types

            Functional, Matrix, Network

Organizational Culture




The Work Breakdown Structure



WBS in Class Exercise




Cost Estimation & Work Packages







The Project Plan

            Networks, Critical Path



MS Project

Risk & PERT




Project Performance Measurement
            Earned Value



No Class – Holiday



Management vs Leadership in PM

Ethics & Power



No Class – Thanksgiving




Managing Teams, Recruiting and Developing Partners, Trust & Communication, Negotiation



International & Virtual Projects



Final Exam


4.5.1     Homework

Each class there are written homework assignments, which students are expected to complete. Assignments are due at the beginning of class the next week.

Each class there are is an assigned discussion topic. Students are expected to research the topic and to contribute comments in class.  

4.5.2     Final Project

Students are expected to complete a final project, which is due in the last class. Each individual student completes their own project (there are no team projects in this course).

4.5.3     Exams

There is one exams: a final. The final exam will take place on August 5th. The final exam will cover material from the entire course.

4.6        Grading

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



Mid Term


Research Project


Final Exam