Global Project Management Course Description-Global Education - Carnegie Mellon University

67-326: Global Project Management

Spring Semester, 2009, Mini A3

Instructor: Randy S. Weinberg

Office: Porter Hall 224C

Phone: 412-268-3228


Course Meetings: Tuesdays, 3:00pm - 4:20pm, Porter Hall 226B
Required Readings: Articles and Cases (links will be provided or cases distributed); Guide to Case Analysis (Discussion of Preparing, Discussing, Presenting Cases - UC, Santa Barbara)

General Project Management and Outsourcing:

Working Across Cultures by John Hooker
The Art of Project Management by Scott Berkin
Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products by Jim Highsmith
Offshoring Information Technology: Sourcing and Outsourcing to a Global Workforce by Erran Carmel and Paul Tjia

Software Failures:

Why Software Fails: We waste billions of dollars each year on entirely preventable mistakes By Robert N. Charette in IEEE Spectrum Magazine
Who Killed the Virtual Case File: How the FBI blew more than $100 million on case-management software it will never use by Harry Goldstein in IEEE Spectrum Magazine

There are, of course, many good books, articles and sources on project management and professional communications available at most major bookstores and on the internet.

Course Overview

Project Management is the art of 'getting things done.'

Global System Project Management is a three-unit "impact module" intended to expose students to basic principles of global project management and effective teamwork and collaboration. In this survey course, students will learn about global project management, effective teamwork and collaboration from theoretical and practical viewpoints. It will prepare students to understand key issues in systems lifecycle planning, managing and coordinating distributed project teams, organizing work products, implementing process and quality metrics, maintaining effective control and coordination, and risk management. The course will provide students with guidance to resources for follow-up and additional learning.

Students across all disciplines are increasingly likely to find themselves working on global development teams during internships or upon graduation. They will collaborate with team members, business partners and vendors in highly distributed work groups on a wide variety of business, consumer, and intellectual products and services. In an highly interconnected global marketplace, the ability to work on, and manage, distributed teams and distributed project development is an important skill. Students who understand the basics of global project management, teamwork and collaboration are likely to find themselves at a competitive advantage over those who do not.

The need for research, education and training in global project management is acute. While most major companies conduct global projects, many do not have effective, established practices to help project managers and team members work over a distance. Researcher Barry Shore writes, “We need a better understanding of what works, what does not work, and why. And as the geographic scope of projects widen, we need to address the challenges introduced by globally distributed business units, outsourcing, and cultural differences.”

Students will be exposed to topics including: project initiation, planning, and budgeting; control, measuring and monitoring performance and quality; building effective project teams; working with third parties, communicating and collaborating across political and cultural boundaries, and risk management.
Topics will be explored though a combination of assigned readings and lectures. Students will collaborate with classmates on a real-world project planning assignment, and will complete various project management exercises intended to challenge them to think about key issues in managing complex projects across traditional boundaries.

Specifically, students will gain:

• an understanding of a global project life cycle and the basics of project management;
• an understanding of team-building and collaboration;
• exposure to key issues in cross-cultural communication and collaboration across cultural and temporal boundaries;
• practice in designing quality assurance methods and risk management techniques.

Classes will typically consist of lectures, guest speakers, class discussions and in-class exercises, and discussions of case studies. A short final examination will be arranged; questions will be distributed to the class in advance of the exam.