Managing Technical Projects

A course presented over 2 days by Alwyn Smit

  • Summary
  • Schedule / Register
  • Course Overview
  • Course Outline

Experience is that projects have difficulty in delivering solutions to stakeholders on time, on budget and satisfying needs. The greater the problem complexity, solution complexity, novelty, and diversity of stakeholders, the more this experience applies.

This two-day course provides an introductory level of understanding of how to manage technical projects to maximize project success, within a set of constraints. The course establishes principles and exposes methods for managing to get the best out of people, individually and in teams.

This Managing Technical Projects course is designed for people who seek a working knowledge of how to best go about managing engineering projects, especially projects involving non-trivial engineering.


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Key Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, delegates are expected to:

  • have a reasonable working knowledge of how to go about successfully managing technical projects;
  • be ready to take on a limited management role; and
  • be better equipped to work within projects.

Higher levels of skill and performance in a project/technical management role will subsequently be attained through practical experience.

Training Method and Materials

The course is delivered using a balanced combination of video, presentations, workshops and discussion sessions. The workshops and discussions are focused on putting into practice the techniques covered in the presentations and the lessons to be learned from the video.

The workshops are used extensively to reinforce learning and to contribute to the development of understanding.

Delegates will be provided with:

  • a set of comprehensive bound course notes covering the presentation material and workshop exercises;
  • other materials and checklists for future reference and use; and
  • complimentary access to PPI's evolving Systems Engineering Goldmine.

Who Should Attend this Course?

This Managing Technical Projects course is designed for personnel of all types who plan, manage, control, specify or support the development or acquisition of important products, including software products, or systems. The course will be of particular value to program managers, project sponsors, project managers and their planning advisers, technical managers, system engineers, software systems engineers, engineers of all other types, stakeholders in the product being developed such as users and planners, and those responsible for the development of policy and processes in the fields of development, acquisition, and supply.

The course will also be of value to anyone who will interface with a Project Team and who seeks an understanding of projects, e.g. members of functional units. Relevant functional units could include Integrated Logistic Support, Configuration Management, Human Resources, Safety, Finance, etc.

To summarize, the course will be of value to anyone who may take on a role within, or in relation to, a project team.

Those seeking a much deeper understanding, especially as relevant to technology-intensive projects, may prefer to attend PPI’s five-day Systems Engineering Management course.

Some Key Questions

  • How does managing engineering projects differ from managing in general?
  • Why is the following the PMBOK not enough?
  • What is systems engineering and how is it relevant?
  • What are the Skills, Knowledge and Attitudes (SKAs) conducive to success in conducting technical projects?
  • What is the role of the technical manager in ensuring these SKAs are in place?
  • How are system life cycle models relevant?
  • What is the relevance of Waterfall development, Incremental development, Evolutionary development, Agile, Spiral development, Lean, simultaneous/ concurrent engineering?
  • What is the role of Project (Work) Breakdown Structure PBS/WBS in successful projects?
  • How can PBS/WBS best be developed?

1. Introduction to Managing Technical Projects

  • goals and proven benefits of world class systems engineering and management
  • key features of world class systems engineering
  • key features of world class management
  • ISO/IEC 15288:2015, EIA/IS-632, EIA 632, IEEE 1220, CMMI systems engineering standards
  • pitfalls and pointers

2. Systems Engineering Basics

  • systems engineering principles and concepts
  • pitfalls and pointers

3. The Systems Engineering Process

  • understanding the inputs and the outputs
  • defining the problem — requirements analysis
  • designing the physical solution
  • describing the logical solution — functional analysis
  • effectiveness evaluation and decision making
  • specification writing
  • system integration
  • verification and validation
  • logistics support analysis (LSA) and integrated logistics support (ILS)
  • Workshop: systems engineering principles
  • pitfalls and pointers

4. Planning the Engineering Effort

  • the plan
  • styles of development and relationship to planning
  • waterfall, incremental, evolutionary, agile, lean, spiral, concurrent engineering
  • engineering for modifications
  • cost estimating
  • scheduling the engineering effort
  • decision analysis and value/cost engineering
  • project (work) breakdown structure (PBS/WBS)
  • Workshop: developing a PBS/WBS
  • pitfalls and pointers

5. Organizing for the Engineering Effort

  • the work to be accomplished
  • alternative organizational strategies
  • using integrated product teams (IPT), and relationship to IPPD/IPPD
  • keys to success
  • Workshop: designing a project organization
  • pitfalls and pointers

6. Engineering Management Controls

  • requirements management
  • risk management
  • configuration management
  • interface management
  • data management
  • knowledge management
  • pitfalls and pointers

7. Performance Based Progress Management

  • technical performance measurement
  • technical progress meetings
  • earned value
  • pitfalls and pointers

8. Leading and Managing the Technical Team

  • roles of leadership in complex projects
  • difference between management and leadership
  • power and the influencing of behavior
  • situational aspect of leadership styles and follower readiness
  • team-building and conflict resolution techniques
  • successful motivation practices
  • effective leader communications

9. What is needed to achieve world-class engineering and management

Course Presenter

Mr. Alwyn Smit has spent the bulk of his career working in the South African defence industry as systems engineer and project manager on technology-intensive projects, most recently as principal systems engineer with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). LEARN MORE

Corporate Training

PPI offers all public training courses on-site, worldwide and has a range of specialist on-site only courses. Wherever your company is based, PPI will come and upskill your engineering and project teams. LEARN MORE

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