Managing Technical Projects

Learn via this 2-day course at an introductory level how to manage technical projects to maximize project success.

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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.

  • This course may be credited toward the maintenance of the INCOSE Certified Systems Engineering Professional (CSEP) certification for 16 Professional Development Units and PDUs may be claimed for PMI’s family of certifications, including PMP
  • This course qualifies for Engineers Australia and Engineering New Zealand (IPENZ) CPD purposes (16 hours)
  • This course may qualify for CPD, CLP and similar purposes with other organizations (16 instructor hours)
  • This course may be credited toward the maintenance of the Project Management Institute (PMI) certifications. Suggested PMI Talent Triangle® PDU allocation:
    • Ways of Working – 8
    • Power Skills – 5
    • Business Acumen – 3


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Key Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, participants 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.

Participants 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?

Do you Offer Tailoring of this Course?

Yes. All courses are tailored informally verbally in delivery by selecting, where possible, examples matched to the domains of interest to the class. We can also work with you to design a formally customized curriculum for the development of your people. We have done so for many client companies, and we would love to work with you to this end. We always suggest that a client takes the corresponding standard course prior to any customization. For systems engineering, this is because systems engineering is the problem-independent and solution technology-independent principles and supporting methods for the engineering of systems, based on systems thinking. So the objectives of customization need to be very clear and focused on adding further value. In practice, customization, if performed, usually becomes the replacement of examples and possibly the main workshop system with domain-specific equivalents. Substitution of the workshop system usually involves substantial redevelopment of courseware. Out of necessity, formal tailoring of courseware is performed on a fee basis.

1. Introduction to Managing Technical Projects (1 hour)

  • goals and proven benefits of world class systems engineering and management
  • key features of world class systems engineering
  • key features of world class management
  • International Standardisation Organisation (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 15288:2015,
    Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA)/Interim Standard (IS) 632, EIA 632, Institution of Electrical and Electronic
    Engineers (IEEE) 1220, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) systems engineering standards
  • Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)
  • pitfalls and pointers

2. Systems Engineering Basics (1.5 hours)

  • systems engineering principles and concepts
  • workshop: systems engineering principles
  • pitfalls and pointers

3. A Systems Engineering Process View (0.5 hour)

  • 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)
  • pitfalls and pointers

4. Planning the Engineering Effort (4 hours)

  • 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 (2 hours)

  • the work to be accomplished
  • alternative organizational strategies
  • using Integrated Product Teams (IPT), and relationship to Integrated Product and Process Development
  • keys to success
  • workshop: designing a project organization
  • pitfalls and pointers

6. Engineering Management Controls (3 hours)

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

7. Performance Based Progress Management (1 hour)

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

8. Leading and Managing the Technical Team (2 hours)

  • 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 (0.5 hour)


Note 1: The timing of course modules is indicative only and subject to variation between deliveries. The content of some modules e.g., verification and validation and systems engineering management, is delivered incrementally

Note 2: Timings refer to actual delivery including morning and afternoon break discussions. Significant discussion also usually occurs before formal start, over lunch breaks, and after formal end for a course day.

Featured Course Reviews

Great material and the knowledge of the presenter. The course provided very valuable information that will be put to use immediately.


I learned a great deal about my co-workers by observing their reactions to the course material – an invaluable part of the course for me. I will also benefit from the templates and other example/reference material. Being able to use these tools or standard templates will also be highly beneficial.


Good structure in the course, supplemented by professional course material, presented by a presenter who knew what he was talking about.


Great material and the knowledge of the presenter. The course provided very valuable information that will be put to use immediately.


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