OM 386.5: Project Management
Fall 2007, Unique No. 04080 (Monday-Wednesday 2:00-3:30 pm, UTC 1.130)
August 28, 2007
Edward G. Anderson
Department of Information, Risk, & Operations Management
Office: CBA 3.430 Office Hours: Wednesday 3:30 - 4:30 pm and by appointment
Phone: 471-6394 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration within and across a variety of projects is a growing trend. Project management has
been identified as a critical skill set, which must be retained within the firm, in the face of
emerging business models that are based on globalization and distributed work arrangements.
Our course aims to build relevant management skills by exploring tactical and strategic decisions
across three modules: (1) Effective management of tasks and risks within individual projects, (2)
Aggregate linkages across a portfolio of projects, (3) Cross-firm, cross-continent, open source,
start up and really novel developments. The course will be taught using a combination of cases,
spreadsheet assignments, managerial readings and a team based term project. The course is
designed for students interested in the intersection of following roles: business/ operations/ risk
analyst, entrepreneur, product manager, product line manager, process consultant, and supply
1. Course Texts:
• Ezra Verzuh, The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management 2nd Edition, New York:
Wiley, 2005, and
• Ted Klastorin, Project Management: Tools and Trade-offs, Wiley, 2004.
2. Reading packet: Cases and additional readings will be in a course packet available at the UT
3. Software: It will be helpful to have Microsoft Project installed on your laptop from the very
first day. Instructions are posted on Blackboard. (For non-MBAs, a student version of MS
Project is available at the campus computer store.) We will also illustrate the use @risk in
The course has two objectives:
1. To address the core managerial issues underlying the range, scope, and variety of risks and
rewards for while setting up and executing projects.
2. To provide exposure to the strategic dimensions of successful project management practices
from the following perspective:
• understand project management as a key approach to strategy implementation
• appreciate the tensions faced by project managers and their sponsors
Caveat: Training students on use of tools, such as Microsoft Project, is not a course goal. While
using such tools/data sets, we will focus on the art and analytical challenges of making
managerial decisions in project settings. Details on setting up and deploying such technology
tools will be discussed in class at appropriate times.
The course is designed to build a skill set around the following concepts:
• Module 1 (techniques): Project and task definition, critical path, work breakdown structures,
estimation, scheduling, resource allocation, and progress management; managing
uncertainty; risk mitigation and management of residual risks in conventional projects;
project control, including rework and iteration; project close-out and organizational learning.
• Module 2 (managing multiple projects and distributed work): Project portfolio
management; valuation and risk analysis; managing offshoring & outsourcing; contracting
and incentives; special issues in product development.
OM386.5 has requirements along several dimensions of learning: preparation, thoughtful
participation, group assignments, a mid-semester quiz, providing project content and process
consultation to a client team, and successful completion of a team-based project. Attendance is
important. Up to two missed/late sessions will be allowed. There will be a substantial deduction
associated with every additional session missed beyond the allowed limit. Students are
encouraged to connect with the instructor, ahead of time, for all planned absences. Where
possible, makeup work will be assigned for any planned absences.
My belief is that high levels of transparency, and multiple types of inputs, lead to a fair and
positively reinforced grading system. The following chart shows the dimensions of grading and
relevant sources of inputs:
Dimension Type Measurement Weight
Preparation/Contribution Individual Instructor's notes + TC Index 20
Mid-term Quiz Individual Scored by instructor 20
Group Assignments Group Grade Scored by instructor 20
Project Presentation &
Executive Summary* Team Grade Scored by instructor + EP Index 20
Team-mate Feedback * Individual Scored by instructor + TF Index 10
Client Feedback** Individual Scored by instructor + CF Index 10
Course Terminology/Comment: See daily assignment sheet
Preparation (present assigned material)
TC (thoughtful contribution) Index: Based on scaled input from the entire class
Mid-term Quiz: Closed book;
EP (Effective Presentation) Index: Based on scaled input from entire class
CF (Client Feedback) Index: Based on scaled input from your clients
TF (Team-mate Feedback) Index: Based on scaled input from your teammates
* Related to your team project
** Related to assignments to help a client team during their project
Criteria and instructions for scoring, along with standardized scoring sheets for computing these
indices, will be available during the term.
The objective of this four-person team exercise is to apply concepts and principles of project
management (as covered in course text, cases, and readings) to a specific project of your choice.
It is important that you envision the lifecycle of your project and how complexities,
uncertainties, and resource problems might unfold through out the term. The project exercise,
described below, can be done using either secondary data or original research. Your team may
either conduct some field work or may work with secondary data. As described below, this
exercise has been designed to create a sequence of targeted learning opportunities.
You will work together on this multi-week exercise with classmates assigned to you. Picking a
suitable project that relates to your professional interests will leverage the value you derive from
this course. A series of five phased deliverables – two of which will be reviewed by peer
consultants – will bolster your team’s learning efforts. In addition to working on your own team,
you will be assigned a client team, on whose project you can provide consultation and feedback.
There are two ways in which you can meet your independent team work requirement:
(i) Qualitative/Conceptual Project: Select and read one of the suggested books/ articles (see
the attached list at the end of this document), then select at least 3 other relevant articles (e.g.
from HBR, Sloan Management Review etc) on your own. Synthesize key ideas and then
collect data and analyze a real business project related to these key ideas. The data collection
can be qualitative and could be based on the experiences of one of your team members. Write
a short description of these experiences and then analyze the lessons from the assigned and
selected papers did (or did not) apply. If more than one team picks a suggested theme, the
instructor would view it as a competitive situation. Such teams, and their peer consultants,
are expected to keep data/ material/ analysis separate from other team projects.
(ii) Quantitative/Tools-Based/Analytical Project: Identify a real, reasonably-complex,
recently-completed project for which there is available information from prior to its formal
beginning through its completion. Suitable projects are unique (not routine or recurring),
have been completed sometime within the last ten years, have a duration of less than two
years, are moderately complex (budget between 1 and 20 million dollars, project personnel
between 25 and 100), and are known to have experienced some difficulties. Common types
of suitable projects include: public or private infrastructure development, organizational
change, product or process innovations, mergers or acquisitions, or unique events.
Experimentation with analytical techniques, either using real or assumed data, is encouraged
in this type projects. You are allowed to use a HBS case as a data source.
Deliverable 1 (Initial Proposal): By approximately the second full week of class you will be
asked submit a short (two Powerpoint slides max) description of your selected theme and how
you intend to conduct research/collect suitable information on it. Doing this selection
successfully requires you to first become acquainted with the set of three subsequent deliverables
that you will be expected to produce.
Deliverable 2A (Content Briefing): Once your project theme is approved, you will focus first
upon its origins – when strategic and organizational foundations for the project were established.
Develop a briefing that describes the project’s content (concepts, purpose, stakeholders, charter,
scope, deliverables, key resource and relevant organizational structures and inter-relationships).
Deliverable 2A, in the format of Powerpoint slides (max 3), is due on ??? and will be critically
reviewed by assigned peer consultants. The Powerpoint format is only to facilitate your group
work, not for verbal presentation. Accordingly, slides must say what you mean and will contain
more words than required only as cues for a verbal presentation. List the questions that you
would ask (to whom?) in order to assess the project plan in terms of its apparent completeness,
feasibility, and risks. Your peer consultants will provide you with written feedback based on a
preliminary assessment of this briefing in terms of its clarity, constraints, gaps, and hidden
Deliverable 2B: Peer consultants are expected to provide feedback to their clients. Instructions
on the feedback format will be posted separately.
Deliverable 3A (Status/Project Management Briefing): Develop a briefing that describes your
project’s process and management issues (e.g. your own project’s organization, tasks,
milestones, risk, resource dependencies etc). Deliverable 3A, in the format of Powerpoint slides
(max 2), is due on ??? and will be critically reviewed by assigned peer consultants.
Deliverable 3B: Peer consultants are expected to provide feedback to their clients. Instructions
on the feedback format will be posted separately.
Deliverable 4A: Your team’s final presentation on this exercise will focus on the content side.
You will present as a team during the final two weeks of class. In addition, prepare a 1-2 page
executive summary of your project’s findings to be handed in at the time of the presentation in
addition to a hard copy of the Powerpoint presentation.
Deliverable 4B: In addition to your final presentation, each team member will be asked to reflect
on the project management issues and the process of working in your team. The deliverable for
each individual team member is a (2 page) write-up. This will be due on the last day of class.
Project Meetings with the Instructor: Because the kickoff/ramp up of a suitable project is so
important to maximize your learning from this course, each team should set up a time and meet
with the instructor at during week # 4. The instructor will also make extra time slots available for
project discussions in week # 10/11.
Additional information on each of these write-ups and allied assessments will be posted on
Blackboard in the Assignments section. Pertinent issues will also be discussed in class.
A number of group assignments, some of which will involve mini-presentations, will be assigned
during the semester. Their purpose is to provide a further venue for project management skills
than available from lecture and the team project. Note that membership in the groups
responsible that perform group assignments will, in general, differ from membership in the teams
responsible for the team project. They will be available on Blackboard in the Assignments
Please consult the Course Schedule on the last page of the syllabus.
a. If you wish a regrade of any piece of course work, please return your work to be regarded
and your written statement appealing its grading to me (either by mail to my mailing
address above or to my mailbox in CBA 4.202) within FIFTEEN (15) CALENDAR DAYS
of its return in class (or in the case of the Group Project Presentation—within FIFTEEN
(15) CALENDAR DAYS of the first class day of the semester immediately following your
course). After the regrade period for the exam has elapsed, I will consider all
coursework and semester grades final unless there has been an appeal.
b. If you decide to appeal your exam grade, prepare a brief written statement explaining what
aspects of the grading on your coursework are incorrect. Be sure to document your reasons
by documenting mistakes in the grading of your coursework questions or errors in point
calculations. (Please realize that there are standard policies for point deductions for each
piece of coursework, so unless the grader has misapprehended your intent or misread your
work, partial credit is unlikely to change.)
c) Submit the written statement together with the exam either by email or directly to my
mailbox in CBA 5.202. I will consider your request and give you my decision in writing or
McCOMBS CLASSROOM PROFESSIONALISM POLICY
The highest professional standards are expected of members of the McCombs community. The collective
class reputation and the value of the McCombs experience hinges on this.
Faculty are expected to be professional and prepared to deliver value for each and every class session.
Students are expected to be professional in all respects.
Classroom expectations of students include:
• Students will arrive on time.
• Students will be fully prepared for each class.
• Students will attend the class section to which they are registered.
• Students will respect the views and opinions of their colleagues. Disagreement and debate are
encouraged. Intolerance for the views of others is unacceptable.
• Plagiarism will not be tolerated and will be dealt with severely.
• Phones and wireless devices are turned off.
• Laptops are closed and put away unless faculty require their use.
You are competing for the best faculty McCombs has to offer. Your professionalism and activity in class
contributes to your success in attracting the best faculty to this program.
By teaching this course, I observe all of the faculty responsibilities with regard to the Honor
System. By enrolling in this class, you have agreed to observe all the student responsibilities
with regard to the Honor System
Please do not use any materials (packet of overheads, homeworks, course notes, handouts, exams,
homework solutions, case summaries) from previous semesters or from other sections of the course
being offered in this semester unless the same has been made available by me to every one of your
fellow students in this class. If the application of the Honor System to this class and its
assignments is unclear in any way, it is your responsibility to ask me for clarification. Many
thanks in advance for your cooperation and assistance.
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic
accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. If you have a condition (e.g.
learning disability, chronic medical condition, etc.), of holiday that needs accommodation,
please see me early in the semester so that we can take appropriate step. For additional
information about the University’s policies, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at
471-6259 or 471-4641.
OM386.5 Managing Projects – Additional Class Detail for Specific Sessions
(Note: not all sessions will have additional details listed)
Prepare: (i) Welcome on board!
Prepare: (i) Read the one page write up on OrthoSpot (reproduced from pp. 11 of Verzuh for
those folks who may not get the book in time), and be prepared to discuss the
(a) Think about the business context/goals for this firm and who the stake
(b) Bill Schafer, the CEO, attributes the company survival and growth to “using
fundamental project management techniques?” What might these
fundamental project management issues/techniques be for a start up?
(c) If you work in a larger (more established) firm: what might some of the
fundamental project management issues/techniques be for your firm?
(iii) Review the list of suggested themes for your term project. This is available at the
end of the course description document.
(iv) Visit Blackboard and check if you can access the course material in general.
Note that only some of it will be posted at the beginning of the semester. More
will be added as we progress through the semester.
(v) Read the entire syllabus and bring any questions to class.
(i) Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of posted sample Deliverable #1 for in-class
(ii) Be prepared to present your group’s response to the CSP group assignment and be
debriefed in class. For more details, see Group Assignment #1 on Blackboard’s
Case: Red River (BB)
1. Prepare a written Project Scope Statement for the project as presented to Jim and Brenda
(see Table 4.1 of Verzuh text). We may use these 2 written responses in class discussions
(not for grading).
2. Does the text chapter 4, "Making the rules" apply to this project? In what ways? Why?
Why not? (for class discussion).
3. (Optional): If you have MS Project – enter data, given in the spread sheet on the web, and
be ready to discuss what you see.
Evaluate strengths and weaknesses of posted sample Deliverable #2 for in-class discussion.
Prepare: Teradyne Corporation -- The Jaguar Project
(a) How critical is Jaguar project for Teradyne’s competitive strategy?
(b) What are the types of data that will be needed to carry out WBS, Critical Path, 3 Point
Estimates and Earned Value Analyses?
(c) What do you think of the Project Execution Strategy Matrix shown in exhibit 3? Is a
“heavyweight” project team the right approach for project/task governance?
(d) Does the phase gate process in exhibit 2 ensure that the “voice of the customer” is
heard at each phase of the development process?
(e) How firm are the decisions that are made at each gate?
(f) What are the residual risks in Teradyne’s process?
Prepare: Flip the House (We will play this game in class)
Q. What are the decisions, uncertainties and risks in flipping a house?
Before the case is run in class, the instructor or the students must:
• Upload the table of activities from Excel into MS Project.
• Establish resource availability (owners, Pat, contractors).
• Assign resources to tasks.
• Level resources. Students need to recognize that the basic MS Project file has tasks entered
with appropriate precedence relationships, but does not take into consideration the fact that
many tasks are performed by the same resources. Therefore, the first step is to “level”
resources. This increases project duration from 21 days to 47 days. Once resources have
been leveled, MS Project will re-level.
Prepare: PCNET (A) and (B)
(a) How should Jack Miller report on the status of PCNET project when he meets
with Max Schmelling and the integration management team?
(b) What kinds of data and analyses might be needed to arrive at exhibits 5, 6 and 8?
(c) How difficult might it be to implement the risk prioritization scheme shown in
(d) What are the pros and cons of using “dashboard” as a project monitoring tool?
(e) Do you think that the “Top ten list” will have an impact on operating partners’
Deliverable # 2A: Teams to provide a project content brief to peer consultants.
We will set aside time for in-class team meetings with peer consultants
Review course material for a mid-term quiz.
Prepare: fileTRUST (A) and (B)
(a) How does the fileTRUST project differ from other cases we have studied in this course?
Why? What are the associated managerial implications?
(b) What should Marcel Meth be prepared to propose with respect to the development and
delivery of this new service? What else should Meth emphasize in his proposal to Fleet
(c) What are the advantages and potential risks of the learning approach they chose to
follow? What are the areas where working with suppliers can provide major learning
(d) How should Fleet assess this new service? What should they do next?
Review course material for a mid-term quiz. The quiz will cover through session 12 (inclusive).
Guest Speaker: Mr. Christopher Jones (IBM Global Services)
Prepare by examining the www.ibm.com/services website
Read the EPI exercise on Blackboard.
Prepare: Siemens Global Development
(a) How would you characterize the global development strategy? Why does it have RDCs
all around the world?
(b) What are the differences in management issues at RDCs in India, Germany and the US?
(c) What is wrong with the NetManager Project from Bangalore and Munich perspectives?
(d) Contrast NetManager experience against the findings of the assigned reading.
(e) Decision Point: How should corporate management respond to NetManager crisis? (i)
Let Bangalore solve it (ii) Move all decisions to Europe (iii) Move entire operation to
Guest Speaker: Mr. Scott Palmer (e2open)
Prepare by examining the www.e2open.com website
Prepare: XYZ Pharma (Available on Blackboard)
(a) What are the objectives, constraints and risks for project portfolio management at XYZ?
What are the alternatives?
(b) What information is required for project portfolio management at XYZ?
(c) How would you determine the value of the following project (‘Project 1’) in XYZ’s
portfolio, a project in the pre-clinical phase part of the Oncology therapeutic area, based
on a data set and spread sheets that will be provided on smgtools site? Would you execute
this project? How would you assess the technical (technology) risk of this project? How
would you evaluate the market (commercial) risk of this project?*
(d) Suppose that next year’s R&D budget for the oncology area has been reduced to $50
million. How would you decide which projects to continue, and which to put on hold? *
* Note: You will need the free plug in on @risk to execute this in excel.
Guest Speaker: Mr. David Angelow
Guest Speaker: Ms. Mary Ann Anderson (NASA)
Prepare by examining the www.nasa.gov/returntoflight website.
Suggested Themes/Materials for Projects
Title Authors Reference Access # Year Comment/Theme
Lovallo & Product #: Undermines
1 Delusions of Success Kahneman HBR R0307D 2003 Executive Decisions
Comments on the Second Toyota Use of Modularity
Paradox: With Appendix on Product in Task Design to
Modularity for Managing Number: 9- Reduce
2 Complex System Design Steven Spear HBSP Note 602-035 2001 Dependencies
Using Aggregate Project Planning Linking project,
to Link Strategy, Innovation, and Clayton M. Product#: human capital and
3 the Resource Allocation Process Christensen HBSP Note 301041 2000 portfolio planning
Contracting for major projects: C. von International
eight business levers for top Branconi,C. Journal of Project Contracting
4 management Loch Management 22, 119–130 2004 Challenges
Philip Evans, Product#: Open Source
5 Collaboration Rules Bob Wolf HBR R0507H 2005 Projects
Production and Available
G.Parker, E. Operations from Supply Chain
6 From Buyer to Integrator Anderson Management Instructor 2002 Integration Projects
Using Supplier Networks to J. H. Dyer and SMR /Available Number: 9- Inter-organizational
7 Learn Faster N.W. Hatch through HBSP SMR-137 2004 Learning
Coordination of Design Supply Coordination across
Chains for Bundling Physical and N.Joglekar and Journal of PIM organizations and
8 Software Products S. Rosenthal 20:374-390 2003 technologies
Building Effective R&D Product#: Off-shoring
9 Capabilities Abroad W. Kuemmerle HBR 97206 1997 challenges
Best Practices in
Enabling Knowledge Creation in Malhotra &. IEEE EMR33(4), Distributed
10 Far Flung Teams Majchrzak pp. 86-98 2005 Knowledge Work
Using US Army’s
After Action Review: See factsheet - http://www.hqda.army.mil/ari/news/factsheets.shtml AAR concepts in
11 Methods and Tools. Or www.signetconsulting.com/actions_items/executive_study.php Commercial Setting
Themes conducive to exploring quantitative aspects of project management shown in the last column
Decision analysis in
Product support of IT
1 Administrative Data Project (A) HBSP Case 9-803-051 2003 projects
Petrolera Zuata, Petrozuata C.A making for risky
2 HBSP Case 1998 technology projects
used in Task Design
Innovation at Speed of Product#: to Reduce
3 Information HBR article R0101L 2001 Dependencies
4 Turner Construction Co. HBSP Case Control
5 BAE Automated Systems HBSP Case Handling System
MAN 386.5 Course Schedule Fall 2007
ion Date Topic Exercise/Case Readings ments
1 W 8/29 Introduction, PMI Team Formation FFMBA* ch. 1
M 9/3 ***Labor Day***
Orthoshot Case FFMBA ch. 2, Klastorin pp. 24-
2 W 9/5 Project Lifecycle, Goals, & Metrics (FFMBA p. 11) 37
Project Definition, Stakeholders, & FFMBA ch. 3, Klastorin pp. 41-
3 M 9/10 Organization CSP Case (BB) 54 GA-1
FFMBA ch. 4; Klastorin ch. 4,
4 W 9/12 Critical Path Analysis Appendix 4B
Columbus Inc. Exercise
5 M 9/17 Task Definition (WBS & Estimation) (Klastorin, p. 59) FFMBA chaps. 6, 8 GA-2
6 W 9/19 MS-Project Tutorial Red River Exercise PD-1
7 M 9/24 Resource allocation & leveling Klastorin ch. 8
8 W 9/26 Monitoring & Control Teradyne Case Klastorin ch. 9
Flip this House
9 M 10/1 The Impact of Uncertainty Exercise (BB) "Flip the House" (BB)
10 W 10/3 Managing Uncertainty & Risk PCNET Case FFMBA ch. 5
11 M 10/8 Managing Uncertainty & Risk (cont.) CSP Exercise B GA-3
Briefing w/ Peer
12 W 10/10 Probabilistic Scheduling & Budgeting Consults. Klastorin ch. 6 PD-2A
13 M 10/15 Close-out and Handoff fileTrust Case (BB) FFMBA ch. 9
14 W 10/17 Quiz
15 M 10/22 IBM Guest Presenter: Christopher Jones PD-2B
"Beyond PM 101" by Graham;
Interlude: Systems Thinking: Curse of "Past the Tipping Point"
16 W 10/24 Rework, Firefighting, Assumption Blow-up EPI Exercise (BB) (handout) GA-4
17 M 10/29 Interlude: Systems Thinking (cont.)
FFMBA chaps. 10, 11, "From
Buyer to Integrator" by Parker
18 W 10/31 DPM (cont.): Outsourcing & Offshoring Siemens Case (A) & Anderson PD-3A
19 M 11/5 Guest Speaker: Scott Palmer (e2open)
CSP Exercise 3 (in- GA-5,
20 W 11/7 DPM (cont.): Contracting & Incentives class) Contracting handout PD-3B
XYZ Pharma Case "How SmithKline Beecham
21 M 11/12 Multi-Project Management (MPM) (BB) Makes..." by Sharpe & Keelin GA-6
22 W 11/14 Guest Presenter: David Angelow
23 M 11/19 Managing the Unknown Unknowns** JSF Case (in-class)
24 W 11/21 In-Class Work Day
"The Innovation Butterfly" by
25 M 11/26 Shaping the Future Anderson & Joglekar (BB)
26 W 11/28 Presentations PD-4A
27 W 11/3 No class in compensatition for JSF Class
Guest Presenter: Mary Ann Anderson
28 M 11/5 (NASA) PD-4B
Cases and readings will be found in the reading packet unless otherwise noted
(BB) = on Blackboard, (in-class) = handed out in class
*FFMBA = The Verzuh Fast-Forward MBA Text
**Evening class to allow for extra time required