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Project Management

cathedral santa maria la real de la almudena, Madrid, Spain]


Failing To Plan Is Planning To Fail


- Overview

Industrial and systems engineers use analysis and critical thinking to optimize complex systems, processes and organizations. They work in many sectors, including energy, healthcare, manufacturing and transportation.

Systems engineers design and optimize complex systems. They work alongside other technical professionals such as software engineers, hardware engineers, and programmers.

Industrial engineers manage and improve manufacturing processes and service operations. They leverage resources to improve processes and products.

The project manager and systems engineer share technical and management leadership of the project. They work together to work out the details that work for their situation.

Engineering managers use the principles of systems science and systems engineering and the tools of management science and project management. They may work in areas such as product development, manufacturing, construction and design engineering.


- What is Project Management?

More specifically, what is a project? This is a temporary effort to create a unique product, service, or result. A project is temporary in that it has a clear start and end time, and therefore a clear scope and resources.

A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to achieve a single goal. As a result, project teams often include people who don't normally work together—sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies.

Developing software to improve business processes, constructing a building or bridge, relief efforts after a natural disaster, expanding sales into new geographic markets—all are projects.

All of this must be professionally managed to deliver the results, learning and integration the organization needs, on time and on budget.

Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet project requirements.


- Project Management Processes

Project management processes fall into five groups:

  • Initiating
  • Planning
  • Executing
  • Monitoring and Controlling
  • Closing


- Areas of Project Management Knowledge

Project management knowledge draws on ten areas:

  • Integration
  • Scope
  • Time
  • Cost
  • Quality
  • Procurement
  • Human resources
  • Communications
  • Risk management
  • Stakeholder management


(Stanford University - Alvin Wei-Cheng Wong)

- Project Management and Systems Engineering 

Project management and systems engineering are both important for engineering teams. Project managers focus on the project life cycle, while systems engineers focus on the technical baseline of the product. Both roles share responsibility for requirements management. 

Project management involves: 

  • Identifying project goals and milestones
  • Developing multiple scenarios and contingency plans


Systems engineering involves:

  • Defining customer needs and required functionality
  • Designing and validating the product


Project managers and systems engineers work closely together to keep projects on track. Most systems engineering management applications use some traditional project management methods and tools. 

Skills for project engineers include: 

  • Initiative
  • Knowledge of design and visualization software
  • Decision making ability

Skills for systems engineers include: 

  • Analytical understanding
  • Good organizational skills
  • Patience and perseverance


[More to come ...]



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