Project Management Teacher Notes

Project Management Teacher Notes

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Leaving Certificate


Project Management Teacher Notes

Project Management 1 Project Management This is the first of three key topics that form Project and Quality Management in the Technology Syllabus core. These are, • • •

Project Management Quality Management Reliability Management

Many of the concepts involved form a foundation for the related option in Manufacturing Systems where they are treated in greater depth.

1.1 Introduction: This document is intended to be used as a resource by the Teacher and is written with this in mind. Accordingly, each of the topics is covered in enough depth to facilitate the subsequent delivery of them in the school. The accompanying set of student notes and workbook has a different emphasis and should complement the material given here. As there will inevitably be a variation in the level and type of projects encountered in the classroom, it is important to establish the general principles involved in project management before applying them to specific examples. By having an understanding of the underlying principles of project management and planning and where they came from, the teacher will be better equipped to deal with the application of them on a day to day basis. The approach taken here is as follows: First the concept of project management is outlined and some key ideas are described Then two key techniques for the planning of projects are described. Next, these techniques are applied to a typical school design & make project. Finally, having worked some problems by hand, the process is automated by a software package.

1.2 Overview of Project Management Project management techniques originated in industry to address the need for managing increasingly complex activities such as civil and mechanical engineering projects. The techniques involved are something quite different in scope and purpose from the ‘Design Process’ that is familiar to the teacher. Project management concentrates on the management of resources and time over the lifetime of a project in a systematic manner. While the approaches outlined were originally developed to aid in the management of large scale projects, they can also be effectively applied in the classroom. In order to understand the techniques it is helpful to look at what constitutes a project and what makes a project different from the ‘routine’ activities of an organisation.

© t4 Galway Education Centre


Project Management 1.2.1 What is a Project? A project is any task within an organisation that does not fit neatly into ‘business-asusual’. The Luas system and the Dublin port tunnel are two examples of large scale projects. On smaller scale, an individual might self-build a new house, a car manufacturer may want to develop a new engine or a company may want to set up a quality system. In the school context, pupils are given a design and make project which needs to be managed – albeit on a smaller scale – using many of the same principles as the larger projects. All projects have a number of characteristics in common. These are: • • • •

Each task is specific and unique Each task has a specific deliverable item when complete This deliverable is aimed at meeting a specific need or purpose. There is usually a specific due date for completion of the project.

Note that design is not necessarily a central part of the project activity. A project may involve carrying out a tried and trusted procedure that has been used many times before in similar situations. One definition of what defines a project is given as: A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service (Project Management Institute)

1.2.2 Who is involved? In industry, many projects are complex and may involve input from people with different kinds of knowledge and expertise. Projects usually involve a team who are managed by a project manager or project leader who may be appointed for the duration of