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Project Management


Why do so many projects fail? Why do so many others fail to produce lasting results? Why do so many projects suffer from cost and time overruns? How can firms identify and design high-leverage policies to improve project performance?

Due to high cost and time overruns of most projects, however, many organisations struggle to meet customer needs and market potential. Effective project management can provide managers with the appropriate methods and tools to improve their projects. In this course, we will cover three important aspects of project management:

  • The theory, methods and quantitative tools used to effectively plan, organise, and control projects;
  • Efficient management methods revealed through practice and research; and
  • Hands-on, practical project management knowledge from optimisation and simulation exercises.


  • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
  • Critical Path Method (CPM)
  • Linear and Integer Programming
  • Design Structure Matrix (DSM)
  • Critical Chain Method, Theory of Constraints (TOC)
  • Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
  • Earned Value Management (EVM)
  • Project Risk Management
  • System Dynamics, Causal Diagramming , Stock-and-Flow Mapping.

Main reference book:
De Weck, O., “Principles and Methods for System Design and Management” (SE) MIT Press, First Edition, 2010 (planned) – Chapters 8 through 13 (p. 101-212).

Recommended readings
MIT Paper Airplane Experiment.

de Neufville, R., de Weck O., Frey D., Hastings D., Larson R., Simchi-Levi D., Oye K., Weigel A., Welsch R., Uncertainty Management for Engineering Systems Planning and Design”, Engineering Systems Monograph, March 29-31, 2004, URL:

Steven D. Eppinger, Murthy V. Nukala, and Daniel E. Whitney. "Generalised Models of Design Iteration Using Signal Flow Graphs", Research in Engineering Design. vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 112-123, 1997.

Steven D. Eppinger, Daniel E. Whitney, Robert P. Smith, and David A. Gebala. "A Model-Based Method for Organizing Tasks in Product Development", Research in Engineering Design. vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 1-13, 1994.

EVM Gold Card (PowerPoint slide summary of EVM).

F.K. Levy et al., “The ABCs of Critical Path Method”, Harvard Business Review, September-October 1963.

James Lyneis, Kenneth Cooper, and Sharon Els, “Strategic Management of Complex Projects,” System Dynamics Review, Vol. 17, No. 3, (Fall 2001): 237 – 260, Fall 2001.

Manuel E. Sosa, Steven D. Eppinger, Craig M. Rowles , “The Misalignment of Product Architecture and Organizational Structure in Complex Product Development”, Management Science, vol. 50, no. 12, pp. 1674-1689, December 2004.

Goldratt, E. 1997. Critical chain The North River Press, Great Barrington, MA.

Sterman, J.2000.  Business Dynamics. systems thinking and modeling for a complex world. McGraw-Hill. Boston.

Sterman, J. 1992. System Dynamics Modeling for Project Management, MIT Sloan Working Paper, Cambridge, MA.


Grading system
50% assignments – 50% final exam.

(There will be 5 team assignments. Each assignment is graded on a 10-point scale. Two points will be forfeited for assignments handed in late. Assignments handed in more than 1 class late will receive no credit).



Gonçalves P.

Course director

Additional information

Academic year
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