ESD.36 | Fall 2012 | Graduate

System Project Management


There are usually between 1–2 readings associated with each class.

The students will be asked to read draft chapters of the following book:

[de Weck] = de Weck, O., and J. Lyneis. Successfully Designing and Managing Complex Projects. 1st ed. MIT Press, 2014 (in preparation).

This textbook is being written to support this class and is currently under development. The book will be part of the new Engineering Systems book series published by MIT Press.

Required Reading

1 [de Weck] “Introduction to Project Management”
2 Levy, F. K., et al., “The ABCs of Critical Path Method.” Harvard Business Review, September-October, 1963.
2 [de Weck] “Network Planning Techniques”
3 [de Weck] “Critical Chain Method”
4 [de Weck] “Design Structure Matrix Method”
4 Eppinger, Steven D., Daniel E. Whitney, et al. “A Model-Based Method for Organizing Tasks in Product Development.” Research in Engineering Design 6, no. 1 (1994): 1–13.
5 Eppinger, Steven D., Murthy V. Nukala, et al. “Generalised Models of Design Iteration Using Signal Flow Graphs.” Research in Engineering Design 9, no. 2 (1997): 112–23.
6 [de Weck] “Introduction to Project Dynamics”—Chapter SD1
7 [de Weck] “Causes of Project Dynamics”—Chapter SD2
8 [de Weck] “A simple Model of Project Dynamics”—Chapter SD3
8 Vensim Tutorial—Appendix SDA—Introduction to Project Dynamics Modeling Using Vensim PLE
10 [de Weck] “Budgeting and Cost Control”
10 Earned Value Management (EVM)—Gold Card
11 [de Weck] “Risk Management”
11 Neufville, Richard de, Oliver de Weck, et al. “Uncertainty Management for Engineering Systems Planning and Design.” (PDF) Engineering Systems Monograph. March 29-31, 2004.
13 HBS Case: 9-396-311, BAE Automated Systems (A): Denver International Airport Baggage-Handling System.
14 HBS Case: 9-601-040, The Rise and Fall of Iridium : Case Study about the Iridium Low Earth Orbit Communications System.
14 Sloan Foundation Engineering Systems Study: (de Weck, de Neufville) Low Earth Orbit Satellite Communication Constellations—Inspired by the history of Iridium and Globalstar. Read Module 1: Technical Success and Economic Failure.
16 James Lyneis, Kenneth Cooper, and Sharon Els, “Strategic Management of Complex Projects,” System Dynamics Review, Fall 2001.
16 [de Weck] “Strategic Project Management”—SD4

HBS Case: 9-602-086, Microsoft.NET

URL for downloading will be provided via email.

17 Take the MBTI Personality Test—URL will be provided.
19 Manuel E. Sosa, Steven D. Eppinger, et al. “The Misalignment of Product Architecture and Organizational Structure in Complex Product Development.” Management Science 50, no. 12, (2004): 1674–89, December 2004.
19 [de Weck] “Organizations and Projects”

Browse the following website for 30 minutes:

International Business Etiquette

23 Browse the following website for 30 minutes:

Student contributions and pointers to relevant references are encouraged and should be sent to the TAs.

Optional Readings—Suggested Textbooks

Steve, McConnell. Rapid Development: Taming Wild Software Schedules. Microsoft Press, 1996. ISBN: 9781556159008.

Forsberg, Kevin, Hal Mooz, et al. Visualizing Project Management, A Model for Business and Technical Success. 3rd ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 2005.

Goldratt, Eliyahu M. Critical Chain. The North River Press, 1997.

Highsmith, James, Adaptive Software Development: A Collaborative Approach to Managing Complex Systems. Dorset House Publishing, 1999. ISBN: 9780932633408.

Kerzner, Harold. Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling. 9th ed., Wiley, 2009. ISBN: 9780470278703.

Sterman, John. Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking for a Complex World. (Textbook with CD-ROM; book website and curriculum resources at Irwin/McGraw-Hill, 2000. ISBN: 9780072389159.

Project Management Institute. Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). 3rd ed., Project Management Institute, 2004. ISBN: 9781930699458.

The books can be purchased or ordered at the MIT COOP (Kendall Square) or ordered online.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2012
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Projects with Examples
Design Assignments