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Implementing Project Managers in the Software Engineering Classroom

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Engineering Management Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Engineering Management

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.912.1 - 26.912.14



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Paper Authors


Samuel A. Malachowsky Rochester Institute of Technology

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Samuel A. Malachowsky is a career Project Manager (PMP) currently serving as a lecturer in the software engineering department at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His current interests include the classroom application of process and project concepts, working with colleagues in emerging areas of interest, and practical career and resume studies, including the creation of a technical undergraduate maturity model. His latest thoughts and publications are available at

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Implementing Project Managers in the Software Engineering ClassroomProject management is a discipline that spans many industries and has undeniable benefits in itsapplication. Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to convey its importance and application inthe classroom environment. Many process and project management classes cover the coreconcepts, but fail to provide students with the opportunity to experience both the dynamics andleadership elements so core to project management as both a leader and a team member.This article describes an innovative approach to using project managers (PMs) in the classroomthat has had measured effects in several areas, including individual student participation, groupproject disposition, and in-class presentations. Results have been encouraging, with studentfeedback (from both PMs and group members) indicating positive effects on interest in the fieldand application of project management, improved group dynamics, and more individualparticipation in the outcome of group projects.Specifically included in the article are examples of PM inclusion in both the class curriculum andmain project from beginning to end and how they have been applied to a process and projectmanagement course in the past. Areas explored include the PM selection process, classattendance improvement via the PM-led group dynamic, PM-specific activities and evaluation,and the inclusion of a final presentation as a product in a normally process and project heavycourse. For context, a description of the class curriculum, some related work, and relevantquantitative and qualitative student feedback are included as well.The concepts and examples have been successfully implemented as part of a softwareengineering curriculum, but they could easily be applied to any classroom that wishes to expandproject management instruction beyond a simple explanation of process and project managementto an immersive experience with both practical and pedagogical benefits.

Malachowsky, S. A. (2015, June), Implementing Project Managers in the Software Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24249

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