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Project Management: A Critical Area Of Study For Engineering & Engineering Technology Students

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.465.1 - 3.465.7

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Jule Dee Scarborough

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3147

Project Management: A Critical Area of Study for Engineering & Engineering Technology Students

Jule Dee Scarborough Northern Illinois University


Project management has become a critical area of study. Many industrial organizations are restructuring into project teams. Knowledge and skills in industrial project management and interdisciplinary teaming are becoming more and more important to engineers and technologists. $Project management is an excellent management process for managing unique jobs or activities with a clearly defined scope, schedule, and cost . . . into a work package#(Reeder, 1995, p. 29). When combining a project with a team, project management becomes team management. Kezsbom (1995) defined this as $a highly collective, integrated process that requires the application of a variety of participative approaches to blend all the technical and organizational components of the project into a cohesive whole# (p. 39) .

Specific types of project teams are evolving, such as employee/customer project- management teams. The Australians first conceptualized this process where the management structure established an organizational climate to promote all aspects of productivity. The employee/customer teams $are groups of company employees, customers, and management personnel who are motivated to discuss and work together and become involved in a participative problem-solving process# (Ross, 1993, p. 3). Others, LaFleur (1996) for example, discuss necessary skills for project team members and managers or leaders. The decision-making process is critical and organizations must determine who the decision makers are up-front. In addition, it is important for project teams to fully understand the project process itself, namely, thought, study, research, planning, and implementation. The communication process is also critical. Scheduling is one of the most difficult tasks in project management, especially of scarce resources over time, whether human or machine resources, etc. (Herroelen & Demeulemeester, 1996). And, finally, building successful cross-functional teams takes time, dedication, and patience.

There is usually substantial resistance to taking the time to build integrated project teams and plans. The impact of limited resources, global competition, and time pressures often leads organizations into thinking there is not enough time for group planning and team development; however, in reality, they do not have the time not to. It is now impossible to produce a product or service without the assistance of many different types of individuals. One individual can no longer accomplish a total effort, therefore, it is imperative that group planning and team development occur (Kezsbom, 1995). This, in turn, requires that congruence or alignment


Scarborough, J. D. (1998, June), Project Management: A Critical Area Of Study For Engineering & Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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