April 9, 2021
April 9, 2021
April 10, 2021
Project management has become a standard practice in the fields of engineering, construction and information technology, leading to significantly lower project failure rates. While fundamental technical content takes up the bulk of the typical undergraduate engineering curriculum, the capstone design project is an excellent opportunity to teach project management principles through a project-based learning experience. However, few programs actively promote project management although most programs include project management topics in capstone lectures. A few institutions have taken a more formal approach by creating dedicated project management courses or incorporating substantial project management materials in an existing course earlier in the curriculum. Another approach is the creation of project management workshops or one-day seminars. Our mechanical engineering capstone design course was revamped to include more project management activities. In addition to the standard triple constraint of scope management, schedule and cost control, the updated curriculum includes the implementation of a communication plan, dashboard status reports, project commissioning & testing plans, and project close-out. Student teams are provided with effective templates to facilitate implementation and the activities are integrated directly into the design process. A survey of graduating students found that 57% of students considered the project management activities to be either Very or Extremely Helpful, and another 32% as Moderately Helpful. These are considered excellent results for the initial implementation and the initiative is being improved further. Students not only learn to apply basic project management techniques that improve the outcomes of capstone projects, but they are also better prepared for entering the workforce.
Simard, M. (2021, April), Project Management Implementation in a Capstone Design Course Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . https://peer.asee.org/36313
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