ESM 609, Project Management, Spring, 2012




Course Description


Projects and Exam


 Learning Modules

Dr. Robert A. Perkins, P.E.
Office: 253 Duckering
Office phone 907-474-7694
Home phone 907- 479-3906


The final grade is the instructor's subjective evaluation of the student's knowledge of the course subject matter. The point values for each written assignment, quiz, group homework, instructor e-mail, group project and term paper are set forth in the indexes for each module. Maximum total points for the course = 500.

A = > 90%, B= > 80%, etc.

Course Description
Projects are unique and temporary undertakings. Project management is the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of the particular project. Project management knowledge and practices are best described in terms of their component processes. These processes can be placed into five Process Groups: – Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing –
and nine Knowledge Areas – Project Integration Management, Project Scope Management, Project Time Management, Project Cost Management, Project Quality Management, Project Human Resource Management, Project Communications Management, Project Risk Management, and Project Procurement Management. This is a comprehensive graduate course in Project Management. The instructor recognizes that most of the students are already familiar with certain aspects of PM, especially as they relate to construction projects. Project Management applications are much broader than construction projects. Learning PM in this broad context will improve construction project management, but also introduce "project thinking" which has applications in many areas of business, as well as personal endeavors.

The course is organized in modules. The modules are both an administrative and teaching unit. The student will complete one module per week, and each module will "close" on a Monday at 5 PM, Alaska Time, unless noted otherwise. Electronic asynchronous discussions with other students are part of the course and these require participation prior to the closing time.
You may need to check into the discussion forum more than once. Your grade in forums will partly depend on your activity and quality contributions to a bottom line answer. Students will be assigned as "project managers" in developing consensus responses.

Each week's module will have a description of the homework due, and other administrative information about the module. Because the course has a good textbook available, the module will have brief introductory material that is coordinated with the text. The module will be organized so that it should be read before the text. However the student would not lose much by reading the text as noted in the Course Outline prior to starting the module.

Each module will be graded; the typical module will generate 30 points: 10 points for the individual student's assignments, 10 points for the group discussion and 10 points for the week's quiz. Extra credit points are given as justified or announced. Also, students who Email the instructor with questions or comments will receive some extra credit for their question. The individual assignment may be questions requiring text answers, problems that require calculations, or the results of computer programs. The discussion with other students requires participation in an on-line "discussion board." The questions and comments with the instructor require the student to ask questions pertaining to the material or identify glitches in the on-line presentations. If the student identifies glitches ranging from gaps in the material to incorrect hyperlinks and typographical errors, the student will get credit for calling them to the instructor's attention. Questions will be answered to the student directly and posted to a "closure" section in the following weeks module.

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO LOOK AHEAD: Each of you can plainly see future modules previewed for you on the course home page. You are welcome to look at this, but be forewarned that portions of this course are being revised and the final version of the module, as you will see it - including specific assignments - may not be finalized until the day before the previous module closes. For example, Module 1 is to "open" on Monday, January 19 and "close" on January 26. So Module 2 may not be finalized until Wednesday, January 25. I will generally put a blurb in Blackboard announcing quizzes and remarking on the coming modules.

The student will become familiar with project management as a comprehensive discipline. The student will learn both the technical tools -- mathematics, programs, algorithms -- and the management application of those tools, especially the interaction between the project, the management, and the people.

Projects and Exam
Three group projects are required, which will require interaction with other students, plus one individual term paper. There will not be a final exam.

The term paper will account for almost 25% of your grade. I plan to have the specifics posted with Module 4.

Text Books

Information on the textbook . We will use the textbook's Student Companion Site website:

especially the interactive web quizzes, which will be good practice for taking the real quizzes.

Learning Modules

The course website is accessed through the ESM 609 web page. Note that this website is still a work in progress as of January 7, 2012.