COMP 477—I.T. Project Management

Instructor, time, & place

Conrad Weisert
Fridays 4:15 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.
School of COMM, 010

General Description

This course is an introduction to the philosophy and practice of project management applied mainly to developing computer applications. The class discussions and reading material will interleave two interdependent tracks:

  1. Concepts and techniques of project planning and control
  2. A life cycle for developing computer application systems.

Controversies and options

Both tracks are currently the subjects of evolutionary change and heated controversy among experts. We shall present and follow a widely practiced mainstream methodology and, as time permits, also examine and critically discuss some of the alternative project-management approaches that are currently in vogue.

If you prefer to follow one of the alternative approaches, perhaps because your employer has adopted it, you may do so in the course. However, you must understand the mainstream approach we're presenting and be able to state definite reasons for deviating from it.

Assignments and project

Project planning & control disciplines for software development are closely tied to and dependent on methodologies for:

Since those topics and the associated courses are not prerequistes to this course, we won't try to simulate an actual realistic project from start to finish. Instead, we shall critically examine realistic situations that arise throughout typical software development projects, emphasizing and applying to them the concepts and techniques of project planning & control.

If you are now working on a real project (for an employer, another course, or independent research), and if that project's size and schedule mesh with our course, then you can talk to me about substituting aspects of that project for some of the homework assignments.


Textbook and other reading


Specific reading assignments are given in our week-by-week schedule. In order to conserve class time, you should study each session's assigned reading before that session and come to class prepared to ask questions about anything that you don't fully understand and agree with.

Recommended supplementary reading


Since most of the material will be presented and discussed in our class sessions, and since the once-a-week schedule is highly compressed, you'll be at a serious disadvantage if you miss a session. No amount of reading can substitute for participation in the class sessions.

If you have to miss one or more sessions, please confer with the instructor as early as possible to determine how best to master the material you miss.


The final examination will cover the full course content, including major issues from the project and individual presentations.

A mid-term examination (just before the drop deadline) will confirm your mastery of the mainstream concepts discussed up that point.

I may give an occasional brief quiz at the beginning of class to verify your understanding of some important point raised in the previous session or in the assigned reading.


The usual criteria apply to this course.

Final Examination 25 points
Mid-Term Examination 17 points
Homework and workshop exercises (5) 10 points each
Class participation and mini-quizzes8 points

Certification preparation

While the knowledge and experience gained in this course should be very helpful to a student who wishes to sit for the CMP examination administered by the Project Management Institute, the purpose of this course is not to prepare for an outside examination but rather to prepare the student to plan and control a successful real project in an organization.

If time permits we may review critically sections of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK), which forms the basis of the certification examinations.

1—Microsoft Project is a likely choice. While it's not necessarily the best or the easiest to use, it's widely available, and knowing how to use it is a valuable skill.

Last modified November 28, 2015