The Volgenau School of Engineering ~ Applied IT Department


IT 343 X01 ~ IT Project Management

Summer 2014

Version 3 June 4, 2014 Changes in RED


Course Particulars: IT 343 Section X01, CRN 40168, 3 credit course.


Instructor: Peter Farrell,, Fairfax campus ENGR 5305.


Class: T/R @ 7:20 PM, Fairfax Campus, ENT 275. The MS Project lab will be held during regular class time in a lab to be announced.


Office Hours: Tuesday & Thursday, 5:00P to 6:00P, ENGR 5305.


Catalogue Description: Provides essential strategies and procedures for planning, organizing, staffing, monitoring, and controlling design, development, and production of system to meet stated IT-related need in effective and efficient manner. Fulfills writing-intensive requirement for BS in information technology.

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Required Material:

Text: Joseph Phillips, IT Project Management, 3rd Edition.  Text without the CD is adequate.  Supplementary material will be posted on Blackboard.


Case Studies:Assigned case studies from the Harvard School of Business will be available through the web link provided.  The case studies are required reading.  Planned case studies:

  1. Memo 2: Business Process Case Kristen’s Cookie Co.
  2. Research Paper Case: BAE (A) Case Study
  3. Team Presentation Case 1: Singapore TradeNet
  4. Team Presentation Case 2: TimberJack Parts
  5. Team Presentation Case 3: Too Far Ahead of the Curve?

                                                            Cisco Systems: Implementing ERP

  1. Team Presentation Case 4: Iridium Satellite
  2. Team Presentation Case 5: Dairy Farm Group


Use of GMU Blackboard System:

Instructor Presentations: Material presented in class will be posted to Blackboard before class.


Assignments: ALL individual assignments will be submitted through the University’s Blackboard system.  Assignments are due before class no latter than 7:19:59 PM local time on the day the assignment is due.





Course Outcome:

  • Ability to assist in the creation of an effective project plan.


Major Themes:

  • Understand the importance of project management in improving the success of information technology projects.
  • Understand the constraints of project management.
  • Learn tools and techniques of project management, including communications through written documentation.
  • Appreciate the importance of good project management and share examples of good and bad project management


Course Structure:The course will be conducted as a mixture of lecture and discussion.  Students are expected to actively participate.  Teams of students will be assigned to research a case study and present their findings to the class as a foundation for subsequent discussion.  All students are expected to participate in  discussions.

Writing Intensive Requirement:This course fulfills the University’s Writing Intensive requirement for the Applied IT major.

Written Assignments: All submissions will include your last name (not my name) in the file name, i.e., <last name> Memo 1

It is mandatory that you properly credit your sources within the paper in addition to the reference material you cite at the end of the paper. My lecture notes do not need to be cited in submitted material.

  1. Memo Questions: A memo question is a question that invites response at memorandum length.

Memo 1 should be between 650 and 750 words in a professional format of your choosing.  You will respond to an opportunity to be a project manager.

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Memo 2 should be between 650 and 750 words in a professional format of your choosing.  You will analyze the processes of a start-up business related to their business goals.

  1. Research Paper: Students will write a paper of a least 2,000 words (excluding title page, abstract and citations) based on the Harvard Business School case study BAE (A).  The assignment will be submitted as a Word document adhering to the APA style guide.

a)    The paper should identify the major issues described in the case, and key decisions made by the project manager to set up and run this implementation.  Include the following: circumstances, major issues, your approach to addressing those issues, and tools or techniques you would use.  The majority of the paper should be devoted to your analysis of the case and areas you would replicate or change.   Your analysis should be based on the case, our class discussion, the text, and outside research.   

b)   The requirement is that the student seeks to understand how, as a project manager, you would react to the case situation.   The bulk of the grade will therefore be allocated to how well you have succeeded in describing this understanding.  Do not simply provide a summary of the case as your final paper.

  1. A working draft of your research paper, as described above, should be submitted as an assignment for instructor comment.  The assignment is for instructor feedback only.  There is no minimum word limit or format requirement for the draft.  The assignment will be submitted as a Word document in Blackboard.
  2. Microsoft Project In-Class Exercise: In conjunction with an assigned case study, students will create a plan in Microsoft Project.  Students will simulate execution of that plan using Microsoft Project.  Students may download a copy of Microsoft Project through the Microsoft Developers’ Network Academic Alliance, to which the Volgenau School subscribes.
  3. Presentations:Students will be assigned a team to present on some aspect of one of the Harvard Business School Case Studies.  Each student will prepare and present part of a coordinated analysis with the rest of their team.  Presentations are intended to run approximately 30 minutes.  All team members will participate in the presentation.  Presentations will be evaluated based on analysis, content, creativity, delivery and class response.
  4. Exams:There will be two exams: one Midterm and one Final.  The midterm will be a closed book, in-class multiple-choice exams.  The Final will be written responses.  The Final Exam will be cumulative of all course material.  Bring your GMU ID or a driver’s license with picture to each exam.  There will be no makeup exams.

Grading: Each item is graded on a scale of 100 possible points and accounts for the following percent of the final grade:

Participation = Attendance 10%
Memo Question 1 5%
Memo Question 2 5%
MS Project Lab 10%
Team Presentation 10%
Midterm Exam 15%
Research Paper 20%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%


The numerical score is translated to a letter grade using the following scale:

A+ =97-100; A = 94-96;  
A- = 90-93; 
B+ = 87-89; 
B = 84-86; 
B- = 80-83;

C+ = 75-79; 
C = 70-74 (minimum grade to advance to IT 492)

C-  = 65-69; 
D = 60-64; 
F = below 60.  Grades will NOT be rounded up.

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Student’s Role and Responsibility:

Attendance: Class attendance is expected and will be recorded.  Your participation in class is critical to the exchange of ideas and the exposure to other perspectives.  Students must come to class fully prepared to discuss the assigned material.  Laptop and cell phone use during class other than in presentations is not allowed.


Email: Correspondence regarding grades or advising will be through your GMU email account only.


Academic Honesty:  It is your responsibility to know and to follow George Mason University’s Honor Code.


ODS Statement:  If you are a student with a disability and need academic accommodations, contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at (703) 993-2474, and see the instructor.  All accommodations must be arranged through ODS.


LinkedIn: I would be honored to add you to my professional network once you graduate from Mason.


See separately posted ‘Weekly Class Activities’ for class topics and assignment due dates.

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