SPRING 2002, TERM I (JAN 16 - FEB 27)


Instructor (G.Y. Yacoub, Ph.D.)
Location, Directions, Class Dates & Time
Resource Materials
Description, Purpose and Objectives
Course Process, Invited Lecturer (Mr. Simon A Bell)
Project & Homework quizes
Before First Class
Supplementary Reading

Note: This course syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances (updated 02/20/02).

Phone: 650-678-4478 (cell)
Ghassan Y Yacoub (
OFFICE HOURS: one-half hour before and after class meeting and by appointment.
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LOCATION: Lockheed Martin location, Sunnyvale.

DIRECTIONS:   Take Mathilda Ave. North (towards the bay) to 1st Ave, & turn left onto 1st Ave. NOTE: You will pass between 2 new Yahoo structures that are under construction. Follow 1st Ave. as it curves right & then left.  Right after the 2nd curve, is "E" street. On "E" Street turn left, & that will lead you into the Building 158 parking lot. The building will be on the right as you are entering the parking lot. Go in through the main doors, the lobby conference room is on the right as soon as you enter. There are rest rooms near the conference room.

CLASS DATES AND TIMES: Wednesdays 5:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. from January 16 through February 27. Any exceptions to this schedule will be noted on the calendar or in case of an emergency students will be notified by telephone or email.  Activity using asynchronous discussion environments is also part of the course meeting.
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RESOURCE MATERIALS: (includes bundled software)
REQUIRED TEXT:  Nicholas, John M (2001 - 2nd ed.).  Project Management for Business & Technology:  Principles and Practice.  New Jersey, NJ:  Prentice-Hall, Inc.  ISBN:  0-13-018325-8.  This book includes the bundled software on a CD.
HANDOUTS - Provided in class.
See Supplementary Reading at Bottom
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COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course gives a balanced view of Project Management (PM) by considering the associated behavioral and quantitative aspects. Project management is becoming increasingly more important in today’s world.  Mastery of key tools and concepts increases one's likelihood of gaining significant competitive advantage in the marketplace. PM Techniques are presented which are most effective in carrying out complex projects requiring system integration. Topics include: pre-project activities, project initiation, organizing and staffing, project planning and scheduling, project monitoring and control, conflict management, improving productivity, legal considerations, trade-off studies and their relationship to cost effectiveness and performance, and optimization of resources.

COURSE OBJECTIVES:  This course is designed to provide the student knowledge and some practical experience in planning, organizing, and managing projects in ways that stimulate human creativity and productivity. The student will learn that projects are the vehicles to introduce change into complex organizational systems and that managing that process requires business, technical and people skills. This course is designed to provide insights into each of those domains. Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:
1.  Discuss the system principles and philosophy which guide project management theory and practice
2.  Describe the logical sequence of stages in the life of a project
3.  Describe the methods, procedures, and systems for defining, planning, scheduling, controlling, and organizing project activities
4.  Describe the organizational, managerial, and human behavioral issues relevant to project management
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COURSE PROCESS: The course includes lectures, in-class and online discussions, textbook, library and Internet readings. Students study a variety of assigned readings in addition to the text book material and will be asked to evaluate the applicability of selected concepts to actual practice. Students are expected to have read all the assigned readings before each class. Since systems thinking derives much of its applicability from interdisciplinary thought, the final class project will incorporate the use of teams and a percentage of every individual's grade will be based on team participation.

Material will be discussed in the classroom that is not covered in the readings. Participation is integral to successful mastery of the material. Therefore, regular attendance is extremely important. For an unavoidable absence a student should discuss the situation with the instructor and inquire regarding how to complete make-up work. 

INVITED LECTURER: We are very fortunate that Mr. Simon A Bell will be visiting us as a guest lecturer in February (exact date, time, and place will be announced). Mr. Bell will share with us his extensive knowledge, insights and perspective on Team-Based Project Management.  Simon is currently a Design-Manager in the iA64 Micro-Processor Division responsible for the Design and Implementation of Itanium Class Micro-Processors.  He joined Intel in 1990 to design Flash Memory Chips and subsequently joined the iA64 Itanium Micro-Processor Design Project in 1995.  Previously, he was with Philips Research, Eindhoven designing CMOS SRAM Memory Chips on the MEGA-Project and with Marconi Electronic Devices Ltd, Lincoln where he designed Semi-Custom and Full-Custom Chips. Simon received the BSc(Hons) degree in Electrical Engineering from Brunel University, London in 1984.  For the work being presented to the class, Simon has received the "Project Management Pioneer Award" from the Intel Architecture Group in June 2000.

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Weekly assignments/WebCT discussions:  There are weekly assignments for everyone which you will present/discuss using the online WebCT course environment .  During the class meetings on Wednesdays, those problems will be reviewed but your online contributions are critical. All weekly assignments to be turned in at the beginning of the class.  The project case study assignments are team efforts and the exercises are individual efforts. Homework is due on the first class meeting as outlined in the table below. Each case study and each homework not to exceed 1-2 pages in length. Late assignments require previous arrangements with the instructor.

Take-home midterm - The midterm will consist of a combination of definitions, multiple choice, and True/False questions.

Class Participation - A primary strength of the Intensive Business Program is the experience of its students. Your active participation is a valuable addition to the class. Additional class interactions will occur online using the WebCT environment for this course.

Final Presentation - The final presentation is a group project that will be assigned during the first class meeting.  A hard copy of the presentation (including 6 page narrative) to be submitted to the instructor by Class 7 on 2/27/02.
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Weekly assignments 25 points
Take-home midterm 25 points
Class participation 25 points
Final project presentation 25 points
Total 100 points
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BEFORE First Class:
1.  MS Project 2000 SOFTWARE:  Install the software on your computer.  Contact Dr. Yacoub in advance of class if you have difficulties with any of the above.  Please, make sure you have done this before the start of the first class.  It is vital that you have the software running from the beginning.

2. READINGS:  Read the assigned pages for Class 1 (refer to SCHEDULE Table below).

3.  WebCT INTRODUCTION:  During the week of January 7 through January 16, introduce yourself in the class WebCT environment before the first class meeting.  Read your fellow-students introductions before the first class meeting.

To use the WebCT class site:
    1.  Go to, select <Logon>, enter your ID and password, and arrive at your "myWebCT page".
    2.  Select from the left column the course:  SY257 Project Management.
    3.  Select the "Discussion" icon on the home page; select the "Student Introductions" topic from Ghassan Yacoub.

To post your introduction as a new "thread":
Close (cancel) my message.
Select the <Compose Message> button in the middle of the window.
Type in your "Subject" , and your (brief, 50-100 word) "Message" and select <POST>
**** Give the system time to update the screen.  
To view your posting select <Update Listing> near middle of the window.
Your posting should be listed along with others.

    4.  EMAIL:  from the home page, select the "Mail" icon and set up the email forwarding function so that we can use that function for efficient contact.   Confirm that you have used this WebCT email interface by sending the instructor an email message through this system.

***If this is your first time using WebCT, or you need review, please use directions at
For this initial assignment, read the guidelines from the following links on that page: "NDNU WebCT Username and Password and Logging-in to your NDNU WebCT Course", "Student Discussion Directions", "Student WebCT Mail Directions "

Note: Problems with getting to your "myWebCT" page?  contact : Merle Mason ( the IT expert for WebCT on campus.
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The schedule shows chapters to read BEFORE each class is held.  Content assigned will be covered during the class meeting, but your effort to read and apply the material before class meetings will greatly improve your ability to learn the material.

Class Date / Time



Assignment Due

Class 1


5:30-8:15 PM

Ch.  1

Introduction Review Questions 1-3; Page 15.
Ch.  12  Project Management Information Systems (PMIS) Review Questions 1, 7; Page 411.
  NOTE: In this session, project teams will be formed that will be the basis for much of the work in the course. The teams will each select a project that will produce tangible deliverables by the end of this course. Discussion about WebCT

Class 2


5:30-8:15 PM

Ch.  2, 3
Appendix A

Basic Concepts & Systems Philosophy Case 2-1; Page 47.
Case 3-1; Page 81.
Ch. 14 PM Org & Structure Review Question 19; Page 472.
Ch.  15, 16  Project Roles, Responsibility, & Authority
Managing Participation, Teamwork & Conflict
Review Questions 11, 12, 19; Page 499.
Case 16-1; Page 531.

Class 3


5:30-8:15 PM

Ch.  4, 5

Systems Development Cycle Case 4-1; Page 117.
Case 5-3; Page 155.
Appendix B, C Types of Contracts
LOGON Project Master Plan
Discussion on WebCT
Ch.  6, 7 Planning Fundamentals
Project Networks
Review Questions 7, 22, 25, 26; Page 188.
Review Questions 10, 19, Page 224.

Class 4


5:30-8:15 PM

  Midterm review / Discussion

Review of proposals / Progress
Take-home Midterm Due

Scope statement proposals for Final Term Group project.

Class 5


5:30-8:15 PM

Ch.  8

Resource Allocation Review Questions 1, 6,7; Page 260.
Ch. 9  Cost Estimating & Budgeting Review Question 24; Page 302.
Ch. 10  Risk Management Review Question 13; Page 333.

Class 6


5:30-8:15 PM

Ch. 11

Project Control Review Questions 11, 22; Page 378.
Ch. 13  Project Evaluation, Reporting & Closure None
Ch. 17  Project Failure, Successes, & Lessons Learned Review Questions 14, 15; Page 552.

Class 7


5:30-8:15 PM


Final - Group presentations (5-15 minutes each student), (10 - 16 Foils/ group). Presentation foils, written narrative, & supporting documentation.
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Gray, Clifford F and Larson, Eric W. (2000). Project Management: The Managerial Process. New York, NY; Irwin/McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Peters, Tom. (1992). Liberation Management. Alfred A. Knopf.
Covey, Stephen R. (1989). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People: Restoring the Character Ethic. Simon and Shuster.

INSTRUCTOR BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARYDr. Yacoub has been with Intel Corporation's Business and Technology Programs organization since 1997 serving as a Project Manager and more recently as a Strategic Technology Planning Manager. He has extensive experience working for large and small companies. Prior to Intel, he was with the Hughes Electronics Corporation for twelve years and served as Section Head of VLSI Signal Processing Design for five years before leaving in 1993 to co-found dQdt, a Hughes spin-off company which was later acquired by Mentor Graphics Corporation in 1996. Subsequently, he founded ASAP Solutions, Inc. one of a handful of Internet companies at the time. The Indian operation of ASAP was acquired by Satyam Infoway in 1999 for $115 Million. Ghassan has twenty years experience in the high-tech industry, fifteen of which in managing organizations. His interdisciplinary interests include international business management, business processes, strategic planning, and management information systems. He is a Howard Hughes Doctoral Fellow and holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) where he served as a Visiting Scholar in 1997 conducting research in advanced digital & analog VLSI chip design methodology. 

Problems? contact
Ghassan Y Yacoub (, 650-678-4478
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