Project management skills for engineers: industry perceptions and implications for engineering project management course
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It is well established that projects play an important part in all engineering sectors and successful projects require effective project management (PM). For professional engineers in Australia, PM forms part of a standard competency specified by Engineers Australia. It has also become a standard component of engineering programs offered at most Australian universities. Nonetheless, there are not enough studies on specific project management skills, which engineering graduates are expected to learn and effectively apply in a project work environment, to help deliver a better targeted and more relevant project management course. The main aim of this research is thus to identify essential PM knowledge areas that engineering graduates require in their early career, with the outcomes expected to provide implications on the design of engineering project management (EPM) courses. The research was achieved through an online survey, which seeks input from industry practitioners and was partly developed using the details of PM knowledge areas provided in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The results from the survey of 30 practitioners showed that project scope management, project time management and project cost management were the three most critical areas and perceived as the areas where aduate engineers may require more improvement. The results further highlighted that such PM knowledge areas should require more emphasis within EPM courses taught to undergraduate engineering students.
Proceedings of the 2011 AAEE Conference
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Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy