!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: MIT Course on Project Management IV: Online Textbook

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

MIT Course on Project Management IV: Online Textbook

The final item from Fred Moavenzadeh's course in Project Management that I want to call attention to is its use of an online textbook by Chris Hendrickson, a professor of engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.

The book is Project Management for Construction: Fundamental Concepts for Owners, Engineers, Architects and Builders. The most recent updating to the text was done in the summer of 2008.

Prof. Hendrickson and Tung Au, a former professor of civil engineering at Carnegie Mellon who was Hendrickson's co-author for the original 1989 edition, emphasize that the book is written from the project owner's point of view. They explain that
Some profound implications for the objectives and methods of project management result from this perspective:
  • The "life cycle" of costs and benefits from initial planning through operation and disposal of a facility are relevant to decision making. An owner is concerned with a project from the cradle to the grave. Construction costs represent only one portion of the overall life cycle costs.

  • Optimizing performance at one stage of the process may not be beneficial overall if additional costs or delays occur elsewhere. For example, saving money on the design process will be a false economy if the result is excess construction costs.

  • Fragmentation of project management among different specialists may be necessary, but good communication and coordination among the participants is essential to accomplish the overall goals of the project. New information technologies can be instrumental in this process, especially the Internet and specialized Extranets.

  • Productivity improvements are always of importance and value. As a result, introducing new materials and automated construction processes is always desirable as long as they are less expensive and are consistent with desired performance.

  • Quality of work and performance are critically important to the success of a project since it is the owner who will have to live with the results.
In essence, adopting the viewpoint of the owner focuses attention on the cost effectiveness of facility construction rather than competitive provision of services by the various participants.
I've reproduced the table of contents for the book below. The first three chapters provide an overview of construction project management, while the remaining chapters cover specific project management functions and techniques.1

Chapter 1. The Owners' Perspective
1.1 Introduction
1.2 The Project Life Cycle
1.3 Major Types of Construction
1.4 Selection of Professional Services
1.5 Construction Contractors
1.6 Financing of Constructed Facilities
1.7 Legal and Regulatory Requirements
1.8 The Changing Environment of the Construction Industry
1.9 The Role of Project Managers

Chapter 2. Organizing for Project Management
2.1 What is Project Management?
2.2 Trends in Modern Management
2.3 Strategic Planning and Project Programming
2.4 Effects of Project Risks on Organization
2.5 Organization of Project Participants
2.6 Traditional Designer-Constructor Sequence
2.7 Professional Construction Management
2.8 Owner-Builder Operation
2.9 Turnkey Operation
2.10 Leadership and Motivation for the Project Team
2.11 Interpersonal Behavior in Project Organizations
2.12 Perceptions of Owners and Contractors

Chapter 3. The Design and Construction Process
3.1 Design and Construction as an Integrated System
3.2 Innovation and Technological Feasibility
3.3 Innovation and Economic Feasibility
3.4 Design Methodology
3.5 Functional Design
3.6 Physical Structures
3.7 Geotechnical Engineering Investigation
3.8 Construction Site Environment
3.9 Value Engineering
3.10 Construction Planning
3.11 Industrialized Construction and Pre-fabrication
3.12 Computer-Aided Engineering
3.13 Pre-Project Planning

Chapter 4. Labor, Material and Equipment Utilization
4.1 Historical Perspective
4.2 Labor Productivity
4.3 Factors Affecting Job-Site Productivity
4.4 Labor Relations in Construction
4.5 Problems in Collective Bargaining
4.6 Materials Management
4.7 Material Procurement and Delivery
4.8 Inventory Control
4.9 Tradeoffs of Costs in Materials Management.
4.10 Construction Equipment
4.11 Choice of Equipment and Standard Production Rates
4.12 Construction Processes
4.13 Queues and Resource Bottlenecks

Chapter 5. Cost Estimation
5.1 Costs Associated with Constructed Facilities
5.2 Approaches to Cost Estimation
5.3 Type of Construction Cost Estimates
5.4 Effects of Scale on Construction Cost
5.5 Unit Cost Method of Estimation
5.6 Methods for Allocation of Joint Costs
5.7 Historical Cost Data
5.8 Cost Indices
5.9 Applications of Cost Indices to Estimating
5.10 Estimate Based on Engineer's List of Quantities
5.11 Allocation of Construction Costs Over Time
5.12 Computer Aided Cost Estimation
5.13 Estimation of Operating Costs

Chapter 6. Economic Evaluation of Facility Investments
6.1 Project Life Cycle and Economic Feasibility
6.2 Basic Concepts of Economic Evaluation
6.3 Costs and Benefits of a Constructed Facility
6.4 Interest Rates and the Costs of Capital
6.5 Investment Profit Measures
6.6 Methods of Economic Evaluation
6.7 Depreciation and Tax Effects
6.8 Price Level Changes: Inflation and Deflation
6.9 Uncertainty and Risk
6.10 Effects of Financing on Project Selection
6.11 Combined Effects of Operating and Financing Cash Flows
6.12 Public versus Private Ownership of Facilities
6.13 Economic Evaluation of Different Forms of Ownership

Chapter 7. Financing of Constructed Facilities
7.1 The Financing Problem
7.2 Institutional Arrangements for Facility Financing
7.3 Evaluation of Alternative Financing Plans
7.4 Secured Loans with Bonds, Notes and Mortgages
7.5 Overdraft Accounts
7.6 Refinancing of Debts
7.7 Project versus Corporate Finance
7.8 Shifting Financial Burdens
7.9 Construction Financing for Contractors
7.10 Effects of Other Factors on a Contractor's Profits

Chapter 8. Construction Pricing and Contracting
8.1 Pricing for Constructed Facilities
8.2 Contract Provisions for Risk Allocation
8.3 Risks and Incentives on Construction Quality
8.4 Types of Construction Contracts
8.5 Relative Costs of Construction Contracts
8.6 Principles of Competitive Bidding
8.7 Principles of Contract Negotiation
8.8 Negotiation Simulation: An Example
8.9 Resolution of Contract Disputes

Chapter 9. Construction Planning
9.1 Basic Concepts in the Development of Construction Plans
9.2 Choice of Technology and Construction Method
9.3 Defining Work Tasks
9.4 Defining Precedence Relationships Among Activities
9.5 Estimating Activity Durations
9.6 Estimating Resource Requirements for Work Activities
9.7 Coding Systems

Chapter 10. Fundamental Scheduling Procedures
10.1 Relevance of Construction Schedules
10.2 The Critical Path Method
10.3 Calculations for Critical Path Scheduling
10.4 Activity Float and Schedules
10.5 Presenting Project Schedules
10.6 Critical Path Scheduling for Activity-on-Node and with Leads, Lags, and Windows
10.7 Calculations for Scheduling with Leads, Lags and Windows
10.8 Resource Oriented Scheduling
10.9 Scheduling with Resource Constraints and Precedences

Chapter 11. Advanced Scheduling Techniques
11.1 Use of Advanced Scheduling Techniques
11.2 Scheduling with Uncertain Durations
11.3 Calculations for Monte Carlo Schedule Simulation
11.4 Crashing and Time/Cost Tradeoffs
11.5 Scheduling in Poorly Structured Problems
11.6 Improving the Scheduling Process

Chapter 12. Cost Control, Monitoring and Accounting
12.1 The Cost Control Problem
12.2 The Project Budget
12.3 Forecasting for Activity Cost Control
12.4 Financial Accounting Systems and Cost Accounts
12.5 Control of Project Cash Flows
12.6 Schedule Control
12.7 Schedule and Budget Updates
12.8 Relating Cost and Schedule Information

Chapter 13. Quality Control and Safety During Construction
13.1 Quality and Safety Concerns in Construction
13.2 Organizing for Quality and Safety
13.3 Work and Material Specifications
13.4 Total Quality Control
13.5 Quality Control by Statistical Methods
13.6 Statistical Quality Control with Sampling by Attributes
13.7 Statistical Quality Control with Sampling by Variables
13.8 Safety

Chapter 14. Organization and Use of Project Information
14.1 Types of Project Information
14.2 Accuracy and Use of Information
14.3 Computerized Organization and Use of Information
14.4 Organizing Information in Databases
14.5 Relational Model of Databases
14.6 Other Conceptual Models of Databases
14.7 Centralized Database Management Systems
14.8 Databases and Applications Programs
14.9 Information Transfer and Flow

1 In the table of contents above, I have omitted (1) the section for references that appears in every chapter, (2) the section for footnotes that appears in every chapter except chapter 6, and (3) the section for problems that appears in chapters 4 through 14.