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Practicum: Project Management

The Project Planning practicum is an eight week course that offers the student a chance to manage a software project team of 8-10 people. Because of the limited number of positions and the critical nature of the position, students will need to apply to the Software Engineering Review Board for a position. Applicants must be in their 4th or graduating year, have shown proficiency in their other practicums, and have recommendations from at least two of the area supervisors. Because of the variable nature and lengths of the project, the student will only oversee a portion of the actual project but will still be responsible for reporting the progress from previous phases of activity and for planning future phases. The student will:

  • Schedule the project using appropriate lifecycle models and task decompositions.
  • Lead a team of 5-8 software engineers.
  • Learn how to estimate and allocate human and technical resources.
  • Learn and apply established best practices of software engineering.
  • Apply risk management techniques to the initial planning stages of the project and to problems that may appear during the lifetime of the project.
  • Participate in progress reporting during the project and the project post-mortem after delivery of the system.
  • Manage the organizing of the practicum
  • A few exceptional students may be promoted to higher level practicum management positions
  • Larger projects may involve multiple team leaders and project leaders.

Team Leaders will be assesed using the following factors

  • How well the project deliverables matched the expected goals
    articulated in the project plan and requirements specifications.
  • Ability of the project team to deliver within project schedule.
  • Faculty evaluation of the project leader's ability to handle the project and manage risks during the rotation.
  • Independent assessment by the manager's team members.
  • End of the rotation report written by the manager and signed
    by the entire project team and faculty advisor.

Because of the variable nature of the projects and rotations, assessments will be adjusted as needed to allow for difficulty, unforseen circumstances,and historical difficulties (poor deliverables from the last rotation, for example).

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