By Setyo Utomo Soekarsono Ir. MSc. MM

This idea came to my mind when I met an engineer who cannot prepare a new business unit development plan. His team that consist of young freshmen engineer have no clue either on how to develop the plan. Based on this experience, I eager to make the knowledge of project management as a basic knowledge that should be possessed by every undergraduate engineering student.

Nowadays every new graduates already have basic computer skills such as spreadsheet, word processor and presentation software. I think, they should have also a basic project management skill. At least, a new graduates should understand how to make a plan. He should know the required information to develop that plan. He should know the steps that must be accomplished to develop schedule and to estimate budget including periodic budget (Weekly or monthly). He might not necessary be able to breakdown the work into details activities due to his expertise knowledge limitation. However, he should know to whom and where to look the necessary information. I would say, it would be easier if the undergraduate students are introduced with Project Management that comply with PMBOK® Guide (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge).

For that purposes, I contacted my colleagues who are lecturers in various universities to put across my concerns. And I recommends that project management should be taught to engineer students. It does not need to be given during the whole semester, but at least as a short introduction course before the students graduate.

Yes of course, some faculties are already incorporate the Project Management Knowledge into their learning syllabus, such as Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Faculty of Civil Engineering. For other faculties, because of the restrictions (on the maximum number of course credit and the number of basic subjects related to the field of expertise should be given), it is difficult to add project management lessons as a new course. As a solution is by linking PM lessons into an existing course that is already running. For example at the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), the project management knowledge embedded to Management and Engineering Economics course. At Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, ITENAS, it is embedded to “Manajemen Industri dan Proyek” course.

To make these plan work, I need support from a PM Consulting firm which can provide with the project management exercise forms  as well as its application (Software). Then, I called friend of mine, Chalid Tamimi, who work for DCOptima, a PPM training and consultant, which has developed a project (portfolio) management application since years. The student will use the given exercise forms as well as the software. Those student can compared the application with other existing project management application (software).

Hopefully, by making the project management as basic knowledge for every engineer student, they can enhance their working skill by themselves.

Please check this clip 

PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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