This is a site focused on teaching the fundamentals of engineering project management.
Whether you’re engineer about to step up and tackle your first project as a manager, or whether you’re an old hand wrapping up just another multi-million dollar effort, this site can probably help. In a sense, the reason for this blog is to give back to the engineering community.
My name is Mark Warner, and I’m one of those “old hands” in the world of project management. I’ve worked in a number of different industries, and have managed projects ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars, to my current project that is a $350M 10-year effort. I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, but I’ve also had some pretty big successes. During my 30+ year long career, I’ve kept a running journal of what has worked, what didn’t, and what lessons I could take from both my failures and successes.
I’ve also benefited greatly from a series of world-class mentors who were kind enough to take me under their collective wings and pass along their own hard-won tips, methods, and lessons. I want to do the same for you.
Think of me and this site as a virtual mentor as you tackle your next big project. There is absolutely no reason you need to make the same mistakes and missteps others have made before you. There’s also no reason you shouldn’t replicate all the methods and processes that have worked and led to success.
The simple truth is that engineering project management is not rocket science. Yes, it can feel overwhelming at times, and often there will be a dozen things competing for your focus, but if you keep your eye on the ball and tackle each area and issue in a prioritized, logical fashion, you’ll do fine.
Which brings us to the Project Management Blueprint. There are a number of competing philosophies and methods to organizing and managing engineering projects. Some of these are formally codified in certification programs like the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, or the Prince2 standard. Others are relatively new to the scene, such as Agile and rapid prototyping methods.
I personally have a PMP certification, and while it’s not perfect, it’s also not a bad place to start. For that reason, I’ve built the Blueprint around the key knowledge areas that PMI espouses, but I’ve tweaked it a bit to make it more specifically applicable to the engineering process. I’ve also re-organized the order in which you organize work, and I’ve layered on an all-powerful systems engineering tool called the V-diagram process.
This is the Blueprint in a nutshell: a method to systematically break down, organize, and then execute your own engineering project, whether it’s a fast, low-cost effort, or whether it will span years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.
To get started, I recommend you begin with the overview of the method, which begins on the Start Here page. This should get you going on the right foot. You can also peruse any of the drop-down menus at the top of the page.
In any case, wherever or however you start, I’m glad you’re here. Please feel welcome to drop me a line with your thoughts, comments, and feedback. This blog exists for you, the engineering project manager, and it can and will get better only with honest feedback.
I look forward to hearing from you.
MW | 2015 | Tucson, AZ