Managing Complex Technical Projects


This course will be offered live online, "in real time", via Zoom. Please view the "Live Online" tab to see a sample schedule and additional information.

This program enables participants to reduce the complexity involved in large projects by restructuring development and management procedures in ways that produces small-team results. MIT’s innovative solution, based on the design structure matrix (DSM), is devised to streamline complex projects by developing detailed models to understand the intricate interactions and iterative nature of design. The program also discusses modern agile development methods and their application in complex technical projects.

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Managing Complex Technical Projects
Certificate Track: Technology, Operations, and Value Chain Management
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Tuition: $3,900
Program Days (for ACE Credit) 2

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Managing a complex technical project is a massive effort well beyond the scope of a simple project plan. Complex systems are comprised of hundreds or thousands of interconnected components, each potentially developed by a different group of people distributed over multiple organizations. Cost and schedule overruns are common. How can technical program leaders better manage such a complex process?

This 3-day online program offers two specific sets of techniques which technical managers can use to better handle the complexity of large product and service development efforts. Two days of the course focus on the design structure matrix (DSM) method, while the third day teaches modern agile development methods.

DSM techniques have been used by MIT researchers to study complex system development and to help technical managers improve project performance. After field-testing DSM in dozens of organizations and industries around the world, the method is now being applied in a wide range of technical industries – automotive, software, aerospace, telecommunications, medical devices, energy systems, electronics, capital equipment, large-scale construction, and more.

Agile development techniques have been evolving in the software industry for many years. Today we are finding ways to apply agile methods in many other types of technical projects. However, some of the techniques that work for software projects are difficult to apply in other realms. The key to application of agile methods is to understand which of the many tools to use in any particular project.


Participant Testimonial

"The program has been excellent. Eppinger has been able to provide us, in a very short time, the key information on how to manage complex products, processes and organizations using the DSM approach, including several application examples. Wonderful class!" ~ Giuseppe G.

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