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PHIL 051: Human Rights and Atrocities (SC)

Effective Project Management: A Crash Course

Although you have probably completed successful group projects before, a few quick tips in project management may make your Philosophy 051 project go more smoothly. You may wish to designate a project manager to help keep everything on schedule. Ideally, the project manager is responsible for devising a clear, easy way to track progress and work.

(Adapted from Project Management from Start to Finish, by Sarah Storti and Brooke Lestock)

Devise a clear project workplan.

  • A good workplan is a statement of deliverables with a path to completion: a "necessary fiction" that accounts for both the intellectual vision and reality.
  • Putting together a workplan involves making frank assessments of the skills/resources available and getting honest estimates from team members.
  • The workplan must be flexible, but only changed for good reasons.
  • The workplan must lay out clear, core deliverables, and be broken down into small, manageable chunks.

Delegate tasks and maintain momentum.

  • Let team members help define how they will be involved.
  • Let the person taking on an assignment help to set the due date.
  • As PM, take responsibility for making final decisions when necessary.


Manage communication.

  • Schedule meetings and keep them on track. Meetings should include regular check-ins with the whole team as well as smaller, task-focused group meetings.
  • Each meeting should address:
    • what has been done,
    • what needs to be done,
    • and what may be holding people back.