Project Leadership and Systems Design Courses

Engineers are good at designing systems to meet technical specifications. Project managers are good at developing and executing project plans. But most technical teams and project leaders lack a key set of skills: working in the messy, unpredictable, conflict-ridden realm of people. These courses from Cornell University’s College of Engineering address the human aspects of both of these vital disciplines: designing products and services to be used and enjoyed by people, and leading, motivating, influencing, and communicating with project teams that consist of people from a variety of functional areas and backgrounds. These programs are practical and transformative, and they will forever change the way you approach any project.

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Ensuring the Success of Product and Service Design
COURSE ID: CESYS505


Identify and eliminate risk factors in your design. Employ analytical tools to properly assess and mitigate risk in your development process.

Executing and Improving System Design
COURSE ID: CESYS506


Create a design architecture and implement control measures to increase quality and efficiency as you execute your project plan.

Exploring the Design Space and Optimizing the Design
COURSE ID: CESYS503


Create a high-value product or service by optimizing the design space and improving your design processes.

Getting Started on Product and Service Design
COURSE ID: CESYS501


Learn how to create sustainable competitive advantage by fine-tuning your design process. Adopt a systems approach to product and service evaluation and development.

Monitoring and Controlling Projects
COURSE ID: CEPL506


When errors, misses, over-runs and problems occur during projects, a balanced, measured response from the project leader is critical. If you underreact, stakeholders will begin to doubt your effectiveness. If you overreact, your teams will be in fear, crushing any creative effort and stifling information sharing. In this course, authored by Cornell Instructor Robert Newman, you will examine the human elements of project monitoring and control and review common errors that occur on projects. You’ll learn how to ask the right questions and improve team connectedness. 

Organizing the Project and Its Components
COURSE ID: CEPM501


Planning and Managing Resources
COURSE ID: CEPM502


Assessing, Managing, and Mitigating Project Risk
COURSE ID: CEPM503


Using Earned Value Management for Project Managers
COURSE ID: CEPM504


Managing Conflict on Project Teams
COURSE ID: CEPL505


As a project leader you need to be able to distinguish between when conflict is healthy and when it’s damaging to relationships and productivity. In this course, authored by Cornell Instructor Robert Newman, you’ll learn to identify various causes and sources of conflict and learn to foster healthy disagreement within a project team.

Leading Project Teams
COURSE ID: CEPL504


Seasoned project leaders sometimes apply the same leadership approach to every situation. In this course, authored by Cornell Instructor Robert Newman, you’ll explore a number of leadership styles to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses. You’ll learn how to manage safety concerns, when to be directly coercive, and see how creative collaboration and a shot of inspiration can turn things around for a team.

After taking this course, you’ll be ready to employ a particular style or model of leadership just as a carpenter would a tool. Does the occasion call for a hammer or a saw? Every style of leadership has its merits and its place. Find out what style works best for the situation. 

Turning Groups Into Teams
COURSE ID: CEPL503


Getting skilled people to behave and perform as high-functioning teams can be a challenge. In this course, you’ll take a look at how teams tend to progress, what might impact motivation and engagement, and how culture can influence behaviors and results.

This course, authored by Cornell Instructor Robert Newman, will show you how the fundamentals as taught by top researchers like Frederick Herzberg, Bruce Tuckman, and Meredith Belbin can help turn a group of workers into a high-performing team.

Communicate Well to Drive Project Outcomes
COURSE ID: CEPL502


Even experienced project leaders often find that regular meetings and status updates don't lead to meaningful communication. When the team doesn't fully understand project goals or how the work is going to get done, that lack of clarity will have a direct impact on whether the project is on time, within budget, and will lead to quality output. At the same time, team members may mislead you about their progress. Stakeholders may not always explain their expectations. Customers may be unclear about what they want and need. What's going wrong? And how can a project leader do better?

In this course, authored by Cornell Instructor Robert Newman, you will examine typical project-related communication problems and explore practical strategies for overcoming them. You’ll learn to host kick-offs and lead meetings that actually guide the team toward successful outcomes. You will practice communicating with a fresh, even sometimes unfamiliar, perspective in order to bring about productive and high-functioning working relationships.

Leverage Emotional Intelligence for Project Results
COURSE ID: CEPL501


Even experienced project leaders will ask themselves “Why won’t people listen to me?” or “What went wrong with my plan?” Of all the skills critical to project leadership, emotional intelligence may be the most important—and least understood. 

In this course, you will learn to identify, analyze, and manage emotions, both yours and your team members’.

It is a common mistake among project leaders to focus too heavily on the mechanics of project management while neglecting the critical people skills that keep everyone engaged and working harmoniously. In this course, from Robert Newman of Cornell’s College of Civil and Environmental Engineering, project leaders will explore concepts of emotional intelligence and practice skills relevant to managing emotions so that they can enjoy better project outcomes. You will focus on five critical aptitudes: communication, relationship management, decision making, conflict management, and motivation.

Agile Project Management Approaches
COURSE ID: CEPM505


Targeting Product and Service Designs to Customers’ Needs
COURSE ID: CESYS502


Learn how to identify and quantify customer demand. Create a design process and that maximizes your product or service's potential for commercial success.

Thinking Through the Structure of System Design
COURSE ID: CESYS504


Clear communication and well-prepared systems architectures enable design and development professionals to work together seamlessly and productively.