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T11: Project Management for Telecom Projects

Presenter: Celia Desmond, World Class Telecommunications


Given the rapid changes in the telecommunications and electronic communications environment, with many companies going under, and other struggling to survive in a newly competitive field over recent years, it is critical that all projects be as successful as possible to further the business of the company. At the same time, the industry has recognized that the business models must change, that the products and services they offer must reflect the new technologies, the new industry players, and a new approach. Successful development in that environment depends on very strong project management along with strong technical, business and marketing skills. This can happen only if standard PM techniques are applied within the communications projects, and also if the teams maintain their focus on the environment in which the project is being performed. This tutorial illustrates the value of project management techniques, and gives the attendees an opportunity to apply some of the key techniques to electronic communications projects. The seminar is not focused on telecommunications technologies. Instead it focuses on bringing these technologies to fruition via successful projects. The seminar links the business aspects with the technical aspects of the technical works, and bridges the fields of IEEE Communications Society and IEEE Engineering Management Society.

The use of proper project management is rapidly becoming a requirement in many telecommunications oriented companies and environments. Use of Project Management tools and techniques can make the difference between meeting or not meeting scope, budgetary and time requirements. Meeting these constraints is becoming more and more critical and the competition escalates, and companies compete for shares of the market. Sometimes an even more significant problem is the customer satisfaction ˆ which is closely related to producing what the customer wants, within the required cost and time. Or more accurately, producing what the customer really wants. At the same time, the satisfaction of the team members is also a priority. All of these requirements can be met by using Project Management processes.

There are techniques that can be implemented which have been shown to make projects more successful and to make life easier for the project manager and the team. This short seminar provides broad coverage of project management methods, supplemented by real project examples from the telecommunications environment. Each process area described in the Project Management Institute's "Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge" will be covered, including Project Integration, Scope Management, Cost Management, Time Management, Risk Management, Procurement Management, Quality Management, Communications Management, Human Resources. Techniques addressing each of these areas can be applied to engineering projects large or small, no matter how simple or complex. In each area the processes are discussed, and some techniques are described.

After an introduction to the telecommunications environment, which will illustrate the issues that telecom managers are facing in business and in their careers, the course shifts to an overview of the areas of project management. All nine of the process areas will be described briefly, but the focus of the tutorial will be on some areas of project management that are very important in the telecom environment. These include:
• Project Management definition
• Project Scope Definition and Management
• Project Time Management
• Project Risk Management
• Communications

In each area the processes are discussed, and some techniques are described. Examples of project problems in telecom projects illustrate the need for many of the techniques.


Celia Desmond is President of World Class Telecommunications, which provides training in management skills in business and telecommunications engineering environments. She was instrumental in creating a Masters Program and a Certificate Program at University of Toronto. She has lectured internationally on programs for success in today‚s changing environment. At Stentor Resource Centre Inc. she was instrumental in establishing the Stentor culture and processes, and in obtaining buy-in from the employees to adopt and grow the new organization. She developed and implemented processes for service/product development and for project governance. As Director - Industry Liaison, she was the external technical linkage to the Stentor owner companies, their customers, and the international technical community In various positions at Bell Canada, Celia provided strategic direction to corporate planners, ran technology and service trials, standardized equipment, and issued guidelines for the member companies. In Celia's previous line positions, her groups provided technical and project management support to large business clients. She is author of Project Management for Telecommunications Managers, published by Kluwer Academic Publishers (now Springer).

Celia was the 2007 Director and Secretary of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), and she was 2006 IEEE Vice President ˆ Technical Activities. In 2008, Celia is overall project director for the creation of a Certification in Wireless Engineering Technology for IEEE, managing a team of over 100 people in 8 different development areas. She was also 2004-2006 Vice President Membership for IEEE Engineering Management Society. She was 2002- 2003 President of IEEE Communications Society. In 2000-2001 Celia was President of IEEE Canada, and she served her second term on the Board of Directors of IEEE as Region 7 Director. She was 1997-1998 Division III Director. She has twice served in the IEEE Audit Committee, including serving as Chair, and actively participated in numerous other TAB, RAB, IEEE and Society committees. She was 2004 Chair of the IEEE Transnational Committee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the IEEE Canada Foundation where she is the Donations Chair. Celia was awarded the Donald J. McLellan Award for meritorious service to IEEE Communications Society, the Engineering Institute of Canada John B. Sterling Medal in May 2000, and the IEEE Millennium award. She is a Senior Member of IEEE.

She is co-editor of Journal of Communication and Information Systems in Brazil, and on the Advisory Board for New Jersey Institute of Technology Engineering Department.

Celia holds a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, a B.Sc. in Mathematics & Psychology from Queens University, an Ontario Teaching Certificate and a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Celia has taught kindergarten, high school, and at three universities, Ryerson School of Business, Stevens Institute of Technology, and University of Toronto.