81799 - Project Management and Soft Skills M

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

The student will learn how to acquire the necessary skills to be a successful engineer. In particular, non-technical (also known as soft) skills are discussed; among them, emphasis will be given to inductive/deductive/analytical/design reasoning, to communication skills and employability. Moreover the student will learn how to use the basic tools of project management, including GANTT and PERT diagrams, workpackage breakdown, project cost estimation, and relevant aspects.

Course contents

The syllabus is reported below. More information on the course approach can be found on www.robertoverdone.org.

I.Introduction (approx 3 hours).

II. A Pragmatic Approach to Project Management (approx 9 hours).

- Projects, Roles, WBS

- Gantt and PERT Diagrams

- Cost Assessment

- Submitting a Project Proposal

III. Soft Skills and Aptitudes (approx 12 hours).

- Introduction to Cognitive Processes

- Soft Skills at Time of Industry 4.0

- Success and Talent

- Aptitudes

- Team Work

- Leadership

- Learning Styles

IV. Communication Skills (approx 9 hours).

- Fundamentals of Human Communication

- Persuasion

- Inter-Personal Communication

- Presentation Skills

Additionally, the course will include a Madness session where all students will introduce themselves in one minute, a CV contest, and, possibly, one or two seminars from professionals.


Slidesets. Several books will be suggested for additional reading during the classes. None of them is specifically useful to cover the contents of the course. The course requires attendance.

Teaching methods

Most lectures are based on the alternation of a presentation by the instructor and group work.

Moreover, students will be assigned tasks to be performed every week by mid of the following week.

Assessment methods

The student will undergo a written questionnaire plus an oral exam.

The written questionnaire will include close-answer questions on the theoretical aspects addressed by the course. Students will be incentivised to pass it before end of the course. Otherwise, they will be given the chance to pass it on the same day of the oral exam.

Prior to the date of the exam the student will deliver via email to the instructor by a specific deadline (normally two weeks before):

1) a one page document on a topic agreed with the instructor, following the template provided by the instructor (see www.robertoverdone.org)

2) a three page research project proposal, following the template provided by the instructor (see www.robertoverdone.org)

3) His/Her CV with a cover letter, simulating the application for a job position as project manager.

The deliveries will be assessed before the date of the exam. By the day before the exam date, the student will be informed whether they can be admitted to the exam.

During the oral exam, the student will present in five minutes the slideset prepared.

More precise criteria for assessments will be provided during the lectures.

Teaching tools


Online forms and tests.

Office hours

See the website of Roberto Verdone


Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.