The basics of project management boil down to the management of scope, cost, time and risk, says Dr. Joseph Morgan, P.E., the presenter of the workshop "Introduction and Overview of Project Management," one of the base station workshops offered on the first day of the International Wireless Communications Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Morgan says the three constraints of any project are scope, time, cost, and risk. The morning session presented the "Earned Value" approach to project management so that participants will have the steps and tools necessary to manage complex projects in the telecommunications environment.

In addition to Morgan's project management introduction and overview, the participants worked in small groups to design, test and deploy a theoretical 802.11b wireless local network (WLAN).

"The level of interaction and participation far exceeded any of my expectations," Morgan says. By working in small groups, Morgan says the participants are learning getting real-world, hands-on experience, and learning the value of brainstorming and team planning.

"Not only have they [the small groups] helped with real-world applications, but part of project management is learning how groups interact," says Ralph Justice, a systems manager for Claremont County, Ohio. Justice also says he has learned a great deal even though he is an experienced project manager. "I've been involved with project management for a long time, but it is always nice to look at new techniques, new terminology and different viewpoints."

The afternoon session delved into risk management, and introduced the concept of Strategic Risk units within companies.

These units identify and evaluate potential opportunities companies may have, and then identify and quantify potential risks.

"Risk is an element of a project that can be managed to a certain degree," Morgan says. These Strategic Risk units identify opportunities; identify, evaluate and quantify risks; develop strategies to respond to foreseeable risks; and control the risks once they happen.