Leadership Program


The Project in engineering leadership is analogous to the “mission” for military leaders, or the cause for political or social leaders.  For Engineers, the project is the collection of objectives and tasks needed to reach objectives set by the client or team.  The project exists within an environment that is defined by its physical, social, political, and economic space.  Engineering leaders ensure the team creates plans for the project to succeed considering all dimensions of the project environment.  A new arch bridge in the U.S with a French architect’s design, a Swiss engineer’s analysis, and an American general contractor would be a very different project if the same bridge were built in Nicaragua, with an Italian engineer, and Brazilian contractor.  Effective engineering leaders understand that each variable can add challenges that need to be addressed for the project to be successful.   


You will develop skills to craft a vision for each project or program where you serve that considers the complexity of all project variables.


Completing the entire program, you will be able to:

  1. Define the scope of a technical project.
  2. Describe the technical, political, environmental, economic, and social dimensions of the task(s) to be completed.
  3. Classify the project as simple or complex.
  4. Identify different leadership approaches based on the classification of a project as simple (technical) or complex (adaptive).


  • Complete the project initiation checklist for a project you are working on in a team.  
  • Identify the main components of a project.
  • List the main deliverables of a project.
  • Create a project charter
  • Classify projects along the spectrum of technical to adaptive projects.
  • Create a communication plan for your team to follow during the life of your project.
  • Create a project schedule and budget for your project - not the schedule and budget for your final product, but the schedule and budget for your work on the project.
  • Select leadership styles that align better with technical or adaptive projects.
  • Develop adjustments to the project communication plan, budget, schedule as a team.
  • Practice leadership styles that are appropriate to a project's uncertainty 

Supporting Theories and Approaches

Project Management Body of Knowledge, Adaptive Leadership, Extreme Ownership