Project Management for the Commissioning Process Strategies for Controlling Projects and Avoiding Overruns

Upcoming dates (2)

Sep. 30 - Oct. 1, 2024


Course Overview

Implementing the ASHRAE Commissioning Process (CxP) on facility projects creates new and unique challenges for project managers. The progress of the commissioning effort must be carefully managed, and each task allocated sufficient time and resources. For example, how much time should be allocated to complete commissioning design reviews? How many employees are needed to execute a particular CxP task - such as a system performance test?  

Learn to apply project management principles to CxP projects using a planned, repeatable process with distinct phases: initiation, planning, execution, control and closeout. Discover how to avoid the most common problems, including scope “creep” and budget overruns, and investigate types of contracts that will impact your CxP effort.

After attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify the critical elements of a CxP Project Management plan.
  • Create a repeatable process for future projects.
  • Recognize the factors that lead to budget overruns and schedule delays.
  • Assess and mitigate critical risks to the success of your CxP projects.

For a successful project, both the CxP tasks and the overall facility design/construction must follow carefully developed management plans. This course will help you distinguish between the two and focus on implementing your CxP efforts.

Learn more about why CxA's need project management skills in this interview with Ian McIntosh.

Who Should Attend?

  • Project managers and planners
  • Commissioning authorities
  • Building owners and developers
  • Facility managers
  • Federal project managers
  • Architects and engineers
  • Construction managers
  • Building operation and maintenance staff with project management duties
  • Contractors working on commissioned projects

Prior knowledge of the ASHRAE Guideline 0 Commissioning Process is highly recommended.  Both owner-led and third-party commissioning projects will benefit.

Additional Information

This course is one of the specialized-topic offerings designed to complement The Commissioning Process for Delivering Quality Constructed Projects course. Completion of this course, in combination with The Commissioning Process for Delivering Quality Constructed Projects, fulfills the education/training requirements of the UW Commissioning Provider certifications.

This course has been approved for 14 LU AIA credits.

Course Outline

Online course agenda

Download online course agenda here.

Session 01 – Overview/Definitions

  • What is Project Management?
  • Why Project Management?
  • Attributes of the Cx Project Manager
  • Definitions – Project, Portfolio, Program, Business Strategy, Business Case, Overruns, etc.
  • A 5-Stage Project Management process framework: Initiate, Plan, Execute, Control, Close

Session 02 – Project Initiation and Pursuit

  • Key PM Plan elements
  • Risk assessment and Go/No-Go
  • Scope development guidance
  • Early scope creep strategies
  • Estimating/negotiating fees

Session 03 – Planning and Contracting

  • Developing the PM Plan
  • Developing project requirements
  • Risk management
  • Contract preparation & guidance

Session 04 – Scheduling and Time Management

  • Why Schedule Management?
  • Types of schedules
  • Elements of a detailed schedule
  • Creating, maintaining and controlling schedules
  • Time management tips

Session 05 – Allocating Resources

  • Why Resource Management?
  • Elements of the Resource Management Role
  • Creating, maintaining and controlling resource plans

Session 06 – Quality Considerations

  • Definition and importance of quality
  • Quality assurance vs quality control
  • The CxPlan as the quality plan
  • Cx Team member roles/responsibilities

Session 07 – Mobilization, Billing and Control

  • Key financial terminology
  • Project Management tools/techniques
  • Accounting/controlling project financial data
  • Strategies for mitigating and/or controlling scope creep

Session 08 – Closeout

  • Importance of proper project closeouts
  • Challenges/advantages of completing a project well
  • Creatively think and discuss how to improve closeout activities

Session 09 – Ethical Considerations

  • Definition of ethics
  • Importance of ethics for PMs
  • Handling common ethical issues in the Cx industry

Session 10 – Communication, Leadership and Teamwork

  • Fundamentals of effective communication
  • Importance of personality types
  • Techniques for dealing with difficult people
  • Leadership and management compared
  • Key attributes of leadership
  • Principles of teamwork


Ian Mcintosh

Dr. Ian McIntosh, PhD, CxM, is a program director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Office of Interdisciplinary Professional Programs (InterPro). He joined the InterPro Facilities and Building Systems team in December 2020 after being a frequent lecturer and course developer for the previous 20 years. His responsibilities include teaching, directing and business development for commissioning certification courses related to project management, existing buildings, and building enclosures. He is also the owner and founder of ianTEACH LLC, which provides innovative and strategic performance-based training and coaching to engineers, architects, construction and facilities management professionals in various sectors of the national building industry.

He is an Accredited Commissioning Process Manager (CxM) with over twenty years of dedicated experience in Total Building Commissioning (a quality process) and has managed numerous energy, commissioning, retro-commissioning, and LEED® commissioning projects throughout the nation. As a Commissioning Provider and Mechanical Engineer, Dr. McIntosh has prepared and led several Owner's Project Requirements (OPR) workshops, written and integrated numerous commissioning specifications, co-invented and implemented electronic bar-coded checklists, system manuals and tracked owner cost savings. He has also executed hands-on in-depth field work, performed functional performance testing of complex HVAC systems/subsystems and coordinated full-scale operation & maintenance (O&M) and user training programs.

Ian holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the City College of the City University of New York (CCNY) and earned his Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Solar Energy Lab at UW-Madison. He and his wife of 18 years like to spend quality time with their four children.

Upcoming dates (2)

Program Director

Ian Mcintosh

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