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

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Course Overview

Important: Enrollment for this course is now closed.  If you are interested in attending the next offering, please contact us to receive updates on the next scheduled dates.

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 our three-day course, The Commissioning Process for Delivering Quality Constructed Projects. 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.

Course Outline

Online course agenda

Download the online course agenda here in pdf format.


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 is a Principal and Chief Learning Officer of the entrepreneurial startup, ianTEACH LLC. Providing innovative and strategic performance-based training, ianTEACH LLC serves Engineers, Architects and Contractors in the building design/construction industry as well as Facilities Management professionals responsible for building operation and maintenance (O&M). Dr. McIntosh is the ideal choice with the appropriate ensemble of innovative passion, Architectural/Engineering/Construction (AEC) expertise, and business systems acumen to render strategic leadership in the vital area of Corporate Learning & Development initiatives.

He is a BCA Certified Commissioning Professional (CCP) and a frequent lecturer at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Office of Engineering Professional Development (EPD) for the past 18 years. He has two decades of dedicated experience in Total Building Commissioning (a Quality Assurance/Quality Control process) and has managed numerous energy, commissioning, retrocommissioning, 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 and BSL-3 laboratory systems/subsystems and coordinated full-scale O&M and User training programs.

He has contributed to the transformation of the AEC industry for two decades via lectures and presentations to professionals from various universities, professional organizations and AEC companies nationwide. Some include ASHRAE, GASFA, GAPPA, SAME, GSA, Green RoundTable, OSF Healthcare, CGLS, and Pond & Co.

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Program Director

Joy Altwies


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