When people talk about project management, what exactly do they mean? Project management is a proven framework to plan and manage new initiatives that are called projects. Projects are handled differently than other work because they create something new that hasn’t been done exactly like this before. There are many project management tools, methods, skills, and techniques that anyone who finds themselves leading a project can use. In this lesson, you’ll learn the basic concepts and terminology of project management and see how project management skills can help you in your job no matter what your official title is.
Not all who are put in charge of projects are project managers. Projects are everywhere, and you may be chosen to lead the next project. For you, this is only one of several hats you wear, and that can be challenging. How can you balance it all and be successful? In this lesson, you’ll take a closer look at the challenges of being a project manager and then learn some strategies you can use to ensure your success.
The most critical step in every project is understanding why the project was initiated in the first place. Do you understand the problem you’re supposed to fix? Do you have a clear understanding of the project boundaries? Answering these questions will form the basis of project scope definition. Without good definition, your project has little chance of success. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to define the three essential components of a project’s scope: boundaries, requirements, and deliverables.
After you’ve defined your project’s scope, it’s time to start planning. Your project plan states how you intend to complete the project. You’ll need to identify all the project tasks and sequence them so that you and your team can complete the work within a set time frame. You’ll need to know the project priorities according to your stakeholders, and you’ll develop a detailed schedule based on those priorities. This lesson will give you some strategies and tools for identifying your key stakeholders, documenting your project’s activities, and putting together a schedule to complete those activities.
Every project creates something new, and that means there’s an unknown element that could result in problems. It’s the project manager’s responsibility to anticipate what could go wrong and develop appropriate plans to handle situations that come up. This lesson will walk you through the risk identification process and introduce techniques for listing and documenting project risks in a risk registry.
Good communications are the glue that binds all the project work and stakeholders together. People need information, and it’s your responsibility to make sure the right people get the right message at the right time. That kind of goal requires a good communication strategy and plan. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to create a communication plan by figuring out the who, what, and how of your project communications.
It seems like there’s always more work to do than hours in the day. Time management and organizational skills improve your ability to tackle your “to-do” list in the most efficient way possible. After all, if you can’t manage your own work, you’ll definitely struggle managing the work of others in your projects. In this lesson, you’ll learn how setting goals and prioritizing help you maximize your effectiveness.
After you’ve planned your project, it’s time to actually do the work. Your responsibilities during project execution are to make sure tasks are completed according to the schedule, update the project plan as needed, handle any issues that come up, and communicate project status to your stakeholders. While doing these things, you’ll work to establish yourself as an effective team leader. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to manage the work of the project from the kick-off meeting all the way through to completion.
Every project starts with a plan, but as you know, plans don’t always work out. How can you evaluate what’s actually happening during project execution compared to the plan? That’s where controls come in. In this lesson, you’ll learn about common project controls and how to use them to identify variances between your project plan and current project performance.
It may sound like a strange question, but how do you know when the work of the project is really done? The answer often depends on who you ask. As long as there are multiple understandings of this concept, you are at risk. This lesson introduces how to quantify project completeness and the practical aspects of closing a project.
Once the project deliverables are done, it’s time to transition them to their final owner. The final owner may be an external customer or an internal department, such as Operations or IT. Your goal is to facilitate a seamless transition from the temporary nature of the project to the team or department who will be responsible for it in the long term. In this lesson, you’ll find out how to create a transition plan and ensure that your project deliverables can be used or implemented by their final owner with minimal disruption.
Projects are initiated to create something new: a product, a service, or a new capability that didn’t exist before. But the project’s deliverable is not the only thing that’s new: You’re also creating new knowledge and gaining new experiences that may be positive or negative. In this lesson, you will learn how to identify important learning experiences from your project so that they can benefit you, your team, and your company.