In our first lesson, you’ll learn why project management is necessary and find out how to differentiate projects from programs and tasks. When you finish with this lesson, you’ll understand the temporary and unique nature of projects and discover why scoping a project is a critical activity. This lesson will also provide pathways for a career in project management using guidelines from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
In Lesson 2, you will learn how planning represents a key factor in helping you develop your project plan. We’ll start off the lesson by discussing the nature of planning and discovering the benefits of planning. Next, we will move on to examine the various planning elements and identify the planning process. Then, we’ll explore two planning constraints: the triple constraint and the limiting factor. We’ll finish Lesson 2 by discussing how contingency planning can be beneficial, recognizing the power of the plan-do-check-act (PDCA) concept, and seeing how estimating is such an essential component of planning.
We’ll start off this lesson with an overview of the control process, and we’ll review the reactions that many people have to it. You’ll discover the characteristics and goals of effective control systems and be able to identify the benefits of control. You’ll learn the prerequisites to use control, find out how to use steps of the control process, and identify problems with using control. You’ll also discover the various types of control techniques.
This lesson may be the most important one in the course: A highly functional project team and an excellent project manager are critical success factors for any project. In this lesson, you’ll learn about a project manager’s roles and responsibilities, and also required skills and competencies. To support your project manager, you’ll discover the characteristics of a team, see how a team comes together, and find out how to use effective team building activities. Finally, we’ll discuss a few project challenges that teams may face.
In this lesson, we’ll discuss two different sides (deliverables and stakeholders) of the same coin. You’ll learn about the concept of deliverables, identify how deliverables are prone to change, and examine the deliverables chain. You’ll see how Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a wonderful tool to identify and satisfy stakeholders. Also, you’ll learn how important it is to recognize and meet stakeholder requirements and how to minimize stakeholder conflict. You’ll spend time learning the ins and outs of communication and change management. Lastly, you’ll discover how you can use brainstorming and brainwriting, and describe the nominal group technique and affinity diagrams to help you create innovative project management ideas.
This lesson focuses on the “soft skills” (activities related to interpersonal engagement) that you will certainly be able to apply in your future projects. You will get an overview of decision making, the behavioral aspects, and barriers that exist that influence decisions. A logical extension of decision-making is problem solving. You’ll learn about root cause analysis, a problem-solving model, cost benefit analysis, and decision trees. You’ll also get an introduction about organizational politics and examine the various political tactics. Then, you’ll finish the lesson by exploring conflict management and how to improve your negotiation skills.
This lesson focuses on the various elements of project cost management. You’ll start off by learning about several classification of costs. Then you’ll discover the elements of project budgeting including bottom-up and top-down budgeting, the S-curve, and an assumption log. Next, you’ll see how change requests and a change control board (CCB) assist with project cost control. You’ll move on to explore activity-based costing (ABC) and learn how a focus on cost drivers is superior to traditional approaches. Finally, you’ll examine variance analysis and earned value performance management (EVPM) as ways to help keep your project costs at or below budget.
In Lesson 8, you’ll learn how to develop the first part of your project plan. You’ll start off by learning about the influence of external and internal environmental factors. Then you’ll discover the importance of a project’s strategic fit, structures used for project organization, and examine project selection criteria and models. Next, you’ll learn about the project planning hierarchy and see how effective development of a project’s statement of work (SOW), the project charter, the work breakdown structure (WBS), and the project schedule significantly increase the probability of having a successful project.
This lesson is all about supporting plans for your project. You’ll start off by reading about the role of human resource, supply management, interface, and configuration management plans. Then, we’ll devote some time to discuss quality and how to implement a project quality plan. Next, we’ll explore cost management, risk management, and reporting plans. Finally, you’ll discover the ins and outs of project management software and determine the requirements for successful implementation.
In this lesson, we’ll expand upon the fundamental elements so you can successfully implement your project plan. We’ll start off by describing the elements of a successful project. This will help you determine if your project is headed in the right direction. Next, you’ll discover why it’s beneficial to implement a pilot before launching your project. Then, you’ll see why it’s important to review work packages and establish project accounts. We’ll move on to examine what takes place with a project kick-off meeting. Finally, you’ll finish the lesson by exploring the interpersonal aspects of a project and discover how to keep your project moving in the right direction.
Project control is the most important activity for your project. Regardless of how much time and effort you invest into your project plan, it’s likely that your actual results will differ from what you expect. If you don’t effectively control your project, the chances of meeting your project objectives are very slim. In this lesson, we’ll expand on what we discussed earlier in the course. We’ll start off by describing the principles of project control. Next, you’ll discover the nature of project performance measurements and move on to discuss project reporting and the frequency and responsibility for project control. Then, you’ll see what is involved with project progress monitoring before moving on to examine earned value performance management (EVPM) and identify its benefits. Finally, you’ll finish the lesson by exploring the nature of a project audit.
In our final lesson, we will talk about what happens at the end of a project. We’ll start off by describing the importance and value of project closure. Next, we’ll identify the reasons why project closure is skipped, and discuss a process plan for project closure. Then, we will move on to discuss runaway projects and the reasons why project fail. Finally, you’ll finish the lesson by discussing how to deal with premature project termination.