Organizations initiate projects to create new computer applications, erect bridges and buildings, improve processes, develop new products, and reorganize company operations. Unfortunately, most organizations do not manage projects well, creating an unprecedented demand for project management practitioners.
If you're organized, perceptive, detail-oriented, and an excellent communicator, you just might have what it takes to succeed in the fast-growing field of project management.
In this course, an experienced Project Management Professional will help you master the essentials of project management. You will become an indispensable member of your project team by discovering and mastering the critical concepts you need to plan, implement, control and close any type of project.
You will learn about project politics and ethics, project measurements, and project closure. You will be able to develop all sections of a project plan, you will become comfortable with the project management body of knowledge, and you will develop a variety of powerful techniques to generate project ideas.
If you're new to project management, this course will provide you with the essential information you will need to prepare for and complete your first project. If you're an experienced project manager, this course will make you more valuable to your employer by increasing your skills and competencies.
This course and its follow-up (Project Management Applications) also include essential information that will help you prepare for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® and the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) exams offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. Certification Magazine recently identified PMP certification as "the highest-paying certification" of the year.
Tony Swaim has helped many clients, colleagues, and students reach their professional and personal goals. He has been an online instructor since 1998 and has taught at colleges and universities across the United States since 1981. His focus areas are project management, Six Sigma, and supply chain management. Tony manages a successful consulting firm, and his industry experience includes 20 years of supply chain management. He earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from Kennesaw State University and holds professional certifications in six disciplines, including the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI)® and Certified Six Sigma Black Belt (CSSBB)® from the American Society for Quality (ASQ)®.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
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 set the stage for the remainder of the course by introducing the major project management activities that establish it as a formal field of study. You'll learn how to plan and control a project and see how project tools help you work effectively and efficiently. You'll see how human behavior affects your projects and also determine the role of risk management, quality assurance, purchasing, and politics.
The Internet is a storehouse of useful project management information. Today you'll learn how to access and use project management resources you'll find on the World Wide Web. You'll also discover how to use the four phases of the project life cycle--conceptualization and definition, planning, implementation, and completion and closure--in creating your project plan and putting it into practice.
In today's lesson, we'll discuss the planning activity as a key factor in helping you succeed with project management. In any enterprise, planning should be the first activity performed. It sets the stage for the remainder of project management activities. We'll start off the lesson with a review of the nature of planning. You'll learn about the importance of strategic planning as a backdrop for your project plan. You'll discover the elements of planning, understand why many people are reluctant to plan, and learn how the 5 Ws and 1H can help you to create a sound project plan.
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.
Today's 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. Today, 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.
Today, we'll discuss two different sides (deliverables and stakeholders) of the same coin, then you'll develop an understanding of methods that will help you generate excellent ideas to provide project solutions that satisfy expectations. You'll learn how deliverables are prone to change and see how quality function deployment (QFD) identifies and satisfies stakeholder requirements. You'll understand how brainstorming, brainwriting, the nominal group technique, and affinity diagrams lead to excellent project management ideas.
As a project manager, you need to practice a high level of business ethics and also be aware of organizational politics. Also, you must be aware of conflict situations and take action to manage conflict at the right time and in the right way. In this lesson, I'll provide an overview of ethics, describe how ethics can be practically applied, and specify how to establish an ethical tone in your organization. You'll learn the nature of organizational politics, understand the nature of conflict, and find out why some project teams experience more conflict than others. Finally, I'll help you learn how to develop solutions to effectively manage conflict.
Today's lesson is very important. Everything we've discussed so far comes together in this lesson as we form a project plan. Project plans vary in their amount of detail. The project plan that will be presented today has 14 sections. Our project plan will begin with the foundational elements (project strategy, executive summary, statement of work, work breakdown structure, and project schedules), continue through supporting elements (human resource plans, procurement plans, interface plans, and configuration management plans), and conclude with controlling elements (work control plans, quality control plans, cost control plans, risk management plans, and reporting plans).
Earlier in the course, you learned abut the basic ingredients associated with project implementation. In this lesson, we'll expand upon these fundamental elements so you can successfully implement your project plan. We'll start off by identifying areas that will jumpstart your project into action including key factors for a successful project, the power of using a pilot, use of work packages, setup of project accounts, and holding a project kickoff meeting. Next, we'll explore the interpersonal aspects of project execution including empowering your project team, creating team rules, using effective communication, applying effective decision making, and solving problems. We'll finish up by identifying and managing tradeoffs, discussing how to effectively meet with stakeholders, and using a project notebook.
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. You'll learn the importance of project control, project performance measurements, and project reporting. You'll discover why Earned Value is an outstanding method to control project cost and performance. You'll also find out how a periodic project audit can keep your project on track.
In our final lesson, we need to talk about what happens at the end of a project. To help increase your understanding about this topic, we'll work together to identify and discuss all the necessary activities that you must follow to effectively close your project. You'll work through the steps of project closure and also identify reasons why your project may not be successful. After you finish this lesson, you'll be well prepared to hold a formal project closure activity.