Are you a part-time or accidental project manager? Part-time project managers have projects assigned to them in addition to their daily responsibilities. Accidental project managers find themselves leading projects without formal training in the discipline. Some people choose project management as a career, and many others find project management just another part of your area of responsibilities. For you, project management is a skill set, not a career.
If you have been assigned projects and need a quick jump start to get going, then this is the course for you. You will learn the 10 essential skills you need to survive and thrive. Topics include understanding the business need and the related project outcomes, setting project boundaries so you know what's included and what's not, getting to know your project stakeholders and their needs so you can set and meet their expectations, and how to plan projects and create a schedule.
It's not enough to just manage a project, you also have to control it, so things don't get out of hand. Eventually, the project will come to an end, so you will need to know what project closing looks like. You will want to turn the project over to your customer, so you can close down the project and move on to your next big adventure.
Throughout the course, you will find examples of real projects and how each of these essential skills applies in the real world. Project management skills are essential life skills with many practical applications and all industries. Project management and leadership are consistently the top two skill sets current and future employers look for, so this is also essential for your professional development.
Nikki Choyce, PMP, has been involved in the project management field for more than 20 years and has worked as a project management consultant and instructor for much of that time. She has worked in a variety of industries, including Information Technology, Insurance, Manufacturing, Marketing, Aerospace, Construction, Telecommunications, and Healthcare. She has worked with Microsoft Project for over 15 years.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
Introduction to Project Management
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.
Challenges of Part-Time Project Managers
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.
Define Your Project
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.
Plan Your Project
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.
Communicate With Stakeholders
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.
Manage Your Time
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.
Manage the Work
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.
Control the Work
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.
Know When You're Done
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.
Transition the 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.
Documenting Lessons Learned
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.