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 six-week 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.
Details & Objectives
What You Will Learn
How the course is taught
How you will benefit
Lesson 1: Introduction to Project Management
In your first lesson, you will learn why project management is necessary and find out how to differentiate projects from programs and tasks. When you finish with this lesson, you will understand the temporary and unique nature of projects and discover why scoping a project is a critical activity.
Lesson 2: Project Management Activities
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 will learn how to plan and control a project and see how project tools help you work effectively and efficiently. You will see how human behavior affects your projects and determine the role of risk management, quality assurance, purchasing, and politics.
Lesson 3: Project Management Resources; Project Life Cycle Phases
The Internet is a storehouse of useful project management information. Today you will learn how to access and use project management resources you will find on the World Wide Web. You will 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.
Lesson 4: High-Performance Planning for Project Management
This lesson focuses on 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. You will learn about the importance of strategic planning as a backdrop for your project plan. You will 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.
Lesson 5: Introduction to the Control Process
In this lesson, you will discover the characteristics and goals of effective control systems and be able to identify the benefits of control. You will learn the prerequisites to use control, find out how to use steps of the control process, and identify problems with using control. You will also discover the various types of control techniques.
Lesson 6: The Project Manager and the Project Team
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. You will learn about a project manager’s roles and responsibilities, and required skills and competencies. To support your project manager, you will discover the characteristics of a team, see how a team comes together, and find out how to use effective team building activities.
Lesson 7: Deliverables, Stakeholders, and Idea Generation
This lesson explores two different sides of the same coin (deliverables and stakeholders). You will develop an understanding of methods that will help you generate excellent ideas to provide project solutions that satisfy expectations. You will learn how deliverables are prone to change and see how quality function deployment (QFD) identifies and satisfies stakeholder requirements. You will understand how brainstorming, brainwriting, the nominal group technique, and affinity diagrams lead to excellent project management ideas.
Lesson 7: Ethics, Organizational Politics, and Conflict Management
As a project manager, you need to practice a high level of business ethics and be aware of organizational politics. Also, you must be aware of conflict situations and act to manage conflict at the right time and in the right way. This lesson provides an overview of ethics, describe how ethics can be practically applied, and specify how to establish an ethical tone in your organization. You will learn the nature of organizational politics, understand the nature of conflict, and find out why some project teams experience more conflict than others.
Lesson 8: The Project Plan
In this lesson everything discussed so far will come together as a project plan. The project plan that will be presented today has 14 sections. Your 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).
Lesson 9: Implementing Your Project Plan
This lesson expand upon the fundamental elements discusses earlier. First, you will learn areas that can jumpstart your project into action, including key factors for a successful project like using a pilot and holding a project kickoff meeting. You will also learn about interpersonal aspects of project execution like creating team rules, using effective communication, and solving problems.
Lesson 10: Controlling Your Project
Project control is the most important activity for your project. In this lesson, you will learn the importance of project control, project performance measurements, and project reporting. You will discover why Earned Value is an outstanding method to control project cost and performance. You will also find out how a periodic project audit can keep your project on track.
Lesson 11: Closing Your Project
Your final lesson focuses on what happens at the end of a project. To increase your understanding about this topic, you will review and apply all the necessary activities that you must follow to effectively close your project. You will work through the steps of project closure and identify reasons why your project may not be successful.
Instructors & Support
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)®.
Prerequisites / Requirements
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
When can I get started?
A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.
How does it work?
Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the 6-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
How long do I have to complete each lesson?
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes 2 weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
What if I need an extension?
The Final Exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the Final Exam has been released, you will have 2 weeks plus 10 days to complete the Final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.