Project Management Short Course
Project Management Short Course is for you if you want to learn the basics of managing a project. The course is available as distance learning and you can enroll any time during the year.
Projects are temporary endeavors and have a clearly defined start and end date.
A program is a group of projects that are similar in scope, activities, and similar subprograms. The purpose of a program is to manage the projects in a coordinated way that would not be possible from managing them individually.
The portfolio includes all programs, projects, and subprograms that meet the strategic objective of the organization Programs and projects do not need to be related in order to be in the portfolio; they only requirement is to be related to the overall strategic objective(s) of the organization.
So what is project management? The simple definition is the management of projects. However, project management is much more than a simple definition. A more useful definition in understanding project management is the application of knowledge, tools, skill, and techniques to project activities in order to meet project requirements.
As defined by the PMBOK Guide, there are five distinct processes that projects go through.
These include the following:
- Monitoring and Controlling
During the Initiating Process, the need of the project is clearly defined. This is an important first step as the scope, budget, and timeframe will all be based on the need and expected outcome(s) of the project.
In the Initiating Process, the Return on Investment Analysis is also conducted. The organization will determine if the expected outcome of the project is worth the time, cost, and resources required to complete the project. Based on this information, the organization may determine whether to move forward with the project or stop the process. If the project continues, the final step in the Initiating Process will be to begin the development of the budget.
During the Planning Process, the project scope is defined, the budget is set, the time frame is determined, and the project team is assembled. As the Planning Process moves forward, the project’s activities will be determined and the responsible project team members will be assigned their various tasks.
During the Executing Process, the actual tasks and activities of the project begin to be worked on and ultimately completed. The Monitoring and Controlling Process actually takes place alongside the Executing Process. During this process the various tasks and activities that are being executed are watched for any variations in terms of scope, time, and budget from the original plans of the project. If there are variations, corrective action may be necessary to keep the project from becoming a failure. During this Process, risk management is conducted to ensure that unforeseen interference do not derail the project. Changes are likely to occur with any project, so project managers need to assess the various situations and make the necessary changes to keep the project moving forward.
The final process is the Closing Process. During the Closing Process, the project is completed and delivered to the end users.
The customer will review the project to determine if all scope requirements have been met. Once approval is obtained from the end users, the project is officially completed and all project-related documents, accounts, and activities are closed-out. The final task of the project team is to complete the “lessons learned.” This is the process of assessing and communicating what went well with the project and what could be done differently in the future to make similar projects go smoother.
The implementation phase is where the project plan is put to work as the project manager monitors, executes and controls its implementation. During this phase the project manager interfaces with management, delegates responsibilities, organises resources and communicates with all stakeholders to ensure timely and successful completion of the project. Interpersonal skills of influencing, negotiating and communicating are vital to resolving these challenges.
- Team management and development
- Keeping stakeholders informed and managing their expectations
- Measuring and reporting on performance and progress
- Monitoring and controlling cost, time and scope
- Monitoring risk and quality
- Taking corrective action as required.
The final phase is the closure phase. This is when the project manager delivers the finished project to the owner, acknowledges contributions made and documents the work. Reflecting on lessons learned ensures that this experience is passed on to assist other managers.