Project Management Fundamentals

Project Management Fundamentals

Master the essentials of project management with an experienced Project Management Professional as your guide. This course provides the concepts you need to plan, implement, control and close any type of project.

6 Weeks Access / 24 Course Hrs
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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.

PMP, Project Management Professional, Project Management Professional (PMP), PMBOK, PgMP, PMI-RMP, CAPM, PMI-SP, PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) and the PMI REP Logo are registered marks of the Project Management Institute.


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 this lesson, 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 this lesson, 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.



There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Applications must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


Tony Swaim

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)®.


I thought that the way the course was organized with 2 lessons a week and quizzes to help reinforce the content was excellent and right on target. I found it easy to become engaged in the lessons, assignments, and online discussions; rather than experiencing information overload where it's harder to retain the material. The supplementary links were also very helpful and a nice addition to the lessons. The instructor was very responsive to any comments or questions I had along the way. I enjoyed the teaching style very much.

I really enjoyed this class. It definitely filled the gaps in my knowledge of Project Management. I also enjoyed being able to attend class at my leisure from home.

I had very little project management knowledge before taking this class and thought that I might be overwhelmed by the course content. However, I found that the course taught at just the right level to introduce me to the concepts, tools & processes of project management. I highly recommend the course to anyone wanting a taste of the project management world!

I really enjoyed the course, and wish I had more time to utilize the discussion area, it was fantastic, I had some of the same questions that were answered, and some great ideas as well! Great course, invaluable resources too!! Can't wait for the next part!

I was greatly impressed by this course. It was the correct length and enabled me to print out the exercises. The supplemental web sites are excellent. Great job.

This was a fantastic class and I really enjoyed it!

Mr. Swaim did a very good job in putting this material together. He has proven that he is very knowledgeable in Project Management. The lessons were easy to follow and understand and the flow of the subject matter was very good. I would recommend his course to others.

This was my first online class and I thought it was excellent. The instructor gave me material that I can use in other aspects of my job and I am planning on doing so shortly. If your other instructors are as good as Tony, you will have a great program, and you should be proud of it.

Tony, as a final comment on the course, my major is in Educational Technology and I've worked with technical institutes setting up distance learning initiatives for some time. The way you've organized this course is impressive. Also for the number of students that you had enrolled the amount of individual attention that you provided was spectacular. It takes a lot of time and committment to maintain contact with a large class, however, from the student's perspective it is extremely motivating.Good work.

Tony, Thank you for this on line course. I found both the course content and your comments to be informative and interesting.

Self-Guided Course Code: T8494
Instructor-Moderated Course Code: pmf