A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits!
How does it work? Once a session starts, two lessons will be released each week, for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
Keep in mind that 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.
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.
Lesson 01 - Introduction to Project Management
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.
Lesson 02 - 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'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.
Lesson 03 - Project Management Resources; Project Life Cycle Phases
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.
Lesson 04 - High-Performance Planning for Project Management
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.
Lesson 05 - Introduction to the Control Process
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.
Lesson 06 - The Project Manager and the Project Team
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.
Lesson 07 - Deliverables, Stakeholders, and Idea Generation
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.
Lesson 08 - Ethics, Organizational Politics, and Conflict Management
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.
Lesson 09 - The Project Plan
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).
Lesson 10 - Implementing Your Project Plan
Earlier in the course, you learned about 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.
Lesson 11 - Controlling Your Project
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.
Lesson 12 - Closing Your Project
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.