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Courses > Business Administration > Project Management Fundamentals

Project Management FundamentalsThere are more projects occurring today than at any time in history. 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'll 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'll learn about project politics and ethics, project measurements, and project closure. You'll be able to develop all sections of a project plan, you'll become comfortable with the project management body of knowledge, and you'll 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'll 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 followup (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.

To purchase this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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All courses run for six weeks, with a two-week grace period at the end. Two lessons are released each week for the six-week duration of the course. You do not have to be present when the lesson is released, but you must complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

A new section of each course starts on the second or third Wednesday of each month. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week One
Wednesday - Lesson 01
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.

Friday - Lesson 02
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.

Week Two
Wednesday - Lesson 03
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.

Friday - Lesson 04
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.

Week Three
Wednesday - Lesson 05
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.

Friday - Lesson 06
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.

Week Four
Wednesday - Lesson 07
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.

Friday - Lesson 08
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.

Week Five
Wednesday - Lesson 09
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).

Friday - Lesson 10
Earlier in the course, you learned abut 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.

Week Six
Wednesday - Lesson 11
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.

Friday - Lesson 12
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.

To purchase this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be 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, purchasing, continuous process improvement (CPI)/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 an MBA from California State University, Long Beach, and holds professional certifications in six disciplines, including the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

To purchase this course, click the Enroll Now button below:


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To purchase this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

Student Reviews:

  • "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 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 thoroughly enjoyed this class and especially the teaching style of the instructor. He gave enough information to make you understand the subject. There was one question on a quiz that everyone got incorrect and he explained very well the reason why he felt it should be that answer and helped us to understand the correct answer. I plan to take several other classes that he teaches. I am currently taking another course and I enjoy these online courses because I have problems with finding the time to attend classes at the campuses. Thank you."
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed this class and especially the teaching style of the instructor. He gave enough information to make you understand the subject. There was one question on a quiz that I got incorrect and he explained very well the reason why and helped me to understand the correct answer. I plan to take several other classes that he teaches. I am currently taking another course and I enjoy these online courses because I have problems with finding the time to attend classes at the campuses. Thank you."
  • "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."
  • "Thank you very much for two very, very good courses. I've managed projects and programs for over 38 years and you have captured the technical side and the life and soul of the personality and political elements of project management. When I started, it was by the seat of the pants and the the methods started to come into use: MBO; MBWA, PERT, RA/PM, etc. I was sent to school for most of them at some time. They all had good points to be used at certain conditions. Some even faded from popularity, only to come back with a new acronym. What I loved the best is that "management" (like 'military intelligence', a mis-nomer) always learned the talk, spoke in acronyms, walked the walk, but never implemented! It always boiled down to personality, persuasion, and politics, and, of course, you better have the deliverables. You covered it all, a great job."
  • "This course was very interesting and informative in introducing a completely new area to me. Initially the assignments were very frustrating as I did not have any formal experience. However they encouraged me to identify informal project plans, and also to seek sources who DID have PM experience! that lead to discussions on topics, specific questions and clarifications etc. I now have the confidence to contribute on something that I previously had no knowledge of in a topic of conversation, or even as a project team member one day. Who could ask for more? Thank you, Tony."
  • "This was a fantastic class and I really enjoyed it!"
  • "This was my first ever online course. I have enjoyed the subject matter very much. I tried to read and do the quizzes in between home chores and work schedule and I did it. I thought it is going to be realy hard but it turned out to be easy and understandable."
  • "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."
  • "This was my first project management course and I loved it. It is very well written and easy to follow. This course should be required to take for any level and field of management by any company. I can say at least, for my current company. I will reference this material for my current and future work projects. Actuality, it is helping me to gain another job opportunity,(I hope.) Thank you!"
  • "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."
  • To purchase this course, click the Enroll Now button below:

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