Project Management

An Introduction to Project Management

Description: Imagine trying to control the unexpected and unpredictable through processes in such a way that you meet the cost, quality, and time expectations of all invested parties in order to accomplish a temporary endeavor. This is the mission of project management. Challenging? Yes. Impossible? No. All industries employ project managers to implement processes as a way to control business. In fact, the field of project management is rapidly expanding, as more companies become project-based organizations. However, not all organizations and industries manage projects well. Some continue to waste time, money, and resources even after establishing procedures and protocols. A 1995 Standish Group survey showed that only 16 percent of software development projects finished on time and under budget, 31 percent were canceled, and the remaining 53 percent overran by an average of 189 percent on cost and 222 percent on schedule. This predicament is a source of frustration for many organizations. It’s not impossible to fulfill the mission of project management. Some companies are even good at it. With standards and best practices to follow and the know-how to incorporate these, organizations can offer “world class” project management. In this course, learners will be given an overview of the project management discipline. They’ll be introduced to best practices outlined in the 2004 revised Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). Specifically, learners will be introduced to the characteristics of a project, learn to distinguish between projects and operations, and define progressive elaboration. They’ll identify key project management concepts and terms, be introduced to the PMBOK® Knowledge Areas, and be given information about the variables that can influence project outcomes. This course provides a foundational knowledge base reflecting the most up-to-date project management information so learners can effectively put principles to work at their own organizations. This course will assist in preparing the learner for the PMBOK® certification exam. This course is aligned with “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Inc., 2004. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI®. Duration: 2.5

Creating and Defining a Project

Description: To discuss the basics of project management and to begin creating a new project using Project Professional 2003. Business managers, project managers, planners, and team members who want to track and manage project tasks, costs, and resources; candidates for Microsoft User Specialist certification; anyone wishing to gain a basic understanding of Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003; end users seeking competence in Microsoft Office Project Professional 2003 should take this course. Duration: 04:00

Creating and Designing a Project

Description: In the corporate world, the project is a fundamental building block. Each project in which a company engages is unique, and fulfills an individual or corporate goal. And each project comprises a series of related tasks that culminate in a project deliverable. Microsoft Office Project 2007 is a comprehensive tool for project managers responsible for the overall design of projects, enabling them to engage in task assignment and management, resource allocation, costs, and budget control in an easy and intuitive way. Microsoft Office Project 2007 also enables the collection and sharing of project progress information with a project’s team members and stakeholders. This course outlines the basics of project management, and shows how to create – and manage – a new project using Microsoft Office Project 2007. Duration: 3.5 hours

Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing a Project

Description: After initiating and planning for a project, it’s time to get down to the actual nitty gritty of carrying out the project. The Executing and Monitoring and Controlling Process Groups might be likened to the act of juggling–keeping multiple activities going simultaneously, while responding to unforeseen changes in the project environment. While executing processes focus more on accomplishing project objectives, the monitoring and controlling processes are focused on anticipating problems and recommending actions. The Closing Process Group involves bringing the project to closure; the decision to finalize the project and its phases or cancel the project will depend upon the situation. The three Process Groups covered in this course entail many processes that are designed to manage progress, measure performance, take corrective action if need be, and document lessons learned. Competent project managers understand that project success can actually be a dangerous thing. To keep a project team from becoming complacent in response to project success, everyone involved must use the processes from the three Process Groups to keep things on track. Using information from “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, learners will identify the purposes of the Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing Process Groups. They will be introduced to all of the associated processes and be able to describe the processes. The goal of the course is to provide learners with up-to-date knowledge that can either assist in preparing them for the PMI® Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam or prepare them to be more effective, hands-on project managers. This course is aligned with “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Inc., 2004. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI®. Duration: 1.5

Initiating and Planning a Project

Description: Initiating and planning are crucial phases in developing and executing any successful project. Companies that are embarking on a new project initiative must assign people to gather facts and decide what exactly they want to produce and how they are going to produce it. This course examines which factors should weigh in during the project selection process and how to effectively plan a project from beginning to end. This course is targeted toward a diverse range of managers and staff members who wish to acquire the necessary skills to successfully manage small to medium sized projects. Duration: 2.0 hours

Introduction to Project Process Groups and Initiating a Project

Description: In a relay race, the baton handoff from one runner to the next has a dual purpose. For the first runner, the handoff represents the end of his phase of the race. For the second runner, the handoff represents the beginning. The baton handoff is both a result and an input. In any project, there are many baton “handoffs” that must happen, making the whole project highly interactive. During this interactive experience–called a project–there are interrelated processes that must occur. These processes can be grouped into five Process Groups. The art of project management is to understand which processes are involved in which process group and how they are interdependent. In this course, learners will identify the five Process Groups–Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing–outlined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). Learners will receive an overview of how the Process Groups work together, how the Process Groups and Knowledge Areas relate, and be introduced to the processes that occur within each process group. Learners will delve more deeply into the activities of the first process group–Initiating–to discover how a project is started. All of the concepts and information presented in this course reflect the PMBOK® Guide – Third Edition. By completing this course, learners will gain valuable and cutting-edge information about the field of project management. This course will assist in preparing the learner for the PMBOK® certification exam. This course is aligned with “A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Inc., 2004. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI®. Duration: 1.5

Managing a Project

Description: The factors of a successful project almost always end up depending on how much money and time is needed to create a product worthy of the customer. This course will help you manage the constraints of time, money, and schedules, and how they relate to the overall quality of your project and product. This course is targeted toward a diverse range of managers and staff members who wish to acquire the necessary skills to successfully manage small- to medium-sized projects. Duration: 2.5 hours

Project Data Management and Performance with MS Project 2007

Description: Project managers often share Project 2007 data with other applications, such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Outlook. When importing and exporting information in this way, the information must first be sorted, filtered, and grouped to customize the information’s appearance. Information also needs to be timely – actual work performed, actual start and finish dates, and actual costs must all be updated. This course outlines the basics of importing and exporting, sorting, filtering, and grouping information to meet a project’s needs. It also discusses creating and sharing resource pools in a multi-project environment, how to manage the efficient use of limited resources to keep multiple projects on schedule, and how to create task dependencies across multiple projects. Duration: 03:30

Project Life Cycles and Stakeholders

Description: Every project has a beginning and an end, but what happens in between is less predictable. The project life cycle will most likely involve uncertainties, and it’s how these uncertainties are handled that determines the outcomes of the project. The more familiar one is with project phases and stakeholders, the more easily one can keep the project on track and on budget. Organizations might “fast track” projects by overlapping phases, or “single track” projects by having set criteria to be met and deliverables to be handed off before moving forward. The choice of how to handle the project life cycle will depend on the type of project, particular industry, and specific deliverables. To make these project management choices, individuals must understand what a project life cycle is and what factors can influence it. In this course, learners will be introduced to concepts and information about project lifecycles. They’ll have the opportunity to define project phases and recognize the differences between project and product life cycles. Additionally, learners will begin to identify, and factor in, how project stakeholders can affect projects. Whether learners are experienced or first-time project managers, this course will have relevant and up-to-date best practices for them to follow. The course will assist in preparing the learner for the PMBOK certification exam. This course is aligned with “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Inc., 2004. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI®. Duration: 2.0

Project Management Essentials Simulation

Description: For the duration of this simulation, you will step into the role of project manager for a project management firm, Kesseler Project Design and Management (KPDM). KPDM is a Chicago-based firm that works with corporate and municipal organizations to develop, manage, and complete project plans. While KPDM is equipped to provide the full spectrum of PM oversight and management (from drafting a project charter to bringing a task through to completion and delivery), they also handle isolated aspects of projects to meet their clients’ particular needs. The simulation is based on the SkillSoft series “Project Management Essentials (PMBOK® Guide – Third Edition aligned)” and includes links to the following courses: PROJ0511 and PROJ0512. Duration: 0.5

Project Management for Non-project Managers Simulation

Description: The likelihood an employee will be elevated to a position of authority within a project team increases as the employee gains experience and tenure. Yet experience alone is seldom sufficient to guarantee a smooth transition. Success is dependent upon a number of management and leadership skills that potential project managers must quickly come to master if they hope to fulfill upper management’s expectations. The simulation Project Management for Non-project Managers is designed to provide participants with the opportunity to practice project management skills in a secure, virtual environment before facing the challenge of an actual, real-world project. Over the course of the simulation, participants will be tested on the objectives of transitioning to project manager, managing an imposed project team, demonstrating effective leadership, monitoring project activities and quality, maintaining control of a project, and problem solving and recovering. The simulation Project Management for Non-project Managers comprises three scenarios and is based on the SkillSoft Series “Project Management for Non-project Managers.” Throughout the simulation, links are provided to the following SkillSoft courses: PROJ_01_a01, PROJ_01_a02, PROJ_01_a04, and PROJ_01_a05. Duration: 0.5

Project Management Fundamentals

Description: The evolution of business strategies has increased the importance of management having a thorough understanding of the products they produce. More and more employees are getting promoted from within to become project managers as they fully understand what they are trying to produce and how best to meet the quality and quantity requirements set forth by upper management. Project management, as a process, is the supervision and control of the work required to complete the project deliverable. Using established project management processes, coupled with the experience and skills of experienced workers, has allowed employers to adjust their mind-set when developing management and leadership skills from within. This course will enable someone who is not a professional project manager to learn the fundamentals of project management so he will be able to manage projects related to his area of responsibility within the organization. Duration: 2.5 hours

Project Planning

Description: In the early planning phases, project managers and team members have the most potential influence on the outcomes of a project. Yet, lots of planning does not guarantee successful planning. Just as project success can be planned, project disasters can be predestined if team members are not careful about the assumptions they make. A project management team that can balance the need for predictability with the inevitability of change will be the most prepared. According to the PMBOK® Guide – Third Edition, the Planning Process Group consists of the most processes–21 to be exact. The range of processes includes everything from developing a Project Management Plan, defining scope, and developing the schedule to planning for quality and identifying risks. All of these processes need to be skillfully handled with the understanding that the outcomes are not set in stone and that planning is an ongoing activity. Experienced project managers learn that meeting customer expectations is ultimately more important than having a project go “according to plan.” In this course, learners will be introduced to the purpose of the Planning Process Group and its associated processes. They will learn how to answer such questions as, “what must be done, how should it be done, who will do it, how much will it cost, and how good does it have to be?” Each planning process will be briefly described so that the learner has a global understanding of the depth and breadth of this process group. With the knowledge gained from this course, learners can develop a repertoire of planning best practices to be used on the job. This course will assist in preparing the learner for the PMI® Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam.. This course is aligned with “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK® Guide) – Third Edition, published by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), Inc., 2004. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI®. Duration: 2.5

Specifying and Assigning Resources

Description: To define how resources are assigned, adjusted, and administered.  Duration: 02:40

Specifying and Assigning Resources in Project 2007

Description: In Microsoft Office Project 2007, people, equipment, and materials are collectively referred to as ‘resources.’ A large part of a project manager’s responsibilities is managing these resources, whether that be assigning resource work times, leveling resources that are overallocated, and overseeing the budgeting and costs of resources. This course provides an overview of resource management for projects, and will help you get to grips with Microsoft Office Project 2007’s robust resource management tools. Duration: 2.5 hours

Tracking and Reporting Progress

Description: Project stakeholders have a vested interest in the project’s progress so information needs to be tracked, recorded, and reported. A project manager needs to decide on the information to be tracked, and how to track it. Microsoft Office Project 2007 helps a project manager by making this process easy. Baselines and interim plans, for example, create benchmarks for a project’s progress. Built-in views and reports helps a project manager to assess a project’s progress. Project managers also have the option to customize a new view or report. This course explores these features of Microsoft Office Project 2007 and how a project manager can use them to address a project’s tracking and reporting needs. Duration: 3.0 hours

Transitioning into a Project Management Role

Description: Many people find themselves thrust into a project management role with no formal training or experience. When this occurs, it is important to be prepared to deal with the significant changes in your role. Your responsibilities broaden from managing yourself to managing others, from short-term to long-term goals, and from tangible to intangible issues. Time and experience will develop and refine your project management skills, but this course will prime you for the process of transitioning into a project management role. It will discuss the changes a new project manager may face, including the development of a successful project team. Duration: 3.0 hours

Troubleshooting and Closing the Project

Description: The factors that can affect a project are numerous and often hard to pinpoint. Conducting meetings and using advanced tools, such as formulas and graphs, allow the project manager to properly define the health or status of the project. This course outlines how to conduct effective meetings and presents some troubleshooting tools that can be used during the project life cycle. It also presents the information required to close the project, which is the last stage in project management. Duration: 2.0 hours