• Course Introduction

        • Time: 44 hours
        • Free Certificate
        This is a graduate-level course. Businesses undertake projects for many reasons, such as solving business problems, creating a competitive advantage, or delivering value to the consumer. There are as many types of projects as there are businesses, products, processes, and operations. Thus, every business must decide what methods to use for various projects. Most companies will have more than one project going at the same time. The process that it uses for each project may differ. A software project may use an agile method, whereas product development may use a traditional method. Some projects are small and do not need a long time or financial commitments. Others can rise to the scope of a mega project requiring vast resources and budgets. Regardless of the type of project, having a definitive process for achieving the project's goals can be the difference between failure and success. The field of project management is so important to businesses that the PMI has developed professional standards and a certification process for people who specialize in project management and are at different stages in their careers. This course will follow the principles and practices of the PMI, which defines five key project process groups and ten knowledge areas. Ultimately, how a company undertakes and completes projects can be a competitive advantage that allows them to deliver business value.

        • Course Syllabus

          First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

        • Unit 1: What is Project Management?

          In this unit, we will define project management as a discipline and set the background for its use in an organizational context. We define project management terminology and processes as well as differentiate project management from ongoing operations. We continue to see how the discipline of project management helps support an organization's strategic mission. Various frameworks for executing projects with an emphasis on the Project Management Institutes (PMI) focus will be presented. Finally, we look at the reasons projects succeed or fail.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 5 hours.

        • Unit 2: The Project Lifecycle

          In this module, we examine the project lifecycle as defined by the Project Management Institute, which consists of project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. We will briefly look at each phase with an emphasis on the work completed during that phase of the project and how all phases work together to complete the work of the project.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

        • Unit 3: Initiating Projects

          During the project initiation phase, projects go from an idea to an approved venture. Projects start with an idea and a sponsor. During initiation, the idea becomes more defined. The project charter is developed, which is a document that, once approved, authorizes the project to proceed. The project charter will provide a high-level scope of work, deliverables, project schedule, and budget, as well as an initial look at potential risks. The business case of the project, or the measurable organizational value, will be addressed. Finally, we look at the role of stakeholders in our project.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

        • Unit 4: Planning Projects

          Although project execution is often considered the phase of the project that takes the most time to complete, project planning is the phase that starts to refine the goals, objectives, and deliverables for the project so that execution is effective and efficient. In planning, the project team seeks to thoroughly define the scope of work, schedule, resources needed, and a plan for monitoring and controlling costs. Finally, we look at how to plan for project risks, quality, and procurement needs.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 13 hours.

        • Unit 5: Executing Projects

          Project execution is where the work of the project is done. When the scope of work is clearly defined, the resources needed are gathered, and the project team is assembled, the tasks needed to complete the project can begin. It's important to note that while the project phases may seem to follow in a linear manner, project planning, execution, monitoring, and controlling actually may overlap at various times throughout the project. It is common for a project manager to be working on the procurement plan or quality plan after project execution begins. During project execution, the project manager carefully works to meet stakeholder expectations while keeping the project team functioning at full capacity. Here, it is important to understand the dynamics that make up a high-functioning team. This may include resolving conflicts and providing leadership. Additionally, the project manager may be finalizing the risk, procurement, and quality plans for the project.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 9 hours.

        • Unit 6: Monitoring and Controlling Projects

          The monitoring and controlling phase is typically done in parallel with the execution phase of a project. Monitoring and controlling is about making sure the project is on track in terms of scope, schedule, and budget. Risks are monitored and, when realized, acted upon based on the project plan put in place. Procurements are monitored for quality and to assure that the vendors are meeting expectations. Finally, the overall quality of the project deliverables is monitored, and corrective action is initiated when needed. In addition to monitoring and controlling the project, performance reporting occurs in this phase. Project status reports are generated and distributed to the appropriate stakeholders.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 7 hours.

        • Unit 7: Closing Projects

          During this final phase of a project, approval for the project is obtained from the project sponsor and appropriate stakeholders. Project resources are released and returned, vendors are paid, and project documents are archived. In this stage, it's important to review the project and capture lessons learned that can then be passed on to future projects. Finally, teams should celebrate their success.

          Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

        • Study Guide

          This study guide will help you get ready for the final exam. It discusses the key topics in each unit, walks through the learning outcomes, and lists important vocabulary. It is not meant to replace the course materials!

        • Final Exam Preparation

          These case studies are an excellent way to review what you've learned so far and are presented by one of the professors who created the course. Review these materials before you take the final exam.

        • Course Feedback Survey

          Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

          If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org.

        • Final Exam

          Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

          To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.