Course Syllabus

Welcome to BUS402: Project Management

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.

 

Course Description

Explore the steps and processes businesses follow to complete tasks and meet deadlines by focusing on the role project managers play in initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and terminating projects.

 

Course Introduction

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge defines project as "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result.  The temporary nature of projects indicates a definite beginning and end.  The end is reached when the project's objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.” (PMBOK, 2008, p. 5).

The discipline of project management has various definitions.  Some describe it as a systematic method of planning and guiding a project from start to finish, while others have defined project management as a methodical approach of achieving targets and goals while optimizing the use of resources such as people, money, time, and space.  Some have referred to project management as the ability to be open and to elicit commitments through effective communication regarding how team members are willing to participate.  More specifically, the PMBOK (2008) defines project management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” (p. 6).  Project management is therefore accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of systematic and logically grouped project management processes within five process groups including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, as well as closing.  Thus, good project managers should be able to understand and effectively execute all project management processes for each unique project while communicating effectively within their own teams as well as with all stakeholders across the organizational network.  Project managers must also be artful at delegation, and they must understand that a cohesive team that works well together is critical to their success.

While many associate project management with military logistics, information technology, and construction, project management procedures are integrated in some aspect of most occupations.  Today, in addition to their normal duties, employees are often expected to take on additional assignments to get the job done on time and under budget.

This course will walk you through the nuts and bolts of project management.  From understanding the project life cycle to setting priorities and expectations to controlling expenses and reporting results, project management touches several resources within organizations.  You will examine roles and environments and various techniques of planning, evaluation, and control.   An overview of the tools used in contemporary project management will also be discussed throughout the course.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Project Management Defined
  • Unit 2: Project Life Cycle
  • Unit 3: Organizational Design
  • Unit 4: Project Initiation and Planning
  • Unit 5: Project Execution
  • Unit 6: Project Implementation and Closure

 

Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • define the terms project and project management;
  • describe the project life cycle, project selection, project environment, and approval process;
  • identify the project management process groups, including:
    • initiating,
    • planning,
    • executing,
    • monitoring and controlling, and
    • closing;
  • explain the role of the project manager in initiating and completing a project;
  • explain knowledge areas, including:
    • project integration management
    • project scope management
    • project time management
    • project cost management
    • project quality management
    • project human resource management
    • project communications management
    • project risk management, and
    • project procurement management;
  • identify and apply the steps that must be taken to complete projects on time and on budget;
  • identify and apply human-resources skills in forming and developing a team;
  • describe how to organize the organizational structure for a project;
  • identify tools and techniques for planning and tracking  a project;
  • develop methods for motivating teams and keeping them focused;
  • explain how to make leadership decisions concerning organizational structure and the role of project resources on a project's team; and
  • identify project risks.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.

 

Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first attempt, you may take it again as many times as needed, following a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Saylor Certificate of Completion.

There are also 6 unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.

 

Earning College Credit

This course provides students the opportunity to earn actual college credit. It has been reviewed by Qualifi, a UK Awarding Organization. Once a proctored final exam is successfully completed, the course can count as three credits towards a special degree track at City Vision University. You can read more about this program here.

It has also been reviewed by Brandman University and can applied as credit towards a degree by students who are currently enrolled or plan to enroll at Brandman. You can read more about this special program here.

If you are seeking to earn college credit at Brandman or City Vision, you must take and pass the version of the exam titled "Proctored Final Exam." That exam will be password protected.

Note: There is a 14-day waiting period between attempts of the Direct Credit final exam. There is no imposed wait period between attempting the non-credit certificate-bearing exam and the credit exam. Some credit exams have a maximum number of attempts allowed, which will be detailed on the exam's instructions page.

 

Tips for Success

BUS402: Project Management is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 62 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.

 

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.
  • If you plan to attempt the optional credit recommended final exam that accompanies this course, then you will also need access to a webcam enabled computer. A webcam is needed so that our remote proctoring service can verify your identity, which will allow Saylor Academy to issue an official transcript to schools on your behalf.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.

 

Fees

There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course does contain an optional final exam that will provide students an opportunity to earn college credit. Access to the exam itself is free, though it does require the use of a proctoring service for identity verification purposes. The cost for proctoring is $25 per session.



Last modified: Friday, March 29, 2019, 5:41 PM