Project Management: Skills for Success

Course 296 | 4 Days

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Project Management: Skills for Success

You Will Learn How To:

  • Manage and deliver successful projects for stakeholder satisfaction
  • Apply best practices to plan a project using a proven five-step process
  • Estimate and schedule task work, duration and costs with confidence
  • Implement risk management techniques and mitigation strategies
  • Lead a project team and monitor project progress through successful execution
Participants brainstorming work breakdown structures.

Workshop Activities Include:

  • Agreeing on clear project goals and measurable deliverables
  • Scoping a project and estimating task duration and work
  • Determining task dependencies and calculating the schedule
  • Developing risk management strategies and contingency plans
  • Producing the baseline implementation plan
  • Managing changes and reporting progress

About This Course: Through a simulated case study, you learn how to successfully plan, manage and deliver projects. You also learn how to implement project management processes, develop leadership skills and respond to real-world scenarios.

NEW! FREE After-Course Instructor Coaching - available after May 1, 2014.
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  • Course Info

    Course 296 Content


    • Building a project navigation system
    • Defining the project management process
    • Identifying key documents, deliverables and approvals
    • Negotiating realistic constraints for project success
    • Applying project management standards

    Launching Your Project

    Building an appropriate governance structure

    • Ensuring project sponsorship and business ownership
    • Gaining the support of subject matter experts
    • Clarifying the role of other managers and third parties

    Defining the project

    • Validating business drivers and goals
    • Determining project objectives and deliverables
    • Tracking and managing project issues

    Authorizing the project

    • Writing the project business case
    • Developing the project charter
    • Securing project approval

    The Five-Step Planning Process

    Identifying and estimating the work

    • Working with project stakeholders
    • Defining scope with Work Breakdown Structures (WBS)
    • Driving the plan down to manageable tasks
    • Building high-confidence estimates
    • Leveraging three-point estimating to refine accuracy

    Scheduling and budgeting the work

    • Converting the WBS to precedence networks
    • Determining the critical path tasks
    • Calculating project duration
    • Building and analyzing Gantt charts
    • Using float effectively in the schedule

    Building and leading the project team

    • Identifying and securing project resources
    • Optimizing the use of project resources
    • Preparing and agreeing on task contracts
    • Developing and motivating the project team
    • Managing virtual and matrix teams

    Managing project risks

    • Identifying project risks and assumptions
    • Creating a Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS)
    • Assessing risk probabilities and impacts
    • Planning appropriate responses and actions
    • Using a Risk Register and Risk Distribution Graph

    Baselining the project plan

    • Developing the project change control plan
    • Validating essential supporting processes
    • Conducting the project health check
    • Creating the project baseline
    • Securing authorization to run the project

    Running the Project

    Employing the four-step project control cycle

    • Avoiding the common causes of project failure
    • Building a real-time feedback loop
    • Managing stakeholder expectations

    Tracking and monitoring task performance

    • Clarifying key metrics and data collection methods
    • Utilizing the two kinds of monitoring
    • Avoiding the 90%-complete trap

    Analyzing progress against the baseline

    • Tracking planned vs. actual task performance
    • Projecting the impact of variation to the baseline
    • Performing root cause analysis

    Correcting the project plan

    • Implementing, correcting and optimizing strategies
    • Fast-tracking the project schedule
    • Crashing the critical path tasks

    Reporting project status

    • Communicating status to stakeholders
    • Creating milestone reports
    • Using project scorecards and dashboards

    Successful Project Closure

    • Conducting a post-project review
    • Brainstorming lessons learned
    • Closing out the project
    • Celebrating your project success

    Who Should Attend

    Individuals who need to strengthen their project management skill sets, those new to project management, or project managers seeking a refresher on fundamental project management knowledge, skills and current tools.

    Training Hours

    Standard class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Last day class hours:
    9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

    Free optional course exam:
    3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Each class day:
    Informal discussion with instructor about your projects or areas of special interest:
    4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

    Important Note:
    These training hours apply to our Regular Start Time Course Events and not to our Afternoon Start Time Course Events, which have varied training hours. Please see your course confirmation for later training hours or contact us at 1-888-THE-TREE (843-8733).

  • More Course Info

    What is this course about?

    Through a media-enhanced, simulated case study, you learn how to successfully plan, manage and deliver projects using best practices in a 5-step process. You also learn how to implement project management processes, develop leadership skills and respond to real-world scenarios. At the end of the course, you have access to templates and checklists for use back at the workplace.

    Is the course for people new in the role of project management?

    Yes. This course teaches best-practice techniques for running projects in a businesslike and professional way. Anyone who is responsible for planning and executing a job plan will benefit from this course. The material is applicable to a wide range of project types.

    Participants are usually:

    • Project team members who want a better understanding of projects and project management processes
    • Those who have been technical staff and who now have the responsibility for managing projects
    • Those who represent the business or user in a multidiscipline environment and want to find out more about project management processes
    • Those who have been managing projects and are convinced there must be a better way to get projects delivered on time and within budget

    How does this course differ from Course 340?

    Course 296 teaches the principles and best practices of running a broad range of projects. Course 340, Project Management for Software Development, also covers project management fundamentals, but it focuses on the unique aspects of software development projects. Participants should not take both Course 296 and Course 340; there is significant overlap in the content of these two courses.

    Is this a course on Microsoft Project?

    You use Microsoft Project 2010 as a vehicle for demonstration and learning in some of the course workshops. However, the intent is not to teach any particular tool, but to demonstrate its role within the broader scope of state-of-the-art techniques on project management.

    Why does the course use Microsoft Project?

    Microsoft Project is one of the most widely used project management tools and many organizations use it or something similar. For students from organizations not using such tools, the Microsoft Project workshops provide a good demonstration of their capabilities.

    Does the course deal with any other project management tools?

    Although some workshops are structured around Microsoft Project 2010 using Word-based templates, the intent of the class is to provide a structured approach for successfully managing projects whether or not tools are available to attendees. Other tools will be discussed but not used in the class.

    Is this course applicable toward a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification?

    Yes. Though this course is not designed as preparation for an exam, it is beneficial to anyone working toward, or maintaining, a PMI certification. Most PMI certifications require a specific number of PDUs in order to obtain and maintain the credential. Completion of this course provides 23 professional development units (PDUs).

    What additional benefits do attendees gain from this course?

    Working in small groups encourages cross-fertilization of ideas from many different businesses. Attendees also gain confidence in presenting project management issues and reports to a critical audience. Each attendee manages the schedule and deliverables of a short workshop session.

    How much time is spent on each topic?

    Introduction to project management2.5
    Building a project charter2.5
    Core project leadership skills1.0
    Identifying and structuring project work2.0
    Building high-confidence estimates2.0
    Task sequencing and scheduling3.5
    Effectively matching resources to work2.5
    Developing a risk management process2.0
    Setting the baseline2.0
    Running the project3.0
    Closing the project1.0

    Times, including the workshops, are estimates; exact times may vary according to the needs of each class.

    What kinds of activities are covered in the course workshops?

    Approximately 70 percent of class time is spent in activities.

    Planning is based on a solid framework involving the project team in a six-step process to produce a viable project plan. Very quickly you reach the proficiency level required to handle the basic project planning activities. This course then leads you through the steps needed to produce a baseline plan for a real-world case study.

    As soon as you've developed your initial plan, your instructor reminds you of reality-he or she advances the delivery date or removes some of your resources! Your next task is to revise the plan to meet the changed requirements.

    During a simulated execution phase, you prepare progress and status reports using a variety of PC tools and templates.

    I'm attending this course from work using AnyWare - Learning Tree's web-based remote attendance platform. How will that impact what I learn?

    You will participate fully in the course and acquire the same knowledge and skills as your classmates who participate in the classroom. You will have the same course materials, be able to easily communicate back and forth and ask questions of your instructors and peers. Your instructor will be able to see exactly what you're doing and can interactively offer concrete help.

    How does this course relate to other Learning Tree courses?

  • Certification/Credits

    Many Learning Tree courses provide college credit and industry continuing education credits. You can also earn a Learning Tree Professional Certification in your area of expertise and prepare for popular industry certifications. See below for continuing professional development credits associated with this course.

    College Credit – 1 Semester Hours This course qualifies for 1 semester hour of college credit as certified by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Read More...
    Certification Core Course This course qualifies as a Core Course in our Job-Specific Professional Certification Program. Read More...
    CPE 23 CreditsThis course qualifies for 23 CPE credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPE program. Read More...
    PMI 23 PDUThis course is approved by PMI® for 23 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs. Read More...
  • Tuition

    4-Day TuitionNew AttendeeReturning AttendeeNotes
    Commercial $2,810$2,530

    Click here for multi-course savings plans.

    Tuition payment is not required at time of enrollment.

    Government $2,499$2,249

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"The project management course was excellent. I manage IT projects at work, and this course has given me the tools to accomplish my duties."

– T. Hill
Customer Support Liaison
US Dept. of Homeland Security