LESSON 1: CREATING A HIGH-PERFORMING TEAM
The success of your project depends on the people involved. A key role of a project manager is to assemble and manage the project team and any additional stakeholders.
- TOPIC A: BUILD A TEAM
- Successful projects require teams to build the required business solution. As a professional project manager, you’ll benefit from understanding and applying the processes and practices required to build effective teams.
- TOPIC B: DEFINE TEAM GROUND RULES
- In order for the team to perform effectively, they need to collectively define project ground rules based on context, such as organizational rules and team dynamics.
- TOPIC C: NEGOTIATE PROJECT AGREEMENTS
- Now that the team has been assembled, you might need to facilitate negotiations to reach an agreement about the project objectives.
- TOPIC D: EMPOWER TEAM MEMBERS AND STAKEHOLDERS
- Project managers need to get a feel for their teams, identify and organize around team strengths, and set up systems to ensure the teams are accountable for their tasks.
- TOPIC E: TRAIN TEAM MEMBERS AND STAKEHOLDERS
- Team members may need to be trained in different aspects of the project, the customer environment, and the solution approach. Users, customers, and other stakeholders will require training and other knowledge transfer to ensure successful onboarding of the solution.
- TOPIC F: ENGAGE AND SUPPORT VIRTUAL TEAMS
- Modern projects almost without fail create the need to work with and manage virtual teams. Effectively engaging with and supporting your virtual teams will increase your value to the project as a whole.
- TOPIC G: BUILD SHARED UNDERSTANDING ABOUT A PROJECT
- One of the first goals in onboarding a team for a project is to ensure that they reach consensus and support the outcome of the parties’ agreement.
Lesson 2: STARTING THE PROJECT
Now that you’ve assembled a high-performing, engaged, and empowered project team, you are ready to get started with the planning of the project. Planning includes all aspects of a project including budget, schedule, scope, quality, project activities, procurement, and closure.
- TOPIC A: DETERMINE APPROPRIATE PROJECT METHODOLOGY/METHODS AND PRACTICES
- There is no one way to manage every project. Knowledge and understanding of project management best practices is one part of the equation. Determining and applying the most appropriate methodology and practices to your project is another part.
- TOPIC B: PLAN AND MANAGE SCOPE
- The project team must complete work in order to achieve project outcomes. What that work is, what must be done, guiding that work, ensuring the work is done, and setting criteria as to what “done” is, so it can be properly validated are all elements the project team must plan for and manage throughout the project.
- TOPIC C: PLAN AND MANAGE BUDGET AND RESOURCES
- Without proper management of project costs, expenses can get out of control quickly. You must be prepared to make adjustments and apply the correct costs to resources, activities, and services that align with your budget.
- TOPIC D: PLAN AND MANAGE SCHEDULE
- The project schedule in its most basic form is simply a representation of how long a project takes to complete. It includes a number of components, including the activities that will be performed to execute the project scope, the duration of each activity, and how the activities are related to each other.
- TOPIC E: PLAN AND MANAGE QUALITY OF PRODUCTS AND DELIVERABLES
- All projects must be of a certain quality. What that level of quality is, the expectations around the quality, how the project’s quality is to be measured, how it will be aligned to the project’s objective, and how the quality is to be tracked and reported are a few important aspects of managing this key attribute.
- TOPIC F: INTEGRATE PROJECT PLANNING ACTIVITIES
- As plans are being developed and updated, you’ll need to integrate all those plans and components to ensure coordinated and efficient progress.
- TOPIC G: PLAN AND MANAGE PROCUREMENT
- Procuring products and services from external suppliers requires identifying suppliers, obtaining bids or proposals from them, and awarding contracts based on their evaluation. All procurements for the project must be done within the specified parameters of time, cost, and quality to ensure that the project meets the stakeholders’ requirements.
- TOPIC H: ESTABLISH PROJECT GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE
- Organizations use governance guidelines to establish strategic direction and performance parameters. The strategic direction provides the purpose, expectations, goals, and actions to guide business pursuits and is aligned with business objectives. Project management activities should be, and must stay, aligned with business direction to increase project success.
- TOPIC I: PLAN AND MANAGE PROJECT/PHASE CLOSURE
- Closing a project or project phase is one of the last steps in completing that project or phase. Because a project is a unique, one-time activity, the formal closing out of the project is essential.
LESSON 3: DOING THE WORK
Now that you have a project plan and have determined the requirements for managing the project from initiation to closure, you are ready to execute the project.
- TOPIC A: ASSESS AND MANAGE RISKS
- Robust risk management not only helps you anticipate and mitigate problems, but also provides you with specific actions to take for responding to potential project risks.
- TOPIC B: EXECUTE PROJECT TO DELIVER BUSINESS VALUE
- Project managers must execute the project in the most appropriate manner to balance the urgency to realize the value with the abilities of the team based on quality expectations.
- TOPIC C: MANAGE COMMUNICATIONS
- Project managers spend approximately 90 percent of their time communicating with the project team and other stakeholders. For this reason, it is imperative that communicating clearly and completely should be a high priority for every project manager.
- TOPIC D: ENGAGE STAKEHOLDERS
- As project managers, it is in your best interest to keep project stakeholders interested in the project and the outcomes.
- TOPIC E: CREATE PROJECT ARTIFACTS
- Everyone knows that projects create deliverables— the interim and final products of the project’s scope. Projects also create artifacts throughout their life cycle.
- TOPIC F: MANAGE PROJECT CHANGES
- Throughout the life of a project, there will be changes in the project that can turn risky if not handled at the right time.
- TOPIC G: MANAGE PROJECT ISSUES
- Projects do not always go smoothly, and situations can arise which have the potential to affect the scope, schedule, or cost if left unattended.
- TOPIC H: ENSURE KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER FOR PROJECT CONTINUITY
- It is important for project team members to obtain the right knowledge at the time when they need it to do their job.
LESSON 4: KEEPING THE TEAM ON TRACK
Now that the project team has been assembled and is doing the work of the project, you need to ensure that the team stays on track. As the project manager, you need to demonstrate the type of leadership that facilitates collaboration among the team and stakeholders, manages conflict, removes obstacles, and supports the team’s performance.
- TOPIC A: LEAD A TEAM
- The appropriate leadership style depends on the situation, the project, the stakeholders, your skills, and many other factors. A project manager must be astute in various leadership styles to apply the most suitable technique for the moment.
- TOPIC B: SUPPORT TEAM PERFORMANCE
- You want to get the most from your team. There are many ways to support their efforts and encourage high performance.
- TOPIC C: ADDRESS AND REMOVE IMPEDIMENTS, OBSTACLES, AND BLOCKERS
- Any actions a project manager can take to address and remove the conditions or causes restricting the team’s productivity helps the team and the project produce value.
- TOPIC D: MANAGE CONFLICT
- Conflict can be a positive benefit to the project and its outcomes, if managed and cultivated properly.
- TOPIC E: COLLABORATE WITH STAKEHOLDERS
- The more collaboration and alignment, the better ability for the project to deliver value and progress towards those ends.
- TOPIC F: MENTOR RELEVANT STAKEHOLDERS
- There are plenty of opportunities for you to share your knowledge and experience with others.
- TOPIC G: APPLY EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE TO PROMOTE TEAM PERFORMANCE
- Being able to read social cues, interact, and sense what people are thinking, feeling, and projecting are powerful aspects of working with people.
LESSON 5: KEEPING THE BUSINESS IN MIND
Keeping a handle on the changes in both the internal and external business environments is the project manager’s responsibility. Employing a continuous process improvement plan will ensure that the project’s success can be consistently repeated within your organization.
- TOPIC A: MANAGE COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS
- As part of managing a project, it will be necessary for you to maintain visibility into compliance requirements and to ensure that they are effectively managed throughout the project.
- TOPIC B: EVALUATE AND DELIVER PROJECT BENEFITS AND VALUE
- A project is undertaken to meet the objectives and requirements of its stakeholders, and the project manager is responsible for delivering what these stakeholders expect. Keeping your eye on the project’s benefits and value will help ensure ultimate project success.
- TOPIC C: EVALUATE AND ADDRESS INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT CHANGES
- As the project commences and progresses, there are often changes in the internal and external business environment that may impact the project value and the desired scope/backlog.
- TOPIC D: SUPPORT ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE
- Projects and project management take place in an environment that is broader than that of the project itself, and an organization’s culture, style, and structure influence how projects are performed.
- TOPIC E: EMPLOY CONTINUOUS PROCESS IMPROVEMENT
- Project managers should always look for ways to continuously improve the processes they use to complete their project deliverables and meet the expectations of their shareholders.
APPENDIX A: MAPPING COURSE CONTENT TO THE PROJECT MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL (PMP)® EXAMINATION CONTENT OUTLINE