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Professional Project Management

Training in Professional Project Management

Learn to bring projects to a successful conclusion

Two Day Course

Course Brochure Download
Professional Project Management brochure
  • Understand core concepts in project management
  • Communicate effectively with the project team
  • Learn strategies for managing stakeholder expectations

Overview

The course will give those attending an insight into the tools and techniques of effective project management. It provides participants with a toolbox of methods and techniques that excellent Project Managers use to drive their projects to a successful conclusion. It also covers the communication strategies that they have as part of their repertoire that enables them to deal with the ‘people’ aspects of running a project. In addition the course will give practical help to enable professional people to grasp the mindset of an expert Project Manager.

Learning objectives

By attending this highly participative two-day course you will:

  • Learn the core concepts behind the philosophy of project management as a discipline
  • Understand how to develop a powerful ‘Vision’ for a project
  • Acquire a ‘toolbox’ of tried and tested techniques for planning and controlling project work
  • Discover simple yet powerful methods for communicating progress and managing meetings (both on a team and ‘one-to-one’ basis)
  • Master an important technique for assigning responsibility to people who don’t report directly to you but whose help you need to complete the project

Who should attend?

People who wish to develop their understanding of the theory and practice of professional project management. This course is ideal for those who want a firm grounding in the tools and techniques needed to deliver a project on time and on budget.

Pre-work

The workshop is based on applying a disciplined four-phase project management cycle to either a live project, or a recently completed one, so it is important that participants bring with them information and data about a ‘real-life’ project, that can form the basis of the case study material.


Day 1

Key concepts in Project Management

Look at the concepts that underpin the Project Management theory.

  • Definition of Project Management
  • Clarifying the three key aspects of the Project Managers Role
  • The four phases in the Project Life Cycle
  • The ‘cost, time, quality’ triangle
  • Programme management and how it differs from Project Management
  • Project handbooks and methodologies
  • Project organisation (including what to do when you don’t have a team reporting directly to you)

Group exercise: applying the theory to current work practice

Living and breathing the Project Management role

If you want to have the capabilities of an outstanding Project Manager it is important to think like a good project manager thinks. This means absorbing the values, attitudes and awareness of an expert Project Manager so that you can look at issues and challenges with their eyes, rather than through the eyes of a novice. This is crucial in delivering projects successfully because without the passion for the subject that comes from being absorbed in the fundamental principles, it is easy to become distracted from the essentials of the work

  • The attitudes & values of the outstanding Project Manager
  • Self-analysis of our own values
  • Learning to think like an expert

Pairs exercise: becoming a role model

Definition

Definition is concerned with agreeing the scope of the project, doing rough-cut plans and costing, assessing the technical and commercial feasibility of the work, deciding in general terms how the job should be tackled, making a Go/No Go decision, and following bid and competitive tendering procedures etc. This stage also requires that a Sponsor be formally signed up to the project.

  • Project mandates (including cost benefit analysis)
  • Responsibility charts
  • Project specifications
  • Work breakdown structure
  • Risk assessment

Group exercise: for each of the five definition stages participants complete the relevant documentation e.g. the Project Mandate form and then have their work critiqued by their colleagues.


Day 2 >>

Day 2

Launching a Project Team

To launch the project team the Project Manager gathers the team together and reviews the Project Mandate. They also cover the administration process for recording and capturing data relating to the project. In addition the ‘house ‘rules’ for the project team are also specified. House rules are the specific behaviours that the team agree to abide by and thereby establish the culture and work ethos of the team. For example; to adhere to their project commitments; to raise issues or concerns early; to demonstrate integrity etc.

Exercise: developing house rules running a Project Launch meeting

Planning

Planning involves the construction of plans to the level necessary to control the day-to-day running of the project. This would include detailed assessment of the specific tasks that need to be undertaken to complete the project (including estimates of the time required), producing detailed plans for the sequence in which tasks need to be done, carrying out in depth costing and manpower plans and applying a specific technical approach to the job in hand.

  • Sequence of Events tables
  • Adding in time for contingencies
  • Drawing the network diagram (using Microsoft project as an example of a software tool)
  • Review the network diagram against time, budget and resource requirements identifying ‘Float’, ‘Critical Path’, ‘Burst Points’, ‘Sink Points’ and ‘Stage Gates’
  • Rescheduling and re-planning
  • Writing the Quality Plan (specifying how we will check that the customers’ requirements are being met as the project progresses)
  • Costing (the three types of estimate and the use of cost codes)

Exercise: drawing a network and finding the critical path

Project execution

Project execution involves the day-to-day management and control of projects, including regular and frequent monitoring and reporting of progress against plan. Delivering in line with the plan may involve having to cope with a heavy workload, problems and sometimes emergencies.

  • Carrying out work in line with the project plan and updating the documents accordingly
  • Keeping to budget
  • Identifying corrective actions where variances occur
  • Dealing with the unexpected and coping with crises
  • Managing change and maintaining change control

Exercise: how to deal with a project problem

Communication strategies

How to communicate with all those involved in the project so that they know what is expected of them and are aware of the progress that is being made. Appreciating what it takes to be successful at the ‘people aspects’ of project management.

  • Holding project team meetings
  • Holding meetings with individual project team members and reviewing their performance (using the BEI method to assess progress)
  • Holding review sessions with sponsors and principal stakeholders in order to keep them apprised of the results being achieved (Traffic Light Reporting)
  • Dealing with conflict (how to manage disagreements and when to bring in your Sponsor)

Exercise: role-play for handling a conflict situation

Project closure

Project closure is concerned with formally terminating a project once its objectives have been met in accordance with the agreed criteria.

  • Review results achieved
  • Compile the project evaluation report
  • The closure meeting with the Sponsor
  • The final project-team meetings
  • Publicising success
  • Capturing learning points

Exercise: designing a closure report

Project Simulation

A short simulated project that requires the participants to apply their understanding of all four stages of the project life cycle to a set task, including running Project Team and Sponsor meetings.



Feedback

Feedback is based upon peer reviews using Boulden assessment checklists. Completing the assessment checklists is not only valuable to the people involved in a given case study, it also helps those completing them to gain an in-depth understanding of the building blocks that make up an outstanding project manager.


Contact

Further information on this course is available by contacting
Boulden Management Consultants:
via our Contact form
Tel: 0844 394 8877