Project Management

A Guide to Credit for Prior Learning

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Lower-Level Credit:

  • Work as technical program and project managers, as functional managers whose staff participates in programs and projects, and/or as executives to whom program or project managers report. (Usually one to three years experience.)
  • Attend training sessions in areas such as basic acquisition contracts, contract negotiation, and/or cost and price analysis.

Typical Learning Experiences of Students Earning Upper-Level Credit:

  • Work as technical program and project managers, as functional managers whose staff participates in programs and projects, and/or as executives to whom program or project managers report. (Usually at least five years experience.)
  • Attend training sessions in areas such as contract law, negotiation of projects, and/or pre-award contracts.

Discussion Topics:

A project is a one-time activity with a well-defined set of desired results. Other characteristics of a project include a clear start and finish, a time frame for completion, uniqueness, involvement of a number of people on an ad-hoc basis, a limited set of resources (people, money and time), and sequencing of activities and phases. Project management refers to the processes, techniques and concepts used to run a project and achieve its objectives. The essentials of project management can be applied to projects as simple as developing a 30-page business plan in an entrepreneurship course or as complex as constructing a 60-story office tower.

If students are familiar with some (but not necessarily all) of the following topics, they may be eligible for lower-level credit in the area of project management. If students are familiar with advanced questions, they may be eligible for upper-level credit. If knowledge of some of the topics is substantial, the students may consider requesting additional credit in more narrowly defined areas.

Management Principles and Functions

(Includes alternative project management, managing change, managing risk.)

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Describe the nature of program and project management.
  • Describe the importance of end-item focus, careful planning, appropriate control, open and timely communication, and inter-project coordination and prioritization.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How do alternative organizational structures, elements and leadership maximize personal and project effectiveness?

Project Life Cycles

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Describe life cycles of projects.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How does project initiation, project implementation, and project termination affect the project completion?

Role and Operation of the Project Manager’s Team

(Includes power and authority of the project manager, interpersonal skills and relationships, organizing teams and team building.)
Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Describe the role of the project team manager.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How will the Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) affect the interpersonal skills and teams during the project?

Organizing for Projects

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • What are some of the challenges when organizing for projects?
  • What software can enhance project management?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • What physical or mental tasks are performed when getting a project from origin to completion?
  • What effects do new technologies have on project management?

Leadership and Followship Motivation -- Individual, Group, and Organization

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • How do certain characteristics of leadership affect project satisfaction and performance?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • What intrinsic factors of leadership when present, should create high levels of motivation?

Decision Making

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • How will a reliable estimate affect project management decision making?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • The decision tree is formed sequentially because?

Coaching and Mentoring

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Coaching and mentoring involves a variety of different skills and talents. Explain.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How can the coaching and mentoring provide personal challenges and a sense of accomplishment in personal growth?

Conflict Management

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Who can get involved in conflict management?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How effectively can the use of negotiation help in the conflict management process?

Time Management

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • How does time management fit into the organizational culture?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • What is the relationship between time management and managing risk?

Enhancing Performance and Productivity

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Describe how continuous improvement enhances performance.

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • What is the relationship between performance measurement, and managing change and productivity?

Leading International Project Teams

Facts, definitions, concepts (lower-level):

  • Describe who must interface and support an international team.
  • What are some challenges of working in international project management teams?

Relationships, knowledge of discipline, methodologies (upper-level):

  • How should the project management team fit into an international organizational culture?

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