Successful projects do not occur by luck or by chance. In fact, many projects do not achieve their organization’s goals. This course introduces project management from the standpoint of a manager who must organize, plan, implement, and control tasks to achieve an organization’s schedule, budget, and performance objectives.
This course will address the full life cycle of a project. Tools and concepts, such as project charter, scope statement, work breakdown structure, project cost estimating, quality and risk management, communication, and scheduling methodologies, are studied. We will even practice with Microsoft Project software to be able to manage a project from start to deployment.
What is a project? How do you manage one? What is the best approach? We’ll answer those questions and many more in the next 8 weeks. This is an opportunity to learn the project management fundamentals that can guide a project through a maze of challenges to successful completion.
Materials in this class are based on the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2017.
Glossary definitions indicated with an asterisk are taken from, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, (PMBOK®Guide) – Sixth Edition, Project Management Institute Inc., 2017.
PMBOK is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
This Course Project gives you the opportunity to practice by planning a project, from the onset with a project charter to an established project schedule and related artifacts. This Course Project will make the course content come alive through application of the principles from the textbook, course materials, and discussions. Each week, you will have Course Project assignments that will be related to the course outcomes aligned to that particular week. These assignments will build to the final presentation of your completed project.
This is an individual project. You may choose a project that is of interest to you. When selecting a project of interest to you, avoid picking one that is either too big or too small. For example, do not decide to build a new stadium for your local sports team (too big) or to plant your summer garden (too small). Select a project with which you have some experience and familiarity. Be sure your selection is an actual project (temporary endeavor with start and ending dates) and not routine work. Do not select a topic, such as a construction project, unless you understand construction well. Projects may vary from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million dollars and should last between 6 months and 2 years. To ensure you are on the right track, get your instructor’s permission for the project before writing a project charter. Please see the list of projects below to help you with deciding on a project to choose.
- Developing a new product or service
- Constructing a building or facility
- Renovating an existing office
- Creating a franchise
- Designing a new transportation vehicle
- Acquiring a new accounting or payroll system
- Opening a nail salon
- Starting a motorcycle shop
- Overhauling your current information technology capabilities
- Planning a wedding/event
- Implementing a new business process like a sales process, customer service relationship process, procurement process, etc.
- Organizing a symposium, conference or seminar
- Reorganizing departments
- Developing a new business line for the organization (i.e. new delivery service, call center, customer care team, etc…)
- Translating a Japanese book into English
- Starting a Jewish bakery
- Planning an urban community outreach center
- Creating a mental health call line for your organization
- Starting an international food store
- Creating a women’s health clinic in an under deprived neighborhood
- Starting a mobile medical health service
- Creating a diversity support program for your organization
- Organizing a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) awareness month celebration
Project Document Samples
Week 2: Communications Management Plan Sample
Week 3: Scope Statement Sample
Week 3: WBS Sample
Course Project Deliverables
Click on each tab to review Course Project deliverables each week.
Week 1: Project Business Case (75 points)
- This week, you will select a project topic that you will need to submit via discussion for approval. The Course Project Approval discussion provides more information about the project’s requirement for approval. Once you receive approval from your instructor, create a business case to justify the need for your project topic.
- The business case must contain the following.
- Executive Summary
- Reasons (Create Problem Statements)
- Business Options
- Expected Benefits
- Expected Dis-Benefits
- Costs (Budget estimate)
- Timescale (Schedule estimate)
- Investment Appraisal
- Major Risks
View the The Business Case video (5m 6s).
Week 2: Project Charter, Communications Management Plan, and Meeting Agenda (75 points)
Congratulations! Your project business case has been approved. The next step is to create a project charter. The project charter is important as it provides stakeholders with an understanding of what the project entails and other relevant information so that all parties have a good understanding of the purpose of the project. Remember, the project charter is a living document that stakeholders, especially ones that join the project in the later phases, understand and can help better define stakeholders’ roles. The following are important sections to be included in your project charter.
- Project Title/Name: What will the project be known as? What shall we call it? Each project is normally given a unique name.
- Business Need: Why should we do this project? What will be gained, changed, or modified? Is there a financial or business reason to do this project? This area should contain any feasibility studies used to advance the project.
- Measurable/Business Objectives: What objectives, if any, of the company is this project designed to meet?
- Approval Requirements
- Product Scope Description
- Milestones and Deliverables: What are the key milestone dates associated with the project?
- Schedule and Benefit
- Establish Project Manager and Project Sponsor: Who will lead this project? Who is the Sponsor?
View the The Project Charter video (6m 10s).
Your project is moving along nicely. Now let’s look at communications and meetings for your project. Your communications management plan, which must include a meeting agenda, is due this week.
- Create a communications management plan and discuss the types of meetings that would be needed. You must also include a progress meeting agenda that you would use with your team.
- You may use the Communications Management Plan Sample located in the Project Document Samples section.
Communications Management Plan
The goal of a communications management plan is to ensure that communication, which is important for all projects, is established so that the lines of communication are defined so that project managers, project team members, the client/customer, and all relevant stakeholders understand how to properly ensure communication is directed and recorded so there is no confusion regarding proper communication. Remember, your responsibility as a project manager is to control the flow of communication. Not having an effective communications management plan can reduce the influence a project manager has. Also, keep in mind communication and types of communication are different for every organization. Your focus for your communication plan will focus specifically on items/events. Therefore, create a communication management template by item/event. You can use Excel or Word. The columns will be (Review video for more details about each column):
- Who is responsible?
- Authority to release?
Make sure you adapt the plan to the organization and the stakeholders of your term project that was approved via the business case and that you consider the different types of communication items/events that exists.
All meetings during the life of a project are required. Rather than conducting meetings without any planning, create the meeting agenda that has what you feel needs to be discussed on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. Understand that the agenda can be updated for each meeting, but having a structured template gives a you a strong base to ensure meeting will be productive. Please review the following meeting agenda video to help provide more perspective.
View the Where Agendas Meet Results video (2m 27s).
Week 3: Scope Statement and WBS (75 points)
Congratulations, you are enjoying a considerable amount of success now that your business case and project charter are approved. It is now time to write the project scope statement and create a work breakdown structure (WBS).
There are two Course Project deliverables due this week.
- Project scope statement: Using the information established in the project charter and additional research, create the project scope statement in Microsoft Word. Review the Scope Statement Sample in the Project Document Samples Section. The scope statement should have the following components (see video for explanations):
- Product scope description
- Project exclusions
- Acceptance criteria
- (WBS). The WBS helps to break down the project into smaller more manageable pieces (work package or individual activities). After you complete the WBS, you can begin planning your scheduling the activities. Therefore, it is important that you work to complete the WBS activity. Review the WBS Sample in the Project Document Samples Section and create the WBS in Excel or Word as noted below.
View the Project Scope Statement Components video (4m 12s).
- WBS: Following the sample from the Project Document Samples section, create a WBS in Excel or Word using graphical format in the sample. Review the following video to understand more about the WBS:
View the Layers of the WBS video (5m 27s).
Week 4: Schedule and Resources (75 points)
Now that you completed the project charter and scope statement, we can begin creating the project schedule. The project schedule helps us understand when the activities will happen and allows more insight on how long the project will take. In addition to having the schedule, we can begin to assign resources to the different tasks. Resource allocation is crucial as it helps set expectations of the needs a project manager requires. Because you want needs to be completed, as the project manager, assigning resources is necessary.
There is one Course Project deliverable this week (Microsoft Project schedule with resources)
- Create a project schedule using Microsoft Project (See the 2 videos in the Introduction and Lesson section for help) and the WBS you created in Week 3. As you create your schedule, make sure you consider possible new information you may have discovered since last week.
- Once you create your Microsoft Project schedule, create a column for resources and add the resources associated with the activities in your schedule. Make sure that you not only consider human resources but also other resources (i.e., meeting space, construction equipment, etc.). This exercise will help you more accurately assign costs later in this course.
Week 7: Organizational Structures and RAM/RACI (75 points)
Your project has been successfully planned, and you are ready to move into the performing stage. Before you do, take a closer look at how this project is fitting into the broader organizational structure and how you see this project being structured within the organization.
There is one Course Project deliverable this week. Create a Word document that contains the following elements.
- Describe the type of the organizational structure of the company within your project.
- Include the advantages and disadvantages of this organizational structure, compared to the other structures.
- Research a responsibility assignment matrix (RAM) or a responsible, accountable, consulted and informed (RACI) matrix.
- Create a RAM or a RACI matrix for the key stakeholders in your project within the same document.
View the Tools for Acquiring and Assigning Resources video (5m 20s).
Week 8: Final Course Project Status Report (200 points)
Congratulations on the work you have done with your Course Project. You will now prepare a status report for the project sponsor. Assume you have completed the project and the project deliverable has been completed.
You will incorporate the project assignments from previous weeks into a comprehensive project status report. In addition to the sections you have already completed, you will add a lessons learned section to describe the strengths and areas of improvement within your project. You will also expand on the discussion of sociocultural factors, and you will describe your leadership style related to the project.
Section A: Summary
- Part 1: Overview: Describe the project, including the project deliverables, overall time frame and estimated budget.
- Part 2: Business Strategy Alignment: Provide a discussion of the needs of the organization and show how the project is aligned to the business strategic objectives. (Use your business case to help you.)
- Part 3: Project Charter: Include your project charter with all the relevant information, such as project purpose, objectives, milestones, budget, user acceptance, assumptions, constraints, and key stakeholders.
Section B: Scope, WBS, Schedule, and Budget
- Part 1: Project Scope: Provide the project scope statement with the statement of work, deliverables, constraints, limitations, assumptions, exclusions, and technical requirements.
- Part 2: WBS and Schedule: Include the WBS and schedule in Microsoft Project with dates and resources. You may have to take a screenshot of the file or convert the project file to one you can insert in the project status report.
- Part 3: Project Budget: Include the summarized project budget you completed for the Week 5 Project Budget Development and Earned Value Management Feasibility assignment and an explanation for why the summarized budget will require more review to ensure it is up to date at all times.
Section C: Communications
- Part 1: Communications: Include the communications management plan with the five required elements of what, when, delivery format or location, the sender, and the audience.
Section D: Leadership, Sociocultural Factors, and Lessons Learned
- Part 1: Leadership and Management: Research and describe a leadership style you would use in your project. Include how you motivate team members to deliver a competitive advantage with the completed project. Make sure you take into account the organizational structure and RAM/RACI efforts you conducted in Week 7. Cite at least two scholarly articles.
- Part 2: Sociocultural Factors: Provide more details related to sociocultural factors in your project. Describe the benefits and challenges working with those from different backgrounds (educational level, language, nationality, religion, ethnicity, culture, ethics, etc.).
- Part 3: Lessons Learned: Describe the lessons learned in the project to include strengths and areas to improve. Explain what you would do differently in the next project and what you would continue to do.
Please review the rubric for this report to ensure all requirements are accomplished with your report. This report will be submitted by the end of Week 8.
The following link contains training resources that will help you get started in Microsoft Project.
Microsoft Project is required software for this course. You can access Microsoft Project by following the instructions provided in the Student Resource Center.
Instructions for Accessing Microsoft Project
Note: Although Microsoft Project is preferred for this course, you may use an alternative software such as Project Libre (https://www.projectlibre.com). DeVry University does not endorse any alternative software.
These videos will also help you learn to use Microsoft Project 2019. Each video is approximately 3 to 6 minutes.
Setting Up Your Project
Displaying Your Project
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
- Part 1 Section 1.2: Foundational Elements
- Part 1 Section 3 The Role of the Project Manager
- Part 2 Section 1.1: Projects and Project Management
- Part 2 Section 1.5: The Project Life Cycle
- Part 2 Section 1.7: Role of the Project Manager
Project Management Essentials
- Chapter 1: Introduction to Project Management
- Chapter 2: Selecting and Initiating a Project