Get real-world practical training from practicing Project Managers to help you plan, optimise and manage your projects better.

Course overview
Containing the essential tools and techniques to help create, plan, optimise and control projects more effectively; this course provides a comprehensive understanding of real-world project management. Backing all this up is a detailed case study and practical syndicate exercises.
Delivery method
Physical Classroom: 2 days.   Available In-Company only.
Learning outcomes
After completing this course, delegates will be able to plan, execute and manage projects more effectively and consistently. They will:

  • Understand the nature of projects and the importance of stakeholder roles within the wider project team.
  • Be able to effectively articulate a client’s requirements into an accurately scoped list of tasks and deliverables.
  • Be able to create robust dependencies that accurately reflect how the project will be performed.
  • Understand how a project is scheduled and the impact the outside world has on that schedule and its priorities.
  • Proficiently manage resource work within the project and optimise this work against time and other priorities.
  • Understand the likelihood and impact of risks against the project and be able to develop forward-thinking risk strategies.
  • Understand the importance of variance analysis and how to effectively replan a project throughout its lifecycle.
Project Manager, Programme Manager, Resource Manager.
Course detail
Project management preliminaries

This first section discusses essential PM principles. Why projects fail and the various types of project leads into interpersonal issues, team building and communication. An exercise creates a project methodology and a basic test determines initial PM knowledge.

  • What is a project and why do they go wrong?
  • How do projects and programmes differ?
  • Types of projects
  • Interpersonal issues
  • Team building and communication
  • Creating a feedback mechanism
Project startup

From an understanding of PM fundamentals, the project begins to take shape. The three project resources of work, time and cost are discussed, along with task delegation. The planning sequence is commenced, starting with an understanding of a client’s requirements. A practical exercise discusses a project’s feasibility.

  • The role of project planning
  • The three project resources
  • Knowing what the client wants
  • Creating a project definition
  • How feasible is the project?
Defining what to do

With a project’s feasibility confirmed, the project definition can be expanded into just what is required (and at what level of detail for reporting and control). A top-down approach creates a work and cost breakdown, confirmed with a syndicate exercise.

  • Levels of detail required for control
  • Levels of reporting
  • Creating a Work Breakdown Structure
  • Cost breakdown and coding structures
  • Adding milestones
How to accomplish work

With the project scope defined, how it will be achieved is discussed. The work, cost and time content of tasks is explained, along with sources of this information. Task relationships are introduced and an exercise creates a project network.

  • Sources of time / work information
  • Time vs. work
  • The cost of doing work and tasks
  • Relationships between tasks
  • Tasks with multiple predecessors / successors
When things happen / further timing influences

The network says how things will be done. Critical path analysis determines when: how quickly and how slowly. Gantt charts depict the schedule of tasks and their spare time. Task relationships are expanded to increase flexibility. Influences external to the project are added to create a more realistic model of reality. Practical exercises confirm the appropriate techniques to use.

  • How quickly / slowly can tasks be done?
  • Tasks with spare / no spare time
  • Gantt charts to show when
  • Overlapping or delaying tasks
  • Constraining tasks starts / finishes
  • Influences from other projects
Who does what and when

People to perform the tasks need to be added to the project to be a true model of reality. Their influence is discussed in how they are assigned and the problems that they can bring. Techniques for resource management are introduced, along with the implications in applying them. Practical exercises optimise this resource usage and create a cost schedule.

  • Simple / effort-driven assignments
  • How resource usage adds up
  • Resource management options
  • Resource levelling with / without delays
  • Substituting alternative resources
  • Scheduling project costs
Assessing project risks

As projects are modelling the future, this implies an element of risk. Where the risk comes from and when it should be reviewed are discussed. Different types of risk are explained, together with their probability of happening and the impact if they do happen. Syndicate work identifies sources of risk and contingencies for removing / alleviating that risk.

  • When and why manage risk?
  • Using risk diagrams and matrices
  • P.E.R.T. as a risk management tool
  • When to apply contingencies
  • Contingency effects
Controlling work in progress

Once a project goes live, it is subject to (often dramatic) change. The necessity for tracking what has happened is expanded to encompass updating cycles and their frequency. What is captured and how it is done are discussed, together with what is different to as before and why it is different. A practical exercise tracks a project’s progress, compared to what should have been achieved.

  • Change: its impact and opportunities
  • Update cycles and their frequency
  • Capturing: what; how & who
  • Comparisons to original plans
  • Evaluating the impact of the change
Replanning to stay on track

Actual work accomplished creates a requirement for replanning – at varying levels of detail. Options to control time, cost and quality are discussed, together with the need for timely action. The importance of reporting and communication is emphasised. A practical exercise deals with alleviating a number of project problems, arising out of an update.

  • Why replan, and at what detail?
  • Changing how long things take
  • Changing task relationships
  • Keeping control of costs and quality
  • Keeping people informed
  • The need to update regularly
Reviewing after progress

This final section emphasises the importance of formally closing a project. Confirming that it has met its requirements and that the project team performed well are important lessons to learn for the future. A final exercise re-runs a test on general PM knowledge.

  • Why review the past?
  • When to review and close
  • Team benefits from a review
  • Project closure meetings
  • Project closure reports

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