BUS402: Project Management
A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge defines project as "a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service, or result. The temporary nature of projects indicates a definite beginning and end. The end is reached when the project’s objectives have been achieved or when the project is terminated because its objectives will not or cannot be met, or when the need for the project no longer exists.” (PMBOK, 2008, p. 5). The discipline of project management has various definitions. Some describe it as a systematic method of planning and guiding a project from start to finish, while others have defined project management as a methodical approach of achieving targets and goals while optimizing the use of resources such as people, money, time, and space. Some have referred to project management as the ability to be open and to elicit commitments through effective communication regarding how team members are willing to participate. More specifically, the PMBOK (2008) defines project management as "the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.” (p. 6). Project management is therefore accomplished through the appropriate application and integration of systematic and logically grouped project management processes within five process groups including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, as well as closing. Thus, good project managers should be able to understand and effectively execute all project management processes for each unique project while communicating effectively within their own teams as well as with all stakeholders across the organizational network. Project managers must also be artful at delegation, and they must understand that a cohesive team that works well together is critical to their success. While many associate project management with military logistics, information technology, and construction, project management procedures are integrated in some aspect of most occupations. Today, in addition to their normal duties, employees are often expected to take on additional assignments to get the job done on time and under budget. This course will walk you through the nuts and bolts of project management. From understanding the project life cycle to setting priorities and expectations to controlling expenses and reporting results, project management touches several resources within organizations. You will examine roles and environments and various techniques of planning, evaluation, and control. An overview of the tools used in contemporary project management will also be discussed throughout the course.