The Core Modules


lrn-mpmThe core modules of our Modular Project Management curriculum present the minimum skills for any project management practitioner. The Core Modules are combined to produce our most popular session, Project Management Tools ‘N Techniques. The Core Modules provide a consistent approach for planning and tracking any medium to large project. Imagine: Consistency across all groups and specialties in your organization! Alternatively, you can select just the modules your project teams require, perhaps combining them with the Advanced Modules in our curriculum.

The Core Competence Modules

Module Name
Duration
1. Initial Planning
.5 – 1 day
2. Phase Structuring
.5 day
3. Activity Estimating
.5 day
4. Phase Scheduling
.5 day
5. Project Control, Closure
.5 day

 
1. Initial Planning

Overview: This module identifies the steps, tools and methods needed to start any project correctly, with project initiation, early sizing, project type and related strategy and life cycle, preliminary schedule, and production of the Initial Project Plan or Proposal.

Learning Objectives; after this module, participants will be able to:

  • Define project management, itemize the vital signs of a successful project, and relate them to ISO 21500, a recently adopted global Project Management Standard.
  • Initiate the project with the right participants and an approved minimum Project Charter.
  • Evaluate the business case, and use it to prepare a Preliminary Project Scope Statement and Objectives.
  • Make an early forecast (estimate) of project effort, and then use modeling to define the ideal project staffing and duration.
  • Structure the appropriate life cycle and deliverables for the project’s size and nature.
  • Evaluate Initial Planning Progress towards completing the Project Management Plan.

Audience:
The audience of this core module is Project Managers, team leaders, and key team members (including customers) of medium-to-large projects. It is also highly appropriate for Project Sponsors, Resource Managers, and Functional Managers of business areas involved in projects. These audiences can all benefit from the core competences illustrated in these modules, even if they have had prior Project Management training, and/or have been practicing as a Project Manager for many years.

2. Phase Structuring

Overview: This module shows how to use teamwork to structure the project. You work as a team to build a work breakdown structure and plan phases, key deliverables or results, and delegated activities. It also presents the key roles and steps to improve quality in the project.

Learning Objectives; after this module, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the use of Rolling Wave Planning (a Stage-Gate approach); identify when it may not be the most appropriate approach, and the techniques to use then.
  • Brainstorm and organize the phase Work Packages using WBS Templates.
  • Contrast the individual and team approaches to structuring project work.
  • For single-team projects, extend the WBS by working with the team to perform Phase Activity Definition.
  • Contrast the individual and team approaches to structuring project work.
  • Assign responsibilities for key roles; explain the Project Manager’s essential responsibilities.
  • Choose from a range of delegation methods that can improve team performance.
  • Structure the project team appropriately for the project’s size.
  • Identify the prerequisites of quality, then plan and perform reviews that validate it.
  • Summarize phase structuring results into a Work Plan.

Audience:
The audience of this core module is Project Managers, team leaders, and key team members (including customers) of medium-to-large projects. This audience can benefit from the core competences illustrated in these modules, even if they have had prior Project Management training, and/or have been practicing as a Project Manager for some time.

3. Activity Estimating

Overview: Effective estimating is primarily a communication process. This module presents a repeatable process for accurate, useful, repeatable, re-entrant, trust-building activity-level estimating. Discussion includes the importance of communicating assumptions, which improves the usefulness of any estimate, and improves project performance.

Learning Objectives; after this module, participants will be able to:

  • Implement a consistent, accurate, and repeatable estimating process that improves communication and helps to manage risks.
  • Use assumptions-based estimating appropriately for activities of differing size and risk.
  • Manage the assumptions that can affect an estimate, improving actual performance.
  • Estimate other costs, in addition to the cost of team members.
  • Quantify and increase control of the factors that affect an activity’s duration estimate. Estimate activity duration.
  • Apply guidelines for estimating and optimizing Project Management time.

Audience:
The audience of this core module is Project Managers, team leaders, and key team members (including customers) of medium-to-large projects. This audience can benefit from the core competences illustrated in these modules, even if they have had prior Project Management training, and/or have been practicing as a Project Manager for some time.

4. Phase Scheduling

Overview: This module presents basic precedence diagramming and Gantt charting techniques. It then provides more advanced application of precedence analysis (an extension of the practice known as “Crashing the Model”, which merely evaluates Time/Cost trade-offs) to show how to complete any phase faster, and resource analysis to optimize use of available staff.

Learning Objectives; after this module, participants will be able to:

  • Perform Activity Sequencing to determine initial precedence relationships.
  • Analyze activity flow with Precedence Diagrams, and show how to end any phase faster.
  • Use Gantt charts to show how to optimize resource use; produce a baseline project schedule.
  • Balance the Vital-Sign tradeoffs when reducing duration or optimizing resource use; evaluate by “Crashing the Model”.
  • Describe the use and benefits of Resource Histograms and Cumulative Cost Curve charts.
  • Define the requirements for an effective Automated Project Environment.
  • Identify ways to speed approval of your updated Project Plan.

Audience:
The audience of this core module is Project Managers, team leaders, and key team members (including customers) of medium-to-large projects. This audience can benefit from the core competences illustrated in these modules, even if they have had prior Project Management training, and/or have been practicing as a Project Manager for some time.

5. Project Control

Overview: This module describes the elements of an effective status tracking and reporting approach, and a change control process that is responsive to business needs, but manages expectations about the impact of change. It discusses issues surrounding getting project closure, the ways different participants view success, and performing post-project reviews.

Learning Objectives; after this module, participants will be able to:

  • Select minimum-effort tracking methods that can prevent, detect, and recover from problems.
  • Analyze project performance using Issue Logs and Earned Value Management; monitor and evaluate the status of multiple concurrent projects.
  • Produce project reports that are appropriate for their audience, and for their timing.
  • Institute a Change Control process that manages the impact of changes, while responding to Customer needs.
  • Describe the actions and outcomes of proper Phase closure.
  • Plan and implement project evaluation and Post-Project Review steps needed to successfully end a project.

Audience: 
The audience of this core module is Project Managers, team leaders, and key team members (including customers) of medium-to-large projects. This audience can benefit from the core competences illustrated in these modules, even if they have had prior Project Management training, and/or have been practicing as a Project Manager for some time.