A Refresher Course For Project Managers

Citing PMBOK, 2004,(Burke and Barron 2007:30) define project management as : "...the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet stakeholder needs and expectations from a project...". In as far as the elements of project management are concerned, this definition is just summarising the highlights. In practical terms, it is more than that. The challenges in project management do not end in the highlights depicted, for a project manager, it is also about leadership.

This course is an attempt to clear any possible grey areas in as far as project management is concerned. It is aimed at assisting those tasked with this role to plan and execute successful projects. 

The course will run online over a period of three weeks and it is sub-divided into two modules. It is envisaged that the entire course will have the following exit- level outcomes :

Module 1: Fundamentals of Project Management

Learning Outcomes of the Module:

At the end of the module, course participants should be able to:

LO 1: Describe the unique features of project management;

LO 2: Identify and elaborate on the five steps involved in the successful accomplishment of any project; and

LO 3: Appreciate the need for a thorough project planning prior to its implementation.

Untitled multiple choice question

Unique Features of project management

Project management differs substantially from other forms of management. The fact that someone is a manger does not necessarily translate that he/she can be aa project manager without first being capacitated with the appropriate skills. It is those unique features ofproject management that necessitate the specialised empowerment. For such a manager (general manager) managing a project would therefore be an opportunity for career improvement.

One of the important elements in any project execution is that of moving from the conceptual plan to the concrete plan and through to completion. This is due to the fact that it has a definite beginning and end. It is not a continuous exercise, hence it is critical that time management for its success as well.

Any project need ad-hoc resources as against dedicated ones. One of the critical roles of a project manager is that of reducing risk in increasing the chances of its sucess. It operates  on restricted resources.

A skilled project manager knows which tools to utilize to measure project accomplishmentsand track the tasks and by so doing managing possible risks.

  • It has a definite lifespan
  • It is a continuous exercise
  • It moves from conceptual plan to the concrete plan and through to completion
  • It needs ad-hoc resources

Project Management is unique in that:

Select one or more from these:

What is A Project?

Burke and Barron (2007:29) defines a project as : "... a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product an service (outcome or result). Temporary means that every project has a definite end. Unique means that the product or service is different in some distinguishing way from all other similar products or services...".

What is Project Management?

Burke and Barron (2007:30) define project management as: "... the application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities in order to meet stakeholder needs and expectations from a project...".

Assessment : Quizz

The LifeCycle of a Project

Project life cycle refers to a series of activities that need to be accomplish for the fullfilment of a project. this is important to understand as it provides those involved, especially the project manager with the framework guiding his activities and milestones.

The widely accepted view is that of a five phase cycle, which is as follows:



Project Definition.

This phase is also referred to as project initiation. This is the beginning of a project with the aim of defining it as broadly as is necessary. All the aspects relevant for a business case are part of this phase. Among these are reports on: the perceived need, report on feasibility study, aspects of how is it going to be done up to when it is anticipated to be finished. 

Potential stakeholders are involved from this phase.

Project Planning

This phase is key to project success, demanding more of mind application and effort as it maps the road to success for ant project. Such  is popularly accomplished in widely known methods known as S,M. A.R.T and C.L.E.A.R goals.

Project Briefing

This is basically the discussion stage. 

Project Implementation

This phase is also known as project execution. It is the actual job or flesh of the project.Furthermore, a lot is happening, usually marked by the first meeting to officially declare the start of the project.

Project Evaluation

Most projects often condense project closure in this phase.Project performance against the initial plan is evaluated during this phase.


Resources for Enrichment




Assessment : Case Study and assignment

Module 2 : Critical Aspects in the Execution of Project Management

Learning Outcomes for the Module

At the end of this module, course participant should be able to:

LO 4:

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