Project management is a skill that one must acquire in life, no matter what your profession is. It entails communications, time management and the task of delegating work to others when it becomes too much for you. This is a skill that will be useful in life, let alone in one's professional career. Having said that, whatever your motivations may be to acquire project management skills, there are ways to do that even without going to a college or acquiring a fancy degree. The following are some of the best project management courses you can consider.
International Project Management
International Project Management is a course offered by the Rochester Institute of Technology on edX. This is a course that takes into account the various and unique challenges that arise while managing large scale projects. Through this course, you will be acquainted with all the different skills and managing tactics you will require to become a successful project manager. The course takes will teach you how different cultures, regional variations, technology, legal practices, and other such factors, have a bearing on project management. You will be learning all of this not only from theoretical lectures but through case studies and examples from real-life companies. To be a good project manager, you need to be mindful of cultural variations and political contexts of the place in which you are managing the project. This is at the core of understanding people and therefore managing a project successfully.
Results-Based Project Management: Monitoring and Evaluation
Results-Based Project Management: Monitoring and Evaluation is a course that teaches you the fundamentals of project management that rests on results. You will be introduced to the results framework and be taught how to navigate it. You will be able to use monitoring systems effectively and will learn how to use the data you derive from these systems to make more suitable and helpful decisions for management. This is a course that has been specially designed keeping in mind the demand for project managers in Africa. You will be taught to use this results-based approach to get accurate and effective outcomes. These skills are crucial because you will be able to make optimum use of resources if you use monitoring and evaluation systems effectively. If you are working on managing projects in public service or a not-for-profit/non-governmental organization, these responsibilities become even more crucial.
Introduction to Project Management
Introduction to Project Management, as the name of the course astutely suggests, is a primer to the fundamentals of project management. Even if you do not have a lot of professional experience in project management or want to simply better your skills at managing your home, this is a great course for you to consider. This is the type, of course, that may not provide you with specialized knowledge, but you will certainly come away from it feeling a lot more confident about managing complex situations and taking crucial decisions when it matters. Through the course, you will be taught how to identify the important requirements of any project and what the desired outcome is. Once you can do that, half the battle has been won. But surprisingly, being clear about this is often harder than one might realize. You will be equipped with practical knowledge to delineate the goals of the project and set out to complete them successfully. This is also a course that focuses on people management and communication as much as it focuses on project management.
Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization
Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization is a course you can take before Applied Project Management Certificate, offered by the UCI Division of Continuing Education. This is a hands-on course that will equip you with the crucial skills of communication and decision-making in order to manage projects successfully. With this course, you will be introduced to methods and tactics that enable you to complete a task within the deadline and also save money from your budget while you are at it. This is not simply a theoretical course and you will acquire a lot of practical know-how as well. Once you are done with the course, you will be able to chart a course out for any future project of yours. This will include the plan you will follow, the budget you will work within, the risks you will be expecting and the measures you will take to mitigate those risks. Of course, developing an instinct to think on your feet in face of a crisis will come with practice. But this course is certainly a good place to begin.
Project Management: The Basics for Success
Project Management: The Basic for Success is a course that will take you through all the essentials you require to manage a project efficiently and successfully. This is a great course offered by the UCI Division of Continuing Education on Coursera. This is a course that has elements of both Project Management and Team Leadership as neither can exist without the other. You will be able to participate in an interactive online classroom and will be able to take back with you crucial practical skills that you can apply to future projects. Once you finish the course, you will know about the different stages you will need to cross for any given project. You will also acquire skills to be a good team leader and get the best performance out of your team members. You will also be given the wherewithal to successfully monitor a project and assess the outcomes. This is a course that certainly has a lot to offer.
Beginning Project Management: Project Management Level One
Beginning Project Management: Project Management Level One is, as the name may have already given away, teaches you the fundamentals of project management. Since this is a Level One course, as expected, more courses follow this one where you will be able to build on what you learn in this course. But since this is a foundation course, you can also take it as a standalone course and you would not have missed anything. With this course, you will be very well-acquainted with what your responsibilities will be as a project manager. You will also be provided with crucial information and tips on which direction you should take your career in, given your skill sets and capabilities. The course is accessible and will speak to you in a language you will understand. There is no reliance on unnecessary jargon and you will certainly come away from it feeling more confident about yourself as a project manager. You will be taken through all five steps of managing a project, which include initiating, making a plan, executing the project, monitoring it once it is on the floors and then finally, closing the project.
Project Management Foundations
Project Management Foundations is a course offered on LinkedIn for beginners. The course is slightly over three hours and is delivered in a vibrant video format. The good thing about signing up for this course is that you can go back to each video lesson even after you have completed the course and refresh your notes. In this course, you will learn about the fundamentals of project management and what makes its foundations. You will become better equipped to manage time and handle deadlines. As a project manager, you will develop a better instinct and eye for charting a plan and executing it smoothly and efficiently. Apart from taking away important skills for project management, you will also be equipped with communication skills and the course will provide you with crucial tips for working with people and managing a team.
Project Management Simplified
Project Management Simplified is another course offered on LinkedIn which does the crucial task of breaking the art of project management down into simple steps. This is important because it makes any project seem less daunting, no matter how monumental or laborious it may seem. The course will outline 12 steps that you will need to follow with any project so you can manage it with ease and without any undue stress. You will also be acquainted with some of the old school project management tools, like network diagrams and Gantt charts that will come in handy to manage deadlines and delineate tasks. The course is delivered over a video format and takes slightly over 3 hours to complete in its entirety. Once you have signed up, you can also keep referring to the videos even after you have completed the course.
Now that you've got a taste of the project management life, what should you do after you take one of these courses and become a pro? Start thinking about leadership! Leadership is an important aspect of project management and can be very beneficial. Use our article on the best leadership courses and become the best project management leader around.