The Project Management Institute Inc. (PMI), an association of project managers providing global leadership in the subject, defines project management as “the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to a broad range of activities in order to meet the requirements of a particular project.” As organizations and projects grow and become complex, many projects fall short of their objective. In turn, new knowledge is developed to help increase the success rate of these projects. Project management is the practice of this new knowledge, and learning project management theory is the basis for IT 390: Project Management.
Project management is important to many organizations and course instructor Perry Ram says IT 390 is appropriate for students in any undergraduate program. He notes the course would also “be of keen interest to those who have had many years of supervisory experience and would want to transfer skills to project management. Project management is applicable in almost every career.” The course provides students with project management skills, practices, tools, and templates that can help them in their professional growth.
Ram explains the course covers the 10 knowledge areas and five process groups that PMI segments project management into. The knowledge areas include: scope, time, cost, quality, human resource, communication, risk, procurement, stakeholder, and integration. The process groups include initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing. The course also emphasizes ethics in project management.
Students in IT 390 learn hands-on through the phases of a project, from selection to completion. Throughout the course, they take on various roles such as project stakeholders and team members and also engage in productive feedback with each other through discussion posts. Assignments promote literary research and professional writing—skills which are valuable in academic and professional environments, adds Ram.
“Almost every student of this course has commented on how they have a new-found respect for project management and project managers. This course transforms students from being critical of project managers to becoming knowledgeably supportive of them,” says Ram.
If you’d like to become more well-versed in project management, consider signing up for IT 390: Project Management next semester. To learn about alumnus Kane Tomlin’s project management webinar series, check out the spring issue of Excelsior magazine.