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Applied Project Management - 3 Day


Projects often fail because the key stakeholders are unable to translate their expectations into usable project requirements. As a result, this effectively prevents the production of usable time and cost estimates. Fixing issues arising from planning shortfalls is expensive, but preventing them with proven scope, cost, time, and risk estimating and management techniques isn't. By learning and implementing the key skills taught in this course, you can significantly increase your project's chances of meeting scope, finishing on time, and controlling costs within budget.


In Applied Project Management you will learn real-world tools and techniques and put them to immediate use. This course will give you practical experience with proven tools and techniques for reliably estimating your next project's scope, costs, schedule, and risk.

  • Take the methods, approaches, and theory and apply them to run real-world projects successfully

  • Understand how to effectively establish stakeholder expectations

  • Utilize exterior estimating models

  • Incorporate analysis tools in the development of Use Cases and the Project Scope Baseline

  • Pull consensus numbers from differing experts

  • Extract risk estimates from SME time estimates

  • Estimate contingencies for individual tasks or activities, and for your project as a whole

  • Apply resources to your schedule, and understand their cost and time ramifications

  • Proactively identify estimating risks

  • Use real-world results to your budget in order to reliably estimate future costs


Section I - Manage Stakeholders

One of the most important jobs a project manager has is the management of stakeholder expectations. The proper performance of this task assumes that the project manager has first of all effectively gathered and fully understands his stakeholder’s expectations, and then that effective strategies have been put in place to support this goal. In the first section we will look at how to effectively gather your stakeholder’s expectations (even when they have not fully thought them out) and how to convey your expectations on how the project will be managed to those same stakeholders. Specifically we will consider:

  • Stakeholder Analysis

  • Paired Analysis

  • Delphi Methodology

  • a Priori Cost Estimating

  • Risk Tolerance

Demonstrations and exercises will be utilized in conjunction with each of these topics to reinforce the class discussion materials.


Section II - Collect Requirements

The failure of many projects can be traced directly to the improper or incomplete gathering of project requirements. This topic is one that has been more fully expanded upon in the past few years by the establishment of the IIBA’s BABOK v2.0 (Business Analysis Body of Knowledge). In this section we will first compare PMI terminology with the IIBA’s, and then introduce the BA’s kit of specialized tools for eliciting and refining project requirements. In particular, we will look at:

  • PMI Project Management Life Cycle

  • IIBA Knowledge Areas

  • User Interaction Diagram

  • Context Diagram

  • Activity Diagram

  • Swim Lanes Diagram

  • Use Cases

In-class exercises will be performed to give the student practical experience in the preparation of each diagramming tool, and specific attention will be paid to the drafting of different types of Use Cases.


Section III - Scheduling 

Scheduling a project can be one of the most frustrating of processes. Project managers often find themselves dealing with constrained intermediate and end dates, inconsistent estimating techniques, improper consideration of the application of resources to a project, and a failure by team members to take into account scheduling risk. The value of expensive software programs to manage the project schedule can be totally negated by bad inputs to the scheduling mode. In this section we will consider the various types of estimating techniques and how, with proper understanding, their application naturally builds to a sophisticated critical path and critical chain tool that can be refined by the use of Monte Carlo analysis methods and Linear Programming techniques. Specific topics considered include:

  • Analogous Estimating

  • Parametric Estimating

  • Compensating

  • Function Point Calculations

  • Three-Point Estimating


  • Critical Chain

  • Monte Carlo

  • Schedule Compression

  • Compression with Linear Programming

Each of the scheduling and computational processes discussed will be both demonstrated in class and provided to the student as an in-class exercise. These exercises stress an intuitive understanding of the concept combined with a jargon-free explanation that allows the student to quickly master the essentials of each technique.

Section IV - Qualitative Risk Analysis

Qualitative Analysis is used when risk must be estimated quickly, cheaply, and as a prelude to quantitative analysis; or when the necessary data for quantitative analysis is lacking. The output of qualitative analysis is a risk score which can provide both the project manager and the stakeholders with an overall understanding of the severity and magnitude of different risks. The steps used to perform qualitative risk analysis are:

  • Risk Probability and Impact Assessment

  • Probability and Impact Matrix

  • Risk Data Quality Assessment

  • Risk Categorization

  • Risk Urgency Assessment

Examples will be worked in class showing the proper application of the qualitative analysis technique to current risks on student projects. The relationship of this analysis to risk response planning will also be discussed.

Section V - Quantitative Risk Analysis

Decision analysis is based upon the concept of expected value, or in project management, specifically Expected Monetary Value. Fully understanding the capabilities and limitations of decision analysis is necessary to properly utilize its several techniques in effective project management. The major topics discussed are:

  • Expected Monetary Value

  • Decision Tree Analysis

  • Sensitivity Analysis

A full derivation of the expected monetary value concept will precede a number of examples and in-class exercises that will be used to completely develop the student’s understanding of these important tools.


Section VI - Earned Value

One of the major purposes of accounting information is “control.” That is, we do not gather accounting information just for the sake of gathering, but in order to gain a more complete understanding of what is going on in our organization with the goal of correcting problems early and effectively. Earned value extends this concept to the world of project management. Specific topics to be discussed include:

  • Cost Budget

  • Schedule and Cost Variances

  • Schedule Performance Index

  • Cost Performance Index

  • Estimate to Completion

  • Estimate at Completion

  • To-Complete Performance Index

  • Earned Value Analysis with CPM

The connection of earned value to the larger world of accounting will first be demonstrated, and then the full derivation of each of the pertinent formulas used by the project manager. The in-class demonstrations and exercises will fully develop the student’s ability to calculate and interpret the outputs of earned value analysis.

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