All project management courses are now live virtual courses or self-paced online courses.

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Classroom training courses for project managers

Project management training courses include 1-day beginners’ courses and 4-day more advanced courses for experienced project managers.

All certification courses include exams taken as part of the course.

Accreditation Accreditation: AXELOS, PeopleCert, APM, APMG International
Certification Certificate: PRINCE2 Foundation/Practitioner
classroom virtual classroom Format: Live or virtual classroom
skills Prior Experience:AXELOS

Self-paced online training courses for project managers

You can self-study and gain certification in project management by taking a self-paced online project management course.

Project management online courses include online exams.

Accreditation Accreditation: AXELOS, PeopleCert, APM, APMG International
Certification Certificate: AgilePM Foundation/Practitioner
self-paced Format: Self-paced online
skills Prior Experience:AXELOS

Certification for project managers

Professional certification in project management can be a great addition to your CV. It shows employers your ability to understand best practices in project management, and for some certifications, how to apply them as well.

Accreditation Accreditation: AXELOS, PeopleCert, APM, APMG International
Certification Certificate: APM PFQ, APM PMQ
classroom virtual classroom Format: Live or virtual classroom
skills Prior Experience:AXELOS

More about project management

What is project management?

Project management refers to the use of knowledge, skills, and tools, to deliver something (deliverables) of value to stakeholders.

A project is a temporary structure, set up for the goal of delivering a set of outputs, known as the project scope. Once this goal has been achieved, the project may close.

Managing projects

The management and implementation of a project requires a project manager to have many different skills and competences. For example, a project manager must be able to perform risk management, estimate both the time required and a realistic cost budget, perform resource allocation, and have a workable knowledge of techniques such as earned value management.

In the absence of a business analyst, a project manager may also take on the responsibility for managing the customer requirements (or features of the product). These form the goals for what the project will deliver, and the success of the project ultimately depends on them being delivered.

A project manager must also provide leadership to the project team members and be familiar with the ethics involved in project management. Commonly accepted project management ethics are described in the most popular project manager’s handbook (the Project Management Body Of Knowledge - PMBOK Guide).

The PMBOK Guide is maintained by the Project Management Institute, a professional body for project managers, and describes a range of tools and techniques that can be used throughout the project management process.

Project management tools

To help with the complexities of project management, a project manager may turn to user-friendly project management software to help with things such as budgeting, earned value, and creating a work breakdown structure (WBS). A WBS shows a timeline of the work being done by the team members and is a common planning tool used to plan and track the tasks done within each phase of the project. A software tool can perform the critical path method for the project manager

Another useful tool for project managers are Gantt charts. A Gantt chart is a visual representation of the WBS, and would only normally be created using a software project management tool. A project plan will often contain a Gantt chart showing the different phases within the project life cycle.

Lifecycle of a project

All projects undergo a life cycle consisting of several stages or phases:

Initiation

This is where a project charter is written to outline why the project is needed, and its key outputs.

Planning

The planning stage is where the project manager creates a plan for managing the project, including risk, changes, quality, cost and time.

Execution and monitoring

Project execution is where the work is performed by the teams to create the project's deliverables. The project manager receives reports of progress from the teams, and makes adjustments to the plan if the project starts to deviate from the approved plan.

Closing

The final stage is where the outputs of the project are handed over to the users, the project teams are disbanded, lessons and learned, and business as usual teams take over responsibility for using the projects outputs. The project is evaluated against its objectives. Project success might be difficult to measure at this point if the products have not yet been used to realise benefits.

Project management certification

The Project Management Institute (PMI) offers a range of professional project management certifications, the best-known of which is PMP (Project Management Professional). PMP certification is difficult to achieve for many since it requires several years of experience. The PMP exam is based upon content taken primarily from the PMBOK Guide, which describes the responsibilities, tools and techniques that can be applied during the different project management processes.

PMP contrasts with the UK qualification based upon the PRINCE2 methodology. PRINCE2 Practitioner certification can be obtained by passing examinations and does not require experience. Even without certification, project managers will find the PRINCE2 framework very useful because it forms a project management methodology that can be usefully applied on any project.

Agile management

The PMBOK was developed during the years when projects used to follow a traditional waterfall approach to the project lifecycle. This approach contained a series of sequential steps. Each step terminated in a decision to proceed to the next step, and so progress flowed from one step to the next. However, in the late 1990’s many software professionals began to question whether there were more efficient approaches to project management.

These discussions led to the publishing of the Agile Manifesto, a document which described a collaborative approach to the software development workflow. Since then, a plethora of agile development methods such as Extreme Programming, Kanban, and the Scrum agile framework have become popular.

Agile project management

There is a common misconception about these agile methods. Most of them are not agile project management methods. They are agile development methods which are applicable to the people working within a team, developing software for example.

Most of these agile methods do not generally concern themselves with the business justification of a project and so most agile development methods still require a wrapping of project management approaches, tools and techniques to ensure the project becomes a worthwhile investment.

One notable exception is the AgilePM framework, which is based upon the Dynamic Systems Development Methodology (DSDM). AgilePM overs a full agile project management framework that can easily be used alongside popular agile methods such as Scrum.

Project management is evolving

As the experience of agile tells us, project management is evolving. It will continue to evolve as project leaders grapple with the complexity of managing projects.

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