Strategic Project Management
Management comes in two basic types: day-to-day managerial activity, and strategic project management. Many companies are in succession of projects. All management consultancies and most service provision fall into this category. Indeed any activity that has a beginning, middle and an end can be classed as a project. However, only a small part of a management course is concerned with project management, despite its wide remit; this short course aims to give those involved, or to be involved in projects, the basic skills and techniques to deliver their project to specification, within budget and to required quality standards.
The knowledge you gain from the course will help you to become a better manager, as well as make you a valuable asset for the company and potential employers.
On successful completion of the Strategic Project Management course, you will receive the course certificate awarded by Magna Carta College.
The Strategic Project Management course is for anyone who needs to understand how to create, implement and review projects in their work.
There are three Learning Outcomes which you will cover in the course. On completion you can:
- Understand the impact of projects and project management on strategic objectives
1.1 Assess the purpose of project planning and management
Organisational culture has a key influence in how projects are initiated, developed, executed and evaluated. Some organisations have a less structured approach and others have project management offices with ultimate control over the processing of all strategic projects.
1.2 Analyse how projects impact on the strategic objectives of an organisation
Understanding how projects originate and what their purpose is within your organisation will enable you to establish their link with organisational strategic objectives. In some cases, there may be a limited link to the organisational strategy as the project origin may be a “hunch” from someone with influence. Within other situations – key projects may have direct link to the organisational strategy – where others may be more linked to directorate or departmental strategy, although coherent with overall strategy.
- Understand the elements of a project process and plan
2.1 Discuss the roles of a project sponsor and other project stakeholders
You will learn about the key roles that are required in order to implement a project.
- The project sponsor – the initiator and provides authority at senior level
- The project steering team – senior managers who oversee all projects
- The project manager – who runs the project
- The project team – who help the project manager achieve project objectives
- The project office – the backroom staff who help maintain the project
- The project customer – who the project is primarily benefiting
- The project stakeholders – people who have interest in the project
2.2 Explain the need to scope and identify specification to develop a project plan
You will learn what is meant by project scoping – what is involved in the project and what isn’t. The outcome of the scoping is the project specification and includes the key areas of:
- Vision, aims, objectives (SMART)
- Levels of measurement and control (Pinto and Slevin’s project success factors or Elbeik and Thomas’s successful project requirements, risk assessment techniques)
- Basic work requirements (work breakdown structure – WBS) including time factors (Turner’s milestone planning requirements, Gantt charts), cost factors (cost benefit analysis)
- Required organisational structure – who is involved (Larson, Gobeli and Gray who identified five types of project organisational structure)
- Business case issues – environmental analysis (PESTLE), strategic fit (Cleland and Ireland), options and choice and feasibility
- Other items – technical or design issues, project management control tools (Seven forces model by Turner) and supporting documentation.
2.3 Discuss the phases necessary in the construction of a project plan
This section asks you to discuss the phases of a project plan. CMI has identified the project management process as a life cycle that contains the following four stages:
- Initiation of project start-up – you need to establish terms of reference, set the objectives, agree budgets, appoint team members and gain project approval.
- Planning and organisation – you need to identify all tasks and define governance process and reporting frequency.
- Implementation with monitoring – you need to ensure that all project activities are properly executed and controlled.
- Completion and evaluation – this is required after the project is complete – a post-implementation review.
- Understand how to implement the project plan and evaluate the outcome(s)
3.1 Explain the process of gaining project implementation agreement
In this section you are asked to explain the process of gaining project implementation agreement. Strategic projects are likely to necessitate senior management approval. The process of gaining approval will vary from one organisation to another.
3.2 Assess the methods for securing stakeholder support for project implementation and operations
Here you identify the stakeholders by referring to project primary and secondary stakeholders as outlined by Cleland and Ireland. In assessing the methods for securing stakeholder support, you will review Mendelow’s power/interest matrix, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Turner’s three features of a project environment, and consider the most appropriate communication strategy that needs to be implemented to ensure engagement of key stakeholders – and assess which method will enable you to get the most buy-in.
3.3 Explain the evaluation process to measure project performance to meet strategic objectives
Here you consider processes such as Young’s project control system and how this can enable you to set performance objectives in line with organisational objectives and measure success. Project evaluation and review can take many forms from a formal Post Implementation Review (PIR) to face-to-face meetings and reports. You will also consider ‘in progress’ evaluation which can take place throughout the project as well as the final review at the end.
The Strategic Project Management course has the following entry requirements:
Experience: You must have at least one year of relevant work experience (paid and/or unpaid) with levels of responsibility, participation and/or achievement of a range of relevant professional qualifications.
Language Skills: You must also have an appropriate standard of English to enable you to access relevant resources and complete the unit assignments.
Everything you need to successfully pass is included and there are no additional fees.
In addition, you receive Affiliate Membership of the CMI which gives you access to their excellent Management Direct. It is a complete online library of comprehensive and up-to-date material that addresses current management practice.
The Strategic Project Management course is taught through our online Teaching Zone using essential reading material such as checklists, models, templates and articles coupled with short videos. There are also optional live and recorded webinars delivered by our tutors. Plus, you will also have a personal tutor who is a subject expert whom you can contact if you have any questions.
The course is split into four one-week sessions. Coupled with time for your assessment to be marked and confirmed it should take you approximately 8 weeks in total to complete this qualification. Although it may vary in practice depending on your commitment and how easy you find it to study. It is possible to take less than four weeks if you concentrate on the course and commit your time to it, or equally if you have the pressure of other commitments you can spread your studies out over a longer period.
In our online Teaching Zone, the course content is divided into weekly activities which cover the three Learning Outcomes. You work through the study material in the order presented. When you have finished the course content you then need to complete the assignment in the Assessment Section. You can submit drafts which your personal tutor will review and give you any advice or feedback they think is relevant. When you are happy with your assignment, you submit it online through the facility in the Assessment Section and receive your results about one month later.
This course is assessed by a 3,500 word written assignment. There is no examination required.