Agile Project Management

Term: 
Winter
Credits: 
2.0
ECTS credits: 
4.0
Status: 
Elective
Course Description: 

Project management is at the heart of business change. All projects, in some way, result from and give rise to change. However, many project management publications focus on elements such as engineering or information technology, removing the focus from strategic corporate needs. This course is designed to demonstrate the value of project management as an aid to business in general, reflecting both the purpose of projects and the way that they are managed.

The Project Management course will provide students with a sound view on what project management is, why it matters, and how to achieve best practice in it:

  • A key feature of projects is that they differ from normal line management, often suffering a poor relationship with what is often referred to as 'the day job'. The cause of this is explored, setting the scene for proposed remedies.
  • The provision of control is also introduced in terms of organization, interrelationships of multiple projects, risk management and finance.

The course provides:

  • a definition of what project management is, how it differs from other management, and how it has evolved;
  • consideration of the key issues which arise in business that must be dealt with when contemplating projects;
  • a structure for project management that is easy to follow, based on proven techniques;
  • a glance into the agile project management technique (which stemmed from software development), which proves, that a strict sequencing (like in the waterfall project management) is not a prerequisite for success.

This course explores the place of projects in business in all sectors. It discusses the myth that there are such things as 'construction projects' or 'IT projects' or 'relocation projects', building on real-life examples to demonstrate that all of the functions of any organization need to work together, and that no single function can act without affecting the others.

Therefore the primary objective of this course is

  • to enable the student to successfully manage a project in the business environment;
  • to have the student understand and be able to integrate both the customer and the quality tools into project management;
  • to enable the student to select and use both “classical” (waterfall) and “modern” (agile) project management tools to successfully manage a project.

When the student has studied this course material and completed the assignments and the exam, he/she will be able to:

  • explain what a project is;
  • introduce a strategic, system perspective on the management of projects;
  • distinguish between projects and programs;
  • recognize the importance of setting project objectives;
  • discuss the range, scope, and complexity of modern projects;
  • distinguish between project management and line management;
  • define project management and describe its aims;
  • identify the major stages of a project;
  • identify which groups of people are involved at each stage of a project;
  • discuss the role of the modern project manager.

At the end of this course students will understand the relevance of project management to all organizations and endeavors, and why it matters strategically. The course introduces all of the main themes and explains why project management is a vital ingredient for corporate success.

Learning Outcomes: 

Core Learning Area

Learning Outcome

Knowledge and understanding

The course aims helping students to gain a solid understanding of the crucial and growing role played by project management in all areas of the modern business.

This course will also enable the students to expand their business communication with the technical terminology necessary for participating and/or running projects internationally.

Subject Specific Skills

Students who successfully complete this module will:

  • become more sensitive managers and consumers through increased understanding of the complexities of project management;
  • will appreciate the unique challenges inherent in planning, executing and controlling projects, which deliver quality outcomes for their beneficiaries;
  • learn to use the various tools and techniques for addressing various challenges along the execution of a project.

Attitudes and Values

By using real-life examples and small case-studies originating from the instructor’s more than 25 years of project management experience in multinational and multicultural environments the course wants to foster a better understanding of the ethical issues confronting a project manager. This ensures the development of cultural sensitivity and understanding of cultural diversity, thus promising development of internationally transferable management skills.

Enjoyment, Inspiration and Creativity

The course aims to give students an appreciation of the inter- and intra-company cross-functional coordination necessary to deliver successful projects.

Assessment: 

How the Class Sessions Will Be Conducted

A. Lectures

All associated presentations and/or lecture notes (in .pdf format), which cover the material in each class, will be available to the students either electronically, or from the instructor as handouts before the beginning of each classroom session. Ensure you listen to the lectures according to the schedule presented in this syllabus. The schedule is the minimum requirement; there is no penalty for working ahead.

B. Individual Participation and Class Discussion

To ensure successful course completion, regular attendance and participation is expected. Reading and homework assignments will be assigned in class.

The success of the class is highly dependent on careful student preparation prior to class and active student involvement during class discussions. Question and answer sessions will be conducted during the scheduled class times, based on the week’s lecture topics. All discussions and questions will be placed in their respective topics for ease of understanding by all class members.

All class members are invited to fully participate in the discussions, assisting their class members when they are able. This means class members may answers questions if they know the answers.

Participation is defined as actual work conducted in the classroom and in discussion groups. Class participation grades will be based both on quality and quantity of participation in class discussions and on attendance in class.

Class Attendance

Regular and punctual attendance at every class session is a requirement: each class covers material not found in the readings. Furthermore, participation in class discussions is an important part of the learning experience for all students as well as a factor in grading. If illness or another unusual circumstance requires missing a class, please do your best to inform me (or, if I cannot be reached, the Program Coordinator) in advance.

Minute Papers

Minute papers are unannounced short written exercises, given at the beginning, during, or end of a class. Their purpose is one or more of the following: (1) to check preparation on the assignment’s key points; (2) to stimulate critical thinking and sound reasoning; and (3) to obtain feedback about topics discussed in class.

Students will be assessed on the strength of written assignments To qualify, a minimum of 60% must be obtained for the given assignment.

Final Examination

Students will be evaluated on the basis of an approx. two-hour closed-book examination to be written at the end of the course. The examination will consist of various types of questions and will require essay answers, including the preparation of a short case analysis. The examination case will cover the course subject materials. To pass the course, students must obtain a minimum of 60% in the examination.

Grading

The determination of a grade for a student is based upon the following requirements:

                                    Points Possible

Class Discussion                         20

Minute Papers                            30

Final Examination                       50

Total                                      100

The instructor reserves the right to adjust the scale, that is, to grade on a "curve", should he find that significantly more than the usual number of students would not pass the course under the indicated grading scale or should the distribution of the grades represent an unrealistic pattern. (On the grading scale B+ is the average.)

Academic Integrity

The Instructor expects all students to adhere to the fundamental principles of academic integrity in any and all behaviors associated with their course work and otherwise, as stated in the CEU Honor Code (see Student Handbook). Attempted cheating of all forms is treated extremely seriously and can result in dismissal from the University.

Prerequisites: 

None