This practitioner-led course exposes students to fundamental project management concepts and the behavioral skills necessary to launch, lead, and actualize benefits from projects across sectors. Planners, designers, policy makers, real estate developers, and those working in adjacent industries are often in a position of leading, supporting, or influencing projects and initiatives with multiple moving pieces. Sometimes an individual is explicitly in control, whereas sometimes a project manager must achieve success without influence – and find ways to garner resources and stakeholder support from those not directly under her/his control. Skilled project managers oversee resources, schedules, scope, risks, and both internal and external factors to deliver positive results.
In this course, students explore project management with a hands-on, pragmatic approach through case studies, real exercises, and live examples. Students can expect a combination of reading and hands-on work to practice real-life skills and application to advance current and future projects, with exposure to different software programs that are commonly used by today’s practitioners. We will give special attention to controversial projects, operating in a resource-constrained environment, and “managing up” as a project manager. As a class, we will review causes of project failure and success, and risk mitigation during early project phases.
Note: this class is designed to be highly participatory, with both short individual assignments and a group project. The best way of learning project management is by doing, and that is what we will be endeavoring on together. Students will be expected to spend time together outside of class on group assignments and will be graded both by the instructor and via 360 peer reviews on their contributions to group projects.
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