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Course Topics

The DPPM courses and book provide comprehensive coverage of the PM best practices, providing a road-map to apply the PM processes to your projects of any size, from any domain.  A complete topics listing is provided below.  Each course covers the most important topics in the time available, with an emphasis on any items desired by the customer.  The special edition of the book Deeply Practical Project Management For The Canadian Government also includes a description of the five most important PM principles for government, with a cross reference to sections providing more detailed information.



1. Project Management Overview

An overview of the most important concepts in project management.

•  Project Management Basics

What project management fundamentally does, who can use it, application to small projects, where projects come from, and why processes are useful.

•  The Project Management Institute Framework

The source of the best practices from the Project Management Institute (PMI), definition of projects and programs, different project players, and an overview of the whole best practice framework.

•  Basic Techniques & Tools

Basic PM techniques, common software tools.

•  The Strategic Plan

The all important link from the project Objective to the organization’s Strategic Plan.

•  The Triple Constraint

The most important concept in PM, the inter-relationship between the project scope, schedule, and budget.

•  The Three Keys To Project Success

What the research shows drives project success, and the three most important keys to project success.

•  The Project Manager

The critically important role of the Project Manager, the value of accountability and authority, and key Project Manager attributes and skills.

2. Project Initiation

The first stage in the formal PM process, setting up the project for success.

•  Introduction

An overview of the Initiation stage.

•  The Sponsor & Customer

The essential roles and responsibilities of the Project Sponsor and Customer.

•  Project Stakeholders

Identification and analysis of the project Stakeholders, and documenting the Stakeholder Register.

•  The Top-Level Scope

Identification of the first level project scope, including the all important project Objective, the assumptions and constraints, and the conceptual solution.

•  The Business Case

Preparing the initiation stage business case, estimating the project benefits and costs, and calculating the Benefit / Cost Ratio and Return On Investment.

•  The Project Manager & Mandate

Identification of the Project Manager, and formal documentation of their mandate.

•  The Project Charter

Formally documenting the Initiation stage in the Project Charter, and communicating it to the organization.

3. Project Planning

Planning and optimizing the project very efficiently, obtaining a realistic scope, schedule, budget, and risk baseline, and setting realistic expectations before project execution begins.

•  Introduction

An overview of the entire planning process in a one-page flowchart.

•  The Requirements

Identifying the scope detail that drives the project work, budget, and schedule.

•  The Top-Level Solution

Documenting a top-level project solution sufficient for the team to develop an accurate plan.

•  Project Deliverables

Identifying all the work products that will need to be developed during the project, and assigning them to team members.

•  The Project Logic

Developing the project flowchart, documenting the order in which the deliverables will need to be created to make the project happen.

•  Estimating

Determining the resources, material, services, time, and cost required to produce each project deliverable.

•  The Project Schedule

Calculating the overall project schedule, and identifying the all important critical path of work that drives the project end date.

•  Resource Planning

Performing resource levelling to ensure the schedule matches the available resources, and documenting critical resource planning.

•  The Project Cost

Rolling up the cost of the project to determine the total budget, assigning cost accounts, and developing a cost curve of spending across time.

•  Procurement Planning

Planning any procurements required by the project, and choosing the appropriate contract type and the best selection and award procedure.

•  The Risk Budget

Identifying the project risks, quantifying their probable time and cost impacts, proactively putting in place response plans to avoid or mitigate the risks as much as possible, and baselining a realistic risk budget.

•  Project Communications

Documenting the key communications to be carried out through the project.

•  The Project Management Plan

Documenting the scope, budget, schedule, and risk baselines in the project management plan, reviewing the plan with the Sponsor and Customer, and approaches to rebalancing the plan if needed to meet their constraints.

4. Execution

The essentials of the Execution stage, in which the team gets the project done.

•  Introduction

An overview of the Execution stage.

•  The Project Team

Building the best project team, dealing with different organizational structures, and the importance of delegation and team motivation.

•  Communication Modes

Different communication modes, and preferences for different kinds of work.

•  First Steps

The important of project kick-off meetings and requirements reviews.

•  Design & Build

The importance of designs and reviews before building the project work outputs.

•  Problem Identification

The Ishikawa (fishbone) process for identification of root causes.

5. Monitoring & Control

The essentials of Monitoring & Controlling the project progress while the team gets the project done.

•  Introduction

An overview of the Monitoring & Control stage.

•  The Weekly Heartbeat

How to conduct the all important weekly issues status meeting, the simplest and most important control to keep the project on track.

•  Managing Scope

Managing scope changes, performing a change impact analysis, and avoiding scope creep.

•  Managing Time

Statusing the project schedule, the essential keys to schedule management, and schedule compression through crashing and fast-tracking.

•  Managing Cost

Statusing the project cost, and managing the main drivers of the budget.

•  Managing Risk

Managing the risk budget, and controlling the key risk drivers.

•  Earned Value Management

The sophisticated but useful technique of Earned Value Management (EVM), used on larger projects.

•  Managing Quality

The over-riding importance of ensuring the project output quality, and how peer reviews and user reviews can help.

•  Problem Resolution

A summary of solutions for the most common project problems.

•  The Monthly Heartbeat

The importance of the regular monthly project review with the stakeholders, a one page monthly report format, and optimally constructive language and approaches to use when the project is encountering problems.

6.  Closing

The final stage in the PM process, bringing the project to an organized close.

•  Introduction

An overview of the Closing stage.

•  Procurement Closure

The essentials to closure of procurement contracts.

•  Project Acceptance

Ensuring successful project acceptance, including change management, scenario based verification, and practical criteria for project transition.

•  Lessons Learned Gathering

The invaluable step of lessons learned gathering, the keys to the process, and documentation of lessons learned so they can be used by others on future projects.

•  Team Closure

The importance of bringing the project to a human close, helping transition team members to other projects, and essentials of the final project celebration.

•  The Project Final Report

Documentation of the project outcome in the final report, including the final scope, schedule, budget status, any major risks and lessons learned, and the most important recommendations for next steps.


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