Project Management – General PM | Academy of Knowledge

Project Management

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The Project Management short course not only covers the fundamental tools and techniques of project management, but also provides perspective on general principles of management that can be applied to virtually all professions. Apart from its value as one of our independent short courses online, the course also means that a student who performs sufficiently therein (and meets other admission criteria) may gain admission to the Advanced Diploma learning programme or exemption from the first module of the Advanced Certificate learning programme (Module Alpha), depending on his or her situation.

Note that such admission and exemption are not automatic following the completion of the course: These depend on an assessment performed by the Cranefield Admissions Committee, considering all recognition of prior learning (RPL) and practical experience to date.

The course is specifically designed for:

  • Professional project managers.
  • Other professionals who wish to master the essentials of management for the purpose of applying these skills in their particular work contexts.


Benefits of the Project Management Short Course:

  • Provides perspective on general principles of management that can be applied to virtually all professions.
  • Teaches you the fundamental tools and techniques of project management.

The student’s step-by-step study guide systematically navigates him or her through the video lectures and other study material. The course lecturers are also personally available online to answer any specific questions that a student might have about the work. The student will complete practical assignments involving baseline planning and critical analysis of real-world case studies, which will be formally evaluated (with personal feedback).

A broad outline of the contents of the syllabus is as follows:

  1. General Principles of Management: An introduction

    • Leadership
    • People
    • Communication
    • Strategy
    • Customer focus
    • Employee empowerment and decentralised decision-making
    • Continuous improvement
    • Systems thinking
    • Common mistakes and problems in organisations
  2. Project Management Overview

    • Attributes of a project
    • Project life-cycle
    • The project management process
    • Benefits of project management
    • Preparing a request for proposal
    • Developing a winning proposal
    • Proposal contents
    • Pricing considerations
    • Proposal submission and follow-up
  3. The Project Manager, Teams and Organisations

    A – The Project Manager and Team

    • Responsibilities of the project manager
    • Skills of the project manager
    • The new-economy functions of management
    • Leading, creating, implementing and improving in the project life-cycle
    • Project team development and effectiveness
    • Conflict on projects
    • Problem-solving
    • Project communication and documentation
    • Personal communication
    • Reports

    B – Types of Project Organisation

    • Functional-type organisation
    • Project-type organisation
    • Matrix-type organisation
    • Advantages and disadvantages
  4. Project Planning, Monitoring and Control

    A – Planning the Work

    • Project objective
    • Feasibility
    • Estimating
    • Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
    • Organisational Breakdown Structure (OBS)
    • Linear Responsibility Charts (LRCs)
    • Developing the network plan
    • Role of project management software
    • Critical path method
    • Schedule bar charts
    • Cumulative budgeted cost (CBC) 

    B – Working the Plan

    • Project monitoring and control
    • Trade-off analysis
    • Cost-benefit analysis (scope changes)
  5. Scope Management

    • Effective change control systems
    • Managing change
    • Post-project evaluation
  6. Procurement

    • Procurement Schedule
    • Procurement Cycle
  7. Project Accounts

    • Determining Actual Cost
    • Determining the Value of Work Performed
    • Cost Performance Analysis
    • Cost Forecasting
    • Cost Control
    • Managing Cash Flow
  8. Resource Planning

    • Resource Considerations
    • Resource-Constrained Planning
    • Planned Resource Utilisation
    • Resource Levelling
    • Resource-Limited Scheduling
  9. Project Risk Management

    • External Risk
    • Internal Risk 

All short courses are completed individually through technology-enhanced distance learning. You do not need to attend any classes. You have access to your lecture videos and other material on a weekly basis, and all your assignments are submitted online.

The 2017 fee is R 13, 500.00. Persons based outside South Africa are charged the equivalent of the fee amount in GBP (pounds sterling) at current exchange rates. Payment of fees must be effected before access to the course. In special cases, an arrangement can be made for payment in two to three instalments.

Short courses are available internationally. A new cycle of short courses starts every quarter (i.e. January, April, July, and October). Please see the top right of the current page for the next start date of this short course. Although it is best to register as soon as possible before the start date, you may still join the course up to one week following the start date. If you miss that latest intake date (i.e. one week after the start date), you will be able to join the next cycle in the following quarter.

You will complete weekly exercises in preparation for your final examination. The questions may involve multiple choice, a brief discussion of an important issue, or solving a short case study. Your final course mark will be based on the score achieved in your final examination (at least 50% to pass). A certificate is awarded upon successful completion of the course. Should you achieve a distinction (75% or higher), this will be so indicated on your certificate.

The course is open to anyone who is basically proficient in English and has internet access.

The distance learning approach requires a student only to have basic Internet and email access.