Arguably software development projects are run by the team leaders: the team leaders do the detailed estimating, planning, tracking and reporting which is summarised up the management line by the project manager.
Whether it is the project leader, development team leader, test team leader or user team leader, many project management tasks will be delegated to them by the project manager or project director. The I.T. Project Management training course has 'project management' in its title but this does not mean it is a course only for project managers. It is a course for team members, teams leaders, users (and project managers) who want to find out how to run IT projects.
Some project team leaders are sent on courses which teach how to use Microsoft Project or another planning tool in the mistaken belief they will get project management education and will then know how to run projects.
Equally, project managers or career managers sometimes send software developers on courses which teach a project management methodology such as Prince2 - courses that aim to get them through the exam at the end. But these may teach little about how actually to run projects: how to define projects, how to ensure a disciplined application development lifecycle is followed, how to estimate project costs, how to build the project plan, how to report project status, etc.
The I.T. Project Management course covers project management specifically in the context of software development projects. It trains team leaders, aspiring project managers, etc how to run these projects. It does not teach dry PM theory, nor how to use a planning tool, nor how to do mathematical critical path analysis, nor how to pass a Prince2 exam, nor even does it teach the administrative impositions of a particular project management system. The course teaches how to run software development projects: what the team leaders, business users, project manager and anyone who will have a leadership role should do to make their projects succeed.
The course is suitable both for aspiring team leaders and project managers. The course covers the software development lifecycle in a jargon free way so business users will understand what they should do at each stage (requirements, design, etc.) of the project lifecycle. Since the course covers the principles upon which project management methods are based it is applicable whatever project management method your organisation uses. Participants will exercise personal skills during this training course: teamworking, making presentations and the ability to work to tight deadlines.
Experienced project managers who are new to software development projects will also find the course useful. Project Directors, Programme Managers and Programme Directors may wish to consider having a private course run for their project managers and team leaders as this is an effective way of establishing a common programme-wide project management culture - and affords an opportunity for valuable team building.
Similarly, anyone charged with the task of improving an organisation's project management skills will find that this course is an effective way of changing the culture and of ensuring that more disciplined project management methods are actually used.
Estimating software projects - in hours or money - is not easy. The course describes techniques for top down estimating and shows how estimates which are uncertain at the start of a project should be refined at later project phases. Bottom up estimating techniques are covered. Although only one of the course modules is entitled Estimating, you cannot be a good estimator without understanding the software development lifecycle, how to do project definition, how to construct a schedule, how to do effective time recording, how to factor in risk contingency, etc. I.E. you need to understand just about all the topics covered on the course to know how to be a good estimator.
Project reporting is often a task for the team leader. The course shows how the team leader or project leader should track status, control progress and how the team leader should report status. Sample project status reports are shown and illustrations and case studies demonstrate how factual, numerical reporting data can be an effective management tool.
The course will also help explain some basic IT jargon to non-technical business people. The training will certainly provide business people involved in managing IT projects with ways of establishing project status without having to understand IT jargon and will make it harder for IT people to hide behind technobabble!
The course shows how quality management principles as enshrined in terms such as Total Quality Management - TQM - are applied to IT software development projects and also how non-technical managers can monitor and control the quality of software during development, rather than waiting for User Acceptance Test to find out if quality is excellent or not. However, quality management is not something you can isolate: it is not just about doing inspections or producing quality measurements (and it certainly isn't all about testing). Software quality will only be good if the project is properly defined; if the team understand the "manufacturing process" (i.e. development lifecycle); if estimates are good; if the plan is sound (otherwise there can be chaos which is not usually a recipe for good quality); if change is controlled; if progress is monitored and controlled, etc. In other words you could say the whole course is actually about managing quality and could equally well be titled "software development quality management".
Roles of sponsor, project manager, project leader, team leader, quality leader and many others are discussed and sample role descriptions are given.
If you want to find out what you should be doing as an effective project leader or team leader, or indeed as a user manager or project manager, to ensure yours is a good software development project then this is the course for you.
The project management course has now been encapsulated in this free online project management book:
Project Management Book.
Free year planners and wall charts. Academic year, fiscal year and calendar year.
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