Course at a glance

Introduction

Project Management spans a wide industrial sector base including engineering, construction, information technology, manufacturing and many other business sectors. It can either form a permanent role or a short-term consultancy within an organisation to help plan, organise, run, monitor and evaluate and exiting a specific piece of work. This course provides a foundation in structured Project Management with a specific focus and appeal to Information Systems and has an IT bias. The reason for this is that the amount of business done electronically has increased exponentially in the last two decades. A discussion on why it is used, why it can prove difficult and its importance is discussed throughout. Tools to support the work will be investigated and evaluated.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will explore the introduction into project management
  • Discover project planning methods
  • Review tools and techniques used
  • Understand the reasoning behind using management reports

This course consists of Ten Units and is a qualification awarded by Oxford Learning College, in its own right; with the quality assurance of a leading awarding body (CIE Global) that hallmarks this professional qualification.

Assessment Objectives (AO)

AO: 1

Students must select and demonstrate clearly relevant knowledge and understanding through the use of evidence, examples and correct language and terminology appropriate to the course of study. This assessment, involves two written assignments: one halfway through the course and following the final unit. Both are assessed and graded by the assigned tutor, according to college procedures. The grading procedure if Pass or Fail. If you Fail an assessment you have the opportunity to amend where your tutor has highlighted and resubmit.

AO: 2

Students must critically evaluate and justify a point of view through the use of evidence and reasoned argument. Students can include evidence in different formats to support their written work such as documentation or images to support their course remembering Confidentiality and Data Protection.

Quality of Written Communication (QWC)

In addition, OLC require students’ to produce written material in English, candidates must: ensure that text is legible and that spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPG) are accurate so that meaning is clear; select and use a form and style of writing appropriate to studying a complex subject matter; organise information clearly and coherently, using specialist vocabulary when appropriate and Harvard referencing of citation and sources. In this Specification, SPG will be assessed in all tutor marked assignments (TMAs)

To ensure that we maintain quality standards; all our students written assignments are subject to our plagiarism policy and procedure.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Entry Requirement

Entry to this Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma course requires that potential students have gained GCSE/IGCSE or equivalent qualifications and have, good English oral, reading and writing skills.

Advice on enrolment and guidance of prior learning (APL) can be obtained through out contact centre. The course is a rolling programme and can be started at any point in the year. Successful students can go on to Higher Education, including remaining as students at OLC to complete courses in our portfolio of higher awards.

All students must be aged 16 or over.

Assessment

The coursework is assessed through continuous assessment with no formal exit examinations.

Study Hours

Approximately: 200 hours of personal study time for the entire course is recommended. All of which is supported by the OLC Course Tutor, who we greatly encourage students to access support from throughout their course.

Quality Assurance

This course has been developed by the College’s professional team of tutors to meet the needs of sector based employers and employees. Further details of our accreditations are provided on our website.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Course Length

1 Year.

Awarding Body

AccordAI

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Course Content

The whole level three diploma has TEN specific units of study, which are sub-divided into topic areas these are:

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 1: Introduction to Project Management

Project Management is structured into the three important elements of Planning, Organization and Control, and each element will be examined within the project lifecycle activities. The structured approach to implement Project Management and the concepts of the APM Body of Knowledge, the latter of which has been produced to establish quality standards within the profession is considered. It is used because is a tried and tested way of using a process known to work, can be costed and monitored. Setting goals, written contract or plan after discussion with all the stakeholders is shown. Particular focus will be given to Infrastructure Projects, Software Engineering, Business Process Re-Engineering, Enterprise Management Systems, Bespoke Systems build (Programming), Package Implementations, E-Commerce Systems and Desktop Systems.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 2: Project Management Methods

Irrespective of the size, type and nature of a project, they all have similar processes and methods. This section will explore the different structured approaches to implementing project management. The emphasis is on proving the importance of using a structured approach, and why an unstructured process is less efficient is discussed since not everybody advocates the use of adopting a structured approach. How the better and distinct methods have conquered that problem by providing scaled down versions for small business applications is explored. Equally, adopting an interface to Programme Management techniques where there is a requirement to manage an integrated portfolio of projects.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 3: Project Planning

A project will produce outcomes and success if everyone is made clear about the methodology and their role in the process. The technique for the start to completion of the Project Planning requirements within Project Management is explored. There are numerous packages and software planning tools depending on the nature of the project, in particular Microsoft Project 2003, so how each is used project is explored. The following areas will be covered to see how the project can be broken into sections and summarised using visual charts, e.g. Project Scheduling, The Gantt, Pert or RAP Chart, Product Flow Diagrams and Breakdown Structures and Quality Products. setting goals, targets and milestones and how to managing risk is covered in detail as this is key to managing change. The planning of reports is also done from the offset, and who and how this is done is covered in depth as it will be the key document for the executive to what has been done and in guiding them to changes that need to be implemented.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 4: Project Organization

Once a project is planned, who does what needs to be discussed with every stakeholder. Different skills and the use of leaders to e.g. direct, collaborate, coerce or consult are useful in making people motivated to do what is instructed and decided. Project Organisation also considers how resources are utilized on the project. This will be explored in association with the structured approach, e.g. on how to establishing a Project Board and their role which can be depicted visually to ensure everyone is informed of their roles. Key roles in project management will be discussed e.g. the Assurance, Support, Change leader and head of Risk. Communication is vital so the use of the intranet e-enablement is addressed.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 5: Project Control

There are five crucial elements to managing a project which need to be controlled to the conclusion of the projects and these are: time; cost; quality; scope and risk. This can be done by controlling each variable with a detailed plan and a checklist. The initial organisation must include an examination of Project Briefs and Initiation Documents, any deliverables, how to assess progress [including risk] from start, midway and to the end, set checkpoint for quality which can be shared at project Board meetings. Throughout the project monthly highlight reports showing control measures and milestones will be produced so how best to do this is explored. Finally the successful conclusion of a project is needed and how to do this is discussed.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 6: Tools and Techniques

The most difficult thing to estimate and allow for is time. It is difficult to know how much staff time will be needed, and when at times we might be paying over £3000 for an expert per day, the importance of this becomes clear. Credibility and respect are important, and if a project is mismanaged these are quickly lost. Ways to allow for the unexpected using Critical Path Analysis are discussed, e.g. common checkpoints such as contingency plans for loss of staff through unexpected meetings, other demands on their time and illness. The key tools are how to estimate and log time and resources needed, and being aware of progress by setting targets which are controlled by a Controlling Steering Committee. An agile and extremely organised project management is required and the skills needed to do this are shared.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 7: Project Management Reports

The amount of paperwork and bureaucracy arising in a project is vast so it needs to be organised to be worthwhile, useful, communicate progress and act as a guide for the executive and all concerned. The type of reports that need to be produced in the management of a successful project involving constructive communication are discussed, e.g. weekly or monthly highlight reports, financial control, change, risk management and quality reports. These reports keep management aware of progress and abreast of any problems and it starts to raise awareness of key findings that will be embedded into the final report which includes any lessons learned. How to configure, structure and write appropriate and useful reports is covered in detail.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 8: Project Estimating Techniques

A project idea in its inception needs to be justified to the executive in order to get funding and support. In order to do this how to propose anticipated benefits, design a methodology and describe potential costs and resources needed is explained. Generally skills are gained by using past case studies and outcomes of successful projects. Computer software exists to help with this, but certain amount of skills and experience can help define a rough estimate of what will be required. Often this involves a complex mathematical model and some useful software applications are examined. Key to success is learning how to involve the staff who will be involved in the project, e.g. identifying any potential experts, suitable managers and motivators.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 9: Managing Project Change

As an organisation grows or progresses in order to meet current trends and stay modern within its environment, some change will be recommended. Often when consultants are brought in they assume that they are change managers and will look immediately at what they can change. Key to change management is identify what needs to be changed and use an integrated approach, e.g. IT can be updated or a more efficient software identified, change of organisational structure or roles and responsibilities of staff or to meet new legislative rules and recommendations such as Equality training. How change management works, what strategy they use and the techniques involved in helping change within an organisation are discussed since often there might be resistance and unhappiness even stress and illness at what is seen as introduction of the new and unfamiliar. How to make change efficient and transformative, and the skills needed to do this are explained.

Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma Unit 10: Global Project Management

It has become clear that much can be learned from looking at successful global markets such as in south East Asia particularly IT in China, India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea and also in outsourcing to countries where certain areas of business are cheaper and better quality. A review of how the profession is responding to change and the demands placed upon it by the global business transformation taking place is discussed. Factors and issues such as demands of the global economy in Project Management and the knowledge needed, standards and business ethics are explored. Although business English is the universal language, a look at the international Project Management profession, including issues and challenges such as cultural awareness to implement a cross-global team that works well, respectfully, effectively and efficiently.

Progression

This Accredited Level 3 Project Management Diploma can be used to gain entry to a Level 4 Diploma or higher.