Best Free MOOCs In Business For December

Introduction to Project Management (Specialization)

School: University of California-Irvine

Platform: Coursera

Registration Link: CLICK HERE

Start Date: December (Self-Paced)

Workload: 2-3 Hours Per Week

Instructor: Margaret Meloni

Credentials: Meloni is the President of Meloni Coaching Solutions, where she provides online and in-person soft skill consulting for project managers on areas like self-assessments, conflict management, and career rehabilitation. Her clients have included: Occidental Petroleum, Northrop Grumman, Toyota Motor Credit, Southern California Edison, and CalStart. She holds an MBA from Long Beach State University and was a contributing author to 101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career.

Graded: Students can choose to explore course videos, discussions, and ungraded assignments for free, but they won’t be able to submit graded assignments, earn a certificate, or complete a specialization without paying a $69 fee for each course.

Course Descriptions: This specialization consists of three courses plus a capstone project. These courses include:

Initiating and Planning Projects: “Jump in and do it.” You’ve probably received such advice when you’re hesitant. When it comes to project management, you’re better off reflecting and planning before you start executing. In this course, Meloni will teach you the key questions you should ask yourself before you draft and implement a plan. In particular, you’ll learn how to pinpoint outcomes and understand who your stakeholders are and what roles they play. At the same time, you’ll closely examine the project requirements (scope) and how to identity potential constraints with your timeline, expertise, and budget early in the process. Even more, you’ll understand the importance of continuous communication of your expectations and timelines, as well as how to adapt as difficulties emerge and variables change.  When the course concludes, you’ll be able to draft scope statements and project plans, as well as appreciate the interpersonal dynamics that can spell success or failure. The course will consist of video lectures, quizzes, activities and readings.

Budgeting and Scheduling Projects: In an ideal world, all projects would come in on time and under budget. But unexpected events, ranging from bad weather to vendor delays, can wreak havoc on a project plan. That said, better plans tend to weather such challenges. In this course, you’ll learn how to better budget your time, money, and resources to ensure a successful project launch. In particular, this course examines establishing resource needs, estimating costs, defining timelines and milestones, incorporating leads and lags, and balancing quality with constraints. The course will consist of video lectures, quizzes, activities and readings.

Managing Project Risks and Changes: Want to know the real secret behind project management? It’s communication. Sure, it helps you persuade, set clear expectations, and even inspire. When your scope or deadline changes, good communication can comfort and unite your stakeholders as well. In project management, change is inevitable. However, the best leaders know how to mitigate the risks inherent to change. And they do it in a way, as Meloni notes, that is “least disruptive” to the team and the operation as a whole. In this course, students will learn how to communicate with various constituencies on topics ranging from reporting status to responding to adversity. In addition, the course covers how to prioritize risk, understand cause-and-effect, manage change, and reduce future difficulties by conducting “lessons learned” sessions. The course will consist of video lectures, quizzes, activities and readings.

Review: “This is a very basic introduction to project management, good for beginners without any previous knowledge. The quizzes are very simple.” For additional reviews, click here.

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