Project Management in Practice

  • Project Management in Practice Feature

    A Parallel developed course

  • Project Management in Practice Feature

    Can be tailored to your learning objectives, to include your processes, templates and documents

  • Project Management in Practice Feature

    Can be run face to face or online, over 1, 2, or 5 days

Project Management in Practice

What is the Project Management in Practice course?

Project management is the management of change and it is a key part of the skill set of any manager. This course provides a practical overview of how to manage change in a structured way. The benefits of this approach are to:

  • FeaturesEnsure support from the team through proper communication.
  • FeaturesUnderstand clear objectives and the benefits to be delivered
  • FeaturesAgree realistic plans for implementation of the project
  • FeaturesIdentify and manage the risk to the project.
  • FeaturesMaintain a simple but effective reporting structure and control changes.
  • FeaturesUnderstand how to build a project team.

The workshop sessions will use active learning methods to engage all the delegates in the learning process. These include:

  1. Individual exercises and self evaluation quizzes
  2. Small group brainstorming sessions “buzz groups”
  3. Case study syndicate exercises using a course project
  4. Formal team presentations of the team plans for peer review by the course group and tutors

Typical Learning Objectives

At the end of the course delegated will be able to:

  • FeaturesUnderstand the importance and the benefits of project management.
  • FeaturesImprove project professionals understanding of project management processes
  • FeaturesApply the organisational project lifecycle framework, elucidating the rationale behind each phase.
  • FeaturesFormulate project objectives, benefits, constraints, and assumptions through stakeholder and external context analysis.
  • FeaturesClearly, define project objectives and scope based on an analysis of the external project context and stakeholder needs.
  • FeaturesUnderstand the importance of establishing and maintaining plans and other project documentation for the successful implementation of the project.


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Tailoring the Course to You

At Parallel, we are experienced at tailoring the Project Management in Practice course to individual client needs. The course is designed in a way to allow us great flexibility to ensure the course meets it’s objectives.

In a bespoke project management training course, it is crucial to ensure that the training programmes are specifically targeted towards meeting the needs of the business. Through the years, we have developed a structured development process that works closely with our corporate clients to deliver training that caters to their unique requirements and delivers measurable business benefits. To achieve these goals, we follow four simple phases that can be tailored to suit your needs. These phases are as follows:

Using the course outline below, we work closely with clients to develop a detailed curriculum, materials, and activities that align with the learning objectives identified. This might mean enhancing, removing, adding or reducing certain topics from the list below. If your organisation has identified a weakness in risk management, for example, we will enhance this area of the course to ensure a greater focus.

During the course development, we will also assist in selecting appropriate training methodologies, creating presentation materials, case studies, exercises and resources, such as textbooks and videos.

Course Structure

Course Introduction

An introduction to the course, learning objectives and structure. Delegate introductions and discussion of their individual needs, the skills they bring to the group and the ideals for improving project delivery within their team

How Projects Impact on Business as Usual?

In this session we explore how projects generate change in business as usual and an overview of the tools and techniques used by project managers to implement change. This will include clarity about the roles of the sponsor, project manager and users and the use of a project lifecycle to provide a structured approach to project management.

Exercise: Mapping the project management roles across the project lifestyle

Tools and techniques used

  1. Project lifestyle and role mapping

Defining the Project Objective

As the start of any change it is important to fully understand the objectives, constraints and assumptions to be made. In this module we will use analysis of the external context using the “windows of wisdom” to identify the success criteria for projects, the constraints that apply and the role the project plays in corporate strategy.

Syndicate Exercise: An analysis of external project context for a case study or a real delegate project.

Tools and techniques used

  1. The windows of wisdom to identify the project success criteria, context, environment and internal political drivers

Stakeholder Management

In this session we will also develop a plan for project communications based on an analysis of the different stakeholder groups.

Syndicate Exercise: A stakeholder analysis and communications planning for a case study or a real delegate project.

Tools and techniques used

  1. Stakeholder analysis
  2. Communications planning

Developing the business case

A full understanding of the business case is developed by considering a number of options and the relative merits or each.
Once a clear strategy has emerged, then a project brief (or business case) can be used to authorise the project.

Syndicate Exercise: preparation of a project brief for a case study or real delegate project. This will include consideration of the different options for implementation of the project.

Tools and techniques used:

  1. Options appraisal
  2. Cost benefit analysis

Tower Build 1 Exercise

A practical exercise to demonstrate the application of project management to a stimulated project.

Developing the Scope

The foundation of good planning is a clear definition of the project scope.
This can be derived from an analysis of the project deliverables and requirements, followed by the progressive sevelopment of the work breakdown structure. In this session we will examine a number of ways in which a clear project scope can be defined including informal and formal techniques such as “the rope of scope” or the work breakdown structure.

Syndicate Exercise: defining the scope for a case study or real delegate project.

Tools and techniques used:

  • Rope of scope
  • Sope definition using product breakdown structure, work breakdown structures and role assignment matrixes
Can Too Much Communication Slow a Project Down

Developing the Project Schedule

Understanding the dependencies between the delivery of different work packages and teams at an early stage is vital to the smooth delivery of projects. The precedence diagram is the method to develop these linkages between activities, work packages and teams. We will explore a range of linking relationship available to develop a fair representation of the work plan.

This session includes:

a.Development and use of the precedence diagram.
b. Typical dependencies including finish-start, start-start, finish-finish.
c. The use of leads and lags.
d. Critical path
e. Resource and cost planning

Tools used are:

  1. Critical path analysis
  2. Resources planning including levelling and smoothing
  3. Developing a cost profile of S-curve

Syndicate Exercise: defining the project schedules for a case study or a real delegate project.

This course can be tailored to your own company requirements


Accurate estimating of cost and timescales is vital for many project plans. In this section we look at different tools and techniques to produce accurate estimates.
This includes comparative, parametric and bottom up estimating techniques.

Exercise producing and estimate with a tolerance of 1% accuracy.

Techniques used are

  1. Comparative estimating
  2. Parametric estimating
  3. Bottom up estimating
on-site courses

Risk Management

Every project is subject to risk and also generates risk for the business. In this session we look at how to manage risk on a project. Including risk identification, assessment and planning techniques.

Exercise evaluating the risks for our case study project.

Techniques used are

  1. Checklist, prompt lists, assumption analysis, Delphi, interview, document reviews, the probability impact grid and the risk mitigation strategies.

Project control, reporting and change control

Successful project execution requires regular communications to ensure any issues are identified early and action is taken to keep the project on track.
This requires simple but effective reporting and a rigorous control of change. In this session we will look at case studies which have suffered from poor change control and report and evaluate how these have affected the project outcomes.

Exercises change control case study

Tools used are

  1. The project control cycle
  2. Highlight reporting using red, amber green status
  3. Change control and scope management

Tower Build 2 Exercise

A practical exercise to demonstrate the application of project management to a project

Self-reflection and action planning

The final session includes the presentation of the plans prepared in syndicate exercises for peer review by the group, followed by individual action planning to define the next steps to apply what has been learned in the course in the workplace.

Individual Exercise: Planning next steps in the workplace

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