I just finished teaching four 3-hour sessions on Project Management to graduate students at the UofT. The objective of the sessions was to provide the participants with a practical and functional understanding of the core principles and tools of project management that can be directly apply to their day-to-day work. Outlined below is the agenda:
I wanted the participants to learn through their own experiences, so I divided the session into three main sections:
1) A set of exercises to build a simple (spaghetti and marshmallow) structures that involved sub-groups making designs and plans and then passing off for others to interpret and build. This was effective in illustrating the importance of good communication as well as the constraints of scope, quality, time and cost (there was a material budget).
2) An exercise involving a PERT diagram and a Gantt chart to "crash" a 12-week plan back to 10-weeks. This provided some experience with these two main tools as well as work breakdown structures, dependencies, the critical path a the condo again the constraints of time and cost (adding additional labour incurred escalating costs).
3) A 20-slide lecture to reinforce the experiences, learnings and discussions that arose from the exercises as well as provide some of the key concepts and terminology used in project management.
The feedback from this experiential experiment was very positive, so I'm looking to explore similar approaches in the future.
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