Essentials of Project Management (PMP 0400)


Phone: 703-993-2109

Fax: 703-993-2121

Organizations are successfully using project management concepts to deal with increasingly competitive markets, financial pressures to improve performance, restructuring, and globalization. Project management provides a structure for dealing with the "faster, better, cheaper" pressures that most organizations are facing.

Sound project management cannot be left to chance. This comprehensive three-day course provides participants with an overview of the essential elements (e.g., selecting projects, planning, managing and control, etc.) of project management and the project management life cycle. Participants gain an understanding of the techniques, practice and new directions for project management; and gain practical experience with approaches to achieving successful project performance.

PMI, PMP, PMBOK, and the PMI Registered Education Provider logo are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
This foundational course goes beyond the "What is project management" to providing practical "How To" guidance, tools and techniques, and processes you can implement immediately.

This key core course is case study based. To enhance learning and retention, attendees use a real project to learn and practice project management.

There are no prerequisites for this course. The level of this course is basic.
Introduction to Project Management
  • Definition of a project
  • Why project management
  • Project life cycle
  • Organization structures (functional vs. matrix and borrowed resources)
  • Translating needs into requirements

Project Selection and Planning
  • Project selection approaches
  • Decision methodologies (decision trees, analytical hierarchy process)
  • Project evaluation techniques
  • Estimation (costs, schedule and requirements)
  • Project financing

Project Management and Leadership
  • Special demands on project managers
  • Selecting the project manager and the project team
  • Project communications
  • Organizational structure (teams and team development)
  • Characteristics of successful project management
  • Management styles, leadership and motivation
  • Procedure management

Project Planning and Estimating
  • Work breakdown structure
  • Scheduling techniques (precedence diagrams, PERT/CPM, Gantt and milestone charts)
  • Budgeting techniques (S-curve, earned value)
  • Resource allocation techniques (resource loading and leveling)

Risk and Quality Management
  • Fundamentals of risk (e.g., what is risk?)
  • Methods for dealing with risk and uncertainty
  • Risk assessment and management process
  • Risk Severity Matrix Approach
  • Risk simulation (Monte Carlo simulation)
  • Historic roots of quality management
  • Current approaches to quality

Project Execution and Control
  • Project execution (configuration management)
  • Project control (measuring work performance)
  • Financial controls (activity based accounting)
  • Integrated cost and schedule control (Earned value)
Attendees receive materials to enhance classroom instruction:

  • Course workbook
  • Reference text is provided to assist course attendees in future projects. The text, An Introduction to Project Management, Fourth Edition by Kathy Schwalbe, is provided. The text is an excellent future project management reference and follows the logical progression of project initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing.
100% attendance and participation are expected from participants.
George Mason University is a PMI® Global Registered Education Provider.

PDU Credits:
  • The Essentials of Project Management course is pre-approved for 21 PDUs
PMI- Project Management Institute- Registered Education Provider
It is highly recommended (but not required) that the Essentials of Project Management course is taken first. Remaining Certificate courses may be taken in any order.

Managers and mid-level professionals who are faced with increasing pressures to improve organizational performance should take this course. This course is also intended for individuals who aspire to be project managers and recently assigned project managers. For existing managers, the course provides a refresher course on the state-of-the-art of project management. Course participants should have had some exposure to project management processes and techniques.

For individuals seeking to pass the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification examination offered by Project Management Institute, this course serves as the foundation course prior to taking the George Mason course: PMP 0401: Project Management Certification: PMP® Exam Preparation.
Please click here for a list of our instructors.
"I highly recommend this course – whether professional planner or simply a team member – creates a common language for project planning and management."

"One of the best courses I’ve taken!"

"After taking [this] class I have realized some area of improvements that will help me become a great project manager. This course really opened my eyes to the methodology that has been proven to work. The Project Management idea and process taught will help me grow as an individual, as a project manager and my company overall."

"This course was a great refresher to project management."

"The course gave me a better understanding of Project Management practices and provided me important information to obtain my PMP."

"Great introduction to project management. I have PM experience, but the course reinforces job application with practical application."

"I would recommend this course to others for the content and small group work. I think it breaks up the day nicely and encourages participation and teambuilding."

"If you want to be a better project manager take the course."

"[This course] Offers a helpful overview of the PM process and equips students with vocabulary to identify and discuss project issues and methods for improvement."

"It provided a great overview of project management which complimented my existing skills."

"I took a PM Essentials course at another organization and this course was much more informative."

"Highly recommend this course to others! Materials were clear and legible; mediums used were functional and effective."

"I really was able to see how these tools can be applied to my current job. I feel like my work will improve."

"Learned a lot from this course coming from a pure technical background with no management experience."

"Provided a lot of overview knowledge regarding Project Management that can be immediately applied on the job."

"The course gives an excellent overview of the PM process particularly in how it relates to contracting and other levels of the business process."

"Fantastic course - would recommend this course to all."

"This course truly helped me identify the essentials needed to carry out a successful project."

"I thought this was extremely good, high level course. I am excited to get into more details with some of the other courses in this program."

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