The ZEBS MBA course “Project Management” started with project definitions, project functions, project roles and the project management model. The model described different steps within the project process and this model was the leitmotif for the following 3 days. It was very well structured and comprehensible for everyone. We, ZEBS students, were asked to form groups to adopt the theoretical content on a real project. We started with the project initiative and defined in our groups the initial position, the content, the relevant stakeholders and defined the roles of client and project manager.
Defining a project structure is not as easy as it seems to be. The planning process considers the project objectives, the costs, the resources, the project timeline with milestones and several other factors. Especially the definition of restrictions and frame conditions were intensively discussed within the groups. The result of the planning process after two days group work was the project structure plan as a key element of a project. Simulating a real life situation, every group presented their structure plans in front of the client. The direct feedback helped every group to improve their plans.
The role of a project manager is complex and requires a lot of time and structural know-how. These skills don’t guarantee a successful project. The factor of human resources and leading the project members is the challenging one and significant for the project result. The question of “How do project managers lead their project teams” was the headline on the third day. The resistance of changes influences the project progress and the project manager needs to identify the implicit message and transform it into a project success.
Summing up the three days it was a very well structured course. The group work gave us the possibility to transform the theoretical material into a real project without using Microsoft Project. From my point of view it was the first project management course where I learned how project management really works. Not only the structure but also the affordable soft skills of a project manager required to yield project success.
Michael, IMP student