Short Learning Programme on Project Management

The NWU Business School has special expertise in the field of Management. Project Management has been developed in order to plan, co-ordinate and control the complex and diverse activities of modern industrial and commercial projects. All projects share one common characteristic – the projection of ideas and activities into new endeavours.

Purpose of the course

After studying this module, participants should be able to understand the nature of projects, project management as well as project lifecycles and phases. Participants will learn to understand human resource and communications management and the importance of quality management, project time planning and cost management. This course also takes a look at risk management, project procurement and contract management.

Admission requirements

Admission requirements
Any person who needs to deal with project management on a frequent basis.
Learning assumed to be in place
National Senior Certificate or an equivalent NQF Level 4 qualification.

Course outcomes and assessment criteria

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria

Study Unit


Assessment Criteria

  After completion of this course, participants will: Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:
Introduction to Project Management. Understand the nature of projects and project management.

- Understand terms such as project, deliverable, stakeholder, programme, project management, due date, cost account and work package.

- Indicate how project management differs from programme management, functional management and from production and operations management

- Describe the concept of project hierarchy and explain the three-dimensional goal of a project.

- Understand and explain the trade-offs between the objectives of cost, schedule and performance.

- Provide an explanation of why certain projects are successful in meeting the three-dimensional goal while others fail to meet this goal.

- Describe the multi-disciplinary nature of projects and the consequences thereof.

- Motivate the benefits of project management.
Project Management Principles and Cycles. Understand project lifecycles and phases.

- Explain the aim and value of breaking up the project lifecycle into phases.

- Classify projects as ones with physical deliverables and ones without physical deliverables.

- Explain how the project lifecycle differs from product lifecycle by giving an example.

- Explain how a phased project approach could be utilised to control a project and to manage project risks.

- Describe the terms: “milestone”, “project phase”, “fast-tracking” and “baseline”. Explain the role of a milestone meeting.

- Given project phases, determine what to plan in detail and what to plan only roughly.

- For his or her study project and for other project within his or her work environment, define and describe the phases and main deliverables of each phase.

- Explain how the personalities of some people are better suited to serve as team members during the initials stages of a project while others fit in better during the late stages.

- Explain how the style of the project manager should change over the project lifecycle.

- Explain the S-curve of project progress.

- Give examples of projects that must be completed as soon as possible and of other projects that have a fixed due date.

- Explain why many projects must be complete as soon as possible.

- Explain the term “concurrent development” and indicate the benefits of this approach.

Project Human Resource Management.

Understand human resource management.

- Identify the people (or stakeholders) in the project environment, their roles and responsibilities.

- Describe the importance of human resource management during the project lifecycle.

- Explain the process of obtaining “the right people, for the right project at the right time and keeping them right” during the project lifecycle.

- Explain the project team development phases and group dynamics in each phase.

- Name and explain the roles, characteristics and competencies of a successful project manager and leader.

- Describe the two categories of group roles and their importance in a project team.

- Identify barriers to team effectiveness.

- Explain the process of building a high-performance project team.

- Identify and describe the criteria for an effective and efficient project team.

- List the problems that are associated with extrinsic motivation.

- Describe the techniques that could be used to motivate people in the project environment.

- Discuss the impact of stress and conflict on project performance.

- Describe the different conflict resolution techniques and when to use each.

- Explain how they would negotiate successfully in the project environment.

- Explain the importance of power and politics in the project environment. Identify the power bases utilised in the project environment.

- List the political tactics that could be used and indicate which would be the more ethical ones.

- Describe leadership styles applied during the project lifecycle.
Project Structuring. Understand how to structure the organisation for project work.

- Describe the differences among the functional, pure project and matrix structures.

- Explain how projects are performed within a functional structure.

- Indicate the advantages and disadvantages of the functional, pure project and matrix structures.

- Indicate the difference situations that would favour the use of the functional, pure project and matrix structures.

- Describe the differences between a “strong” and a “weak” matrix structure.

- Know how to set up a “project support office”.
Project Communication Management (including Business Planning) Understand Communications management.

- Explain and demonstrate the importance of effective communication.

- Describe the basic communication model.

- List and explain the various communication constraints.

- Describe the requirements of the communication management plan.

- Describe the tool san techniques of project information distribution.

- Explain performance reporting and discuss the tools used for performance reporting.

- Reflect on the importance and procedures for project closure reporting.
Projet Scope and Integration Management. Understand the initiation and defining of a project.

- Draft a project for approval by the executive.

- Know why it is necessary to involve all relevant stakeholders’ right from the start.

- Provide reasons why changes to a project scope should be made as early as possible in the project lifecycle.

- Determine the various objectives and expectations of key stakeholders and take these into account.

- Delineate the boundaries of a project by defining inclusions and exclusions.

- Develop, document and present a scope statement for approval.

- Identify changes to a project scope.

- Appreciate why a formal procedure for approval of scope changes is essential.

- List and explain the key elements of a change control system.

- Record changes to a project scope.

- Explain the terms: ‘project charter”, “project scope statement” and “scope baseline”.
Project Quality Management (including TQM, performance indicators and standards) Understand Quality Management.

- Describe the following:

- What Quality is

- Quality Control

- Quality Assurance

- Quality Planning

- Fitness for purpose

- Inspection and test

- Specifications

- Describe the basic philosophies of quality on projects.

- Explain the role of quality in projects.

- Explain the approach to be followed when planning and setting up the quality important deliverables of a project.

- Know how to identify the quality important deliverables of a project.

- Explain the value of quality on projects.

- Provide plans and schedules for the quality processes in a project.

- Provide examples of activity quality plans and checklist.

- Provide a list of typical quality tools and techniques that are commonly used on projects.


Project Work Breakdown Structure. Identify work, responsibilities and roles.

- Describe the roles and benefits of work breakdown structures.

- Given a scope statement, project constraints and assumptions, develop work breakdown structures for projects in which he or she is involved.

- Understand and explain how a WBS relates to subcontracting of work.

- Explain how the WBS relates to reporting relationships.

- Explain when a rough WBS should be developed and when it should be detailed.

- Convert a graphical WBS into an indented list.

- Convert a WBS provided as an indented list, into a graphical one.

- Explain the role of a WBS in cost estimating.

- Explain why the number of levels within a WBS should be limited.

- Develop responsibility assignment matrixes for projects in which you are involved.
Project Time Management. Understand Project time planning.

- Appreciate the reasons why project scheduling is essential.

- Explain why it is essential that certain projects should be finished as quickly as possible.

- Differentiate between mandatory, discretionary and external dependencies.

- Explain the importance of knowing what activities are critical.

- Differentiate between milestones, events and activities.

- Explain the terms “lag” and “lead”.
Project Scheduling. Understand Critical chain project scheduling.

- Use the critical chain method to schedule individual projects.

- Explain why reserves, which are built into projects, are normally excessive.

- Explain why, in spite of excessive amounts of reserve in schedules, projects are still often late.

- Explain how and why the critical chain method reduces project duration: the principle of aggregation and that of human behaviour.

- Explain why people responsible for project activities should not commit themselves to the duration of their activities.

- Discuss how the critical chain differs from the critical path.
Project Cost Management. Understand Cost Management.

- Explain what cost management on projects is.

- List the typical cost management activities on a project.

- Explain which factors affect the economic feasibility of a project the most.

- Discuss some of the other significant activities and factors that influence cost during a project.

- Broadly plan and identify the resources need for a project.

- List the activities involved in the cost-estimating phase.

- Carry out a cost estimate on a straight-forward project.

- Formulate a budget for cost allocation and control process.

- List the outcomes of the cost control process.

- Discuss what retention money is and why this approach is used.

- Explain how projects are ‘closed out’ and what is involved in this.
Project Risk Management. Understand Risk management.

- List the steps of the project risk management process (typically the PMBoK process), and explain the meaning of each step.

- Use various techniques to identify risks for projects in his or her work environment.

- Quantify project risks in terms of probability and consequences, and prioritise these risks.

- Develop effective responses to important risks.

- Explain how risks should be controlled during project execution.
Project Procurement Management. Understand Project procurement and contract management.

- Select an appropriate type of procurement contract given the characteristics of the specific project or product.

- Compile documentation for procurement.

- Select a vendor by following procedures that would ensure transparency of the process.

- Compile and complete the necessary documentation for the signing of a legal contract between the Buyer and the Vendor.

- Manage the agreed contract fairly and efficiently.

- Manage all scope changes during the implementation phase.

- Develop and manage all procedures necessary to ensure adherence to time, cost and quality during implementation.

- Manage the closeout phase of a contract.


Completion of a detailed assignment.
To pass the programme, a participant has to obtain a mark of 50% (or more).
Method of assessment
Learning objectives will be accomplished through the following mix of methods and activities: self-tuition, analysis and discussion of actual cases; in-class individual and group assignments and exercises; and lecturer presentations.
Completion of a detailed assignment.

Additional information

Programme number
Mode of delivery
Target group
Public and private sector programme and project managers. Implementers of government policies and programmes.

Contact us

Contact person name
Me Janine Erasmus
Contact person e-mail
Contact person telephone number