One of the up and coming fields of expertise is project management. This is because there is demand for those who can organize and oversee a project, and make sure it gets done. Project management involves a great deal of skill, combining aspects of organizational management, psychology, and communications. Indeed, this combination of skills is one of the reasons that it is possible to make a good living if you are a good project manager.
If you are interested in brushing up your project management skills or learning more about the field, here are 50 free open courseware classes that can help you learn what you need to know as a project manager:
Operations and Systems Management
Learn how to design and carry out different projects, from manufacturing operations to service operations. Learn about systems management, including data systems, and get help with the most basic aspects of being a project manager.
- Operations Management: This course from MIT is just what it sounds like: A class that can help you conceptualize your operations.
- Systems Optimization: Models and Computation: Learn about how to optimize the systems that you manage from this MIT course.
- System and Project Management: Learn about different systems and how to manage different types of projects.
- Management in Engineering: Project management is growing in engineering, and you can get a look at specifically how to manage projects and systems in the engineering field.
- Systems Design and Administration: Learn about system design and how to manage these systems once they are in place.
- Global Issues in Information Technology: Weber State University offers a look at some of the issues you are likely to run into when managing IT projects.
- Lean/Six Sigma Processes: Another offering from MIT, this addresses popular forms of project management.
A good project manager often has to have a good grasp of business management in order to properly lead and complete projects. When budgets are involved, business management becomes especially important.
- Successful Management Techniques and Strategies: Peking University offers this look at successful management.
- Understanding Management: The Open University presents a helpful class that introduces management.
- Managerial Economics: Utah State University offers this course on management and economics.
- Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting: Keep on course with your budget with help from this MIT course.
- Introduction to Strategic Management: Capilano University offers this course on managing strategicaly.
- International Institute of Management: Get access to a number of classes on strategy, management and projects.
- Experiments in Economics: Learn about economics and other business management topics from the Open Learning Initiative.
- Product Design and Development: Helpful information on how to design and develop products.
Good communication is essential for the successful project manager. Understanding how to communicate effectively with your team and with your superiors is important.
- Communicating with Data: Learn how to use data to effectively communicate your points. Especially useful when showing superiors the results of your project.
- Communications Systems I: Learn about how we communicate, and the development of different types of communication.
- Communication: This basic course can help you learn to communicate better.
- Business Communications in the Age of Spin: Gresham College offers this interesting look at how to cut through the spin and communicate the essentials.
- How to Conduct a Meeting in an Intercultural Setting: Connexions offers this helpful course on more effectively conducting meetings.
- Marketing communications as a strategic function: Another offering from The Open University provides insight into communications and marketing.
- Advanced Workshop in Writing for Science and Engineering: Learn how to better communicate in writing.
One of the essential traits of effective project management is being a good leader. Here are some open courseware classes that can help you develop leadership skills.
- Effective Leadership: A presentation on being a more effective leader.
- Practical Leadership: Learn, from MIT, how to lead in a manner that you can put into effective practice.
- Leadership and Agility: Get insight on being a flexible leader.
- Management vs. Leadership: Get a handle on the differences between being a manager and being a leader.
- Leadership Tools and Teams: Learn different leadership tools, and how to use them in a team environment.
- Defying Gravity: Learn the characteristics that help leaders overcome challenges.
- Designing and Leading the Entrepreneurial Organization: Learn the basics of leading an organization.
Understand how organizations work, and learn about organizational behavior to help you better manage your projects.
- Optimization Methods in Management Science: Learn how to optimize your management techniques.
- Managing Transformations in Work, Organizations and Society: Learn how to manage and organization through change.
- Organizational Processes: This is another MIT class focused on organizations and processes.
- Emotional Intelligence: Connexions offers this look at understanding the emotions of a group.
- Introduction to business cultures: Learn how business cultures affect organizational management.
- Leading Organizations II: Get a handle on how to properly lead organizations and projects.
- Creating an ethical organisation: The Open University looks at the traits of an organization or group with ethics.
Psychology and Relationships
Understanding how people work is an important part of effective project management. Learn how to develop relationships that result in success.
- Building and Leading Effective Teams: Learn how to keep your team motivated and successful.
- Power Play: Gresham College offers a class on power, and how it works in organizations and project teams.
- Making and using rules: Learn the basics behind creating rules, and how you can use them for more effective teams.
- Managerial Psychology: Get a look at the psychology of management.
- Giving and Receiving Feedback: This course from BBC Academy teaches you ways to give good feedback — as well as to receive suggestions.
- Managing relationships: Learn how to manage the relationships in your project group.
- Three Faces of Social Psychology: Notre Dame offers a good look at social psychology.
Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution
In order to have a successful project, you need to understand how to solve problems and resolve conflicts.
- Implementing the project: Overcoming the problems and challenges you might have with a project.
- Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving: Learn techniques to solve problems that can come up in some projects.
- Problem Solving Exercise: Use this course from Capilano University to go through the process of solving a problem.
- Concepts in Economic Evaluation: Learn how to evaluate your project’s budget and how to fix issues.
- Negotiation and Conflict Management: Learn the basics of how to negotiate and resolve conflict.
- Negotiation and Dispute Resolution in the Public Sector: MIT offers a helpful look at dispute resolution.
- Communication, Conflict & Commitment: Learn about natural conflict, and how communication can help you move beyond it.
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