Effective Project Management requires planning and control and when implemented effectively, project success rates can increase dramatically. Conversely if poorly planned and implemented this can lead to project scope, schedule and costs to quickly get out of control. Until now, there has been very little guidance for practicing and aspiring planning and control professionals to gain understanding of best practice, and how to apply it.

This event introduces delegates to effective project planning and control. Project Planning & Control guidance, training & certification are aimed at a variety of key project management roles including planning managers & engineers and project control managers & engineers. It will also benefit other roles including cost engineers, project managers and project support team members.

By the end of this course you will be able to, understand the key techniques, principles and terminology within Project Planning

Specifically, the candidate should be able to use, interpret or assess

  • The approaches and products used to gain a clear definition of a project 
  • The approaches and techniques used to plan and close a project
  • The selection and use of appropriate scheduling techniques 
  • The practices used for rigorous monitoring to enable proactive control of the project
  • The basis for good record keeping, which also facilitates the virtuous feedback and learning cycle

Delegates will be provided with a copy of the APM Planning, Scheduling, Monitoring and Control Manual. Delegates need to bring this book with them to the course, please read this book and be familiar with the contents in advance.

The Foundation-level qualification aims to measure whether the candidate has sufficient knowledge and understanding of the Project Planning & Control guidance to be able to act as an informed member of a Project Support Office or Project Planning and Control team. The Foundation qualification is also a pre-requisite for the Practitioner qualification.

The course will cover the following syllabus areas:

Definition

Delegates are introduced to the world of projects and capital expenditure

  • Key definitions and concepts associated with Planning and Control
  • Hierarchical Breakdown Structures - WBS, OBS, CBS, RBS
  • Purpose of the Business Case
  • Purpose of Scope Management, Requirements Management and Stakeholder Management
  • Purpose and composition of the Works Information and Statement of Work

Planning

  • Facts, terms and concepts for: Planning, handover and closeout
  • Purpose and benefits of successful planning
  • Differences between Planning and Scheduling; Funding and Budgets
  • Planning approaches and influencing factors for: top-down, bottom-up and rolling wave planning
  • Purpose, characteristics and relationship and use of Breakdown Structures
  • Approaches and principles of designing Breakdown Structures
  • Purpose of the Work Package, WBS Dictionary and RACI Matrix
  • Purpose of Dependency Management, cost estimating, budgeting and budget transfers

Scheduling

  • The definition and elements of scheduling
  • Definition of key network analysis terms
  • The three identified methods of presenting the results of scheduling
  • Typical features associated with schedule density
  • Purpose of different types of time phased schedules, including 
  • Purpose and use of key elements of schedule design 
  • Key features of the Precedence Diagram Method (PDM) for determining a critical path and the inputs into a Critical Path Analysis (CPA) 
  • Use and features of different methods of estimating durations 
  • Types of resources and the purpose of resourcing the schedule 
  • Typical composition of a Schedule Narrative 
  • Purpose and scope of Schedule Reviews 
  • Steps in the scheduling process and steps to prepare for monitoring and control 
  • The five steps necessary to construct a network, together with the activities of each

Monitor and Control

  • Definition of Earned Value Analysis (EVA) and its basic terminology
  • Definitions of key monitoring terms
  • Definitions of key risk management terms
  • Definitions of key change management terms
  • Purpose and use of a project baseline
  • Purpose and use of Baseline maintenance and Change management together with the principles of change management and why change control is needed
  • Purpose and use of performance reporting and features of a good control system
  • Characteristics of Variance Analysis Methods of Progress Monitoring
  • Characteristics of Performance Analysis Methods of Progress
  • Monitoring, specifically the use of Network Analysis and measurement of float usage
  • The purpose of Short-term Planning, its four key elements, and how it should be linked to project schedules

No prerequisites are necessary for attendance, although delegates would benefit from some experience and understanding of basic planning principles and terminology. 

Additional evening work will be required in the form of consolidation reading and mock examination questions. The evening work is an integral part of the course and delegates should expect to spend approximately two hours on these activities each evening. The evening work is aimed at helping effective preparation for the examination.

Accreditation

This course is accredited by the APMG.