Discovery of this course
It has been May 2013, when I heard about Open2study platform by reading one of the post at a Facebook group. The group name was ‘MOOC addicts’ and our friend recommended us to try this new MOOC platform, where Universities in Australia will provide courses. I have already taken few courses from other MOOC providers and loved this new format of obtaining knowledge. So, with curiosity, I have scanned this website with list of available courses. To my surprise, I have found ‘Principles of Project Management’, a course I wanted to do from slightly long time.
Why I wanted to study this course?
Through my participation in different projects, volunteering activities and other community development projects; I was very much familiar with the concept of Project Management. I have used it many times. So, I had skill than why this course?
Well, it is pretty simple, I lacked professional framework understanding to work on the corporate level. Today, every business is global. They are using different languages, working with different cultures and involves a huge amount of money. So certain level of clarity with common framework is necessary to present information in a proper structured way. My intention was to learn this necessary framework to add professional literacy in working on a project. This course was the thing, I was looking for.
Learning theoretical concepts through real life examples
To understand theoretical concepts, I have mixed used them on activities happening around my surroundings. 2 such examples especially for this course are as follows:
Widening of Bridge and Flyover Construction
During the course time, I was in my home town in India. I took a construction activity near my house as a base project to put theoretical project management framework into real perspective. As you can see in Figure 1, there is an old bridge on a canal with blue color in pictures symbolizes water. The bridge is very old and growth in nearby residential areas are causing traffic congestion. Authorities undertook widening of old bridge and construction of fly over to solve this problem.
You must be wondering, what I did in this? Initially, I have made a rough project report highlighting scope, cost and objectives. Using my previous experiences and knowledge from the course, I have also defined role of different stakeholders, project working schedule and prepared a rough risk analysis report. For approximately 3 months, I have regularly visited this construction site like an evening walk. I have closely observed activities on the site like construction of pillar 1, laying out foundation for pillar 5, completion of stretch from Pillar 4 to 5 etc. Every day, I have noted down the progress in my note book and fit the concept learn in the course on this activity. This was not an accurate work but definitely increased my confidence to use Project Management in other real life situations.
Observing the Metro Line Work
Recently, I have moved to Bengaluru, a big metropolitan city in Southern India. Once in a week, I travel to meet my friends in other parts of the city and generally use public transportation. While traveling in the buses, I am closely observing the progress of Bengaluru metro construction work on my way. For this project too, I have done rough analysis like before and noted down some of my observation regarding as given in Figure 2.
Value addition to my practical skills
This course provided me with a good overview in 21st century project management framework. It has equipped me with tools for managing, documenting and executing the projects in a much more systematic manner than I did before. It has added lot of values to my practical wisdom by providing more tool kits for making better decisions, communicating with team, accounting for risks and taking account to different stakeholders. Special thanks to Open2study for providing this course free.
This course was part of my ‘Zero Cost MBA(Global Manager for 21st Century’) Project.