I'm happy to see that you're interested in learning about project management. You are right if you thought maybe it would be a good idea to learn about this topic. Projects dominate our lives, both our personal lives and professional lives. In your professional lives, you may be asked to work on a new product development, update the HR policies, produce a new ad campaign, conduct an audit, just to name a few. Examples of projects in our personal lives are also enormous. Like when you decide to move to a new town or a new house, when you plan to get married, when you plan to attend college, then you are managing a project. Skills you will learn for project management will be useful no matter the setting. But of course, this course will be focused on the professional side of the skill sets needed to successfully manage projects. The largest and most influential project management organization today, Project Management Institute, PMI, has started using the term "project economy" in describing today's business paradigm. This is in reference to a business environment where project leaders are the ones who are mainly responsible for turning an organization's idea into reality. In this new paradigm fueled by the fast pace of development in new technologies, organizations would need people who can take bold and innovative ideas and turn them into products or services quickly and efficiently. This means having people who can lead projects. People delivering projects successfully will be needed by all organizations, business, government, and non-profit across the globe. First, let's agree on the definition of success. In project management, this is often about delivering the project on time, on budget, and on scope, what is often referred to as the triple constraints. Meeting these requirements, however, has been somewhat elusive for many projects. This is because to get the triple constraints right, the project professionals will be required to have competency in leadership skills as well as technical skills. They need to understand how to adapt to and react to change, quickly, manage and motivate people, and be great at planning. These types of skills require time and effort to master. Without this type of talent, organizations will not be able to do well in a project economy. In 2020, PMI annual parse survey results has some statistics that I think are revealing. The survey showed that companies reported that an average of 11.4 percent of their investment is wasted due to poor project performance. Organizations that undervalue project management as a strategic competency for driving change, report an average of 67 percent more of their projects failing, outright. These statistics are just some of the reasons why companies are shifting their approach to project management. These statistics must be improved. But it's not going to happen without knowing why projects fail and how to improve success. So clearly, one way to increase the rate of success would depend on having a workforce which is well-versed in project management. Individuals with such skill sets are in high demand. So much so, that in early part of 2020, Google declared three new Google career certificates. One of those, Project Manager Certificate. I hope you'll agree with me when I say that Google, with its vast access to search words, knows exactly what skill sets are most sought after and thus most employable. This can be used as one way of validating that companies need knowledgeable project managers, and employment for these individuals is not an issue. In the latest PMI survey for salary, the median income for project managers in the United States, was $116.000. Now, that's not bad. For the PMPs, those who hold the certification for Project Management Professional earn even more, 22 percent more on average. Organizations also find themselves in an era where the customer is king. Customers and their needs are paramount, and projects have to focus on delivering customer value. The dynamic nature of business environment, along with the need for a customer centric approach to project delivery, has started some really exciting approaches to project management, namely the agile practice. Many project professionals are incorporating a mix of project deployment practices. The traditional model is still the most widely used process for project management, but the use of agile project management has been growing rapidly as the preferred process for project management, especially in the IT related projects. I believe everyone today needs to know both approaches. For this reason, we will cover both the traditional model of project management as well as agile. If you have come across project management in your daily work, you know that it is full of jargons and reporting schemes. This at times may seem impossible to master, but I believe that you can. I have tried to introduce you to the most essential components and helped to demystify them, but it does take repetition and practice. Now let's focus on the two-course series that we are offering meant to provide much of the fundamental skills needed by a project manager. For that reason, we will cover a lot of ground. The first course, which is called Project Initiation and Planning, starts with a waterfall approach to introduce you to how projects are initiated. Starting with understanding what the customer wants, and how to properly develop a project charter. Once a project is approved, then we will discuss how to do the planning for the project. We will also discuss what Agile is all about, including its roots and principles. You will be introduced to Kanban and Scrum. These are methodologies for Agile adoption. Since the first course is on initiation and planning, we will spend some time discussing how to do that using Scrum, through exploring how to make a product backlog and sprint planning. If you like to have more details on what each of the four modules of the first course will cover in more detail, I suggest you review the short videos that describes the learning objectives of each module. Which will provide you with a much better sense of what is going to be covered. The second course will be focused on project execution and control. Starting with the waterfall approach, we will learn how to make a feasible project schedule, and if needed explore ways by which we can shorten the project's completion time. Once the project enters the execution phase, we will learn how to best monitor its progress and focus on the Earned Value Management System. Finally, when the project enters its last phase, we will discuss how to properly hand over the project to the customer and do a proper closeout. We will also discuss how to build teams and lead in such a way that we will maximize the chances of project success. We will also discuss how project execution proceeds if it were using the Scrum approach for Agile project delivery. Focusing on what happens in a sprint and how teams work in an Agile project ecosystem. This has implications on the role of the project manager, making it very different to what a project manager will do in the traditional model. All projects will come to an end and we will explore how the ending of a project is done for Scrum. Again, it is worth repeating that you can get more details on what each of the four modules of the second course will cover in more details, by reviewing the short videos that describes the learning objectives of each of those modules. Now, there may be many of you who are interested in becoming certified as PMP. The number of people who are seeking this certification, which is granted through the Project Management Institute is increasing rapidly. There are several criteria which must be met before being able to take and ultimately pass the exam and become certified. For those of you who are interested in becoming PMP, taking these two courses will be immensely helpful in understanding and mastering much of what you need to know for the exam. But these two courses alone will not be enough to pass the exam. This exam is over everything that is covered in the PMBOK book, and this is the latest version. As you can imagine, I could not include every detail that can show up in the exam in these two courses. We focus on the most fundamental issues that will help you become a great project manager. The intent was not to provide a test-prep course. To pass the test, which takes about four hours to complete, you need to practice test-taking. You can start by visiting pmi.org for more information on the PMP certification. There you will find advice on test-prep material as well. There are also several certification that are through PMI for those interested in Agile certification, and you can find more about these on pmi.org as well. For Scrum, you can also visit scrumalliance.org, and see the array of certifications that are available for Scrum users there. Now that I have discussed certification I don't want you to think that learning project management is about these certifications. Learning how to run a project successfully is important, because it ensures what is being delivered is right and will deliver real value against the business opportunity. Companies realize that good project management is important for stronger results, happier customers, and happier employees. These are not just coincidences or side effects, they are functions of a project management done right. At the highest level this is the learning objective; to become great at managing projects. I hope you stay with the course and work through the material. Project management at times will seem like common sense, and at times seems to be complex. It is easier learned than practiced, that's the truth. If you stay with me and remain diligent, you will gain insights on how to tackle the work require, so to make the project end up as a success.