Online Programs

PUAD 617: Project Management

"Performance" and "results" are two words used to describe what we expect from public management. Successful project completion makes an important contribution to both. A set of disciplines known as the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) aims to improve rates of successful project completion, but its success is unproven. 

In this course, you will draw on academic and professional literature as well as case studies to critically examine the project management disciplines and their potential contribution to performance, particularly in public sector and nonprofit settings. Class readings will identify good practice norms in project management, which you will test against the realities of actual projects, many of which failed. You will scrutinize standards for judging success and consider methods for explaining project outcomes. This course encourages you to challenge existing theories and approaches to help you build your own distinctive understanding of project management. 

Upon completion of the course, students are qualified to apply for certification as a Certified Associate in Project Management, awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI). To qualify for the certificate, students need to pass the PMI’s three-hour examination, which contains 150 multiple-choice questions.

This course was developed by Dr. Karen Baehler, who is Executive in Residence at the School of Public Affairs. Professor Baehler has extensive experience in policy analysis that has included more than a decade of work for government agencies and think tanks in the Washington DC area, including the American Enterprise Institute, the Maryland Department of Human Resources, and the Roosevelt Center for American Policy Studies. She has published three books, 12 refereed journal articles, and three book chapters on policy-analysis topics.

Course objectives:

  • Learn how to apply project management analytical concepts
  • Acquire vocabulary, concepts, and tools of project management
  • Acquire deep knowledge of one project and the reasons for its failures and successes
  • Advance your critical thinking, argumentation, and writing skills
  • Form habits of good practice by applying selected PM methods to a specific project
  • Build habits of engagement, teamwork skills, and presentation skills

Topics covered include:

  • Public management’s perennial problems: Does project management offer solutions?
  • The project plan
  • Risk, contingency planning, and high reliability
  • Measuring, testing, and reporting progress
  • Structure, culture, and teams

Learn more today. Call us at 855-725-7614 to speak to an admissions representative, or request more information here.