About this online course


Are you a (project) engineer with a technical background but lack management knowledge? Are you eager to improve project performance and want to expand your knowledge?

This business and management course will focus on the necessary project management skills to successfully manage projects, distinguishing three areas:

  • The project manager and the team
  • The project process
  • The project context

The course focuses on the early project phases, including examples from technical projects within various sectors and industries (amongst others, but not limited to, infrastructure projects and construction projects).

At the end of this course, you will have created your own project execution plan, either in a team effort or on individual basis. Of course the team effort allows for a special learning experience and we appraise active team participation.

What you'll learn

  • The importance of the front-end phases to create a successful project
  • How to select an appropriate project manager
  • How to successfully work together in a specialized project team
  • How projects are successfully managed in different sectors and contexts
  • To draft a project execution plan


Course Syllabus

Week 0: Welcome and course overview
Welcome! We'll give an outlook of the course and explain the course structure. The course uses a challenging mix of knowledge clips, video's, quizzes, and assignments integrating your own experiences from practice with attractive examples from industry and new insights from theory.

Week 1: The need for and the importance of project management
This week highlights the need for this course by showing examples of failed projects as well as successful projects. How is project success defined? How is it achieved? We explain the choice of focussing this course on the front-end phase of projects and the people aspect of projects. Also we link to a more strategic level: how to select the right projects?

Week 2: Organizing the team
This week focuses on the team effort that is needed to bring a project to a successful end. It shows why teamwork is essential and why it should not be taken for granted. It explains which challenges the project manager faces in developing a group of specialists into a coherent team. You will obtain insight in your own competences and based on your scores you are challenged to compose multidisciplinary teams with your fellow-students, 5/6 students per team.

Week 3: Opportunity framing
Now that you formed the teams the real experience can start. This week all necessary steps of the early project phases are elaborated: identifying the stakeholders involved, scoping of the project (high level) after formulating the project objectives and setting up the initial risk register. With your team, you will experience the above steps, resulting in the selection of a topic for your team's project execution plan (PEP).

Week 4: The project assurance plan
The content of week 4 and 5 go hand-in-hand: do you select the appropriate contracting strategy after defining the project assurance plan or is it the other way around? We decided to first elaborate on the management processes to be followed in a project. How does a project assurance plan look like?

Week 5: Selecting the contracting strategy
In selecting the appropriate contracting strategy, we should not only focus on the contract. This sounds contradictory, but it is an essential lesson to learn this week. We will introduce the contracting quilt and explain the importance of relational attitudes. Also we discuss the importance of senior management commitment. With your team, you will write the first outline of your project execution plan (PEP).

Week 6: Time and cost estimates
Now that a lot of the project preparation is done, it is time for some basic project management skills: the skills of scheduling and cost estimation. After thorough introduction of these skills, you will be asked (again with your team) to prepare a baseline schedule for your own project and, based on the baseline schedule, create a rough baseline cost estimate.

Week 7: Bringing it together in the project execution plan.
And finally: all comes together. All ingredients of the project execution plan (PEP) have been discussed so far and are to be combined in the PEP that should be delivered at the end of this week. Also, we will link back to the more strategic elements of project management from week 1 and reflect upon your lessons learned during this course.


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


  • BSc level or equivalent, or three or more years experience in the field.

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