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Project Management

21 August 2023

Are you keen to learn tools and techniques you can use immediately to improve the delivery of your projects? Check out our 'Project Management' short course.


This three-day course immerses you into the profession of project management, with a focus on the practical application of what is taught.

You will learn tools and techniques that you can immediately implement to improve the delivery of your projects, and ultimately your organisational strategy. You will be taught to identify which of the tools or techniques are right for you and your organisation right now, and which should be used when circumstances change.

Modules you will study on the course include:

  • What is professional project management?
  • Project management career paths
  • Defining organisational project management maturity

At the completion on this module participants will have a clear understanding of project management as a profession, a guide to their own development as practitioners and an overview of where their organisation is, and where it needs to be, using an organisational project management maturity model.

  • What is portfolio management?
  • Project management as strategic enabler
  • Portfolio management techniques

This module covers the importance of successful portfolio management and the links between project management and organisational strategy. It is best suited to those people with both an understanding of, and experience in, project and program management.

  • Delivering organisational strategy
  • Selecting the right projects
  • Project justification
  • The project charter
  • Preparing the project management plan
  • Defining and documenting project closure

This module introduces the concepts of formally initiating, justifying and authorising a project. It also looks at the process of planning for project closure. Setting up project teams, appoint the project manager and project sponsor, and putting in place a project governance structure or steering group and their roles are also covered.

  • The importance of good project governance
  • The role of the project sponsor
  • The project control group

This module covers the interdependence between project success and project governance. It also covers the role of the project sponsor and the project control group and ways in which both contribute to project success.

  • Defining the project scope
  • Managing scope change
  • Preparing a WBS to estimate time, cost and risk

At the conclusion of this module participants will understand the importance of properly defining the scope of the project using a variety of tools and the value a well-defined scope statement has on estimating time, cost and risk. Participants will also be able to develop a robust and appropriate change control process and understand the importance of documented and assessed change control.

  • Cost estimating techniques
  • Project budgeting and financing
  • Managing and reporting project costs

Estimating project costs and budgets are central to successful project delivery. This module covers the tools and techniques used to successfully estimate your project costs and how to take these costs and complete a project budget. Participants completing this module will also have an understating of how to use the earned value management system to track, control and forecast costs and time.

  • Time estimating techniques
  • Managing and reporting project time
  • Project management software i.e. MS Project

Using the scope statement and work breakdown structure to estimate project time is a valuable skill for any project manager. This module covers the processes of estimating time and preparing a project schedule. Participants will be provided with a separate exercise to introduce them to ProjectLibre software.

  • Defining project risks
  • Developing a risk register
  • Building contingency
  • Monitoring risk

After completing this module participants will be able to put together a project risk register that identifies risk events, list their potential consequences, plan risk responses and perform both qualitative and quantitative analysis. This information can be used to prepare contingency budgets for cost and time.

  • How to develop and lead your team
  • Effective leadership
  • Personal development as part of the profession

Getting, keeping and developing the right people for the project is an established means of ensuring project success. This module will prepare participants to be able to manage, coach and develop their project teams. This module also focuses on developing your own leadership skills and understanding the importance of authentic project leadership.

  • Stakeholder identification and management
  • Project reporting techniques
  • Effective communication management

At the completion of this module participants will be able to complete a communications plan for their project. This plan will also identify project stakeholders, their expectations, and their communications needs. Participants will be introduced to techniques to ensure effective communication is part of their professional and personal capability. This module also covers formats for project reporting and what information to include.

  • Successful project closure
  • Outputs vs outcomes
  • Measuring benefits

At the completion of this module participants will be able to complete a project closure checklist, understand the conditions for project closure, define the differences between outputs and outcomes, and plan for a robust benefits realisation process.

  • Understanding project management maturity and how it can provide tangible value
  • Understanding maturity models and their insights
  • Carrying out the P3M3 Self-Assessment

This module provides all the tools and techniques to understand the benefits of understanding your organisations current and optimal level of project management maturity. We will use the P3M3 Self-Assessment tools and our own scoring tools to enable you to carry out your own organisational project management maturity assessment.

Course structure 

The course is suitable for anyone involved in project management including managers, team leaders or C-Level executives wanting a better level of understanding.

It runs for three days, over three consecutive weeks (from 9am until 4pm daily) and is recognised as making up 21 hours of the required 35 hours for the PMP certification.

Course Facilitator

Sean Whitaker

Sean Whitaker, BA, MSc, MBA, PMP is widely respected around the globe as a practical project management consultant. He has provided advice to organizations in the transportation, government, space exploration, information, technology, software development and construction industries.

He has provided training from introductory level, to PMP exam preparation, to lecturing to postgraduate students to thousands of successful project management practitioners around the globe and is the author of many books on project management. 

Comments from previous participants

I found the amount of content just right, with a good balance from Sean on practical real-world experience backed up by solid theory. I left with a valuable understanding of what underpins a robust Project Management process, without feeling burdened by having only one way to run a project. Sean encouraged us to adapt, and iterate the process depending on the project and also armed us with a lot of resource too.  Venue was great and food was a hit too!

Jamie Todd, Business Attraction Specialist ChristchurchNZ

The information I received was invaluable as it afforded me a broad-based understanding of Project Management principles and practices.  It will allow me to make a significant contribution to the future direction and implementation of our Project Management Office. I enjoyed the significant contribution from the rest of the participants and found Sean Whitaker an engaging insightful tutor.  I can highly recommend Liz and the team at University of Canterbury as they made the whole experience enjoyable and stress free.

Gareth Innes, GM Sales & Marketing, Elastomer Products Ltd

Upcoming course dates

If you wish to pay by invoice, please email us.



Ilam campus, University of Canterbury



$2,750 (including GST).

Course fees include catering (all dietary requirements catered for), booking fees and on-site parking.

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