Agile organizations quickly sense and adapt to external and internal changes to deliver relevant results in a productive and cost-effective manner. This course explores merging life cycle approaches, which lead to greater organizational agility, and provides an in-depth examination and evaluation of Lean-Agile principles and values and the drivers behind becoming a more agile organization. Students learn how organizations can achieve agility at scale by funding ecosystems of teams that deliver large initiatives, allowing decentralized financial decision making within the portfolio, and continuously prioritizing their backlog of activities within each agile project. Learning objectives for this course include the ability to achieve true end-to-end business agility by utilizing industry standard agile frameworks (such as Scrum, Kanban, and SAFe); establishing the strategic themes that guide an organization's strategy and investments; determining and funding the relevant value streams; defining and prioritizing cross-cutting portfolio backlog epics; and monitoring the performance of the portfolios using applicable Lean portfolio, program, and team metrics. Students learn how to link an organizational strategy into relatively small investment increments called epics, study the breakup of epics into features that can be delivered by program teams, and explore the decomposition of features into user stories delivered by single teams in individual sprints. This course also explores organizational factors that impact the use of agile approaches, such as culture, readiness, business practices, and the role of the PMO.
The course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of Agile Project Management Fundamentals. The course not only teaches students how to manage projects with an adaptive approach, but also allows students to understand the differences and similarities between agile and traditional project management. Throughout the course, students acquire the essential knowledge on agile values, principles, practices, tools, and benefits of applying a lean-agile approach to Project Management. The course also provides students with the tools necessary to select an adequate approach to project management while considering degree of uncertainty and complexity. Through simulations and demonstrations of agile concepts, students gain experiential learning and acquire essential Agile PM skills to operate in an agile setting. By the end of the course, students can apply insights on how to blend linear, incremental, and iterative approaches in a traditional, agile, or hybrid environment.
The Capstone course is to be completed in the final term of the program and provides an opportunity for students to apply what they have learned in the program by producing a substantial piece of work under the tutelage of an industry advisor and program faculty. Projects are aligned with students’ chosen areas of interest. Students have the opportunity to present their work to industry professionals for review and feedback. Each student receives assistance in devising a strategy to support the topic of interest, consistent with the course goals, by semester’s end. Classroom assignments and lectures also focus on preparing students for successful project management careers after they graduate from the program.
Note: This section requires Department Approval for registration.
This course teaches students the essential communication skills utilized by successful managers, including negotiation, persuasion and influencing, and presentation skills. Learning objectives for this course include demonstrating leadership skills and applying proven techniques in leading teams; applying communication best practices in projects; and evaluating communication needs for different motivational approaches by leveraging the Strength Development Inventory for both the “normal behavior” and “conflict mode” of individuals. By the end of the course, students are able to identify and resolve conflicts by practicing different conflict resolution approaches. This course also includes an examination of the individual motivators that aid students in effectively negotiating and influencing discussions with others.
The Ethics course is the flagship course in all Georgetown-SCS MPS programs, taken at the beginning of the program. In the first part of this course, students are introduced to ethical methodologies, principles, values, and frameworks. In the second part of the course, students study discipline- and field-specific codes of ethics within the profession. The course explores the ethical responsibilities of all project management professionals to themselves, corporations, the government, and the public. Students contrast the roles and responsibilities of ethics versus compliance and their interdependencies. In the third part of the course, students are introduced to an ethical decision-making framework and applied ethical issues.
Note: Core course requirement for MPS in Project Management students.
This course explores the last three phases of the project lifecycle—execution, monitor and control, and closing. Students gain a deeper understanding of project execution, including the monitor and control component. Students also learn how to utilize real-world scenarios and/or project management simulation software to build the project deliverables; control the project delivery, scope, costs, quality, and risks; and manage issues. The course also teaches students about successful project closure, including winding down the project by releasing staff, handing over deliverables to the customer, and completing a post-implementation review.
Note: Requirement for MPS in Project Management students. Additional session required.
Leadership Perspectives in Project Management enables leaders to master the skills necessary to critically look at project management data and discern the quality and value of the project management practices and processes in place, as well as the PM maturity of the organization. This comprehensive course covers both the hard and soft skills to look for in identifying appropriate project management staff, assessing the quality and reliability of project artifacts, and enables leaders to understand project management in the context of programs and portfolios.
This course provides students with a solid foundation and a good understanding of practicing Agile with Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is a framework for designing, developing, and delivering products, services, and/or solutions of the highest value incrementally. Scrum is also known as a popular agile method in the computer software industry for addressing unknown and complex requirements iteratively and incrementally.. Scrum implementations require the use of self-organized teams who are flexible individuals willing to adapt quickly to change. Students will learn about the rules of the game specific to Scrum events (the sprint, sprint planning, daily Scrum, sprint review, and sprint retrospective), Scrum artifacts (e.g. product backlog, sprint backlog, and increment), and the importance of the definition of done. Kanban is another lean framework for developing and delivering products and services by balancing demands with available capacity, and by improving the handling of system-level bottlenecks. Students will also learn essential lean principles and discover how to use a Kanban board to help them visualize workflow and prioritize work items more effectively.
The course provides an in-depth examination of the project initiation and planning phases of the project management lifecycle. Students are introduced to the requirements involved in completing a feasibility study, starting up the project, documenting a business case, and ultimately gaining project approval and funding. Students also learn how to effectively provide terms of reference, appoint the project team, set up project procedures, and construct a detailed project management plan. In applications, plans and priorities always change with the evolving business environment, so students also learn the importance of adaptability in project planning. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to determine what is needed within a business case to justify and plan a project, including a return on investment (ROI), a preliminary budget, and a schedule. The coursework aligns with the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).
This course provides an overview of the project management lifecycle and associated processes. Students gain a solid grounding in fundamental project management concepts and learn how to develop a project charter, components of a project management plan, a work breakdown structure (WBS), and a risk management plan. Assignments include the creation of a communications management plan, a realistic schedule, a change management plan, and an on-the-job action plan. Participants learn what is required to monitor and report project statuses, as well as how to successfully close out a project and capture the value of lessons learned. Note: Students who have a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) or Project Management Professional (PMP) certification in good standing have the option to waive the Project Management Fundamental course. Approved students will instead complete a three-credit elective course.
Note: Foundation course requirement for MPS in Project Management students. Additional session required.
This course covers the theoretical and practical aspects of strategic management in organizations across the public, private, and non-profit sectors, focusing on the linkage between strategy, programs, and projects. All key aspects of strategy and strategic planning are addressed as a means of developing and communicating a formula for the organization’s success. Programs and projects are then presented as the essential means for executing that formula, especially, but not limited to, those that comprise new initiatives in the organization. The course demonstrates how effective programs and projects align with the organization’s strategy and integrate across organizational boundaries to bring resources to bear to solve problems and achieve enterprise goals and objectives. The course also examines the vital role of communication and change management in the alignment and integration process, and the criticality of measurement to evaluate progress and direct further actions.