Project Management Tools for Business Sustainability Course Bundle

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Course Length: 24 Weeks

Course Hours: 72

Available!

$99.00

1 x Risk Management

  Course Length: 4 Weeks Course Hours: 8 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview In this course, you will learn about the seven R's and four T's that traditionally represent the key activities of risk management. This will give you a framework that you can customize for a single project, a department, or an entire company.

$99.00

1 x Advanced Project Management

Course Length: 4 Weeks Course Hours: 8 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview In this course, you will focus on two areas of advanced project management. The first area is advanced project management techniques, such as communication plans and status meetings. The second area is general management skills, such as building a winning team and rewarding team members.

$297.00

1 x Project Management Training: Understanding Project Management

  Course Length: 12 Weeks Course Hours: 24 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview This in-depth course will take you through all aspects of project management. First, you will consider what a project is and what a project manager does. Then, you will work through the four stages of the project life cycle: conceptual, planning, execution, and termination. You will also learn some supporting skills, like teamwork, communication, and presentation.

$99.00

1 x Project Management Fundamentals

Course Length: 4 Weeks Course Hours: 8 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview In this course, you will learn what a project is and what a project manager does. You will also learn about the life cycle of a project. In particular, you will focus on the conceptual phase of project management, where you identify, prioritize, and scope a project idea.

$99.00

1 x Change Management: Change and How to Deal With It

Course Length: 4 Weeks Course Hours: 8 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview Change is something that excites people who love opportunities for growth, to see and learn about new things, or who like to shift the status quo. Some changes, however, are harder to adjust to and lead to expressions of resistance and anger. We can take concrete steps to make change more palatable by understanding people’s hesitation, enlisting the help of others, setting up plans, and managing stressors. These steps can also ensure that desired changes are implemented successfully. In this course, you will learn how to manage and cope with change, and how to help those around you, too.

$198.00

1 x Effective Planning and Scheduling

Course Length: 12 Weeks Course Hours: 16 ________________________________________________________________________ Course Overview This course will teach you how to use a variety of planning and scheduling tools, including the work breakdown structure, network diagrams, program evaluation and review technique (PERT), and Gantt charts. You will also learn how to properly estimate time, schedule resources, identify task dependencies, manage risks, communicate your schedule, and keep the schedule updated.

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Sustainability is a critical business focus, and sustainable project management requires looking at projects in a whole new way. For too long, project managers have worked on their projects as if they were islands, unrelated to organizational strategy and governance and unrelated to the community at large. Putting project management in the correct strategic context helps project managers and teams make the right decisions for their projects, for their company, and for society at large.

Project managers need to be fiscally sustainable—they manage time and budget —as well as socially and environmentally sustainable—they manage resources. However, sustainability isn’t just being “green,” and being aware of our impact on the environment. We also need to evaluate the risks related to labor practices, human rights, fair business dealings, and consumer issues. Learn how to integrate sustainability into your own project management practices and guide your company toward sustainability. One project manager CAN make a difference!

What is Sustainability?

Aspects of Sustainability

When an organization incorporates sustainability practices into its processes, it takes responsibility for the impact of its activities on customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment through all aspects of operations.

Doing work sustainably isn’t just about giving up your bottled water or thinking twice about using the copier. A sustainable focus recognizes the interdependence between companies and the broader society and encompasses the following aspects (with examples of each):

  • Human Rights: discrimination of vulnerable groups, civil rights, and fundamental rights and principles at work
  • Labor Practices: conditions of work, health and safety, and development and training
  • The Environment: sustainable resource use, pollution prevention, and climate change mitigation
  • Fair Operating Practices: anti-corruption, fair competition, and respect for property rights
  • Consumer Issues: fair contractual practices, dispute resolution, and fair marketing
  • Community Involvement and Engagement: employee training and skills development, wealth and income creation, and community involvement

At first blush, these issues sound like areas of concern far beyond a simple project. Throughout this paper, we will discuss how and when to evaluate some of these core issues as parts of sustainable project management.

Reasons for Sustainability

Corporations create social and societal impacts, both positive and negative, through the daily operations of their value chain. Corporations and the societies they operate in are already intertwined. Societies need corporations to give their people employment and infrastructure, and corporations need healthy societies to provide a capable workforce. While society looks, in many cases, to the corporate world rather than the government for the provision of employment and infrastructure (not to mention goods and services), it is only a healthy society that can create the kinds of productive workers that every corporation seeks to hire.

The mutual dependence of companies and society demonstrates that business decisions must follow the principle of shared value—choices must benefit both sides (Porter, 2006, p. 5). Stakeholders—shareholders, suppliers, customers, partners, regulators, activists, labor unions, employees, community members, and government—expect companies to be accountable not only for their own performance, but for the performance of their entire supply chain and for an evolving set of sustainability issues. However, sustainability isn’t just a responsibility. It’s an opportunity to harness human creativity and discover innovative ways to protect and enhance our shared environment, respect, and empower all people and build enduring wealth.

Much of the world has reached the stage where good laws are in place, but poor enforcement exists for those laws. Poor enforcement has its roots in corruption and weak institutions, and poor governance perpetuates poverty. Sustainability programs try to bridge the gap between which laws are in place and enforced, and basic fundamentals of good business practice, such as avoidance of exploitative practices and complete transparency. This translates to being able to assess risks more effectively and become more proactive in dealing with these risks. As a result, sustainability not only becomes a necessary value of organizations, but it is quickly becoming integrated into the business goals and objectives of organizations. In order for businesses to be successful in the future, they must consider social, environmental, and supply issues wherever they operate, and in many cases, wherever their suppliers and their customers operate.

It is no longer considered satisfactory to merely spin off a foundation, or invest in a simple green initiative. Companies are setting aggressive goals to grow business from “green” products and services. Governments are placing far more emphasis on the implications of their actions, either to the environment or to the integrated problems of their societies.

An overwhelming majority of corporate CEOs (93%) say that sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies. Furthermore, CEOs believe that, within a decade, a tipping point could be reached that fully meshes sustainability with core business—its capabilities, processes, and systems, and throughout global supply chains and subsidiaries (Lacy, 2010, p. 16).

For businesses to become sustainable, they must be sensitive to the sustainability of the environment and society in which business is conducted. By acting in advance of mandates for change, such as government regulations or legislation, they avoid risks to their reputation and can gain strategic competitive advantage over their rivals. Also, it’s worth noting that working on societal problems related to the business can help spark innovative thinking by exposing employees to new ideas and perspectives (Kanter, 2010). An organization’s focus on sustainability results in improved corporate reputation, higher brand equity, better risk management, and increased access to capital, and is vital to attracting and retaining top talent.

What Does Project Management Have to do With Sustainability?

The temporary character of projects may seem to contradict the long-term orientation of sustainability. However, projects help firms realize long-term investment objectives. Projects and project management take place in an environment that is broader than that of the project itself. Understanding the framework in which the project takes place helps ensure that work is carried out in alignment with the goals of the enterprise and managed in accordance with the established practice methodologies of the organization. (PMI, 2008, p. 45)

Despite the ways projects have been managed in the past, project management does not happen in a vacuum. All projects take place within a strategic context, and there are both internal and external environmental factors that surround or influence a project’s success. These factors may enhance or constrain project management options and may have a positive or negative influence on the outcome (Exhibit 1). In much the same way that a project manager must balance cost, schedule, and scope, there are tradeoffs that must be made between the economic, social, and environmental factors surrounding a project.

Sustainability: Strategic Context for Project ManagementExhibit 1 – Sustainability: Strategic Context for Project Management

Responsibility for economic sustainability means moving beyond the simple ROI (return on investment) for the project and ensuring that it fits into the overall strategy of the firm. What are the key economic drivers for the organization? How does this project contribute to those drivers? How will this initiative, once deployed, contribute to the long-term fiscal viability of the organization?

Ensuring a project is socially sustainable involves reflecting on organizational culture, structure, and processes, existing human resource skills and personnel practices, both inside the firm and throughout the value chain.

Reaching toward environmental sustainability requires a mature evaluation of capital equipment and facilities requirements, use of resources, purchasing practices, contract management, and industry standards.

None of these are entirely new concepts. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) suggests that we do an environmental analysis of factors around our projects to understand their business context (PMI, 2008, p. 44). Just as the project manager must understand the business benefits the project yields, he or she is also accountable for any long-term impacts of his or her projects.

As project managers, we focus on getting from an idea to an implemented project—getting to a steady state. We’re not focused on longer-term issues like what happens to the product as it’s being manufactured, used, and disposed of. Project managers need to take a broad view of their role and to evolve from “doing things right” to “doing the right things.” This implies taking responsibility for the results of the project, including the sustainability aspects of that result. The developed product or service does not go away once we hand it over. It has an impact on the world, a useful period of operation, and ultimate disposal.

Project Management is How Strategy is Executed Within Organizations

When we think about introducing sustainability into an organization, we tend to think of purely operational concerns —the amount of paper used by the copier, turning the lights off at night. But projects are how the company evolves, changes, and reaches strategic objectives. It’s these actions that are most critical to the company’s work, and where sustainability needs to get a toehold.

Direction from top management, especially in respect to policies aligned to corporate strategy, plays a significant role; however, sustainability is not simply the task of the senior executive. Project managers are instrumental in achieving strategic goals, because they hold the path to execution. In this way, they can play a pivotal role in sustainability. Being familiar with the details of day-to-day operations and execution, the project manager is in a position to perceive and analyze socially relevant issues and situations that may not be obvious to senior management. For example, the project manager knows from firsthand experience that norms and laws, culture, and traditions may render a project very different in execution and outcome from what it is in other countries, including his or her company’s home country.

Common Goals of Sustainability and Project Management

Companies compete by constantly changing to meet market forces. These changes are primarily brought about through projects adopted by the organization.

Up until now, project management has been treated as if it’s an island in the middle of the organization. In the same way that a project has a discrete beginning and end, it’s as if a fortress has been built around it in terms of longer-term impacts. Project managers only evaluate risks that affect the project implementation itself, not the larger community or the reputation of the firm.

Businesses have never been insulated from social or political expectations. The difference now is the intensifying pressure and the growing complexity of the forces, the speed with which they change, and the ability of activists to mobilize public opinion (Bonini, 2006). The world of business is not just global, but is churning in a dynamic and turbulent environment. These seismic shifts in organizational thinking require project management to be more oriented on the business context of a project, not just myopically focused on the project itself.

Incorporating sustainability into project management helps us cope with the complexity of projects, reduces project crisis situations, project cancellations and interruptions, and the fluctuation of project personnel, creates a competitive advantage and economic benefits, and promotes sustainable project results (Gareis, Heumann, & Martinuzzi, 2010).

Former PMI President Gregory Balestrero noted, “Social responsibility is no longer the whim of an environmentally sensitive CEO. It has become a mandate for all organizations in every operation. Project managers must recognize and address this mandate now and into the future.” (Hunsberger, 2008)

Responsibilities of a Project Manager

The experienced project manager takes a systems view of his or her project, looking at all factors, inside and outside, over the entire life cycle of the project. Project managers are the ones who direct the consumption of resources in a project, and the ones who can instill a life cycle mentality into the project—from its inception to its ultimate disposal.

PMI’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct states: “We make decisions and take actions based on the best interest of society, public safety, and the environment.” This aspirational statement demonstrates the importance of balancing sustainability with other project management priorities (PMI, undated).

PMI, as an organization, also follows the strategic principle: PMI shall take actions and make decisions in a socially and environmentally responsible way (PMI, 2009, p. 9).

Sustainability and Project Inception

Portfolio Management and Project Selection

Projects, within programs or portfolios, are a means of achieving organizational goals and objectives, often in the context of a strategic plan. One goal of portfolio management is to maximize the value of the portfolio by the careful examination of its components—the constituent programs, projects, and other related work. In this way, an organization’s strategic plan becomes the primary factor guiding investments in projects (PMI, 2008, pp 40–41).

Project Portfolio Management is the bridge between project management and organizational imperatives such as sustainability. When managers use strategic objectives as the basis for determining which projects are selected and given priority, the end result is that only those projects that move them toward these long-term goals will be undertaken.

Inclusion of Sustainability Objectives Within the Project Charter

The Project Charter formally authorizes a project and documents the initial high-level requirements that satisfy the stakeholders’ needs and expectations. Integrating the principles of sustainability in the project charter will help define the result, objective, conditions, and success factors of the project. The content, intended result, and success criteria are based on a holistic view of the project, including sustainability perspectives as ‘economical, environmental and social’, ‘short term and long term,’ and ‘local and global’ (Silvius, Schipper, Planko, van den Brink, & Köhler, unpublished, p. 51).

Incorporating sustainability will change the evaluation of progress and alignment with strategic orientation. As project managers, we are accustomed to building or accepting a financial business case to justify a project; however, we also need to incorporate non-financial factors that substantiate the project’s long-term economic, social, and environmental impacts. It is the project manager who should be a leader in translating the goals of the organization into a project outcome that effectively and efficiently meets the goals of the organization and the broad set of project stakeholders (Mochal, 2010).

Stakeholder Identification and Management

Stakeholders are persons or organizations (e.g., customers, sponsors, the performing organization, or the public), who are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be positively or negatively affected by the performance or completion of the project. (PMI, 2008, p. 53)

Project managers have traditionally had a narrow view of stakeholders, looking primarily at those within the organization who are most directly impacted by the activities of a project, such as team members, customers, and the sponsor.

However, a holistic view defines a stakeholder as anyone with power, legitimacy, and urgency over a project, and/or its longer-term impacts (Mitchell, 1997, p. 873). Stakeholders bear power and influence over the project, how it is formed, how problems are solved, and the end result of the project. Stakeholders who are located outside of the company, who represent community, social, or environmental interests, have very little direct power, so it is incumbent on the project manager to carefully identify the salient interests that should be incorporated into project stakeholders. It’s critical to include these stakeholders, as “in the long run, those who do not use power in a manner which society considers responsible will tend to lose it” (Davis, 1973, p. 314).

Supporting the principles of sustainability—balancing social, environmental and economical interests, both short term and long term and both local and global—will increase the number of stakeholders of the project. Typical “sustainability stakeholders” may be environmental protection pressure groups, human rights groups, nongovernmental organizations, and so forth. In order to perform the project successfully, the project manager needs to acquire the buy-in of the stakeholders. This means the project manager must have conceptual and operational knowledge about the knowledge domains of the now extended stakeholders group (Silvius, no date). The project manager also benefits from this direct engagement, because he or she gains powerful expertise outside his or her traditional domain, which strengthens not just the project, but also his or her firm as a whole.

Outline

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Certificate Requirements

Course Length  24 Weeks
Course Effort  3-4 Hours per Week
Total Course Hours  72
Languages  English
Video Transcripts  No

System Requirements

Internet Connection

  • Broadband or High-Speed – DSL, Cable, and Wireless Connections

*Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Classroom pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

Hardware Requirements

  • Processor – 2GHz Processor or Higher
  • Memory – 1 GB RAM Minimum Recommended

While our courses are accessible through multiple mobile learning platforms, some courses may include a CD or DVD with the Textbook, so you may need access to a computer with CD-ROM or DVD Drive.

 

PC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems – Windows 7 or higher
  • Microsoft Office 2007 or higher. Also, you could use a general Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers – Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • Kindle Reader App is needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • QuickTime, Windows Media Player &/or Real Player

MAC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems – Mac OS x 10 or higher with Windows
  • Mac office programs or a Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers- Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • Kindle Reader App is needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Media Player
  • Courses that include a CD-ROM or DVD may require an external drive and Parallels software to view.

FAQs

How long does it take to complete a course?

When you register for a course(s), you will receive a start date and the time frame it takes to complete the program.  Once the course begins, each course is self-paced, so you can start and stop each learning module at your own pace. However, you must complete the course within the time frame to receive a certification.

What happens if I do not have enough time to complete the course within the time frame provided?

If you don’t finish the course in the time frame, you will not receive a certification. The time frame allotted to complete each course has been based on each learner giving a concerted effort to complete the course, plus the number of hours it takes to learn the information and obtain the certification.  Therefore, the time frame for each course has been calculated to ensure successful completion of the course. However, if for some reason a learner is unable to complete the course, you will have to re-enroll in the course and you will be required to pay the course price in effect at the time of re-enrollment.

Once enrolled in the course, and I realize that I can’t complete the course can I get a refund?

There are NO REFUNDS once you enroll in a course. However, if you are suddenly deployed while pursuing a certification course, we will work with you to ensure you complete your studies.  Learners who need to delay their course for medical reasons, may be eligible to transfer their course(s) to a future term.  A medical withdrawal will be considered only if accompanied by:

A written verification and phone verification from a medical doctor stating the student cannot complete the course due to illness or disability.  Please not the doctor’s note must be in English to be considered.

You can contact our office at: info@aperionglobalinstitute.com

Are there any additional materials and/or books I am required to buy for a course?

No, everything you need is included in the course.  Some courses will suggest additional materials/books that can help you grasp the information better, or expand your knowledge about a topic. However, you are not required to purchase the additional information.

 Are there exams I will have to take in a course?

Yes, there are exams in each course to access your knowledge of the material. You will be required to pass those exams to successful complete the course. The type of exams you will take vary. They can range from multiple choice questions, essays, short answers, and/or video/audio submissions. If you diligently study and complete the assignments for each course, you will be prepared to pass the exams in the course(s).

Can I get financial assistance?

Aperion Global Institute (AGI) courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal assistance in the United States, and AGI does not provide financial assistance.  In some states, a vocational program, military program, or workforce development program will pay for qualified learners to take courses. You will be responsible for qualifying for financial assistance through those agencies and/or programs.  For international students, you will also have to follow the guidelines and requirements regarding financial assistance at your institution or program.

What happens when I complete a course?

Upon successful completion of a course, within three (3) days you will receive a certification by email. You are free to save and print the certification for your educational and career needs. If for some reason you do not receive the certification, or can’t save or print the certification please contact our office at: info@aperionglobalinstitute.com

Once I provide an employer with the certification, am I guaranteed a job?

AGI does not provide direct job placement services after successfully completing a course. However, the certification you receive informs a potential employer that you have acquired the skills and knowledge to obtain employment, in most cases.  We recommend that learners conduct research on the job market to make sure you have the required job skills and expertise.

What software or hardware do I need, and what are the system requirements to take courses?

To take our courses, you must have access to a computer and the internet.  You can use a Mac and/or PC., tablet, phone.  You don’t have to use the same device to log-in for the course(s).  We recommend that you have a word-processing program (Microsoft Word is the best), Abode Player, and the latest version of a free web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, etc.

When can I start the courses?

You can start the courses on the start date only. Once the course starts, you are free to access the course anytime, anywhere, and as many times as you want with an internet connection. Please note: There are no refunds once you enroll in a course(s).

Can I receive CEU credit for courses that I successfully complete?

Please do not assume that all courses that you take and successfully complete are eligible for CEU certification. If you are seeking CEU certification for a course, we strongly recommend that you contact your institution and establish eligibility for the courses you plan to take BEFORE you enroll in a course.  Although we provide you with a certificate for successfully completing a course, it is solely your responsibility to ensure that the course you enroll in and the certificate meets CEU requirements for your profession.