Teaching Project Management to Students: Objectives and Benefits

November 12, 2008 | Author: PM Hut | Filed under: Miscellaneous

Teaching Project Management to Students: Objectives and Benefits
By Maria Peer

I am teaching Project Management for teenagers because in our private high school, Project Management is included in the curriculum. Our students have to carry out business related projects for graduation. Project sponsors are mainly SMEs.

Teaching Project Management to teenagers cannot be considered as an easy task. That’s why I organized a brainstorming session to clarify the different options of project themes. The final shortlist contained a school magazine and a volleyball tournament. The volleyball tournament ranked first. As the VT had to take place at the end of the term the preparation as well as the project work had to be carried out within a limited period of time. All the lesson plans on Project Management were designed on the basis of that project. - Maria Peer

Project planning is a skill as well as an art; and skills are best learned through practice. It’s much more fun to do it than to talk about it. The lesson plans had to meet the following requirements:

  • Involve tasks and activities that are relevant to completion
  • Require only a few weeks of time
  • Involve all students of the class
  • Should be carried out mostly during PM lessons

Objectives:

  • Develop students’ ability to create a project plan according to the rules
  • Expand students’ vocabulary on the topic of project planning
  • Develop students’ skills in forming an efficiently working team
  • Develop students’ ability to identify the characteristics of successful teams and team members
  • Make students aware of the dangers of exaggerated planning
  • Developing skills using simple project management tools that have immediate application to the background and needs of the students
  • Make students familiar with the characteristics of effective project planning and team roles.

The students take part in identifying the benefits of project planning:

  • Lead to project success
  • Clearly identifies work to be done
  • Organizes work
  • Eliminates unnecessary tasks
  • Helps you avoid dead ends, blind alleys and waste
  • Prepares team to deal with unexpected problems
  • Organizes the team for work
  • Allows team to participate in organizing work
  • Coordinates schedules of staff
  • Stimulates action
  • Communicates task assignments to all team members, non-team members who need to know (e.g. public, headquarters)
  • Provides input to budgets
  • Enables monitoring process.

About Mag. Maria Peer (in her own words)

My professional career first led me to my favourite field – the fashion sector. Working as assistant of a purchasing manager in a mail order company I covered a lot of ground: Creating and editing texts of catalogues, ordering garments from Hong Kong to Brazil, calculating items, researching the competition, negotiating with suppliers and choosing samples for the next season’s collection, assessing slideshows and the selection of the best photos for catalogues and brochures etc.

As a managing director of a Tourist Board in Tyrol I got to know the Tyrol and fell in love with this beautiful province of Austria. Over six years I represented hotels and private accommodation owners, cable car and chair lift companies, tour operators and skiing schools on joint marketing activities. I was also involved in planning and organising cultural and PR events. Fortunately I was in a position to travel a lot – via attending
tourist fairs e.g. BIT at Milano, ATB in Vienna and other Austrian towns as well as trade fairs in many European cities.

Now as a teacher of commercial subjects at BHAK Perg I can make use and sense of all my previous work, professional and personal experiences. I like that synergy and overall perspective I am able to offer to my students. I could not train others in things I have not experienced myself in some way. Coaching Matura projects is work I love to do. The theoretical background of project management is critical and vital for the success of student’s work. That’s why I’ve put a lot of effort on preparation of lesson plans and lessons. Maria’s professional blog can be found at http://lessons.lerntipp.at/.

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