Reflection on EDUC-6145 Project Management in Education and Training
At the conclusion of each course I am taking at
, I am required to write a brief reflection on the course. This is the reflection I wrote on the ”Project Management”class I just completed. Walden University
Rarely have I completed a course with the same level of enthusiasm for what I have learned. I have informally lead or managed many different kinds of projects over the years, but I have never felt I was good at it. In the past, I have written down my objectives, researched the topics involved, and have borrowed heavily from someone else’s plan, or better yet, found someone else to manage the project!
After taking this course, I’m already looking for ways to exploit and develop my new skills. I’m enthusiastic. I am especially enthusiastic about some of the online project management tools I have encountered over the past few weeks, and of those my greatest enthusiasm is for the tools that leverage online collaboration. My immediate plan is to start employing project management tools for the routine projects I manage all the time. Long-term, I think software tools can be over used. Sometimes a notebook and a pencil is the best tool for the job, but for now, I intend to leverage every project as an opportunity to develop my skills.
In the context of education and instructional design, I see potential for synergy in the similarities and differences between the disciplines of project management and instructional design. Design processes in any context involve iterative cycles of analysis, design, development, testing, and review of test results. Instructional design is no different. The design process involves testing and debugging, or in some contexts, trial and error. Design can be messy, and its results can be unpredictable. The messiness of the design process is where project management can assist. There is a danger that management objectives can stifle the design process, with quality suffering for the sake of a predictable timetable. However, planning of the development process with clearly defined objectives to prevent scope creep, can streamline the process without sacrificing quality. In practice, the structure provided by good management can benefit creativity by allowing the creator freedom to focus on design issues.
I have already used my project management knowledge to help a friend brainstorm an entrepreneurial project. When brain-storming, mind-mapping can be a great way to organize thoughts that seem to defy a standard outline. While there are some great mind-mapping software packages available, a pencil and paper is all it takes to begin a plan. Draw a circle in the center of a page, and put your main idea there. Then let the main idea sprout branches and roots, and see where the idea takes you!