June 9, 2020

Purdue offering new online Agile project management course

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is offering a new online course in Agile project management designed to prepare participants to apply Agile principles in their own work and enhance their careers.

The Agile method takes an iterative approach by breaking a big project into several stages, with consistent communication and collaboration among team members and stakeholders leading to continuous improvement at every stage and guiding prioritization of tasks. The approach facilitates responding to issues as they arise. Changes made at the right time help deliver a quality outcome, on time and within budget, and minimize risks.

The methodology is useful for almost any project and especially for managing high uncertainty projects where requirements are not well understood or are rapidly evolving, said Rachel Lamb, an instructor in Purdue’s project management training program who teaches the Agile course.

“It’s a very transferable skill set and having these skills is highly valued,” Lamb said.

Purdue’s online Agile project management course runs for five weeks. Students must complete a dozen modules, two to three per week, with a time commitment of approximately four to five hours weekly. The course will be offered beginning July 8 and again in October and in January and April 2021.

The course is open to anyone, not just project managers, and it is self-paced. There are no prerequisites, although familiarity with Microsoft Office, particularly Word and Excel, is desirable. Some familiarity with Agile project management terminology is helpful.

Purdue also offers online project management Essentials and project management exam preparation courses. All the courses are based on the standards set by the Project Management Institute (PMI) the global standard-setting body for project management.

Purdue’s project management training program, offered through the College of Engineering and Purdue Online, has been around for almost five years. John Wellman, educational program manager, said the courses attract students from a mix of fields such as engineering, information technology, construction and manufacturing, among others. Requests for an Agile course had been growing in recent years, Wellman said.

Purdue’s Agile course curriculum provides a solid grounding in the method, often applied in fields such as software development in addition to its uses in managing projects generally. Students learn how to prepare for an effective Agile implementation, including tools needed for success. Material covered includes popular Agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban and Extreme Programming, as well as measurement methods to gauge success.

Students who complete the course also can expect to learn about:

  • The benefits of using Agile approaches.
  • The Agile mindset and Agile Manifesto, a guiding document for the method, and how they contribute to project success.
  • Methods used to manage Agile projects.

The online course provides ample opportunities to interact with the instructor and other learners through discussion boards, emails and phone appointments.

Purdue’s Agile project management course was developed by subject matter experts in project management, who teach in both corporate and institutional settings, and a skilled online course development team. The content aligns with PMI’s Agile practice guide.

The course can help in preparing for the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner Exam (PMI-ACP) as well as PMI’s project management professional exam (PMP), which as of Jan. 2, 2021, will include a heavy Agile project management component.

For more information about Purdue’s Agile Project Management course see https://engineering.purdue.edu/online/certifications/agile.

Writer: Greg Kline, 765-494-8167, gkline@purdue.edu

Sources: Rachel Lamb, lamb31@purdue.edu

John Wellman, jmwellman@purdue.edu

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