Keeping Your Project on Track
Fee: $75 for those in the California library community and Infopeople Partners, $150 for all others.
(An Infopeople Online Learning Course)
Tuesday January 18, 2011 – Monday February 14, 2011
Today, library workers in all classifications are called upon to work on projects. Why do some projects flow smoothly from inception to completion? How do some people avoid distractions while others get sidetracked? How can you know when to press on with your original project plan, and when to make course corrections? How can you make sure the work gets done when you have responsibility for a project, but not the authority to "control" it?
Keeping a project on track and moving forward is rarely the result of good luck. Whether you are working alone to shepherd an author visit, participating on a team to implement a change in time card reporting, or coordinating the work of several departments on a new library building, there are steps you can take that will significantly improve your likelihood of success. As Louis Pasteur said, "Chance favors only the prepared mind."
Even if you're new to the world of projects, you will come away from this course with a better understanding of how you can make any project successful and satisfying. You will be introduced to a set of tools and techniques that can be used by anyone who has project responsibilities.
As pundits, planners, implementers, and problem solvers, George and Joan are determined to help libraries do what needs to be done to stay ahead of their communities' changing needs and expectations. With a combined 70+ years tackling a variety of library tasks, they have accumulated extensive project experience. Their pragmatic approach to library work makes it possible to do an excellent job while keeping your spirits up and your blood pressure down.
Please note that this is not a course in classical project management or planning; this is a course in successful project implementation. The focus will be on what you can do after you have been assigned a project to keep your work on track and running smoothly
Course Description: This four-week online course will provide an overview of project implementation tips, tools, and techniques. Through the course, you will have the option to complete assignments using (1) information about a project you are currently involved in, (2) information about a project you have recently completed, or (3) real-world project examples provided by the instructors. Through reading materials, discussion, interaction with the instructors and other learners, and assignments, you will learn skills that will enable you to get any project off to a good start, keep it moving forward, and handle surprises. In the third week of the course, you will have an opportunity to participate in a teleconference on how to "inoculate" yourself and your project team against resistance and obstruction.
Preliminary Course Outline: Using your web browser and your Internet connection, you will log in to the Infopeople online learning site and complete the following learning modules:
- Week 1: Getting Started
- Who is affected by this project?
- Verifying and clarifying project goals and expectations
- Understanding how project success will be evaluated
- Week 2: Techniques for Monitoring Your Project
- Simple project tracking tools
- Effective use of checklists and calendars
- When and how to make mid-course corrections
- Techniques for avoiding scope creep
- Week 3: Playing Nicely with Others
- Keeping yourself and your project team engaged
- Getting feedback along the way
- Coping with and learning from obstacles
- Week 4: Project Communications
- Keeping everyone in the loop
- Communicating effectively when the news is bad
- Sharing what you've learned
- Celebrating your success
Time required: To complete this course, you can expect to spend 2½ hours per week, for a total of 10 course hours. Each week's module contains readings and various optional assignments and discussions. You can choose the options most relevant to your work and interests. Although you can work on each module at your own pace, at any hour of the day or night, it is recommended that you complete each week's work within that week to stay in sync with other learners.
Who Should Take This Course: Anyone in the library community who ever needs to participate in the implementation of a project, regardless of its scope or duration, will benefit from this course.
Online Learning Details and System Requirements may be found at
Course Start: This 4-week-long online learning course starts on Tuesday January 18, 2011.
After the official end date for the course, the instructor will be available for limited consultation and support for two more weeks, and the course material will stay up for an additional two weeks after that. These extra weeks give those who have fallen behind time to work independently to complete the course.
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