Project Management in Education.

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July 6, 2019
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Project Management in Education.

Introduction

Project management is the process of applying procedures, tools, expertise and information to the project undertakings so as to meet what is required by the project. Initially, the process was employed informally; however, as time passed it became a significant profession. The process is beneficial to every company that is profit driven as it assists in enhancing the business’s operations. For instance, it helps in the organization and facilitation of tasks, thus, making it easier for the organization to implement the project activities. It is significant for every firm to have a clear knowledge of a project before embarking on it (Angela, 2013). Hence, project management allows the teams involved in the development of the project to have a distinct comprehension of what is required of them.

Additionally, organizations understand that for them to grow, they have to enhance their operations. Thus, project management aids in the addition of value to the firm. Project management is also beneficial in team build. Innovative firms need to ensure that their staff members can work together. Therefore, having successful projects helps a company to discover additional insubstantial advantages that are linked to the team involved in the project (Angela, 2013). The team members can claim ownership of the project, and their moral is improved. Team members are also able to execute their work in a professional manner. Project management also assists firms to complete a more productive and useful project. It makes it easier for the management to make significant decisions concerning the project. Besides, it assists in resolving the issue faster (Badiru & Jones, 2012). At times staffs may spend a lot of time trying to resolve issues due to lack of knowledge. Therefore, project management team aids in ensuring that the organization addresses the problem quickly. Lastly, it assists a firm to meet its goals.  Companies can meet their present and planned requirements. 

Case Study

Schools are identical to other organizations, whereby, they ensure that projects are implemented efficiently. To achieve this, the learning institutions make sure that they follow the appropriate process during the implementation of their projects.  One of the countries that use project management in its schools is South Africa.  The country takes education as a priority and thus, it has to ensure that all schools’ plans are well realized. For instance, one of the projects that have been implemented using the project management is the Safe and Caring CHILD-Friendly School project (Safety and Caring Child – Friendly Schools in South Africa, 2008). The project ensures that schools create a suitable environment for the student. One of the steps that the schools take is to evaluate the teachers to make sure that they are willing to implement the program. The school directors and the teachers work cohesively to ensure that the project is well implemented. They follow the right processes during its implementation, the schools management also performs a follow-up so as to guarantee that the project is well implemented.

Implementing Technology in School

Project Definition

Currently, most schools are implementing technology so as to enhance learning processes. It is also apparent the usage of internet has become a norm in all the schools in the whole world (Badiru & Jones, 2012). The particular project will be aimed at launching an internet library for the school. The library will be equipped with computers, and it will be installed with WI-FI services. The library will enhance the students learning experience in the school.

Planning Process

Expectations of the Project

It is imperative for the school to make sure that it follows the beneficial practices that would ensure that the project is well executed. In this case, the school the school will partner with an external team that is conversant with technology. The team would be lead by a Senior Information Technology Manager. The IT team will work jointly with the schools members of staff so as to make sure that all the tasks are well managed (Badiru & Jones, 2012). During the project implementation, the teams involved will meet once a week to check on the project’s progress.  The project will include various steps such as the initiation process that will include choosing the techniques that will be utilized and selecting the appropriate technology and training. Another process that will be involved in the project is the control process that will include reviews and the determination of the right changes. The final stage of the project would be the closing process.

Quality Control Techniques

The school understands that it is important to develop proper quality control methods so as the project can be successful (Fromm & Trilling, 2013). The institution will use methods such as;

Expert Reviews

As the project is related to Technology, the management will seek the assistance of professionals in the technology sector (Fromm & Trilling, 2013). It will use the help of consultants from the SEC-ICT to identify errors. The team will be tasked with checking whether the system is working as expected. They will take their time to detect errors at every step of the project.

Piloting the Program

The school will also implement a piloting program to ensure the practicability of the project. The learning Institution will be able to test and verify the value before spending time on the project. The team will make a list of the project’s goal (Fromm & Trilling, 2013). They will also state the way the program will be done and also its timeframe. The achievement of the plan will be determined by collecting feedbacks from the students.

Best Practices

The organization will review on the right practices when making decisions about the structure and the activities. It will implement learning management system that will help in initiating the project successfully (Meredith & Mantel Jr, 2011).  One of the requirements of the LMS would be writing. The team members will be required to write down the review of the project and how they feel about it. Communication will also be required, whereby; every person will be mandated to ensure that there is proper communication.

Technology Selection and Training

The school will perform intense research on the best technology to use for the project. One of the methods that would be used is the presentations that will be used to deliver information to the team (Meredith & Mantel Jr, 2011).  They will use web-presentation, whereby, they will incorporate simple slides with the necessary information. The management will also utilize poll everywhere technique during the program. Another important tool that will be utilized is the interactive CD-ROM. The CD-ROM will have the necessary information concerning the project.

Methods of Training

Train the Trainer Staff Development

One of the methods that will be used is the “Train the Trainer Staff Development Model” (Anderson, 2011). The model will be mainly used educate the teachers on the best ways to implement the program. They will be told how the technology operates and the necessary steps that will be taken in case of a problem. 

Pre-service class

The class will be used to teach the students on how to implement the technology. They will be taken through the basics of the project (Villanova University, 2015). It will permit them to familiarize themselves with the devices used. They will be also made through various risk management process. 

Communication Hierarchy

The head of the scheme will be the Vice Principal for Academic Affairs. He will delegate roles to the Language Coordinator, ICT director, and the qualified Development Coordinator (Meredith & Mantel Jr, 2011).  On the other hand, the English Coordinator will delegate duties to the English teachers who in turn the will communicate to the students and parents.

Control

The school management will perform the AVP reviews of the information collected from the outside sources (James & Miller, 2006). They will examine the critics from the parents and also the students. They will as well review reports and assessments gathered from the coordinators. The process will enable the team to keep track of the project and ensure it works as expected.

After performing the review, it would be vital to decide on the proper alterations. For instance, if one of the issues found is the lack of teamwork, the management can decide to reshuffle the team members. They can also improve the techniques used in the plan.

Corrective actions

  • The management can decide to talk to the team members to understand the problem.
  • They can as well offer the team members more training so as they can enhance the skills.
  • The school should also ensure that the expectations are meant. One way that they can achieve this is through promoting cohesiveness among the team members (Turner, 2014). They should also make sure that the equipment is working properly.

Closing Process

Follow-up Actions

The ICT team will work with the teachers to ensure that the project is well executed. The team will send at least two of their representatives to do a follow-up after every two weeks for the first three months (Turner, 2014). They will then do a follow-up once a month until they are satisfied with the teachers’ progress.

Maintenance Strategy

The students will be required to use one computer per person at a time. No person will be allowed to share the computers (Turner, 2014). The students will not be allowed to use flash disks on the computers. Rather, they can use CD-ROMs to save any important data that they may download.

Learned Lessons

  • During the project, it was discovered that teamwork is essential.
  • Another lesson learned during the project is the importance of communication.
  • It was also clear that dedication is vital while executing any project.

Feedback

  • The teachers were satisfied by the project and termed it as a success.
  • The students were also happy with the plan, and they argued that it will help them enhance their learning practices.
  • The ICT team was at the beginning dissatisfied by the teachers’ corporation; nevertheless, they were able to develop a healthy working relationship.

References

Anderson, M. A. (2011). Real Staff Development and … YOU. Internet @ Schools, 18(3), 25-26

Badiru, B.A., & Jones, R.R. (2012). Project management for executing distance education

programs. Retrieved from http://0 web.b.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f1da793a-514f-42a4-af54-fec6ca0895a8%40sessionmgr110&vid=6&hid=125

Fromm D., & Trilling, B. (2013). Integrating project management into CTE programs. Retrieved

from http://0-web.b.ebscohost.com.mylibrary.qu.edu.qa/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=390eccb1-e729-48f0-ba15-88fd18b09772%40sessionmgr198&hid=128

James, T., & Miller, J. (2006). Developing a monitoring and evaluation plan for ICT for

education. 33-42.

Meredith, J. R., & Mantel Jr, S. J. (2011). Project management: a managerial approach. John

Wiley & Sons.

Safet and Caring Child – Friendly Schools in South Africa. (2008). Retrieved January 3, 2016,

from http://www.unicef.org/southafrica/SAF_resources_cfsimplement1.pdf

Turner, J. R. (2014). The handbook of project-based management. McGraw-Hill. Vol. 92.

Villanova University. (2015). Top 10 Project Management Challenges. Retrieved from

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