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Effectively Managing Multiple Projects

Brian Steve Smith, PE, PMP, MBA

Course Outline

This two hour online course discusses the processes involved in the management of multiple projects, i.e., the “multiple-project” environment. After a brief introduction to the current reality of the multiple-project environment, and a brief review of the processes involved in project management, students are introduced to the basic concepts of project portfolio management. Building upon this foundation, students also learn basic concepts of effective project selection and prioritization in the multiple-project environment. A five-step process for managing a portfolio of projects is presented, along with ideas and questions to consider when organizing and planning a portfolio of projects. The importance of project communication is stressed with particular importance in the multiple-project environment, with practical tools and techniques to help plan more effective communications. The unique challenges involved in resource management, inter-related project schedules, and inter-project risks are also discussed with practical steps to manage these issues.

The course emphasizes a process-oriented approach to managing multiple projects. With the principles, tools, and techniques described in the course, you should be able to set up the processes your organization needs to effectively manage multiple projects, and let the processes work for you.

This course includes a multiple-choice quiz at the end, which is designed to enhance the understanding of the course materials.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for engineers, project managers, and engineering managers.

Benefits to Attendee

Attendee of this course will be able to develop and implement a process-oriented approach to systematically and consistently manage multiple projects effectively.

Course Introduction

In many ways, the job of a project manager is simpler when we have a single, large project to manage, rather than a portfolio of smaller ones. Every project demands at least a certain level of attention, regardless of how limited in scope or budget, so a bunch of little projects usually adds up to more work than a single big project. The competitive nature of today’s business climate demands that our companies do more with less, which means that, for most of us, the days of managing a single project at a time from cradle to grave are over. This course introduces key concepts involved in managing a portfolio of projects, and in developing processes to manage projects effectively in the multiple-project environment.

Course Content

The course content is in the following PDF file:

Effectively Managing Multiple Projects

Please click on the above underlined hypertexts to view, download or print the document for your study. Because of the large file size, we recommend that you first save the file to your computer by right clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ...", and then open the file in Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Course Summary

If projects are a normal part of your company’s business, it is important that project management be systematic and consistent. This is facilitated by the establishment of a project management methodology within the organization which supports the management of the multitude of projects in the company’s (and project manager’s) portfolio. It is recommended that guidelines, based upon project management standards, be established and documented as part of the company’s business processes and procedures, and that all members of the company who contribute to projects be trained in the methodology. With the principles described in this course, your organization should be able to create a set of processes that works for your specific multiple-project environment and project portfolio. Then you can let the process work for you.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites:

Project Management Institute
International Institute for Learning (IIL)


Once you finish studying the above course content, you need to take a quiz to obtain the PDH credits.

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.