Project Management

Learn to manage development, landscape, building or engineering projects.

Course Code: BBS201
Fee Code: S4
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
Get started!
Well Managed Projects Save Money and Run Smoothly!
Learn established and well trusted project management processes to ensure successful project outcomes.
  • Plan, Manage and (on completion) Review Projects
  • Understand technical and human resources, marketing, and other aspects of a project
  • Apply these skills to property development, mining, agricultural, engineering, events or other projects
  • Enhance your employability across a wide range of industries
Who Uses Project Management?
Project management skills are applied to all industries, and in all sorts of situations.

This course is just as relevant to a construction project as it is to managing a new product launch.  It is best suited to someone who has some prior experience or training in management, but is also useful as an adjunct to management studies.

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction
    • Scope and Value of Project Management
    • Understanding what project management is
    • The Need for Project Management
    • The Project Lifecycle
    • Project Identification and Initiating Process
    • Project Planning
    • Project Implementation,Execution and Control
    • Project Completion and Evaluation
  2. Project Identification
    • Scope and Nature
    • Formulating Project Objectives
    • Developing a Project Outline
    • Assessing a Projects Feasibility
    • Feasibility Checklist
    • The Identification Test
    • Three Types of Risk
  3. Planning Projects
    • Planning Heirachy
    • Planning Parameters
    • Planning Quality
    • Developing a Strategy Framework
    • Project Breakdown Structure
    • Planning Time
    • The Gantt Chart
    • PERT Charts
    • Planning Expense
    • Delegating Responsibilities
  4. Project Implementation
    • Introduction
    • Implementation
    • Controlling Process
    • Applying Standards
    • Events Control Chart
    • Budget Control Chart
    • Monitoring Performance
    • Evaluating Performance
    • Regulating Process
  5. Completion and Evaluation of a Project
    • Introduction
    • Why is a Closing Phase Necessary
    • Declaring Iminent Completion
    • Reassignment of Resources
    • Considering Project Sustainability
    • Project Assessment; Final Report, Performance Reviews
    • Appraising the Project
    • Why Projects Succeed or Fail
  6. Technical Project Management Skills
    • Preparing a Project Proposal
    • Proposal Layout
    • Drawing Up a Budget
    • Constructing a Post Project Appraisal
    • Software for Projects; How Project Management Software Works, choosing software
    • What Project Management Software Cannot Do
  7. Leadership Skills
    • Scope and Nature of Leadership
    • How to Be A Project Leader
    • Visibility & CommunicationsLeadership Characteristics
    • Leadership Skills
    • Improving Leadership Skills
    • Giving Directives and Introducing Change
    • Orders
  8. Improving Critical Personnel Skills
    • Inevitability of Problems
    • Common Problems
    • Schedule variations
    • Changing priorities
    • Administration overload
    • Deadline Changes
    • Cash blow out
    • Inappropriate skills
    • Role Confusion
    • Exhausted Team
    • Politics
    • Reduced Motivation
    • Communication Breakdown
  9. Major Assignment
    • Development of full documentation for projects.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

How to Control a Project

Project management is different to forms of management because it is finite.

Managing a business is ongoing. You don't know when the job will finish; because the business could keep trading for years to come; but a project has a time limit. If you are building something, it is finished when the construction finishes. If you are running an event; it is finished when the event concludes. If you are developing a property, you are finished when it is ready to be used.

  • Controlling a project is a process that involves gathering and analysing information, in order to make the best decisions as a project progresses.

  • The aim of control is to minimize the differences between where you are, at project completion, and where you had planned to be, at project completion.

  • Gathering information can happen both formally (e.g. through reports) and informally (e.g. through communicating with people and observing progress first hand)

  • Analysis of information gathered will at times reveal problems, and a need for corrective actions to be taken.
    The project manager needs to prompt and enable appropriate corrective actions as and when the need is determined.

  • Corrective actions need to solve problems in a way that has the least possible impact on the project (i.e. not disrupt the schedule, not increase the costs, not reduce the quality, etc.).

  • Any decisions to take corrective actions should be influenced by the preferences of all stakeholders in the project.


Control Tools

In any project you need to introduce identified and defined project control procedures i.e. part of the project plan that establishes the tools you will use to fulfil and control the work of the project, in an effective manner.
This will:

  • Identify all the procedures needed for the entire project.

  • Define the appropriate standards and levels of tolerance.

  • Outlines procedures and other tools used for progress control (time lines etc.), version control (dating and filing etc.).

There are many different tools that can be used to control a project. Some are more useful than others. The most appropriate tool will depend on the size of the project and other factors.

Benchmarking is a valuable tool that can be used to improve business processes and performance by identifying, understanding and comparing best practice used by other organisations world-wide, inside and outside of your industry. The process is only useful if the companies you are benchmarking are known for their high performance; there is no point for example in benchmarking a low performing competitor as then your standards will reflect theirs. When benchmarking, identify companies whose business processes are efficient, compatible and adaptable to your own business.

Benchmarking implementation decisions should be regularly evaluated and reviewed to ensure that corporate, operational and individual targets are reached.

Benchmarking research information is easily obtained through: email, internet, telephone, the European Benchmarking Code of Conduct etc. 

Practical Ways of Staying in Tune with Your Project
You cannot exert influence upon what is happening unless you are first aware of what is happening. A big part of being a Project Manager is to gather information; enough to remain acutely aware of the current state of affairs at all times. There is always a danger though of spending too much time gathering information, that you don’t have enough time to act upon what you gather. Like most things, you must be sensitive to balancing these.

Ways of gathering information can include:

  • Meetings - with teams, individual workers, suppliers, contractors

  • Site visits - informal visits to the site of the work. Walking around, talking informally to people, observing.

  • Formal reporting mechanisms - statistics derived from bookkeeping (e.g. purchases); administrative records (e.g. materials delivered, staff work sheets, accounts tendered by contractors), questionnaires or forms filled in by staff, etc.

  • It is important to recognise that the information you gather is not always straightforward. Some can be tainted by bias (e.g. if you talk to an employee who does not like their boss); some may be inappropriate or irrelevant, some might not be precise (some people do exaggerate), and some might not be credible (opinionated people may offer opinions that are ingrained in their psyche, rather than true reflections of the project).

Procedures, such as quality assurance documents, staff manuals and so on can help the project manager to keep control of certain regular aspects of project management procedures, design how a project will be managed and ways to communicate processes to the project team, stakeholders and customers. They may be seen as time consuming to develop, but often they only need to be developed once.  The procedures can then be simplified and amended for other projects. A template can be developed called Project Management Procedures, which describes the processes.  They can be used to develop a work plan. 

A work plan is a way to review the work on a regular basis. This could be weekly, two weekly etc. On the plan, things such as hours spent, cost and so on can be identified. It can also determine what activities are required to be completed, what have not been completed and so on.

Work plans can also be used to review budget situations – such as how the project is performing against a budget.  This may be done on a bi-weekly, weekly or fortnightly basis.  The work plan is important to ensure the project is not going above costs, and it also gives an early warning if the project is behind schedule and so on. It can make you aware that the project might run behind schedule, that overtime might be required, that team morale is declining, quality is deteriorating and so on. 

Gantt Charts
A Gantt chart is a sort of bar chart. It was developed by Henry Gantt and is used to illustrate a project schedule.  The Gantt chart illustrates the start and finish dates of terminal elements of a project and also a summary of the elements of a project.   Summary elements and terminal elements are the work breakdown structure of a project.

CPA (Critical Path Analysis)
This has greater emphasis on known completion times (expected and fastest or ‘crash’ times). It involves complex and careful planning techniques for more complex projects. It takes into consideration the sequence of events throughout the life of the project i.e. what order they should be in and then estimates the time needed to complete each step. The formulated pathway is then followed through to the end of the project.




Some people study a course in an industry that is all about "projects". Engineers, architects, landscape architects and property developers are just some such industries.  Others however, may well start out working in an industry in a semi skilled or trade level job; and be promoted through the ranks toward a position where they are in charge of projec

Finding themselves challenged with such a situation; a course such as this can be extremely useful as a form of professional development; and may greatly improve the prospect of further advancement.

Project managers need to be able to set a clear series of reasonable and appropriate goals; then maintain a strong and clear focus on the project, working to achieve those goals.
Their work involves planning, organising and overseeing how the goals are met, in accordance with an established timetable.

Everyone can benefit from project management skills, if not in the work place; in their personal life.

Businesses engage project managers to get specific jobs done; sometimes only occasionally, but for larger businesses, more often, and sometimes permenantly. 




ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
ACS Distance Education holds an Educational Membership with the ATA.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Member Nursery and Garden Industry Association.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112
UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112

How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
registration. Recommencement fees may apply.

Simply click on the ENROL OPTIONS button at the top of this screen and follow the prompts.

You can see the course price at the top of this page. Click 'enrolment options' to see any payment options available.

You can pay by Credit Card, PayPal, Afterpay or bank transfer.

Yes! We have payment plans for most courses. Click 'enrolment options' to see the available payment plans.
We also have Afterpay that will allow you to pay for your course or payment plans in four instalments (if you are in Australia).

What do I need to know before I enrol?

There are no entry requirements that you need to meet to enrol in our courses, our courses are for everyone.
If you are under 18, we need written permission from your parent/ guardian for your enrolment to continue, we can arrange that after you have enrolled.

You don’t need to purchase any additional resources to complete our courses.

We aim to teach you the essentials without you having to purchase any specific computer program.
We recommend that you have access to a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, so that you can easily complete and submit your assignments.

You sure can. We are here to help you learn whatever your abilities.

Yes, if you are enrolling in a Certificate or Advanced Certificate, you might be eligible for credits if you have evidence of your previous studies or relevant experience. More information is here.

We recommend that you are able to browse websites, send emails and conduct online research. You will need to be able to type and submit your assignments.
If you have limited computer skills, we can make special arrangements for you.

This is possible, it depends on the institution. We recommend that if you would like to use our courses that you contact the institution first. Our Course Handbook is a good resource for this.

Our courses are written in English and we only have English speaking academic staff. If you can read and complete your assignments in English, our courses are ideal for you.

Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

Our courses are designed for adults to gain professional development and skills to further their careers and start businesses.

Our custom online learning portal allows you to conduct your learning online. There may be practical tasks that you can do offline. You have the option of downloading your course notes or print them to read later.

There is also the option to pay an additional fee for printed course notes and or USB (availability limited to location and deliverability).

Yes, if you don’t have access to the internet, you can receive the course as paper notes or on a USB stick for an additional fee. We can also make alternative arrangements for you to send your assignments to us.

We offer printed notes for an additional fee. Also, you can request your course notes on a USB stick for an additional fee.

Yes, your tutor is here to help you. Simply post any questions you have in your portal or contact the office and we can pass on a message to your tutor.

We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

Exams are optional, however you must sit an exam if you would like to receive a formal award. You will need to find someone who can supervise that you are sitting the exams under exams conditions. There is an additional cost of $60 incl. GST for each exam.
More information is here

There are practical components built into the course that have been designed to be achieved by anyone, anywhere. If you are unable to complete a task for any reason, you can ask your tutor for an alternative.

When you complete the course work and the exam and you will be able receive your course certificate- a Statement of Attainment. Otherwise, you can receive a Letter of Completion.

You can bundle the short courses to create your own customised learning bundle, Certificates or Advanced Certificates. More information is on this page.

Yes, our courses are built to be applicable for people living anywhere in any situation. We provide the fundamentals, and each student can apply their own unique flair for their own interests, region and circumstances with the one-on-one guidance of a tutor. There is also a bit of student directed research involved.

Employers value candidates with industry skills, knowledge, practical skills and formal learning. Our courses arm you with all of these things to help prepare you for a job or start your own business. The longer you study the more you will learn.

ACS has an arrangement with OAMPS (formerly AMP) who can arrange Professional Indemnity from Australian and New Zealand graduates across all disciplines. Ph: 1800 222 012 or email

Who are ACS Distance Education?

ACS Distance Education have been educating people for over 40 years.

We are established and safe- we have been in education for over 40 years.
We are focused on developing innovative courses that are relevant to you now and what you will need to know in the future.
We are focused on helping you learn and make the most of your experience.
You can enrol at any time, you can work on your course when it suits you and at your own pace.
We are connected to many industry bodies and our staff participate in continuous improvement and learning activities to ensure that we are ahead of what learning is needed for the future.

Our courses are not accredited by the Australian Government. However many of our courses are recognised and held in high regard by many industry bodies.

Our courses are written by our staff, who all have many years experience and have qualifications in their speciality area. We have lots of academic staff who write and update our courses regularly.

How do I enrol my staff/ sponsored students?

Yes, you can do a request for a bulk enrolment and request an invoice on our Invoice Request Form

We can prepare an invoice, quote or proforma invoice. Simply complete your details on our Invoice Request form

We can arrange bulk discounts for your course enrolment, please get in touch with us to discuss your needs.

Yes, we have many students who are in locked facilities, such as prisons or hospitals. We can cater by also offering paper notes at an additional cost.

What if I have any more questions or need more information?

We can assist you to find the right course for your needs. Get in touch with us via email ( call on +61 7 5562 1088 or complete our course advice form.

What if I change my mind?

Please get in touch with if you would like to be removed from our mail list.

If you would like ACS Distance Education to delete your information at any time (whether you are a customer or a prospective customer), please contact our privacy officer and we will process this ( ).

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Christine Todd

University lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience
B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social).
An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.

John Mason

Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner.
John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.

Jacinda Cole

Former operations manager for highly reputable Landscape firm, The Chelsea Gardener, before starting her own firm. Jacinda has over 20 years of industry experience in Psychology, Landscaping, Publishing, Writing and Education. Jacinda has a B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA.


Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Jacinda Cole

Jacinda has expertise in psychology and horticulture. She holds a BSc (hons) in Psychology and a Masters in Psychology (Clinical) and also trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the London Centre for Psychotherapy. In horticulture she has a Certificate in Garden Design and ran her own landscaping and garden design business for a number of years. Jacinda also has many years experience in course development and educational writing.

Graham Anderson

Graham Anderson B. Mech Eng (hons) Dip. Health

Graham has spent his life in the farming and agriculture industry, particularly carving a niche in the avocado sector with experience ranging from tissue culture, to nursery management to fruit marketing. He has an engineering qualification and an extensive range of mechanical skills which are now diversifying to an understanding of our internal mechanics in health and psychology with qualifications underway.

Alexander O'Brien

Alex was born and raised in Cork, in the Republic of Ireland. Having been trained in Architecture, Permaculture, Mechanical Engineering, Ceramics, Furniture Design/Construction, Sustainable building and Art,Craft and Design, his knowledge base is broad. Much of his professional work has been designing and making nature inspired spaces, creative reuse of materials, permaculture and natural ecology regeneration.

That being said, in his own words, " real passion is teaching. I adore sharing my knowledge and experience. Seeing students progress, and learning, that is my soul food."'

Need Help?

Take advantage of our personalised, expert course counselling service to ensure you're making the best course choices for your situation.

I agree for ACS Distance Education to contact me and store my information until I revoke my approval. For more info, view our privacy policy.