How to Tackle a Project Management Assignment in College

The Project Mangement Institute (PMI) got a talent gap analysis done which stated that the demand for project managers is set to grow from 2017 to 2027 at a faster rate than other jobs – by an incredible rate of 33%!

Project management (PM) courses focus on skills you need to handle a project and complete it successfully, such as planning a project, budgeting, risk management, business communication, conflict management, and strategic planning. The best colleges and universities across the world offer you a chance to study general project management programs or the ones that specifically focus on a particular domain – such as IT, oil and gas, business services, finance and insurance, or construction.

Project management assignments, hence, deal with a variety of topics, including:

Communication
Computer-Integrated Project Delivery
Cost Engineering and Control
Financial and Managerial Accounting
Intelligent Transportation Systems
Managerial Finance
Project Feasibility Analysis and Valuation
Project Scheduling
Sustainability Strategies in Organizations
Transaction Management and Risk Mitigation

What makes the Project Management assignment so challenging for you?

PM students can be categorized into different levels on the scale of ‘5 Orders of Ignorance’:

  • 0th Order: It means that the students are knowledgeable, aware of what they are doing, and can produce tangible results with a little help and guidance.
  • 1st Order: Students already have the assignment question but they need a little assistance in finding its answer.
  • 2nd Order: Students have to choose their assignment topic and formulate a question related to it.
  • 3rd Order: The student fails to understand the concepts or the topic the assignment covers at all – and is at a complete loss of what to do and how to do it.
  • 4th Order: Student is not interested in the course and does not want to engage himself or herself in writing the assignment at all.

Depending on your order of ignorance, you’ll need to employ different tips and techniques to complete your assignment in time.

Tips for 4th Order Students

Project Management is generally an interesting subject for all students. If you do not like the course, you need to dig deeper and find out why you don’t like the subject. A few things you may ask yourself are:

  • Do you understand how the subject can help you in the future?
  • Do you hate the instructor or the way he is teaching?
  • Are you bored in class?

Discuss your problems with your teacher of a student counselor in your college and maybe they can help you see how the skills and knowledge you can pick up in class can be applied to real-world situations. Once you see the value of what you are learning, you will be able to develop an interest in the subject.

If you are feeling bored in class, you may want to enroll in a different class which includes more activities. You may also resort to online learning and find content that is more suitable to your taste.

You may also try the learn-by-doing method. As you learn the principles, tools, and jargon of project management in class, you can learn to apply them by taking on different projects. Interning under a good and capable project manager or actively engaging in college communities that organize a range of college events allow you to apply what you learn in a PM class.

Tips for 3rd Order Students

Do you have a language barrier or lack the adequate knowledge of the subject that makes it difficult to understand what is being taught in class? In that case, you might want to enroll yourself in a language course or a basic course online or offline.

If you do not understand the advanced project management courses, you may enroll in this 4-week program on Coursera and learn the fundamentals of the subject.

Besides reading books, you can learn about specific concepts from different sources. You can seek the help of an expert who can explain the concept to you or do your own research. These days, you can listen to audio books and management podcasts, participate in study groups (where students are preparing for the PMP exam), go through videos, read blogs, and attend webinars and conferences.

Tips for 2nd Order Students

Choosing an assignment topic or a dissertation topic is crucial step in writing it successfully and get good grades in class. Many experts worldwide can offer you assistance in choosing a project management assignment topic based on your requirements, study goals, and teacher’s instructions. We will discuss how they do it step-by-step:

  • Brainstorming: You can first write down any questions that you may want to explore about the given topic area. You can also pick up your textbooks and study material and create a list of ideas you find exciting. Maybe your teacher has asked a question in class which you find interesting, or perhaps you encountered a problem at your workplace. Note all your ideas down systematically.
  • Evaluate your Resources: Discuss the topics you have in your mind with your teachers and colleagues, and pinpoint the sources from where you can find more about them. Arrange the list of books, journals, and websites you can use. Do a little pre-research on the topics you have chosen and see what you discover. If you are going to do research, ascertain what new can you add to the topic. For other assignments, try to determine what you can write about which suits your audience.
  • Decide on your Research Method: In the project management case, you’ll have to evaluate the kind of management research skills you possess. Would you like to interview people or conduct surveys? Or would you prefer to sit in the library and do comparative analysis of the literature available on the subject.
  • Widen your Horizon: You may have to be creative in coming up with the assignment topic. Focus on the gaps of the subject or hot topics that are being discussed in newspapers and magazines can throw up some interesting ideas. You may also try to choose a topic that will be relevant for potential employers in the future.

Remember: Be practical while choosing the topic. Your assignment topic must be exciting, informative, and yet do-able within a reasonable time period.

Tips for 1st Order Students

Writing Project Management assignments can be made easier using some of the concepts you have learned in class. Think of your assignment as a ‘project’, divide it into small tasks, make a schedule, do the research, and chart your progress.

You may refer to project management assignment samples and examples available online, and see how they are structured. Use them to create a template you can use in Word or similar word-processing applications.

Then, you can take a step ahead and start studying on the topic. Focus on what you can include in each section in your assignment template, and note it down. It will help you prepare the outline of your assignment presentation.

Conduct the research work as required. Tools like Survey Monkey allow you to conduct short surveys online for free. A quick poll on the college intranet or conducting interviews online or offline are some other ways to collect primary research data.

To make sure that you answer the given question correctly, you need to read it carefully. What exactly does the question ask you to do? Do you have to ‘critically analyze’ something or ‘create a programme of activity’ or ‘identify’ something or ‘summarize’ something?

Make sure that you stick to the topic. Many students make the mistake of deviating from the topic while writing about it and end up with something that is vague and irrelevant.

Industry-specific references and case studies, and detailed and robust analysis are the top secrets of power writing when it comes to project management reports. So, be liberal with them and you should score well in the assignment you are writing.

Tips for 0th Order Students

Congratulations! You are doing a great job. You might do even better if you can find a mentor to help you out. You may also take up tutoring or teaching assignments to hone your skills and knowledge in the project management field or apply for part-time jobs where you can showcase your skills and do power networking.

Rruchi Shrimalli

Rruchi Shrimalli is a Content Marketing Manager for transtutors.com, askIITians.com, GoAssignmentHelp.com and several other websites. She is a writer and a journalist at heart, and has been writing articles on various aspects of the Education domain since 2010. Her articles have been published at Shiksha.com, India.com, and Employment News among others.