The role of the project manager

A project manager must understand the scope of the task ahead. This course introduces the fundamentals that project management is built upon, enabling you to develop and lead a successful project team.
What’s it about?

Before being able to become a project manager, the first step is to comprehend the context of project management. What are its fundamental components, who is involved in the process and what contributes to ensuring the success of a project? In particular, you will examine the process of Project Management within organisations, how it has been defined and the key frameworks that apply. The concepts of project stakeholders will be examined and you will develop your own leadership skills. 

What will I learn?

At the completion of this micro course you will be able to describe the fundamental processes that define project management, the contribution of project teams and the critical role of leadership.

  • Understand the development of project management frameworks
  • Define the project management process
  • Identify and engage project stakeholders
  • Recognise the impact of organisational culture
  • Enhance your team leadership skills 
What’s involved?

There are four learning pathways each containing numerous resources and four learning challenges, which combine to become an assessment. The learning pathways are:

  • Project management in context
  • Describing project management
  • Stakeholder management
  • Leading effective teams 

Anyone is free to participate in this course. An internet connection and basic web browsing skills are recommended with the ability to create a blog and microblog account (instructions and self-study tutorials provided.) You are requested to keep a personal course blog to share and reflect on the outputs of your learning which has been shown to increase learning markedly.

The role of the project manager is one of four micro-courses required for formal credit towards Introduction to Project Management, a 1st year-level Bachelors course at Otago Polytechnic. Each micro-course can be studied independently in any sequence, however learners may find it beneficial to study the micro courses in the following order.


IPM101 Role of the project manager
IPM102 Initiating a project
IPM103 Planning a project
IPM104 Executing and closing a project


Learners aiming to submit assessments for formal academic credit will need to meet the normal university admission requirements of the conferring institution (e.g. language proficiency and school leaving certificates).

Image credit: Flowchart by Geralt dedicated to the public domain. 

Current Start learning

Course Code: IPM101
Available: 19 September 2018
Duration: 2 Weeks , 10 hours per week
Type: Micro course
Assessments: 20 hours

Credentialing: Microcredential Official course credit
Course Credit: Requirement for Introduction to Project Management
Credential: Bachelor of Applied Management
Level: 1st year Bachelor’s

Who are the developers:
Phil Osborne, is a Lecturer at the College of Enterprise and Development at Otago Polytechnic. Phil's main area of focus is teaching undergraduate marketing. Read More
Ray O'Brien, is an online learning designer at Otago Polytechnic. Previously he has worked in adventure tourism, military training and event management. In his current Read More
Claire Goode, is a member of the Learning and Teaching Development team at Otago Polytechnic, and a Senior Fellow of the UK's Higher Education Academy. Read More
Carol Cooper-Taylor, is an independent consultant with extensive experience in e-learning design. Carol was commissioned by the OER Foundation to lead the design and development Read More
Dr Wayne Mackintosh, is the founding director of the OER Foundation and is the designated UNESCO and ICDE Chair in OER at Otago Polytechnic. He is Read More