• The Open University
  • The Open University Business School

Business Fundamentals: Project Management

Gain the basic skills to manage all phases of project lifecycles effectively, using the most appropriate methods and tools.

141,508 enrolled on this course

A group of business professionals managing a project
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Accreditation

    AvailableMore info

Visualise, plan, manage and evaluate projects successfully

Whatever the type or scale of your project, delivering great results, on time and budget, is always a challenge.

This online course introduces you to the essential skills and processes that support successful project management and helps you apply them to your own context.

While other project management courses propose complex methods and techniques, this course will give you the skill-set to play an active role in a project environment right away.

You will also gain confidence with project document templates in Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as some web tools for project management.


  • Week 1

    Start your project journey

    • What is a project?

      Understand the challenges of project management. Familiarise yourself with project management definitions, different project types and project lifecycle phases.

    • Project initiation phase

      In the project initiation phase you will define the scope of a project and set the objectives. This is important to make sure the project achieves what it was set up to.

    • Initial planning steps

      Become familiar with the work breakdown structure and define deliverables and milestones. These will help you to plan and create a schedule for your project.

  • Week 2

    Practising with project management

    • Planning the project

      Learn about Gantt charts and have a go at creating one. Work through defining a project budget.

    • The project team and project risk

      Learn how to build a project team and assess the role of each team member. Evaluate the risks that could affect a project.

    • Critical path method

      Analyse projects with the critical path method. Identify the critical path and the effects of delays on project activities.

  • Week 3

    Executing the plan

    • The execution phase

      Learn how to implement a project. The role of the project manager in the execution phase starts with the kick-off meeting and includes project monitoring.

    • Monitoring and control

      Tracking the progress of a project is important to make sure it will stay within the agreed budget and deliver to the schedule. To do this you will need to control its development and manage variances.

    • Conduct project meetings

      To ensure the smooth running of your project, you might need to organise and chair many different types of project meeting. Learn how to make these successful and valuable to all members of the project team.

  • Week 4

    Evaluate your project

    • Earned value analysis

      Analyse the earned value of a project to understand whether your project is on plan, in terms of progress and costs. This analysis provides quantitative data for project decision making, to help cost and schedule management.

    • Motivate and evaluate a project team

      Motivated team members can be the key to great project accomplishments. What influences team motivation? How should you evaluate and reward ream members and project managers?

    • Project closure

      Closing a project involves tying up all the loose ends need to complete your project. Project reviews follow to glean lessons learned from your project.

Who is this accredited by?


This course is accredited by EOCCS, the first international quality benchmark for online courses in business and management education.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the main aspects of each phase of the project lifecycle
  • Apply principles and techniques of effective project management
  • Identify models and templates to assist project management
  • Develop time management, prioritisation, communication, and team management skills

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at those already or likely to be involved in projects whether professional or personal. It assumes no prior project management or business knowledge, though an interest in the topic would be beneficial. Whether you’re at the start of your career and need an introduction to the subject, or you’ve been managing projects for years and are seeking to reflect on your experiences, you will get a lot out of this formal, yet practice-oriented, learning experience.

For further information about registration, the final assessment course, your eligibility and the BA in Business Management, visit the Open University website.

This course is supported by the Association for Project Management (APM), the chartered body for the project profession. APM is committed to developing and promoting project and programme management through its FIVE Dimensions of Professionalism.

IMPORTANT! If you are aiming to use your study of courses in the Business and Finance Fundamentals program to obtain academic credit, please be aware that the final planned presentation of the Open University Assessment Course BXM191 Business and Finance Fundamentals in Practice starts October 2020. Please ensure that you allow yourself enough time to obtain all eight Certificates of Achievement from courses in the program before registering for the Assessment Course. Details of runs of the relevant FutureLearn courses in 2019 and 2020 are available here.

What do people say about this course?

"This course is outstanding in almost every aspect. For me, it was like a journey and a great experience with a lot of invaluable insights and knowledge gaining."

"Thank you, everyone, lead educator, mentors, and fellow participants, for an excellent course. My objective at the commencement of the programme was to improve my knowledge of project management and this was done. I particularly enjoyed learning about the online tools which were available to aid and improve the efficiency of project management. I do look forward to additional programmes by Futurelearn on this topic. Congratulations to the Open University and FutureLearn for an excellent job."

Who will you learn with?

Giacomo is a Senior Lecturer in Strategic Management at The Open University Business School. He holds a work experience in project management both in consulting companies and in EU research projects.

Who developed the course?

The Open University

As the UK’s largest university, The Open University (OU) supports thousands of students to achieve their goals and ambitions via supported distance learning, helping to fit learning around professional and personal life commitments.

  • Established

  • Location

    Milton Keynes, UK
  • World ranking

    Top 510Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

The Open University Business School

A pioneer in flexible learning for over 30 years, The Open University Business School delivers transformational, high quality business and management education which is quality assured.

Endorsers and supporters

endorsed by

APM logo

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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