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University of California, Irvine

Initiating and Planning Projects

University of California, Irvine via Coursera


The courses in the Introduction to Project Management Principles and Practices Specialization are a recommended precursor to UCI's Applied Project Management Certificate.

Successful projects require careful upfront planning. In this course, you’ll learn the key roles and responsibilities of the project manager and project team. You’ll also learn to answer some key questions upfront to help you meet project objectives: What will this project accomplish? Why is this project important? Who benefits from this project? How will we plan for successful outcomes?

Upon completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Identify the key characteristics of a project
2. Identify primary project constraints
3. Define the role and responsibilities of the project manager
4. Identify Project Organizational Structures
5. Understand the definition of a Project Stakeholder
6. Identify project stakeholders
7. Identify information needs of the project stakeholders
8. Define responsibility for managing stakeholder and controlling stakeholder engagement
9. Define the purpose of using a project charter
10. Summarize the key elements of a project plan
11. Identify common sources of conflict within a project environment
12. Describe the difference between authority and influence


  • Get Started!
    • Get started in this module by reviewing the course overview and participating in the course survey.
  • What is a Project?
    • In this module, we will identify the key characteristics of a project, identify primary project constraints, define the role and responsibilities of the project manager, and identify Project Organizational Structures.
  • Get to Know your Stakeholders
    • In this module, we will understand the definition of a project stakeholder, identify who they are, identify their information needs, and define responsibility for managing stakeholders and controlling their engagement.
  • Scope Matters
    • In this module, we will define the purpose of using a project charter, summarize the key elements of a project plan, and discuss the scope statement and the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
  • Authority vs. Influence
    • In this module, we will describe the difference between authority and influence and identify common sources of conflict within a project environment.
  • Wrap Up
    • Wrap up this course by meeting our industry expert panelists, taking the final exam, and participating in our post course survey.

Taught by

Margaret Meloni


4.3 rating, based on 19 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 22614 ratings

Start your review of Initiating and Planning Projects

  • Doing this course 'Initiating and Planning Projects' gives learners, a practical approach to Project management based on PMBOK methodology. Prof Margaret Meloni is a great teacher. Students will enjoy her crisp and clear communication of ideas. Slides are well designed. Video quality and sound quality is also great. You will encounter lots of good quality reading materials. Quizzes will help you to test your knowledge as you progress. Overall, an excellent course fit for project managers and project team members who work for construction projects. Also good for the aspiring project managers. Thanks to Prof Margaret and UC Irvine for the great course.
  • Daniel Wiehoff
    When you read all these great reviews, you almost start wondering, "did I take the same course?" I am unsure whether I should do the following courses in the specialization. UCI does not seem to be interested in active engagement, updating their courses, or offering the best quality they potentially could.

    The course basically works the following way: You read the PMBOK. There's no interactivity, no discussions, no way to ask questions if you need to clarify vaguely described concepts.

    All in all, it did not meet my expectations.
  • Frank Keidel
    The course helped me to get insight into stakeholder management and scope management and to prepare for my new job as project manager.
  • Jennifer D. Stone
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