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Project Management Techniques for College Students

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 9/30/2010

If you are overwhelmed with your coursework, then you may be needing to learn some project management techniques for college students. By effectively managing all the things you do, you can ensure greater success, not just in college, but in life.

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    Why Worry About Project Management in College?

    As you look around the prioject management chanel on Bright Hub, you may be wondering what project management has to do with college, since there are so many business applications. But, you'll find that there are project management techniques for college students that will help you to succeed in your studies. Whether you are trying to manage a group project or just your own work, you can benefit from treating your classes like projects.

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    Step One: Organizing Your Courses

    Learn Project Management Techniques for College Students Here As I said, you will want to treat each course as its own project. Take a moment and list out your courses. You may want to use a project management software program such as FastTrack Schedule to keep track of what needs to be done. Next, for each class, list every assignment. In project management, this is called decomposition - where you take the project and you break it down into its component parts. This is the first stage in figuring out what you have to do - oh, and if you have extra-curricular activities (honor's society, sorority or fraternity, etc.) you'll want to give each of those its own status to track as well.

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    Step Two: Break Down Your Assignments

    By further breaking down any assignments into their component steps, you can be sure that you have everything covered. For example, if you have a course that requires a research project, you might break it down the following way:

    • Decide on topic
    • Gather research materials
    • Perform research
    • Write outline
    • Write rough draft
    • Revise draft
    • Complete final draft
    • Write Bibliography
    • Turn paper in

    You will want to break down each assignment you have into its smallest parts. Why? Because small parts are much easier to manage than large projects. If you are doing a group project, you will have a meeting for each part. It's much easier to deligate in group projects when you know what has to be done. The first meeting you have with your group, you will want to discuss planning the project, creating deadlines, and allocating project members to specific tasks.

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    Step Three: Schedule Your Tasks

    Next, you will need to schedule your tasks. This means for every item on each list, you will have a specific deadline where that needs to be created. Start with scheduling unchangeable dates first - if you have a list of exams, quizzes, and when your papers are due, put those on your calendar. Now, schedule your personal deadlines around those dates. You will want to live a balanced life. Make sure you schedule time for sleep, play, and exercise as well. Time management in college is a crucial factor for success - and in managing projects it can make or break a project's success rate.

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    Step Four: Enter Tasks into a Task Management Program

    Finally, you will want to enter your tasks into a task management program so that you can track them. Studies have shown that individuals who keep track of their tasks tend to complete more tasks.

    While project management involves many more steps when implemented in businesses, by practicing some of the fundamentals of project management in your college work, you will be more equipped for success in the future.