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Mastering Projects Workshop

Sign up now for the Mastering Projects Workshop open enrollment sessions.
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“This workshop was not just the best project management workshop I’ve ever attended, it was the best workshop -- period -- that I’ve ever attended.” 

-- Mastering Projects Workshop Participant

The Mastering Projects Workshop was designed for project leaders, sponsors, and key project participants.  This workshop helps individuals learn to focus on the difference that will make a real difference -- for each unique project.  Instead of providing a cookbook, one-size-fits-all approach, the Mastering Projects Workshop helps people identify their points of leverage for each project assignment, in its prevailing environment, and within its actual project community. 

Participants learn how to: 

  • Assess the conditions that will most significantly impact their project
  • Use themselves to create and maintain a more manageable project
  • Use techniques for building a coherent community capable of accomplishing the real work of the project 

Who Should Attend?

The Mastering Projects Workshop is most powerful for experienced project leaders and participants.  It is especially useful for part-time project managers who need to lead a project in addition to their ‘regular’ job.  Here they’ll find a model for making sense of their own real-world project experiences, techniques for leveraging those experiences into a more comfortable and coherent approach, and insights into using their most powerful project-management tool -- themselves.

Mastering Projects Workshop is based on findings from research into best practices in Silicon Valley’s high technology new-product-development projects.  Its usefulness has proven in product development, system and application development, organizational improvement and development, and research-oriented projects. 

"I wanted to thank you for the class as a whole.  I thought the material was great and the tools are completely applicable to the types of projects we undertake.   I very much appreciated the time spent on discussing people as people and not just viewing them as assignable and expendable resources. The discussion on building customer relationships was especially good for the group and myself." 

-- Mastering Projects Workshop participant

What Will You Learn?

While applying a proven adaptive model for creating more manageable projects, participants learn practical tricks of the trade with the specific focus on developing the judgment needed to apply those techniques in their real worlds. Participants’ real-world projects provide the workshop's case studies. Using simulation, instruction, and written exercises, participants work toward satisfying their own, unique learning objectives and developing their own projects into a more manageable state.

Our objective is for each participant to leave the workshop delighted, having:

  • Achieved his or her personal learning objectives 
  • Created a more manageable real world project 
  • Gained access to techniques for transforming every future project into a more manageable one 
This four-day workshop consists of two sessions.  The three-day Part One focuses on designing a more manageable project and building a project community. The one day Part Two session, held six to eight weeks later, helps participants reflect on what they have learned in practical application and focuses on the key challenges and skills needed to sustain their projects over time.

"I came expecting training and I left with an education." 

-- Mastering Projects Workshop participant
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Workshop Outline

We focus the Mastering Projects Workshop on helping all participants achieve their own specific objectives, adapting each workshop towards this end. We ask participants to bring their own set of learning objectives and their own project to this workshop. 

"I never attended a workshop where we really talked about the issues that dictate success on a project." 

-- Mastering Projects Workshop participant

Using participants’ own projects, we work through five stages towards designing projects better adapted to their native environments and more capable of successfully adapting to unforeseeable conditions:

Naming Your Project -- We consider the context within which the project must operate.  You’ll learn how to

  • Identify the major challenges your project will need to be designed to withstand
  • Assess your ability, your project's native manageability, and your organization's ability to provision your project
  • Develop ways to improve your project's manageability 
Aiming Your Project -- We consider the conditions under which the project might succeed.  You’ll learn how to
  • Create a useful goal out of your project's initiating bright idea
  • Create common objectives and negotiate project boundaries 
  • Identify your project's critical success factors and risks 
Re-Framing Your Project -- We consider the community who will make the project successful.  You’ll learn how to 
  • Identify your project's community 
  • Assess community members’ real levels of support 
  • Enlist real support, and create real commitment
Taming Your Project -- We consider planning as the means for creating community and commitment.  You’ll learn how to 
  • Plan projects with uncertain futures and create useful project schedules
  • Define reasonable roles and responsibilities
  • Deal with requests to estimate the unknowable
  • Level the plan into a practical, understandable, and adaptable model 
Sustaining Your Project over Time -- We consider the issues affecting the long term manageability of your project.  You’ll learn how to
  • Assess project status and cope with conflict
  • Talk about what "you're not supposed to discuss"
  • Conduct effective post-project retrospectives 

"Many thanks to the class that changed my vision forever." 

-- Mastering Projects Workshop participant

 Every Mastering Projects Workshop participant receives a lifetime warranty on his or her workshop learning that includes

  • Lifetime Q&A support via telephone and email
  • A subscription to our newsletter, Compass 
  • An online facility for sharing insights and challenges with past Workshop participants
  • A means for directly connecting with others who are facing (or have faced) the same day-to-day challenges of mastering their projects
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Mastering Projects Workshops Dates and Locations

Denver, CO: July 2014
Portland, OR: October 2014

Download registration details here.

To download this information, you will need Adobe Acrobat. Download it from Adobe's site.

"For information on using Mastering Projects inside your company contact us by email at

Participant's Story

What's it like to participant in a Mastering Projects Workshop? Read one participant's experience
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