The professional project manager

The professional project manager – overview

The aim of this programme is to provide current / prospective senior project managers with an in-depth review of the role and importance of project management in the organisation. It focuses on the strategic role of the project manager and aims to draw out the full scope of the role and how it impacts on project performance.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

The five key objectives of this programme are to enable the participants to:

  • Identify the characteristics and attributes needed by project managers in ensuring the organisation is recognised as an industry leader in delivering successful projects
  • Understand the full scope and impact of the project manager / leader’s role in managing projects or programmes to maximise benefit to the business
  • Define the hallmarks and skills required to manage significant business projects or project portfolios
  • Develop an understanding of the skills required and their impact on the project through case study work and syndicate exercises
  • Benefit from an effective forum for exchanging experience and fostering a sense of team spirit and mutual support between senior project managers
Who should attend?

Participants in this programme will already have attended training programmes covering the core skills and competencies for managing projects and will be thoroughly conversant with the tools and techniques of project management. They will have a number of years’ hands-on experience of managing projects and will be in, or about to assume, senior project management positions managing a substantial project or project portfolio.

Course format

A thoroughly practical two-day course involving exercises, two case studies, formal presentations and tutor-facilitated discussions.

There is often an advantage to running this programme on a residential basis and having a course dinner on the evening of Day One, attended by one or more senior managers. This can make a big impact on the underlying message that project management performance matters to the business and also helps build the PM community within the organisation.

Special features

To facilitate the knowledge transfer and performance improvement process, we recommend that the programme sponsor both introduce the course and be present for the final session.

For maximum benefit, this programme can be tailored to incorporate internal procedures and practices. This can include reference to methodologies such as PRINCE2 and the APM’s Body of Knowledge.

The programme can also be tailored to a more client-oriented perspective, particularly for public sector organisations.

Expert trainer

John is a highly qualified (BSc, MSc, CEng, MIMechE, MAPM, AMInstP) independent consultant specialising in project and change management. He established his consultancy practice in 1990, following 20 years of industrial management experience, and now offers a wide range of management training and team development programmes. He also provides facilitation and consultancy services to help clients with specific projects or to assist them with staff and management development programmes.

Before setting up his consultancy and training business, John was a senior manager with Ilford Limited, a leading manufacturer of specialist photographic products. Having starting as a development engineer, he progressed through technical and team leadership roles and was appointed Manager of Engineering Development in 1980. In this role he was directly involved in a major company restructuring programme whilst managing a diverse portfolio of multi-disciplinary engineering projects. His project management role subsequently grew to include a range of business projects, including manufacturing improvement programmes and new product introductions. John was also involved in co-ordinating international technology transfer activities and in strategic business development studies within the Ilford Group.

John’s project management experience includes the design and installation of new manufacturing equipment, the development of new products, the improvement of manufacturing procedures, the relocation of offices and staff and organisation restructuring. John has also co-ordinated international project teams and carried out assignments in support of strategic business development programmes.

Prior to joining Ilford Limited, John trained in the automotive industry and gained an honours degree in Applied Physics. He went on to conduct post-graduate research in cryogenics at Oxford University for which he was awarded an MSc in Engineering Science. John is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, The Institute of Physics and The Association of Project Management.

John’s client base includes leading organisations in Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Defence, IS/IT and Education. He is an associate with Loughborough Business School and is a senior consultant and course director with a number of well-known training organisations. Whilst his work is centred in the UK, he frequently works internationally in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A highly experienced, popular and professional trainer, John’s courses are always much appreciated by the participants, as the following comments show:

‘I really liked the practical exercises’

‘There was certainly a lot to think about’

‘John’s experience was excellent’

‘The group was encouraged to interact very well’

‘A very useful course’

‘A very worthwhile, productive and enjoyable two days’

The professional project manager – course outline

DAY ONE

1 Introduction (Course sponsor)

  • A vision of future opportunities and challenges
  • The impact of project managers / leaders on future success

2 The determinants of success

  • The contractor’s perspective
  • The client’s perspective
  • Success and failure: factors that determine the project outcome
  • The impact of the project manager

3 Case study: Project Giotto

  • How successful was this project?
  • What were the primary factors that influenced the outcome?
  • How relevant are these factors to current projects?
  • Feedback and review

4 Project team exercise

  • A practical exercise demonstrating the role of the project manager in managing the interfaces between the client, the project team and suppliers
  • Review – what skills are required to be a ‘world class’ project manager?

5 The role of the Project Manager

  • The role and skills of the ‘world class’ project manager
  • The three key dimensions of effective project leadership
    • – Managing influential stakeholders
    • – Managing project performance
    • – Managing the project team
  • Project leadership skills appraisal (individual review)

DAY TWO

6 Managing influential stakeholders

  • Project management and the art of leadership
  • Who are the influential stakeholders and how do they affect the project?
  • What we need to do/not do, to build successful working relationships

7 Case study: Understanding the customer

  • What are the likely problems the project manager will encounter?
  • What should the project manager do to ensure an effective partnership?

8 Managing project performance

  • Issues affecting commercial performance
  • Joining up the project life-cycle: getting performance from inception to closure
  • The roles of project manager, line manager and project sponsor

9 Project team exercise: Making the promise / delivering the promise

  • An exercise demonstrating the commercial and team leadership skills needed by the project manager
  • Review – what must the project manager do to optimise project performance?

10 Managing multi-functional project teams

  • The challenges of building effective, multi-functional project teams
  • Co-ordinating work across functional and organisational boundaries
  • Maintaining strategic focus and balancing priorities

11 Making it happen

  • Individual action planning
  • Syndicate discussion

12 Course review and transfer planning (Course sponsor present)

  • What will we do differently?
  • How will we make it happen?
  • Conclusion