Principles of Project Management: Basic Workshop

Call them “Accidental project managers,” “Incidental PMs” or “Unofficial project managers”. They are the staff and management that are running over half your projects – important projects that need to be delivered successfully.

Give these leaders the practical, proven tools of project management, scaled to fit their needs.

Practical Project Management Training

Learn and practice specific techniques such as Stakeholder Analysis, Building an Action Plan, and Project Communication in class. Be able to perform every technique and explain how each technique contributes to your leadership ability and a successful project outcome.

The course provides the building blocks of project leadership. Participants learn how the project management tool set enables them to satisfy all their stakeholders -- sponsors, management, customers and the project team. 

Project Planning Workshop

Participants plan one of their own projects in class. It's the best way for individuals to learn the concepts faster to transfer the learning to their job. 

The workshop component is embedded in the course so that each lecture topic is immediately followed by the workshop component.  For example, after the scheduling lecture, teams will create their own project schedule.


Anyone responsible for leading or sponsoring projects benefits from understanding the tools of project management.  This course is particularly appropriate for leaders of part-time, internal business projects – “project management for non-project managers.”

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Identify five project success factors that apply to every project.
  • Articulate the business benefit of their current project
  • Develop a partnership with a project sponsor.
  • Describe the cost, schedule, and quality constraints and tradeoffs for their projects
  • Systematically apply the proven techniques of project management to define, plan and control a project.
  • Develop a realistic project schedule that relies on team members who are less than fully assigned to the project.
  • Plan stakeholder communication based on stakeholder authority and involvement
  • Understand the relationship between the science of project management and the art of leadership.

Course Outline

I.          Why Project Management?                             

A.         Project Success Factors

B.         What is Project Management?

C.         A Successful Project Delivers Value

D.         Project Life Cycle and Product Life Cycle

Workshop: Selecting projects for the workshop   

II.         Project Definition                                            

A.         Assign the Sponsor and Project Manager

B.         Top Five Definition Questions

C.         Project Charter

Workshop: Develop a Statement of Work           

III.        Project Planning

A.         The Purpose of Planning                      

B.         Break the Project Into Manageable Units of Work                    

Workshop: Developing the Task List                                  

C.         Network Diagrams Help Visualize the Sequence of Events                                

D.         Task Estimating Guidelines                                  

Workshop: Build the Network & Visualize the Schedule                             

E.         Establish a Realistic Schedule with a Part-Time Team

Workshop: Completion of the project plan          

IV.        Project Control

A.         Stakeholder Engagement                      

B.         Plan Communication

Workshop: Identify Stakeholders                        

C.         Change Management

D.         Project Team Kickoff

E.         Monitor Schedule, Risks, and Issues                 

F.         Project Close Out

V.         Course Summary: Project Leadership            

A.         Project Manager Skills

B.         Art Based on Science

Unofficial Project Managers

Unofficial Project Managers Often Have Distributed Teams

A question came up on the LinkedIn Project Manager community: "Tips for remote teams?"

First, all teams benefit from the Nine Components of a High Performance Team, which you can read about in The Fast Forward MBA in Project Management.

Then, emphasize the use of technology that eliminates distance, such as www.GoToMeeting.Com and

At there are always more thoughts on this topic.


PMP Certification Isn't for Everyone

One obstacle to promoting Project Management training is the misperception that all project management training is geared toward passing the PMP Exam. Versatile's Project Management for Non-PM class is completely skill-focused, and scaled to address the kinds of projects that the unofficial project manager typically encounters.

Remember that PMP Certification is appropriate for people whose job title is project manager or PMO leader. For many other project leaders, project management is a skill set. They need to know key techniques - but not every technique.


Everyone needs a little Scrum in their projects!

A recent question posted to the Project Management discussion group asked, "What's the difference between Prince2, Agile and Scrum?" Check out these helpful responses. Our online project management training would be a great place to continue this discussion.

Scrum and agile emphasize iterative delivery when requirements can't be completely understood. That works well when we are problem solving - and it is a good way to prototype your way to a solution. Except that with agile, you don't finish with a prototype - you finish with a working product that your customer owns.

Attend project management training in Seattle to discuss how this iterative delivery method would fit into your project.


Are You Juggling Multiple Projects?

One challenge most Accidental Project Managers have in common is juggling multiple projects along with their regular duties. The problem gets bigger as more people are assigned to each project, and each of those people is juggling multiple projects.

Erick van Hurck provides some useful suggestions for visualizing the resource jumble in Microsoft Project. Read his post at Microsoft Project Users Group.

Versatile's Project Management Training in Seattle, Online, and Onsite, includes multiple strategies for juggling many projects and never missing a deadline.


First, Pick the Right Projects.

A provocative question came up on LinkedIn's project management discussion group. What's the difference between a product manager and project manager?

Product managers provide a vision for a product when there are many customers. If your firm manufacturers tools, cars, computers, or appliances, you have thousands - maybe millions - of customers. A product manager seeks to understand the customer need and set the product vision (features). Project managers get involved to deliver on those features.

This video does a good job of explaining the difference. Thank you!


Unofficial Project Managers Need Practical Advice

More and more people are working on projects. The number of accidental project managers and unofficial project managers is growing.

Part-time project managers want to keep it simple. This isn't their full-time job. So insights from the experts need to be distilled. For example, these practical MS Project tips from are easy to understand - although they take skill and discipline to put into action.

Project management training for non-Project Managers must cut through the jargon and make project management easy to understand! 


A Simple Explanation of Project Management

Project management is a big topic. The PMBOK has 43 processes (and adding more!). So Todd Brown's practical question was refreshing: "On day 1, what are the top 3 things a PM must do when hired for an existing Project?" Everybody who answered included "review the S.O.W" in their top three.

When asked a similar question during a recent project management training in Seattle for Amazon, I replied, "Today is the first day of the rest of your project. Make sure your Statement of Work is accurate and that you have agreement from all stakeholders."