The Accidental Project Manager


You may not have set out to a Project Manager, but you can still run your projects like a Pro.


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Our workshop is intended to help professionals understand the key concepts of effective project management, putting powerful tools into context that move your project towards success (and not just creating more work). Our goal is helping smart people deliver projects without heartburn.

The Accidental Project Manager workshop is designed to give you the context and confidence to get work done.

Simple Concepts, put in Context

Our work is grounded in this simple belief: if you keep your stakeholders at the center of your work and help them understand why, they will help you succeed. This philosophy is at the center of all our workshops, helping you to better explain the larger context where appropriate, but also to ensure that you leave the day answering your own "why's" that help make the process, tools, and techniques clear and concrete in your own mind.

With a clear understanding of why project management activities often happen in sequence, you can then better communicate where the work is going, what you'll need from your team, and why investments in managing the work pay off in the end.

 
 
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What We'll Discuss

All Return Leverage workshops draw from formal research, professional bodies and certified approaches, as well as the collective wisdom we've gathered throughout our own work and the feedback from hundreds of collaborators over many, many professional engagements.

In the Accidental Project Manager workshop, we discuss and explore:

  • The foundational concepts of good project practices, building on what most working professionals already know about getting work done and playing effectively with others

  • When and why formalizing work as a "project" makes sense, and what the real investment is when we shift from "get it done" tasks to "make it happen" business investments

  • The Return Leverage Project Lifecycle, a sequential model that puts tasks and conversations into context, from project beginning to project completion (and how you can hand-off your work and get back to your real professional passions)

  • The power and magic of constraints in our work, and how smart professionals put these to work to deliver high quality outcome

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What We'll Do

Understanding why is only part of the experience, and we design experiences to ensure you and your team have hands-on time with our tried-and-true tools and techniques.

Our foundational workshop provides time to explore and use:

  • The Return Leverage Project Lifecycle, analyzing the most common steps in our basic framework, but also thinking about customization that better fit your work and organizational culture

  • Our standard Project Charter, a brief but powerful facilitation and record capture tool that ensures you've established key facts and requirements before your next effort gets too far underway

  • Our project task and timeline tool, organizing and mapping the work against a timeline, and thinking about the details you need to capture to ensure accountability in even the most independent teams

  • The Go/ No-Go plan and launch stabilization framework, mapping decisions to events, and organizing the thinking for rapid response and quick resolution when problems arise

 
 

What You'll Take Away

Quite simply, you'll be ready to set and manage expectations, drive a team in a common direction, and understand when the work is done.

This class isn't intended as a preparation for Project Management Institute certification, but rather, to prepare you for very practical application before you leave the day.

When attending in pairs or in a private workshop, you'll walk away with shared language for continued and simple reference. You'll also gain new understandings about "how much is enough" to be effective in your role as an Accidental Project Manager.


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