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LFH Overview

LFH Workshops

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Managing Projects with Meddling Stakeholders

Workshop - Managing Stakeholders Lessons from the project that built, launched, and sunk Titanic. Read more

Managing Projects in a Hostile Environment

Workshop - Managing Projects in a Hostile Environment How to set up a project in a hostile environment with limited resources. Read more

Managing Complexity in Projects

Workshop - Managing Complexity in Projects How to manage complexity in different project situations.Read more

Managing Risk in Projects

Workshop - Risk Management How to manage risk in different project situations.Read more

(Fostering) Innovation in Projects

 Workshop - Innovation in Projects How to initiate and foster innovation in a project. Read more

Examining Truly Inspiring Projects

Workshop - Truly Inspiring Projects Exploring the most influential projects of all time & taking lessons from these. Read more

Managing Impossible Projects

Workshop - Manage an IMPOSSIBLE Project How to manage a seemingly impossible project.Read more

Program and Project Governance

Workshop - Program and Project Governance How to install a governance for conflicting and overlapping mandates. Read more

Knowledge Transfer & Sharing in Projects

 Workshop - Knowledge Transfer in Projects How to encourage Knowledge Transfer & Sharing between projects. Read more

Entrepreneurial Thinking & Client Mgt

Workshop - Entrepreneurial Thinking and Client Management Entrepreneurial Thinking and Client Management; taking lessons. Read more

Rewarding Team Members

Workshop - Rewarding Team Members The issues in keeping morale high when you have a little or no budget.Read more

Managing Projects in a Sea of Change

Workshop - Managing Projects in a Sea of Change How to plan and execute projects in a climate of rapid changes.Read more

 

About the Lessons from History Workshops

LFH workshops focus on critical problems we face in business and projects today but through a business lens examining relevant historical case studies. As a result, the LFH workshops provide a deeper understanding of the problems and highlights how solutions can be found. They are described below.

Audience for Workshops

LFH workshops provide for both management and project management and are typically suited to managers, project managers, business analysts, IT and business professionals, and decision makers. They have been widely delivered to PMI chapters, organizations, corporations, and at conferences (see testimonials).

Available Workshops

All LFH workshops are customizable to an organization's needs. We will work with you in modifying a workshop to meet your particular environment.


 

Managing Projects in the Face of Meddling Stakeholders

The workshop explores the complex process of gathering requirements, and the difficulties in managing principal stakeholders through the requirements process, where they can unwittingly compromise the project.

The workshop juxtaposes the Titanic case study and modern projects to show how compromises were made to this requirements process by naval architects. They were pursuing the sponsor's project mantra “to create the ultimate passenger (first class) experience.” This led to serious flaws in a supposedly "perfect ship," considered so safe that it did not even need a full complement of lifeboats.

The workshop is targeted at organizations with Project Management Offices, and a Project Management Practice, looking to provide best practices to these bodies. The workshop highlights the balance that needs to be achieved between the business and the technical sides of a project. Exercises include assessing the risks through each of the project stages. Based on articles published in Gantthead

Audience: Project managers, IT and general business professionals

Workshop - Managing Stakeholders

PDFManaging Stakeholders Workshop


 

Managing Projects in a Hostile Environment

The workshop explores the difficulties encountered in the initiation and execution of a project in a hostile environment, where everyone is trying to close your project down. In today’s highly competitive world high project failure rates have brought projects under more scrutiny and attention from executives and senior management. No project is completely safe from being challenged or closed down.

The workshop juxtaposes the Great Escape case study and modern projects by looking at common problems like the challenges of initiating a project without sponsors, and getting it enough support to get it through early the stage gates. It also looks at how the project team was able to organize itself and mitigate the risks it faced. Ideas and solutions were tested continuously and refined in a determined atmosphere where everything was thought possible.

The workshop is targeted at organizations with Project Management Offices, and a Project Management Practice, looking to provide best practices to these bodies. Exercises focus on the project charter and all ten PMBOK Knowledge Areas.

Audience: Project managers and general business professionals

Workshop - Managing Projects in a Hostile Environment

PDF Managing Hostility Workshop

 


 

Managing Complexity in Projects

The workshop examines project complexity and the challenges around it. Complexity can adversely impact your a project in different ways, sometimes leading to project failure so strategies are needed to deal with complexity and decomplexify projects.

The workshop examines through a set of project case studies the project complexity spectrum from simple to complex, and a range of different scenarios which cover both best and worst case projects.

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

Workshop - Managing Complexity in Projects

PDF Managing Project Complexity Workshop


 

Managing Risk in Projects

The workshop examines why risk management is becoming increasingly more important within projects as their complexity increases and how risk management can play a critical role in the success of a project by managing uncertainties, ambiguities, and unexpected changes.

The workshop examines through a set of project case studies the use of risk management in a range of different scenarios which cover both best case projects (that used risk foresight) and worst case projects (that responded to a failing situation or a crisis).

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

Workshop - Risk Management

PDFManaging Risk in Projects Workshop


 

Innovation in Projects

The workshop examines what innovation is and why often it does not exist in a project at any level. It also examines not only the different types of innovation but how a project can be set up to act as a catalyst for innovation.

Innovation is not always associated with project management but projects are one-time opportunities and unique endeavours. Sometimes they may be the only time for organizations to innovate as the opportunity may simply not exist after the project. This workshop is unique as it examines how to take a proactive approach to incorporating innovation so it is part of projects.

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

 Workshop - Innovation in Projects

PDF Innovation in Projects Workshop


 

Truly Inspiring Projects

The workshop explores the ten most influential projects of all time, and how these highly innovative projects overcame perceived insurmountable problems. The analysis is done through the modern lens of the PMBoK nine knowledge areas and provides valuable insights into how these projects were planned and executed, and in the innovative way they managed new emerging technologies to create truly inspiring deliverables. As a result, they inspired subsequent projects that would follow.

The workshop examines common emergent patterns across the projects, best practices and techniques, and then draws out practical project lessons to apply to today’s projects. These projects were selected because of their impact on projects and project management. The workshop is taken from the History of Project Management

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

Workshop - Truly Inspiring Projects

PDF Truly Inspiring Projects Workshop


 

Impossible Projects

This workshop explores some of the most famous “impossible projects” in human history — things that nobody would have thought possible until they were actually accomplished.

Following in the footsteps of great project managers such as Julius Caesar, Charles Lindbergh, Robert Moses, and others, you’ll get the inside scoop on how the most brilliant minds in history solved the most intractable problems in the history of project management.

Audience: Project managers and general business professionals

Workshop - Manage an IMPOSSIBLE Project

PDF Impossible Projects Workshop


 

Program and Project Governance

This workshop is based on the attack on Pearl Harbor as a study in governance. There were two large bureaucratic organizations (The U.S. Army and Navy) managing the most complex technology of their day.  These two groups were given conflicting and overlapping mandates in Hawaii, with a shared goal and badly broken lines of communication.

Audience: PMO leaders, program and project managers, project team members, managers and general business professionals.

 

Workshop - Program and Project Governance


 

Knowledge Transfer & Sharing between Projects

The ability to diffuse knowledge across and within organizations is today recognized as a major strategic capability for gaining competitive advantage.

The workshop examines what knowledge management is in the context of projects, how it contributes to the attainment of value from projects and how it covers knowledge transfer and knowledge sharing between projects. It also examines why it is challenge in different types organization, specifically in those that are project based.

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

 

Workshop - Knowledge Transfer & Sharing between Project

PDF Knowledge in Projects Workshop


 

Entrepreneurial Thinking Applied to Projects

Entrepreneurial thinking is normally associated with product creation and product innovation but this course looks to assist the workshop attendee in the application of entrepreneurial thinking to the discipline of Client Management. Client Management is the comprehensive set of strategies, processes and techniques used to manage and improve all elements of the client relationship. By examining the intersection of entrepreneurial thinking and the client relationship the project manager, process manager or business manager attending this workshop will have the unique opportunity to learn the importance of developing and enhancing the following six entrepreneurial attributes: vision, flexibility, confidence, tenacity, opportunism and passion. To accomplish this goal, the workshop offers the attendee the opportunity to study five ancient but very successful entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs that have rarely, if ever been presented as project management case studies. Four of these entrepreneurs will be analyzed for the entrepreneurial thinking attributes they displayed in their client management efforts and a fifth will be studied as a counter example to the others.

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

 

Workshop - Entrepreneurial Thinking

PDF Entrepreneurial Thinking Workshop


 

Rewarding Employees and Team Members without Breaking the Bank

The workshop explores the issues in keeping morale high when you have a little or no budget. This is a problem which managers have had since the earliest days of projects like the construction of the Giza Pyramid and the Roman Colosseum. Managers have had to create solutions and different reward systems to motivate their teams to deliver projects.

The workshop examines different historical case studies and draws important lessons and strategies from these. For example, the U.S. Transcontinental Railroad Construction Project which looked doomed to fail until the right reward systems were then put in place. In another example, the French Panama Canal Project (1882-1888) implemented the wrong reward system that bankrupted the project.

In these economically-challenged times, the use of rewards might seem extravagant — but building team morale is even more important in tough times! Nevertheless, even the best reward ideas can fall flat if they aren't suitable to the person, the organization, the situation or the magnitude of the accomplishment.

Audience: Project managers, project leaders, team leaders and general business professionals

Workshop - Rewarding Team Members


 

Managing Projects in a Sea of Change

The workshop explores the challenges encountered in the initiation and execution of a project in an environment of continuous change. Change can adversely impact your organization at different levels. A chaotic environment is difficult to predict and to run projects in.

The workshop juxtaposes the Churchill case study and modern projects and and provides an insight in how to deal with volatility and change, and keep an organization on track with its projects.

The workshop is targeted at organizations with Project Management Offices, and a Project Management Practice, looking to provide best practices to these bodies. The workshop highlights how the concepts of agile project management were used to find a resolution to seemingly unsolvable problems in a very short time frame. Exercises focus on assessing the situation and decision making.
Based on articles published in Gantthead.

Audience: Project managers and general business professionals

Workshop - Managing Projects in a Sea of Change

PDF Managing Change Workshop

 


What Does a Lessons from History Series Workshops Look Like?

LFH Workshops

These workshops use historical case studies taken from the series and are designed to make the learning experience as interesting and engaging as possible. In the words of a recent workshop participant:

"It is learning in a different way, in fact, you forget it is a learning exercise because you get so engaged in the story."

Workshops to Meet Present and Future Needs

Through exercises the workshop analyzes how the historical project solved complex problems of the day, which provide insights into solving some of today’s more challenging business problems. Clarity can be brought to how issues or risks were managed.

LFH Workshop

Workshop Formats

The format is similar for all workshops and involves setting the background to the historical case study. It then typically follows a timeline through the project stages that invariably look at the requirements, design, build, test, and implementation. Time is spent in analyzing problems faced by projects, and their resolution.

Once the context of the historical project is known "what if scenarios" can be played out, that is these are used to reflect the potential effect under different assumptions. For example, had a principal character made a different decision, or taken an alternative course of action, what could have been the potential outcomes. This becomes a very real discussion when faced with what if scenarios like those related to Captain Smith on board Titanic.

Workshop Benefits

Entertaining and full of intriguing historical details, the workshops help participants see the impact of historical decisions and compare these to the ones that they make every day. This helps explain the story and drives home some simple lessons.

LFH Workshop

One of the most exciting aspects of the workshop is when participants start to relate clear parallels to their own organization and projects. Taking lessons from the historical project can start a feisty discussion on how today's projects are tackled within an organization. For example, in a recent workshop (Project Lessons from the Great Escape) the discussion was sparked by how Roger Bushell had set up the project charter, and was compared to how well projects were initiated or not within the organization. To better understand the mechanics of a LFH workshop read Godfrey Jordan's, PMP, article - Making Connections: A Family Story Links with “Lessons from History and The Great Escape”.

Workshop Exercises

Working in teams the participants take part in a series of exercises which create a different set of outcomes. These are then discussed collectively with all the teams (the overall audience) and the responses are compared. Exercises are pre-selected by workshop organizers in advance of the workshop as learning objectives are being determined.

Workshop

Examples of Workshop Exercises

In one of the variants of Titanic case study workshop the main topic area for the exercises is Risk Management. Each of the exercises will have questions related to risk, based on the phase in the project lifecycle. Each team creates and maintains a risk log based on what were the perceived risks in Titanic’s project phases.

1. Requirements – e.g., addressing functional and non-functional requirements risks.

2. Design and build – e.g., various risks in crossing the Atlantic and how a design could mitigate these.

3. Test and implementation – e.g., risks in limited sea trials.

4. Live – e.g., risks in operational decisions How could these risks be mitigated?

Risk Management

Workshop Setup

For the workshop the facility needs to be large enough to accommodate an audience of at least 50 participants divided into 6 teams of 7-8 per team. Each team sits together in the room (round tables if possible – left diagram).

 

Workshop Lengths

The workshops run as either a half-day (4 hours) or full-day (8 hours) workshop. The half-day workshops focus on key project knowledge areas, pre-agreed up front. The full-day workshop takes a broader look at all the project knowledge areas.

Workshop Facility Requirements

The workshop is usually located offsite, or at least away from the daily work environment of the participants. The room typically requires a microphone, projector, screen, and four flipcharts. The facilitator brings a laptop and provides handout materials 2 weeks ahead of the workshop.

Workshop

Workshop Schedule

The 8 hour day breaks out into four modules, where each includes:

  • Presentation and discussion - Topic (60 minutes)
  • Exercise preparation – each team answers questions and prepares a response (15 minutes).
  • Present exercise results – each team presents the exercise results through a team representative, to the overall group, to promote an open and ensuing discussion, and questions (15 minutes).
     

Workshop Fees

These vary based on length of workshop, whether the organization is non-profit or not, whether the workshop is part of an overall conference or event, and length of travel involved.

LFH Workshop

 

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