Project Business Needs Trainers, Lots of Them

If you are selling electronics, or buying them, you are in electronics business. If you are buying or selling books, you are obviously in book business. If you are buying or selling insurances, you are in insurance business. 

I am aware, I am stating the seemingly obvious. However, if you are selling projects, or buying project work from vendors, why does it sound for many people so uncommon to talk of project business?

Part of project business is the process of business development, the pre-award phase of the contract. However, just as book business is not finished when the customer has decided to buy the book, but when it is paid and taken out of the shop, the same applies in project business: The delivery part is also an element of project business.

Project business is a huge industry. It is made of organizations that buy products and services, and others, who sell that. The first are commonly called buyers, the contract makes them clients, or customers.

The second are called sellers or vendors. At the moment of contract signature, they become contractors.

The Project Business Lifecycle

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A typical project business lifecycle spans over phases, each with different players involved. For all phases and all players, there is a shortage of qualified trainers.

Business is not what one company is doing. It takes at least two of them:
  • The customer, tapping into the non-monetary assets of another company, the contractor, and turning them into resources.
  • The contractor, tapping into the monetary assets of the customer and turning them into project funding. Plus profit, of course.
In these cross-corporate projects, there may be more than two organizations involved. In one case, the development of the Airbus A380, I was told that no one has a fixed number of the contractors involved, but estimates would be around 1500.

The need for trainers

Other businesses have trainers. Lots of them.

There are trainers for electronics business, for purchasers as much as for sales staff, for customer service, marketing, legal matters, and many more. The same is true for book business, which also has special trainers. Insurance business people have that as well, possibly more than any other business.

These trainers understand the dynamics of the specific markets, their challenges and solutions, legal requirements, and many more. The profession of a trainer then is to transfer this understanding to the practitioners. The Project Business Foundation offers a helping hand to address this market through the ACE qualification, a process that a trainer can enter to become a project business trainer.

Where are the trainers in project business? I am aware of four, me included. One has retired recently, another one has a sharp focus on construction, and the fourth has just started his business (I am crossing fingers for him that he will be very successful). That's it. The world of project business is open for many more.

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Market Window theory places Project Business Management trainers at the left side. Convincing customers of your capacity to help them solve problems is the most difficult task, not winning price battles.


If you are a trainer, or a practitioner wishing to become one, Project Business Management is an open field to develop your business. The need is huge, given the share of project business of the global project economy.

What can a quick start for a trainer in Project Business Management look like?
  1. Join the Project Business Foundation as a Gold member (here)

  2. Pass the ACE for Project Business Management qualification, to develop your knowledge and skills and signal this to the marketplace. (here)

  3. If you work with a training provider, it may help to make the company a Training and Consulting Partner (here).
The need is huge. At the moment, practitioners learn Project Business Management by trial and error. However, in project business, trial is expensive and error even more. So, the skill is to turn need into demand and then make business from it. The Project Business Foundation is there to help you to achieve that.

Kind regards

Oliver F. Lehmann
President Project Business Foundation

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  • Oliver F. Lehmann
Project Business - A Main Driver for Innovation

There is an interesting observation I made at several places:

Project business is the driving force behind development in many economies. How that?

Developed economies

In developed economies, project business is an obvious innovation driver. It allows the large, mostly slower players, such as big corporations, to buy in the agility and preparedness to go for cutting-edge solutions, that is a common characteristic of small and often much younger companies. Their own business decisions are rather driven by a tendency of adopting late: too many jobs and other assets would otherwise be at stake.

And then, there is this topic of management attention: Fast developing technologies require a lot of that, which in large organizations is the scarcest resource of all, which is consumed by many other requirements, such as legal, social, environmental, etc. Handing work to project supply networks with contractors, subcontractors, among them many small companies and even freelancing solopreneurs, is a way to reduce the dependency of innovation from management attention. 

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Mega projects would not be possible without complex project supply networks. However, the same is also true for all forms of development and implementation projects: Without business connectivities to contractors, it is impossible to do them.

Emerging economies

In emerging economies, there may not be many corporations with big names utilizing Project Supply Networks with contractors and subcontractors. However, many of these economies are successful in building business with customers in industrialized countries as elements of an extended workbench.

As vendors in projects, they do not only benefit from lower costs but also from cultural diversity, that allows for different responses to challenges. And from the hunger for success of their management and staff.

Why the Project Business Foundation?

Traditional project management associations such as PMI and IPMA (unfortunately) do not address project business, however it is the lifeblood of the global project economy.

Project customers and vendors need a place for exchange and for professional growth. Learning by trial and error, as it happens today, is too expensive and leaves stakeholders often dissatisfied. 

In order to become more successful, we must all learn to place completing over competing and turn contract parties in project business into project partners. We must nourish the skills and competencies and develop the business spirit that makes us and our partners in project business successful.

Kind regards,

Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc, ACE, PMP
President Project Business Foundation

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Welcome to the Project Business Foundation

Dear visitor, 

The Project Business Foundation is an association start-up that is dedicated to help you on your job in Project Business. It is a not-for-profit community that will help you do better cross-corporate project management. Much better.

You may know project business from a Contractor perspective, managing a project for a paying customer as a profit center. Or you are on Customer side, struggling to get delivered what you ordered for your project and what you are prepared to pay for.

Some of our visitors work for Prime Contractors: Their employers are both contractors of their project clients and customers of subcontractors. This position may by satisfying and profitable. However, prime contractors often get challenged by the pressure from two sides, the customer demanding more performance for less money, and the subcontractors, whose invoices get more and more expensive.


Then, we address the needs of Freelancers. Self-employed individuals do a major share of the work in the project economy, and supporting their business, from which they live, is another task we happily do.

At the Project Business Foundation, we are interested in the project management aspect of project business. However, there are also commercial and legal aspects that are so far rarely discussed, and the cross-corporate aspects of project management are also not given the value they deserve in a more and more business-based "Project economy".

In Project Business, the story does not begin with the contract between buyer and seller. The Business Development phase is also significant - fundamental decisions are made during that time that will impact the entire project and its ability to meet the needs of its various stakeholders.

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We also help Organizations. If your employer needs support to do better project business, we are happy to present our services and recommend our corporate partners.

Another focus group are Educators and Consultants. We need good people to raise professionalism and help individuals and organizations improve their project business. The ACE program of the Project Business Foundation is there to give them a head start in attracting customers through qualification and trustworthiness.

The Project Business Foundation is a start-up. Don't expect it to be mature and perfect. It isn't. However, it is built on enthusiasm and professionalism. The thing is: If you share these traits, or at least, if you want to be there when we come up with practical help and solutions, join us, and share the word with others.

So, this is just a start. Let the Project Business Foundation become a positive game changer for the benefit of all players in project business. 

How can you do that?
  1. Join as an Affiliated Member:
    - Basic, if you want to be in the loop of things to happen.
    - Gold, if you want to shape the future of this discipline with your own contributions

  2. Become a Corporate Partner:
    - Sponsoring Partner - to raise awareness of your name in the field
    - Education and Consulting Partner - to make this advancement your business
    - Media Partner - to help spread the word.

  3. Become ACE Qualified:
    - Get recognized as a expert in Project Business Management
    - Make this achievement visible by using the ACE logo in your personal communication

  4. Give us Feedback:
     - Help us adjust the Project Business Foundation's action strategies to drive the advancement of the professionalism of its members and other stakeholders: 
Project Business is challenging, and it is high-risk business for all parties involved. As Professionals, let's make sure, we do it right.

Kind regards,

Oliver F. Lehmann, MSc, ACE, PMP
President Project Business Foundation