The Project Business Academy

Developing first choice project managers for customer projects

The Project Business Masterclass

A Different Type of Project Manager

Project contractors have an urgent need for a special type of project manager.

They need people,  who understand the challenge of bringing money home with projects. These people should be educated to bring together business spirit and project management skills. Assuming responsibility for a customer project as a profit center, they know how to protect the contractors' vested interests, while they contribute to a successful cross-corporate project for all stakeholders.

The Project Business Academy as a division of the Project Business Foundation is focused on helping organizations and individuals scale up their business acumen in order to be better prepared for a fast changing project landscape, effectively navigating the project through the specific risks of project business.

The certificate of successful graduation from the Project Business Masterclass shows that a person has formally achieved this level of proficiency and is a #1 choice for assignments in Project Business Management.


The Overall Process

1. Overview

The Project Business Masterclass consists of five instructor-lead modules, each lasting 2 days/13 hours. 

The total length is therefore 65 hours guided by the instructor. 

After these sessions, students will develop and submit a micro-thesis on a topic of their own selection. 

After successful completion, submission, and assessment, each candidate becomes a Project Business Masterclass graduate and receives a certificate that verifies the status.  

The modules can be taken:

  • As a virtual online training directly at the Project Business Foundation
  • As a classroom seminar performed on-premise at training providers, training divisions in organizations, or at Academic institutions.

Parameters of the education process:

2. Focus

 The Masterclass prepares project managers to take over assignments for customer projects.

On top of project management knowledge, they understand commercial, ethical, and legal matters and are the first choice for employers in the field.

3. Literature

Book: Project Business Management 
by Oliver F. Lehmann
Workbook: Project Business Study Book by Project Business Foundation

4. The Five Modules

The five modules for the Project Business Masterclass are:

Module 1: The High Stakes of Project Business

Customer(-facing) projects are different from internal projects. 

Both entail project risks, but customer projects add business risks and legal risks. At stake in these projects is not only delivery on scope, time, and budget, but the well-being and often survival of the own organization.

Most risks in project business, if they are foreseen early, can be managed with effective responses. The module helps identify the common elements of project business risks and discusses measures to address them.

Method: Following the Project Business Study Book. 

Module 2: International Contracting for Project Business

In a customer project, the single most important document for the contractor is the project contract. 

A contract differs from other project documents: While project schedule, HR plan, cost plan, etc. are binding for the project, the contract is binding for the entire organization. Tasked with meeting contractual obligations, project managers in project business must not only understand its contents, but also the legal environment in which it is used, and the often severe consequences of breaches of contract. 

Things are getting particularly difficult, when  project business spans over two or more countries with different contract cultures and legislations. The module prepares project managers to understand these difficulties and deal with them to protect their organization.

Method: Interactive Workshop 

Module 3: Situational Approaches to Project Business between Predictive and Agile

Agile methods are used in many customer projects to serve paying customers. This comes with benefits, such as the openness for discoveries and creativity on all sides and the ability to adapt to fast-changing requirements. However, it also comes with limitations in predictability and order, the home-turf of predictive methods.

Situational approaches to project management become particularly important in project business, when customer happiness, profitability, and cash-flow depend on choosing the right methods. The module describes, how to ensure success with these methods for the contractor and the customer.

Method: Interactive Workshop

Module 4: Roles and Ethics in Cross-Corporate Projects

Cross-corporate projects are a major challenge for the integrity of individuals and organizations involved. The amounts of money transferred are high and so is the value of goods and services that need to be supplied in return. 

However, ",,,once you involve yourself in the murky world of bribery it is not open to you to simply opt out whenever you like..." (G. Penzhorn). Corruption is threat to cross-corporate project success and to the well-being of individuals, organizations, and entire societies.

Based on the Code of Conduct of the Project Business Foundation, the module teaches how to implement and enforce a protective system for the project. 

Method: Interactive Workshop

Module 5: Resolving Crises in Project Business: Benefit Engineering

Project business managers must often deal with conflicts between contractual obligations and economic interests of the own organization. The price billed to the customer may not be sufficient to cover the costs, or deadlines may be impossible to meet. Contractual deliveries may not be doable, and so on. 

A solution for these problems is Benefit Engineering. It builds on the profound knowledge of the customer and on the ability to resolve problems by developing and agreeing on win-win solutions. 

The final module of the Project Business Masterclass introduces to this highest art of project business management.  

 Method: Interactive Workshop

5. Final Thesis

In coordination with the instructor, the student selects a topic for submission to the Project Business Academy, which allows validation of the skills obtained.

Acceptable formats for the thesis for submission may be:

6. Assessment

The submitted thesis will undergo an assessment and be rated along five weighted criteria:

7. Your Graduate Certificate and Badge

As a participant of the Project Business Masterclass, after successful attendance of the five modules and submittal of the thesis with a "Pass" mark, the graduate receives a confirmation of  success in form of a Certificate of Achievement and a badge. 

This graduation qualifies the person as #1 Choice in Project Business Management for project assignments by contractors in projects performed as profit centers.  

The Certificate of Achievement
The badge to signal the status

The Investment

There are several options to take the Project Business Masterclass:

  1. Book your seat and attend a trainer-led online training at the Project Business Foundation. The seminar schedule and the fees can be found here.

  2. Book your seat and attend a trainer-led in-person classroom seminar with a training provider or an Academic institution that partners with the Project Business Foundation. 

  3. Book an in-house event (on-premise or online) for your organization  with up to 12 students.

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