The Project Business Academy

Help you make yourself indispensable for organizations involved in Project Business

The Project Business Masterclass

Initial note

This 10 days masterclass is for contractor-side organizations and individuals.  

Where do we stand?

A study from June-2020, done in cooperation with PMI (Project Management Institute), found that 80% of professionals saw a negative impact from the current Covid-19 crisis on their job. 79%  had an overall negative business outlook, and 45% feared to lose their job.

Estimates say that 25% of professional project contractors across various industries are facing insolvency due to the current crises, which includes Covid-19, but also environmental disasters such as wildfires and floods. 

The need to protect a contractor's survival is more than just egotism: Contractor insolvencies threaten cross-corporate projects and start a domino effect that can damage all other parties involved. To make things worse: Entire national economies depend on companies that act as project vendors for international customers. When the vendors start sneezing, these economies get ill. 

Project business is high risk business, and the crises further raise the stakes. However, traditional project management education does not prepare professionals for these risks. That's where the Project Business Academy steps in.  

A different type of project manager

Bringing money home with projects will not get easier. Confronted with this harsh reality, contractors have an urgent need for a different type of project manager: People  with business spirit and education, prepared to manage projects as profit centers and skilled to protect the contractors' vested interests, while ensuring a satisfied customer and contributing to a successful cross-corporate project. 

The Project Business Academy is a division of the Project Business Foundation  focused on helping organizations and individuals scale up professionalism in order to effectively weather the storm and ensure survival.

The certificate of successful graduation from the Project Business Masterclass shows that a person has formally achieved this professionalism. 

The Overall Process

1. The general setup of the Project Business Masterclass

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.  

Key data of the process:

2. The 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.

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 is a special document: 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 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.

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.

Module 4: Using Software for Customer Projects

Almost all software programs for project management, such as Microsoft Project, have been developed for internal projects. Their practicality in planning and tracking project costs is limited, and out of the box, they have no functions to help manage the cash flow of a customer project, for example when the contractor lays out money for the customer.

The module shows how to adapt a software program to the specific needs of a contractor to get reliable real time data on the status of the customer project and of future funding requirements. 

Note: You need a trial or full version of Microsoft Project and Microsoft Excel 

Module 5: The High Art of Project Business Management: 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.  

3. The final micro-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 micro-thesis for submission may be:

4. Assessment

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

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 Academic institution that partners with the Project Business Foundation. A schedule for these seminars can be found here.

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