Solutions Cube Group courses enable students to close the gap between project management theory (knowing what they should be doing on projects) and having tools and techniques for applying the theory (how to actually do it). Every course is designed as an experiential learning opportunity to present the student with project management theory coupled with time tested techniques for implementing the theory.
On Site, Employer sponsored courses allow companies to place multiple students into privately held courses at facilities they choose and which can be customized to meet the learning needs of their employees.
Our instruction methodology focuses on helping students learn how to effectively lead project team members through the collaborative creation of project deliverables. Each course experience enables students to learn the material from 3 key learning perspectives.
- First perspective: students learn and understand the project management theory
- Second perspective: students participate in activities, expertly led by the instructor, to build project deliverables related to the theory they have learned
- Third perspective: students apply their newly acquired knowledge as they lead the other students through the collaborative creation of the project deliverables
Students leave every course with a better understanding of the project management best practices and the tools and techniques for implementing these practices on their own projects.
[servicebox class=”” icon=”users” title=”Employer Sponsored Training Courses” ” button_color=”” button_style=”” button_name=”Learn More” target=”_self” style=”1″]Employers can schedule private skill building courses to close the gap between project management theory and the tools and techniques for applying the theory.[/servicebox]
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Meetings That Work” open=”no”]
For many people, meetings are viewed as a dreaded evil – far too little gets accomplished and a lot of time is wasted. Yet, for some, 50-75% of their work week is spent in meetings that are unproductive, not needed or fail to produce results.
- Teach your staff how to improve the quality and productivity of every meeting they conduct
- Learn how to distinguish between multiple meeting types and determine when it is appropriate to use each type
- Be able to create Agendas as part of planning and preparing for meeting success
- Be able to demonstrate effective meeting kick-off, attending management and meeting closing techniques
- Learn how to overcome and manage multiple disruptive attendee behaviors that are present in most meetings
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Project Scope Definition” open=”no”] In response to strong pressure to quickly implement a project solution, project teams often jump into defining their requirements (or more often solutions) without clarifying the scope of their project. Project Managers are then likely to face what appears to be rampant scope creep.
Consequently, without formally documenting the scope of the project, there is no mechanism in place to enable them to differentiate between true project boundaries and perceived scope creep.
- Teach students how to create a Project Scope Statement which will:
- Clarify the boundaries of a project,
- Distinguish between business and project objectives
- Differentiate between processes that will be changed and entities that will be interfaced with
- Clarify the project limitations
- Clarify the key project success factors
- Document the assumptions related to decisions outside the control of the project team
- Be able to describe the 5 components of a project Scope Statement
- Learn how to use the Scope Statement differentiate between requirements and related project work that is in scope versus out of scope
- Be able to identify the Business Objectives which justify the project
- Be able to clarify the boundaries dictated by the Project Objectives
- Be able to build a Context Diagram to depict Business Processes and External Entities
- Be able to support scope management decisions based on Constraints, Critical Success Factors and Assumptions the project is operating under
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Project Requirements” open=”no”] On many projects, the requirements definition process falls short of defining the “real” business need for the project. Solutions, which may appear to be great for the project on the surface, are often developed without any tie to the underlying project needs.
- The discovery of missing, out of scope, or poorly defined project needs often occurs after a project solution has been designed or developed.
- Attempting to satisfy these late discovered gaps in project needs, leads to project failure in the form of cost and schedule overruns or solutions which are missing intended functionality.
- Teach students how to develop a complete clear set of project requirements which are based on customer needs (Business Requirements – What’s) and drive appropriate solutions (Technical Requirements – How’s) to deliver the needs.
- Be able to use the Project Scope Statement to guide the creation of “real” project needs delivered by appropriate project solutions
- Learn how to leverage collaborative techniques to lead team members through definition of project Business Requirements
- Learn how to transform requirements stated as solutions into requirements stated as business needs
- Be able establish traceability between the Business Requirements and the Technical Requirements
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Risk Management” open=”no”] Projects are initiated to introduce change in an organization and as a result of this change, all projects operate under an element of risk related to uncertainty which, if the uncertainty occurs, will either add to or detract from the overall results of the project. Although many project teams engage in risk management activities, they often fail to understand the full scope of risks which should be managed or treat risk management as a mitigation activity for negative risks.
- Learn how to correctly build a Risk Management Plan which clarifies the appropriate risk response for the most impactful project risks which might occur
- Learn how to conduct the 4 Risk Management lifecycle processes: Identify Risks, Assess Risks, Determine Risk Responses and Monitor Risks throughout the project lifecycle
- Recognize the 4 Critical Success Factors essential for effective Risk Management
- Be able to define the scope of the Risk Management Process for your project
- Learn how to use a Risk Meta Language technique to fully identify all project risks
- Be able to perform Qualitative Assessment Techniques to determine which risks require responses
- Be able to choose from 8 potential Risk Responses to manage each risk
- Learn how to monitor risk throughout the entire project lifecycle
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Developing the Living Strategic Plan” open=”no”] Many Strategic Plans are created each year after spending weeks or months of activity to produce a detailed book of strategies which then sit on the shelf or rarely get looked at for the next 12 months.
A Strategic Plan should not be a onetime annual endeavor. Instead, the Strategic Plan must be a living evolving road map which adapts to the changes in environment and drives decision makers’ actions as they introduce change to achieve the organization’s vision.
- Prepares students to participate in activities to develop a “living” Strategic Plan for their organization which will be shared with and understood by the employees as a guide to their ongoing actions, projects and initiatives.
- Be able to assess the current state of the organization before sponsoring projects to change it
- Be able to differentiate between why the Organization exists and what it should look like 3 – 5 years from now
- Be able to develop broad Objectives and specific measurable Goals for promoting change
- Learn how to expand Goals into Action Plans
- Learn techniques for monitoring and adjusting the Strategic Plan throughout the year to ensure it reflects the changes that continually occur
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Work Breakdown Structures” open=”no”] Creating the project Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is frequently a misunderstood and overwhelming project activity. Project teams confuse the WBS with the Project Schedule.
While there is a relationship between the WBS and the Project Schedule, they are not interchangeable project deliverables and both must be created when planning the project effort.
- Teach students the differences between a project’s Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and Project Schedule
- Learn techniques for creating a comprehensive deliverables based WBS to communicate the full scope of work outcomes which fall within the boundaries of the project and to substantiate the need for every activity included in the project’s schedule.
- Be able to describe the characteristics of the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) and be able to communicate how it differs from and supports the Project Schedule
- Learn progressive elaboration techniques for uncovering and documenting all of the deliverables that fall within the scope of the project
- Be able to decompose the WBS components to lowest level of detail needed define activities and plan and manage the project work
- Learn how to apply the 100% rule to verify that the WBS is complete and represents the full scope of the project
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[toggle-item class=”” title=”Process Modeling” open=”no”] Process Models provide a visual mechanism to clarify and communicate the flow of work that is performed or should be performed in an organization. Often times, perceptions are misaligned among team members for the purpose and needs of processes that are about to be changed on a project.
When team members set out to document processes for a project effort, they frequently dive into the detailed physical aspects of the processes (i.e., how work is done) before reaching agreement what conceptual processes should exist (what work should be done).
Teach students the concepts and techniques for developing a Process Model which starts with a logical view of the desired work flow processes which must be put in place to support process improvement requirements and physical solutions to achieve desired changes in an organization.
- Be to distinguish between the Logical and a Physical process models
- Develop techniques for documenting “What” flows make up an end to end process of work
- Learn decomposition modeling techniques to depict the full scope of work starting with the highest conceptual level down to the lowest granular level of detail
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