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Attendees work on a group exercise during the Executive Coaching in Organizations Conference in the Schulze Grand Atrium in the School of Law building in Minneapolis on January 19, 2018.

Learn the language and process of project management

Project Management for the Accidental Project Manager

Learn the language and approaches to project management to be better equipped when participating in projects. Use real-world examples from your own experience.

Have you found yourself assigned to a project team, with very little understanding of what to do or how to start? Project management is a discipline full of terminology and processes. It requires interactions with a broad range of stakeholders for the project to be successful. Understanding project management terminology, applications, roles and context can significantly boost your confidence and effectiveness with your team and stakeholders. Whether you are looking to be a more effective project contributor, move into project management roles, lead small projects or you lead a team that includes project managers, this program can help.

You will be asked to bring examples of projects you’ve been part of to aid in applying the information learned in class. Throughout the day, these examples will be used to highlight ways to (or not to) approach the project management process. This program can be completed as a stand-alone or as an introduction to project management prior to completing other programs within our project management portfolio.

Sessions are held on the downtown Minneapolis campus, and parking is available within one block.


Abbey Welle

Program Manager
Phone Number
(651) 962-4616
Students engage in a listening exercise during a "Coach Approach to Management" OCB Executive Education Class April 11, 2017 in Terrence Murphy Hall.

Is This Program Right For You?

This program is ideal for those looking for an overview of the types of project management while exploring the characteristics that make projects successful.

You would benefit from this program if you:

  • Have never been exposed to formal project management
  • Find yourself managing small projects or portions of projects
  • Serve as project participants or contributors
  • Hold a leadership position and need a better idea of the practices your project managers should be following


This session will discuss the terminology used in project management and the characteristics of a successful project.

Understand more about what is being asked of you (and the project team) by exploring the value and benefit of the project charter. Examine the components of the project charter and review examples of this important project artifact from other students in class.

Stakeholder satisfaction is a key project objective; identifying who will be impacted by the project will help to define requirements and determine the best approach for a project. Learn how to identify and classify stakeholders using real-world projects.

Learn how to determine what is in and out of the project scope. Discuss a range of available options for collecting requirements and key questions to ask stakeholders to help you “zero in” on the deliverables. Learn methods to minimize scope creep and clarify the work required for project success.

Discuss how to determine the length of a project and key ideas in schedule compression.

Examine methods to identify and evaluate risk which could impact project success. Understand the use of “probability and impact” to evaluate the risk and recognize appropriate categories of risk response.

Agile methodologies are increasing in popularity and some organizations are implementing agile project management into their culture. Learn how agile differs from traditional project management methods.

Benefits of This Program

In the St. Thomas Project Management for the Accidental Project Manager program, you will gain practical skills you can put to use the next day at work. In addition, you will:

Gain Confidence

Learn the language of project management to be more effective when participating in a project.

Explore project management techniques

Knowing where to start can sometimes be the most challenging. Explore approaches to project management to choose the best for your situation.

Increase your influence

By understanding the concepts, you’ll be equipped with the high-level information to shape the way a project progresses – no matter if you are a project leader or a participant.

Take the Next Step

St. Thomas Executive Education programs give you cutting-edge, practical knowledge and real-world skills you can apply at work the very next day. Gain the tools and techniques to be a more effective, strategic leader.
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