Leading Complex Projects

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Transform Your Organization’s Project Managers Into Project Leaders

Strong project leadership—not just management—is one of the most influential factors in determining the success or failure of large, complex capital projects. The all-new Leading Complex Projects course helps transform project managers into leaders capable of successfully overcoming the challenges that cause complex projects to fail more than twice as often as smaller projects. This one-of-a-kind virtual training course combines groundbreaking research from Independent Project Analysis (IPA) that links leadership characteristics to project outcomes and real-life experiences of successful leaders in the capital projects industry. Delivered as a private, in-house course, participants emerge with an understanding of essential project leadership skills and abilities and how to apply them to complex capital projects:

  • Establishing a large, multi-functional organization from scratch
  • Making complex decisions quickly
  • Managing a diverse set of stakeholders effectively
  • Addressing conflicts at the interpersonal, contractor, and third-party organization levels
  • Succeeding under extreme pressure

Key Benefits

  • Learn essential project leadership skills and abilities and how to apply them to complex capital projects
  • Understand the traits that separate successful project leaders from the rest
  • Learn from real-life project leadership experiences via a Decision-Making Obstacle Course

Topics Covered

Qualities of Effective Leaders: Mindset & Experience
We kick off the course by discussing how leadership differs from management, and the criticality (and difficulty) of leading complex projects. We will examine the project leader mindset and experience to begin to understand the links between project leaders and success. Specifically, we will discuss how important the generalist/specialist mindset is to project leadership. Lastly, we will talk about the kinds of career experiences help shape successful leaders.

Qualities of Effective Leaders: Personality & Emotional Intelligence
We will identify the aspects of personality and emotional intelligence that help shape the top leaders in the capital projects industry and discuss how these traits influence leadership behavior. We will challenge participants to reflect on how their own personality and emotional intelligence predisposes them to behave in certain ways on projects.

Qualities of Effective Leaders: Leadership Tasks & Behaviors
We wrap-up our discussion on effective leadership qualities by examining the project leader activities that support, and inhibit, success.

The Foundations of Building a Project Team
The project team serves as the foundation upon which a successful project can be developed and executed. We will discuss the critical elements of an effective project team, including:

  • Establishing the core owner team
  • Determining the right team size
  • Onboarding new team members
  • Developing an organizational structure to support timely and accurate information flow within the project team

Establishing an Effective Team Environment
An effective team environment is one that fosters communication, collaboration, and a shared vision of working towards a common goal. We will discuss practices for effectively building and maintaining a cohesive team, including:

  • Staffing team members with the right functional competencies
  • Communicating and aligning the project team around the project objectives
  • Using a common work process and aligning on team member roles and responsibilities

Leadership Workshop
The virtual training course concludes with a workshop to help participants understand how to take the concepts learned throughout the course and apply them in the real world. Discussions include strategies for building relationships, communicating effectively, making complex decisions, and sustaining a project team in a high-stress environment.

Course Background

This specialized course leverages groundbreaking IPA research that quantitatively links individual leadership characteristics to project outcomes. This work is detailed in the book, Leading Complex Projects by Edward W. Merrow and Neeraj Nandurdikar. The course also incorporates a customized Decision-Making Obstacle Course developed by the Praevius Group. The obstacle course enables participants to test their decision-making skills and gain practical experience from top leaders in the capital projects industry.

Plan a Virtual Course

The Leading Complex Projects virtual training course is currently only available privately to enable the best possible learning experience within the context of a project organization. The course can be customized with additional elements to meet your company’s specific needs. If your company has a need to prepare a group of project managers for the rigors of leading complex projects, contact us to start a discussion.

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This course was developed in collaboration with the Praevius Group.



IPA Training Programs

Any standard IPA Institute training program can be delivered privately to your organization at your preferred location and held at a time that best meets your company’s requirements.

  • Topics from different courses can be combined to create a semi-customized seminar
  • Course durations can be altered to fit a client organization’s schedule requirements
  • Convenient location, delivery dates, and delivery format (traditional classroom, webinar, etc.)
  • More cost-effective than public seminars when training larger groups of people

Program Benefits

  • Interactive
  • Engaging
  • Focused

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