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Project Management Foundations with Simulation

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This workshop covers several PM sub-plans, methods and procedures that span the typical project life-cycle from initiation to project close. It is designed to give the participant the skills and tools to consistently be an effective project manager. Participants will examine the role of the project manager and their involvement in managing the life-cycle of a project through defining tasks, time management, scheduling, and resource allocation.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain project management concepts and terminology
  • Create a work breakdown structure
  • Perform stakeholder analysis
  • Develop a communication plan
  • Employ risk analysis techniques
  • Discuss project metrics
  • Manage project execution and control
  • Identify project close procedures
  • Launch a project
  • Describe a process for planning projects
  • Identify project management tools and techniques to assist in planning and managing projects.
  • Execute a project plan in a team environment

Topics & Content

  • Project Management Foundations: The Project Management Process, Work Breakdown Structure, Network Diagrams and the Critical Path
  • Schedule Development
  • Risk Management Introduction
  • Resource allocation
  • Communication Planning
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Risk Planning and Management
  • Risk Identification Techniques
  • Project Management Simulation
  • Project execution, delivery and control
  • Project Close
  • Lessons Learned
  • SimulTrain® Project Management Simulator

Course Information

Course Code: PM104
Duration: 2 days
Targeted Audience: Novice project managers and anyone interested in PM

  • CBRN - 14 CEU(s)
  • OPM - 14 CLP(s)
  • PMI - 14 PDU(s)
  • SHRM - 14 PDC(s)

Course Feedback

What parts of the workshop were most valuable and/or beneficial to you?

Simulation and Interaction with colleagues.

Great instructor - credible and fun!

Communication, risk.

The discussions using real life situations and the simulator

Network; risk assessment.

Lecture materials

Risk management and communication was an excellent session; enjoyed the simulator

Risk management plan understanding of the different risk categories

Working on projects together.

Step-by-step intro to PM was extremely clear, easy to follow, and provided great insight into the world of PM.

Discussion of the critical path, risk analysis , communication of risks, work breakdown structure

The application of concepts in the "Viking Exercise" and Gantt chart.

John's explanation of case studies or examples - helps understand concepts via application. Enjoyed the simulation software as it challenged us.

Real-life examples/anecdotes. Blank exercises. Instructor's wide/deep knowledge.

Simulation. John's ancedotal experience. Viking game.

Introduced important project management topics and explained. Day to day activities were engaging.

Presenter John was engaging, smart and kept interesting with projects and examples.

I like the engaging activities and exercises.


Discussing real world examples of important concepts

Multi-level risk mitigation planning, formal communication plan.

I enjoyed the Simulation, also risk management.

The lecture/slide presentations. Especially WBS process and communication & risk assessments.

Team simulation.

The content is fairly basic for seasoned PM. There is a lot of overlap with training through other venues. The simulation was an enjoyable activity, but I don’t see how it brings value to what we do here.

Group discussions. Workshop brought groups that might not have the opportunity to meet together. Simulation exercise was also really well done.

Discussion of issues specific to our company; simulation.

Reinforced concepts, give ideas for additional use of techniques and tools in everyday PM job.

I enjoyed meeting with the rest of the group and listening to the specifics of the issues they faced in their projects.

Interaction with peers, discussing situations as they pertain to daily experiences.

What improvements should be made to the workshop?

Pre-workshop software familiarity. Role playing in situations.

Less simulation time

Software updates on the simulation program to all split screens. More detailed instructions on how to use the program.

More case studies


Circulate common project planning tasks, risks, etc.

Simulations were fun but seemed to be more focused on a business environment than project management for pharma.

Some additional examples of tools, such as Visio, that can be easily used by PTLs

Using tools that are available within the company.

Leadership skill component would be helpful.

More instruction specific to pharma. Also split CTLs from PJMs at least in research if possible to allow discussion applicable to my role.

A better understanding of the project. It will be more helpful if the simulation is using cases in related research project. (Such as drug discovery projects).

I would have less emphasis or time on the simulation. Make it a 4-6 week project. The time spent on making changes to the project was overshadowed by trying to use practices taught earlier in the day.

Lecture topics not always strongly correlated to simulation exercise.

I like everything.

I think the course could be conducted in 1.5 days.

Day one a little slow.

Appropriate level of detail and pace. Excellent instructor.

I did not like the story.

I would rather work on a real project, get some intro material and then build a plan, a risk plan, etc.

Comments and suggestions for the facilitators

Use of project management software (others also).

Mindfulness of potential gender biases when talking about professions and connecting the thoughts with "he" when it cold also be a "she" example leadership team..."he". Senior managers should take this class! Culture change and support from top down.

Thanks for the excellent course.

Excellent job and nice balance of active learning vs. lecture.

Very good

Excellent, style is perfect for course

Some exercises were not explained adequately and teams spent some time guessing their given task.


A clear link between lecture and simulation, ie make and use a communication plan-no time to do this during simulation.

Great job!

Excellent job

More exercises help a lot.


Imagine that a coworker asks: what was the workshop like for you? How will you respond?

It was engaging with good speakers.

Get exposure to management issues and how to deal with risk and issues. (Crash course).

Very practical, eye opening, helped me view PM within a a more structured framework.

Take it.

Fantastic opportunity to learn more about the company – visibility – thought provoking.

Very informative, but didn’t reflect my real life and what I can implement on a daily basis.

I enjoyed it. It provided a good view on the kinds of challenges project managers face and strategies to address them.

Since I’m a PJM this course didn’t introduce many new concepts, but helped re-inforce them. The simulation program offered limited learing opportunity.

It is very useful, worthy of investing the time to participate.

Interesting, more broad than I’d have liked.

It was very useful. Concepts were well presented and the simulation exercise was great in allowing us to apply all concepts.

I like the way concept was introduced, then practice in simulation.

Informative risk management

Most material was at an “entry level” project manager skill set, but good to have it emphasized again.

I would recommend it for those new to the role or have not been exposed to the concepts. I would not recommend it to experienced PMs or project leaders.

Excellent course, worth the time.

I enjoyed the workshop, as well as interacting with the other members of the project management team. I would like to see and expansion of the creative teams concept.

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