Leading projects

Virtual and classroom delivery available

A complete toolkit for managing projects, focusing on both people and process, and on maintaining communication and cohesion within the team and between stakeholders. 

Virtual and classroom delivery available

About the course

Course overview

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Whatever your goal – from creating a new product or service to opening a new office – effective project management is critical to your ultimate success.

And yet many people tasked with leading a project are not specialist or trained project managers, and often have to fulfil this role alongside many other responsibilities. New project managers often lack the experience or skills to recognise and tackle problems before they get out of control, and many don’t have the confidence to have difficult conversations inside the business and with external stakeholders.

Inevitably, this means an unstructured approach, unclear goals and communication, and eventually, project overruns and failures.

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It is vital then, that those leading projects are properly equipped with a clear process for each project that enables co-ordination, sets and manages expectations and agrees clearly defined goals for each stage. They also need the skills and confidence to keep key stakeholders informed and on-board, and to address challenging issues as they arise.

Our Leading Projects course has been designed to address the needs of non-specialists who have been given project management responsibilities and who want to develop a professional, organised and structured approach. It is a practical and realistic programme, with a raft of tools and techniques to make your role easier and more effective.


Key details

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By the end of the Leading Projects course delegates will learn to:

  • Define the scope of the project
  • Agree Critical Success Factors
  • Understand and use an agreed process
  • Manage the project team
  • Apply project monitoring and control techniques
  • Use risk analysis and management
  • Manage expectations throughout the project
  • Keep key stakeholders on board at each stage
  • Maintain stakeholder communication using the RACI model
  • Manage delays and overspend
  • Have difficult conversations early and effectively


This training is very interactive with delegates involved in activities, case studies, team challenges, discussions and practical exercises that bring the material to life. Action planning forms a central component to ensure the training makes a difference back at work.   Delegates will also get a chance to address real challenges from their current projects over the course of the day.

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Below is an outline of what can be covered. Depending on whether you prefer a one or a two day course, we can work with you to identify which elements to emphasise to make best use of the training time..

What does great project management look like?

  • What’s the purpose of a project manager?
  • What does a great project manager do?
  • Where are our strengths and weaknesses as project managers?


The project management process

  • Understanding what process will be used
  • Agreeing the definitions used
  • Defining the key responsibilities of the Project Manager, team and stakeholders


Agreeing the scope of the project

  • Agreeing the scope – the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of projects
  • Managing complexity – what can you define / not define? / what are the accepted risks
  • Identifying key markers for success
  • Managing scope creep


Managing an agile-type process

  • Making the most of the daily / weekly/ fortnightly meetings or touch points
  • What is your DOD (Definition of Done) at each stage of the project?
  • Managing the project team, including staff who are working on different projects
  • Managing the burn throughout the project
  • Managing risk – up and down


Managing the expectations of stakeholders

  • Stakeholder mapping
  • Managing expectations as the project evolves and if things ‘slip’
  • Negotiating and influencing skills to keep stakeholders on board


Managing challenging conversations during project management

  • What sorts of challenging conversations do we have?
  • Five communication styles and which ones give the best result
  • Emotional intelligence – managing how we respond under pressure
  • Preparing for your own difficult conversations with stakeholders


Evaluating projects for outcomes not just outputs

Action planning

Strengths Finder assessment coaching (optional)

There is the option for delegates to complete the Clifton Strengths Finder online assessment that identifies their top five strengths.  Delegates then have a one to one coaching call with our coach to discuss how they use these strengths during their projects, what the ‘shadow’ sides of strengths are (i.e. how they can be over-played under pressure) and how they can use their strengths more actively in their role.

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This course is ideal for those who manage small to medium sized projects, particularly those who are new to their role or who are not project management specialists.


Course leader

Kate Jennings is a highly qualified and experienced trainer, coach and consultant with a commercial background in product development. She has worked with some of the UK’s most famous brands to help develop and deliver management and communication skills programmes that have benefited thousands of delegates. Kate has a personable style and a strong client focus, with a talent for building positive and productive working relationships. She is also qualified in a wide range of psychometric and other tools.
Kate Jennings - Cambridge Executive Development

Track record

“I enjoyed the course very much. Despite having run projects before I still took away plenty of good tips and knowledge. It has given me fresh ideas on how I can implement project management principles in my organisation. The trainer is a great tutor, very knowledgeable and pitches at just the right level. Very inspirational.”
Group IT Manager, Lavendon PLC

“I really enjoyed the whole experience. I learnt so many new things that I can already see a place in my current role to use the methods.”
Accounts Coordinator, Audio Visual Machines

“This was a great learning experience for me which will aid me in my daily work.”
Delegate, Resources UK

“Great approach providing a simple introduction using practical examples that are easy to relate to.”
Delegate, Janssen-Cilag Ltd

“A very Well presented course, full of theory and practical points.”
Delegate, Webbs

“We’ve worked with Cambridge Exec to build our scientists’ project management skills, with a focus on improving communication and collaboration. The training and coaching were carefully tailored to our needs, and were extremely well received by the team. We’ve seen a marked improvement in project communication as a result of the programme, and our scientists have become much more aware of the value of building and maintaining relationships to the success of their projects. Overall, the training has provided a fantastic return on investment, and I am delighted to recommend it to others.”
Craig Mills, CEO, Vizzuality

Cambridge Exec clients - leadership

Additional learning resources

Post-course support

We understand that your professional development doesn’t end when you walk out of the classroom. The time you’ve put in will only make a real impact if your learning is carried into the way you work. That’s why we offer post-course support in implementing your new skills, for as long as required. Your trainer is available to discuss problems, provide advice or offer feedback until you feel confident on your own.

E-learning package

This course also includes access to an ‘e-learning pinboard’, a password protected webpage where your trainer has posted articles, videos, interviews and other useful tools around project leadership for you to draw on for inspiration and ideas going forward.

Bespoke virtual & classroom workshops

If you have any questions or if you would like to speak to one of our trainers about how the Coaching Skills for Managers course could work for your organisation please get in touch. We can deliver the course at your offices, anywhere in the UK – and beyond.

This course can be delivered for your group by our expert facilitators at your offices or as a virtual classroom live over the internet.

In most cases we can provide an all-inclusive quote to cover design, delivery and materials with some basic information:

  • Which course you are interested in
  • Where the course would take place (or if virtual)
  • How many delegates need to be trained

Just drop us a line with these basic facts and we’ll get back to you with a no-obligation quote on the same day.