IT Talent Development

PM Case Studies

Project Management Talent Development Program

The head of the IT department at a global pharmaceutical company was looking to improve the project management and IT Consulting skills of his team. The key driver for this need was the gradually increasing size and complexity of IT projects being delivered to internal customers. Soon the project managers would also need to be able to take on and lead local pieces of global projects and coordinate with the global team leaders. The usual practice had been the more senior managers in the department had to assist and support projects and project teams to deliver results with expected quality and customer satisfaction. So the desired outcomes were:

  1. Achieve a high level of project management skills: to be able to lead small to medium sized projects in an international environment.
  2. Develop strong soft skills for customer-facing activities such as consulting, communications, expectation management, conflict management, change management, and so on.


  • Development and Preparation:
    • We spent 3 months working with the customer’s management team to identify specific learning objectives and develop content.
    • We wrote case studies based on real company projects for hands-on application of problem solving and project management.
    • We created role-play scenarios for soft skills development and practice.
    • We selected company project management templates and process tools to be applied during the case discussions.
    • We updated several of the company’s older tools and templates to reflect current thinking in project management.
  • Training Classes: (3 days per student)
    • 12 half-day sessions (Japanese and English)
    • Content plus 3-4 case studies and exercises/role-plays
    • 40-50 slides per session plus handouts
  • Action Learning Group Coaching: (3 days per student)
    • 6 x 3-hour coaching sessions with teams of 4-5 people
    • Group coaching to help peers with application of PM to current project problems


Survey Results:

  • Overall Coaching: 75% (Excellent, Above Average)
  • Improved my PM skills: 93% (Agree)
  • Continue?: 53% (Agree), 25% (Yes-No),  22% (Disagree)

Opinions, requests or other comments:

  • Using Real Project as topics was very timely and provided greater focus
  • Good atmosphere (constructive spirit, no criticizing), sharp instruction, and coach’s skill was high
  • It was helpful to know other department’s project, issues, and viewpoints




This post is also available in: Japanese