So Why Did You Create the Course, Fergus?

So Why Did You Create the Course, Fergus?

In 1994, the first edition of my book, How to Run Successful Projects was published.  The book had a pretty simple thesis.  It said that there were certain things that were common to all successful projects and certain things common to all failed projects.  How to Run Successful Projects presented a method – The Ten Steps – that harnessed the positive things and reduced the effect of the negative things.

The book also broke new ground in that it was a reaction to what you might call the rocket science school of project management – the complicated, heavy duty methodologies that make up so much of the project management world.  There is a whole industry built around making project management complicated.

It’s not.

Projects may be complicated – logistically, technically, scientifically – but project management isn’t complicated.  It’s pretty simple.

It seemed like nobody had thought about it in this way before.  The book went on to be a bestseller, is now in its third edition and you can see for yourself what people say about it on Amazon.  My company, ETP ( has also taught the Ten Steps method to many thousands of people all over the world.


This course is a companion to the that book and has many of the same characteristics.  Shortening projects seems to be another case of nobody thinking about a certain problem in a certain way.

It turns out that it’s possible not just to run successful projects but to run them in a vastly accelerated way so that they complete much quicker than anyone had previously thought possible.

In addition, the ideas and methods are simple and common sense – again showing that project management doesn’t have to be complicated even though many people like to make it so.

And It would be hard to imagine anything that has as many benefits as shortening a project.  These benefits include:

  • Getting products to market sooner
  • Delivering business benefits quicker
  • Reducing costs and waste
  • Saving time / resources / budget which can then be used on other things
  • Increasing profits
  • Improving revenues
  • Improving cash flow
  • Getting more projects done with the available resources
  • Stealing a march / gaining a lead on competitors
  • Reducing the risk of the project running over
  • Not to mention … increased team morale, greater job satisfaction, better work life balance etc.

Want to reduce the risk that a critical project will run over?  Shorten it.  Like to deliver the business benefits of a project to stakeholders quicker?  Shorten it.  Been told you ‘have to do more with less’ or ‘work smarter not harder?’  Project shortening is the answer.  Want to ensure you don’t have a death march project with teams working insane hours?  Shorten it.  Want to significantly outperform your competitors and get products to market quicker?  Project shortening will do that for you.  Want to develop a skill which very few people have?  Learn how to shorten projects.

And what will it cost?

Well, nothing actually.  No extra budget or resources.

Simply a different way of thinking and working.