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Leading Strategic Projects Successfully


Organisations often rely on managers to lead and execute specific projects in order to realise their broader strategic objectives. Mergers, acquisitions, product launches and strategic realignments all demand skills in navigating complexity, understanding risk and effective stakeholder management. If their managers lack such capabilities, then they will struggle to take advantage of new opportunities, drive change or continue to create value.

Many managers believe that effective projects are simply about good planning and scheduling. However, you could get all your planning and scheduling right and still not succeed in managing projects effectively. Avoiding pitfalls and delivering the right outcomes is about adopting a broader perspective and appreciating that: 

  • Projects often entail complex issues and diverse or even conflicting requirements that often require successful integration to deliver the desired result.
  • Projects are characterised by a high degree of uncertainty. To overcome this, managers need the ability to respond to unforeseen developments, build relationships within teams and with stakeholders, provide leadership and facilitate knowledge transfer.
  • Different management approaches are required according to the nature of the project and its goals. Managing a project on organisational change in the same manner as a project on new product development is a recipe for failure.

Leading Strategic Projects Successfully is a three-day programme that provides managers with this more holistic view. We adopt a managerial - rather than a technical - perspective, and focus on issues that concern those who lead projects. We also consider the impact on those who may have oversight and those who will be required to implement new initiatives.


The programme covers the following topics:

Topics covered in this programme include: planning and control; managing uncertainty; aligning with strategy; managing relationships.

The topics are explored through analyses of actual projects in multiple domains. The pedagogy consists of simulations, exercises, role-playing games, cases, discussions and lectures, ensuring that all sessions are highly interactive. Each session has take-aways that can be adopted in practice.

Participants will leave the programme with a clear understanding of concepts and practical tools which they can directly apply to their own projects.


The programme will help individuals to improve their project-based skills, resulting in more projects delivered to objectives, on time and on budget. The specific benefits consist of: 

  • Better planning & control
  • Effective handling of complexity and uncertainty in order to cope with difficult external environments
  • Understanding and managing project teams and stakeholders' relationships
  • Strategy cascading
cloud of words associated with this programme, including "projects, teams, goals, supervision, uncertainty, risk, change, collaboration, strategy..."

Who should attend

This programme is open to executives involved in different project roles: as leaders, sponsors or implementers. This includes functional managers involved in: 

  • Managing complex projects
  • New product or service development and planning marketing campaigns
  • Driving change management initiatives, mergers/ acquisitions or organisational restructuring 
  • Implementing breakthrough projects, creating new business models, setting up new businesses/ subsidiaries

Participants are not required to have had specialised project management training, but will usually be responsible for implementing projects in an international and organisational context. Executives with little or no project management experience are also welcome to attend if they are seeking to acquire a framework for project leadership and management.

Those who primarily seek hands-on training on specific technical aspects such as PERT/GERT charts or work breakdown structures are recommended to look for other programmes.

Faculty & speakers

Stylianos Kavadias

Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation & Growth

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Christoph H. Loch

CEO of Executive Education
Professor of Management Studies

PhD (Stanford Graduate School of Business)

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Kishore Sengupta

Deputy CEO of Executive Education (Custom Programmes)
Reader in Operations Management

MBA, PhD (Case Western University)

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All the faculty are internationally recognised researchers and practitioners on the topic of managing projects. They have deep experience in teaching similar programmes for executives at the University of Cambridge and in other leading business schools.

Dates & fees

Dates Duration Fees *
2-4 October 2017 3 days £2,995 + VAT
19-21 March 2018 3 days £2,995 + VAT

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £2,995 + 20% = £3,594

* Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks, as well as a gala dinner. Preferential rates may be available for groups, University of Cambridge alumni and members of the School's Alumni Association. Please note prices pre-registration are subject to change.

For information regarding payment terms, cancellation rights, transfer policies and fees, please see our terms & conditions documents:

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (pdf, 226KB) (updated 27 October 2015)
Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (pdf, 243KB) (updated 27 October 2015)

Registration closes at midday two working days before the programme start date.

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

Version 1 (1 October 2015)

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Selection for the Leading Strategic Projects Successfully programme is taken very seriously, and we ask prospective participants to complete the application form to ensure that the programme is the right one for them at the right time in their career.

Learn more about the 2016 Leading Strategic Projects Successfully class.

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