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Strategic Change through Projects

4 days (Face-to-face)

£4,400 + VAT (Face-to-face)

24-27 Apr 2023 (Face-to-face)

Professor Christoph Loch teaching.

Watch the video

Hello. My name is Christoph Loch. I am a Professor of Operations and Technology Management at Cambridge Judge Business School. And for the last 30 years, I’ve worked with companies across various industries but also with nonprofit organisations on issues of innovation, project management, and strategic change.

This programme, Strategic Change Through Projects, is not a project management programme. This programme helps you to develop your ability to manage the surrounding, the organisational environment within which strategic projects are carried out.

So the target participants for this programme are people at the top of the business unit, the CEO, the entire C-suite, the most senior managers, because for them, projects give them the tool and the opportunity to bring strategic change into implementation. And for that, you need to set up your organisation.

One month ago, I went for a trip in China for 2 weeks. And my colleague and I, we worked with 10 business units of market-leading Chinese companies on the question, is your innovation portfolio aligned with your strategy? So we analysed their strategy, including what is their real competitive advantage and where are their weaknesses, and therefore, where do they need to change things?

And that could be products and technologies. But it could also be sales channels. It could be processes. It could be setting up a call centre. So what are the aspects of strategic change in your organisation? And then we looked with them at the projects, the change projects that they were actually undertaking. So we looked at the innovation portfolio.

And in 2/3rds of the cases, when they looked at it that way, they noticed, oh, gosh, it doesn’t fit. And then we worked with them in, A, adjusting the portfolio so it would help them execute their strategy. And in half of the cases, it also induced changes in their strategy itself because from looking at the things that they were actually doing, they realised that there were some opportunities that they hadn’t seen. And there were some real barriers and infeasibilities that they hadn’t quite realised.

That’s what this programme is about. And this journey, this what we did with these companies, we will start with that in the programme. And then we will look at – in order to then get these projects to be successful, we need to set up processes. We need to set up organisational structures. We need to respect the capacity that we have in executing. And we need to put a governance system in place.

So all of these aspects of how do you set up your organisation so it can successfully implement these initiatives– and then the project management comes underneath – that’s what we will discuss in this programme. So there will be a mixture of case studies and discussions and problem-solving and some simulation exercises.

But it all will end up with every day you being asked, what are the ideas from this which actually apply your own organisation? And where might you be able to take actions that make this a reality in your organisation?

So I’ll say a couple of sentences about why Cambridge is actually a good place for you to pursue this. So first of all, Cambridge Judge Business School, where I am not alone in doing this, but we actually have a group of people with a lot of experience who are working with organisations all over the world on these topics. So you all have access to real world-leading experts.

But secondly, Cambridge Judge Business School is embedded in the largest technology cluster in Europe, the Cambridge Cluster. So there will also be an opportunity for you to rub shoulders with tech entrepreneurs. We will have a couple of events. And you will be able to sample some of the really deep technical expertise that exists in Cambridge.

Achieve strategic advantage and improve performance for your organisation.

Projects have become a major tool for achieving organisational change, by not only developing new products and/or technologies with new markets, but also by setting up new processes or new businesses, building new structures, or testing ways to change culture and work together. In other words, projects are a tool to make the senior management change agenda happen. This programme offers ways of managing and monitoring not a single project, but collections of projects for achieving organisational performance and strategic change.


Your learning journey

Session 1 Strategy and Projects

  • Business strategy and strategic change
  • Cascading strategic goals into initiatives
  • Linking initiative outcomes and strategic progress.

Session 2 Multiproject Management and Organisational Capacity

  • Project flow charts and capacity utilisation
  • How to manage overall project capacity to prevent delays and a degradation of accountability in the organisation.

Session 3 & 4 Project Portfolios as Strategy Execution, Portfolio Design

  • A simulation of strategic portfolio management based on a real case
  • Challenges and tensions
  • Portfolio generation and management as a creative exercise to execute strategy
  • Tools of portfolio management.

Session 5 Organisational Structures

  • How projects and processes can coexist in an organisation
  • The trade-offs: communication links and reporting lines, expertise and speed.

Session 6 Governance and Alignment

  • Project governance
  • Mechanisms to keep projects aligned with the organisation and with each other.

Session 7 Leadership and Fair Process:

  • Assess the importance managing stakeholders
  • Recognise how to motivate project teams.

Session 8 Organisational Learning Across Projects

  • The elements of a learning infrastructure across the organisation.


How does the programme benefit you?

Projects have become an important mode of operation in executing organisational change. But the classic project management paradigm does not address the organisational needs of this broad change agenda. The Strategic Change through Projects programme prepares senior managers to set up their organisation to be able to use projects more systematically and more successfully as change agents.

How does the programme benefit and impact the organisation?

  • Linking projects to strategy execution and thus make them targeted and coordinated
  • Understanding organisational capacity so projects can be executed rather than gridlocked
  • Using projects explicitly to strengthen strategy execution
  • Understanding project governance as separate from normal process governance in the line
  • Linking project leadership to organisational leadership
Icon: Executive Education Certificates of Achievement.

This programme counts towards the Cambridge Judge Business School General Management Certificate of Achievement. On completing the GMCA you will be eligible to become an associate member of Cambridge Judge Business School’s global network of graduates and business-focused University of Cambridge alumni, faculty and staff.

Project management is becoming more prominent as a tool for executive rooms. To be able to successfully implement strategic changes, it is vital that organisations see project management as a strategic competence. Organisations that excel in project management are the winners of tomorrow.
Christoph Loch, Professor of Operations & Technology Management

Faculty & speakers

Learn from our world-class faculty who bring fresh insights from their leading-edge research into all of our Executive Education programmes.

The Academic Programme Director (APD) for the Strategic Change through Projects programme is Professor Christoph Loch.

Access profiles of the programme’s APD and faculty:

Programme format

Dt Benn Lawson teaches on a face-to-face programme.


Face-to-face is a traditional, intense classroom learning experience and is all about hands-on interaction. You will be a part of exercises, debates and conversations, engaging directly with our faculty and your peers. Conversations spill over into breaktimes and meals, forming lasting connections. Share your ideas, develop your network and grow professionally, whilst enjoying the historic city of Cambridge.

Who should attend?

Those looking to deliver strategic change capabilities including but not limited to:

  • Senior C-Suite Leaders
  • Senior Portfolio Management personnel
  • Senior Project Programme personnel
  • Senior Functional Management personnel (operations, finance, marketing IT, etc).

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

Why Cambridge Judge Business School?

Cambridge Judge faculty

All of our programmes are designed and led by an Academic Programme Director, who is a member of Cambridge Judge Business School faculty. They will also deliver substantial portions of that programme.

Leading-edge research

The research conducted by Cambridge Judge Business School’s 20 research centres, across a diverse range of disciplines, flows directly into all of our programmes, bringing new insights to our programme content.

Small group learning

With small class sizes, we continue the Cambridge way of learning that emphasises high levels of interaction with both our world-class faculty and peers.


£4,400 + VAT (Face-to-face)

VAT is charged at the prevailing rate, which is currently 20%; e.g. £4,900 + 20% = £5,880.

Fees include instruction, materials, lunch and breaks. 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.

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to discuss how this programme could benefit you or your organisation, please get in touch with the programme advisor:

Allison Wheeler-Heau

Director of Open Programmes
Tel: +44 (0)1223 765855
Mob: +44 (0)7879 116776

Schedule a call with Allison

[email protected]

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Allison Wheeler-Héau

Additional information

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

Participants are expected to attend the full programme.

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

Terms & Conditions for Self-funded Applicants (updated January 2023)

Terms & Conditions for Organisation-funded Applicants (updated January 2023)

Version 1 (23 February 2023)