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“Setting the Objectives, Stakeholder management, Evaluation, Milestone planning, Estimation, Network planning and slack, Risk management, Communication, Project Organisation, The project manager’s roles, Project execution plan…” Does this sound like the basic kind of consult stuff?

To my big surprise, this intensive 3-day project management course for researchers, organised by Implement Consulting group in June 2013, was in fact very good. Held for approximately 20 reserach leaders within the University of Copenhagen in one of the Radisson SAS hotel near Copenhagen’s airport, it covered a whole range of topics and techniques that are required for designing and running a succeful project.

What made the course particularly helpful is that we were really given time to explore and practise each topic by doing various exercises and tasks. One of the major tasks was to design and orgnanise ‘Molly’s birthday party’, with all different managing stages involved. Here are some of the ‘Milestones’ that were involved in her party:

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Although the tasks may sound light and fun, each one of them in fact required a lot of creativity as well as the ability to apply the whole range of tools that we had learned, such as communication, problem solving and organisation skills, and the ability to work as a team. And by the end of the course, we had a lot of tools to remember… the walls around the room were totally covered with flap-board sheets, displaying the topics we had dealt with!

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One of the most enjoable tasks was on our final day, when we were divided in groups of four to design and build a paper bridge between two chairs, using just 30 A4 sheets of paper, two rolls of cellutape and one pair of scissors. What made it challenging was not only that the bridge had to be designed and built in 1,5 hours, but it also had to be strong enough to support a toy-truck loaded with weights up to 10kg!

And guess how we manage to build one of the strongest bridges in the class? By applying textile-knowledge! We made a paper ‘mattress’, fillied with a woven-kind of structure that was created from interlacing paper sticks that we had made by rolling sheets of paper very tightly. We finished our bridge in the last seconds but it was so strong that it could have easily carried the truck of 10kg! An impressed American military scientist told me after the exercise that from now on he will ‘never underestimate a basket maker’.

I was so excited after the task that I forgot to take a picture, but I can assure you that our bridge looked great!

For Implement Consuting you can visit http://www.implement.dk/en/

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