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FranklinCovey Substantially Updates Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager Course, Blending the Best Practices of Agile and Waterfall Project Management

Course Updated to Meet The Rising Demands of The New Project Economy

FranklinCovey (NYSE: FC), one of the largest and most trusted leadership companies in the world, today announced a major update of its Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager course, now blending the best practices of agile and waterfall project management.

With change happening at an increasing pace in technology, innovation, and the workplace, the new agile project economy requires knowledge workers across organizations to manage and complete projects successfully. And, more often than not, project management is a task delegated, rather than a skill developed. This may explain why 65 percent of projects fail each year, costing organizations money, time, opportunity, and morale. But when intentionally developed, project management skills can provide a lasting relationship between people, processes and project value, leading to organizational success. Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager was updated to meet these rising demands.

Kory Kogon, FranklinCovey Vice President of Content, said, “Most knowledge workers who are paid to think, innovate, create, and execute projects have quietly slipped into the role of unofficial project manager. They not only struggle to find and follow a well-defined project management process, but to lead matrixed project teams that don’t formally report them. To be set up for success, they need the practical, up-to-date, skill- and application- based training, which our updated Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager course offers. It provides virtually every knowledge worker in any organization with skills they need to consistently execute high-value projects on time and with quality.”

By blending the best of agile and waterfall project management processes, an updated success formula and primary mindset sets the stage for the course ─ project value, plus people, plus process equals success. Projects must deliver value to an organization sooner than later, and once value is established, it’s the people who make the projects successful by following a consistent process. This is accomplished by learning to create consistent feedback loops, approach changes proactively, and conduct project retrospectives.

Kogon said, “This updated course offers participants a practical methodology, framework, and process to ensure that collective behavior change occurs. It equips them with the mindset, skillset and toolset that allows them to release their fear of managing projects. They gain the confidence they need to lead high-value projects and to engage and inspire everyone, including those who may not report to them, to volunteer their very best efforts for successful project completion.”

The content from the course provided the foundation for one of FranklinCovey’s all-time bestselling books, Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager, authored by Kory Kogon, Suzette Blakemore, and James Wood. Additionally, FranklinCovey is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) Authorized Training Partners (ATP) Program. The course contributes to the project management education requirement for PMI Certifications, as well as Professional Development Education units (PDUs) needed by PMI credential holders. Key objectives and outcomes for learners include:



Model five leadership and informal authority behaviors to keep teams engaged and accountable for results: Respect, Listen First, Clarify Expectations, Extend Trust, and Practice Accountability.

Build strong informal authority that inspires project teams to consistently volunteer their best efforts.

Optimize five fundamental project phases to setup projects for success: Scope, Plan, Engage, Adapt, and Close.

Utilize a consistent process to start and finish high-value projects on time and with quality.

Create shared expectations with key stakeholders.

Influence and engage others to define a clear project scope, including clear deliverables and risk strategies.

Participants watch six video vignettes about an unofficial project manager who is handed a huge project that must be delivered with quality. Participants act as a coach along the way, as the main character does some things well and needs to improve in some areas, creating rich discussions that deepen the learning. Participants also work on their own project throughout the three 90-minute sessions with reinforcement microlearning after the course.

Kogon said, “The skills that are taught in this course are so highly sought-after and in such high demand today. Those who are trained and equipped with these skills will not only help their organizations to be successful in achieving their most important strategic goals, but they will secure their individual career success.”

Once learners have completed the three sessions, they will be able to do the following:

Session 1: Foundation, Scope

  • See the importance of the unofficial project manager role in today’s world.
  • Establish reasons why projects fail.
  • Understand the success formula, key informal authority behaviors, and process phases based on best practices of “waterfall” and “agile” project management.
  • Identify, gain access to, and interview key stakeholders.
  • Create a unified and accurate scope statement.

Session 2: Plan

  • Identify, prioritize, and plan a risk strategy.
  • Understand the components of the work breakdown structure.
  • Have confidence to try a project management software that enables more strategic project management.

Session 3: Engage, Track & Adapt, Close

  • Create a cadence of accountability to keep project teams engaged.
  • Simply document project status.
  • Manage scope change.
  • Document lessons learned and celebrate to prepare for future successful projects.

Patrick McGuire, FranklinCovey Senior Vice President, Content, said, “We’re excited to add Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager as a welcome addition to our ever-expanding content franchise. In addition to creating new courses that transform organizations, we’re also bringing our best and most successful courses to our new Impact Platform with a contemporary look, feel and message. We’re committed to delivering our content in a memorable, relatable way that enables learners to take actionable steps to achieving extraordinary results and inspiring greatness in people and organizations, everywhere.”

Course Availability

The Project Management for the Unofficial Project Manager course is only available on the FranklinCovey Impact Platform™ as part of FranklinCovey’s All Access Pass®. The course consists of three sessions and is available in multiple learning modalities, including Live In-Person (three 2-hour sessions), Live-Online (three 90-minute sessions), and OnDemand (three 30-minute sessions). Participants can engage in an Impact Journey that may include a 360 Diagnostic, 360 Coaching Session or Self-Directed Review, Application Challenge and Automated Reinforcement, Learner and Client-Selected OnDemand microlearning, and an updated 360 Diagnostic.

FranklinCovey’s All Access Pass allows clients to expand their reach, achieve the business objectives, and sustainably impact performance. The pass provides access to a vast library of FranklinCovey content, including assessments, training courses, tools, and resources. For information on becoming a passholder, please visit the Contact Us page on or call 1-888-868-1776 for more information.

About FranklinCovey

FranklinCovey (NYSE: FC) is the most trusted leadership company in the world with operations in over 160 countries. We transform organizations by partnering with our clients to build leaders, teams, and cultures that get breakthrough results through collective action, which leads to a more engaging work experience for their people. Available through the FranklinCovey All Access Pass, our best-in-class content and solutions, experts, technology, and metrics seamlessly integrate together to ensure lasting behavior change at scale. This approach to leadership and organizational change has been tested and refined by working with tens of thousands of teams and organizations over the past 30 years. To learn more, visit and enjoy exclusive content across FranklinCovey’s social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


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