Strategic Project Management (Online)

Projects are the engines that drive change, innovation, and productivity. The ability to deliver projects on-time and within scope has become a strategic imperative for organizations and a critical skill for advancing your career. 

In this online program, you will learn practical approaches and techniques to effectively analyze, plan, execute, and lead projects to meet your organization’s objectives. We will explore the reasons for high failure rates and examine key strategies for ensuring success through planning and execution. We will examine the leadership challenges of influencing others when you have limited formal authority. We will discuss the role of culture and the impact it has on our project’s success.

You will participate in a variety of highly engaging activities, interactive discussions, and mini- case studies to broaden your project management strategies. Through an in-depth examination of the principles of project management, participants will gain confidence in their ability to lead all aspects of projects.

Program Modules:

  • Week 1: The four phases of projects; the key difference between managing projects and operations
  • Week 2: The key role of project managers
  • Week 3: Assembling a project team and developing a project schedule
  • Week 4: Building a budget, developing a risk plan, and executing the project plan
  • Week 5: Stakeholder management, managing change, and developing a communication plan
  • Week 6: Closing the project, achieving sustained project benefits, and tips on preventing failure in implementation

Program Benefits

  • Identify key strategies for setting up a project’s success before work begins
  • Examine different project roles and necessary leadership characteristics
  • Learn how to assemble and develop a highly functional project team 
  • Explore how to increase your level of influence in working with others
  • Develop an understanding of the tools and frameworks for each stage of a project
  • Gain strategies for addressing the challenges that most often contribute to project failure
  • Build confidence in your ability to lead both the technical and human side of all projects 
  • Learn how to facilitate success beyond just the project itself such as achieving and sustaining benefits
  • Earn a certificate of completion from Harvard Division of Continuing Education

Topics Covered

  • Principles of project management and the reasons for high failure rates
  • Defining project goals and scope
  • Key roles of project sponsor and project manager
  • Planning a project schedule, budget, and risk plan
  • Executing a project: Instilling discipline, accountability, and productivity
  • Managing stakeholders through project stages
  • Implementing the project and transitioning to operations
  • Lessons learned from the experiences of real-life project managers

Who Should Enroll

This program is designed for those with at least three years of experience with projects, either as a team member or as a project manager.

Program Information

Program Dates

April 5–May 10, 2021
Instructor Mary Finlay

Class Times

Mondays, 11:00 am—1:00 pm ET

Program Fee

2021 Program Fee: $2,150


Online (Zoom)


Mary Finlay is a faculty member at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and brings 25 years of industry experience into her strategy and IT management classes. She also directs multiple executive education programs, including Leadership Development for Physicians in Academic Health Centers, and the Program for Chairs of Clinical Services. She provides executive coaching as well as consulting services in the area of IT organization, project management, strategy and staff development. Her consulting, teaching, and coaching experience spans a number of industries including healthcare, technology, higher education, manufacturing, consulting, and banking.

Read More about Mary Finlay