“We must learn what customers really want.”— Eric Ries, The Lean Startup

When looking at the starting line of a new year, I see lots of possibilities. Recently, the possibilities grew in number and delight.  

My doubt crept in as I realized I could not build all my ideas at once. That is when I realized I could model one of the lessons from Eric Ries’s teaching in his books. That is, to ask you what you think.

I’m going to be partnering with one of the leading nonprofit organizations in project management in a new initiative to develop online course offerings. The opportunity is exciting. But the question is, what should I build first? To answer this, I am seeking your input.

Please review the course offerings I am excited to build. 

How to Recover Project Disasters!
Consider that you are suddenly responsible for a project that is in grave jeopardy. It is certainly late. It is riddled with quality issues. How do you know how deep in trouble the plan is?  Will you deliver the bad news to those that really must know? Can you recover this project?  This course will review the cold hard truth of what you need to do to recover the project and finish with style.

Lead the Unleadable to Create Incredible Value
This course provides detailed guidance on how to unwrap the gifts of those very talented, but sometimes problematic people on your projects. We will cover how to set expectations of excellence that people will be inspired to reach for. We will provide the language of how to deliver messages that lead to a positive change of those going in the wrong direction. The course will help you develop your radar for trouble. You will learn how to determine when you remove versus when you improve the most troublesome. You will be able to detect it in the early stages and set things right before they become a challenge.

Start Projects Right so You Can Finish With Style
Too many projects finish in turmoil and exhaustion. In truth, some seem to never really quite cross the finish line. That finish line is there in sight – but as we get closer, it moves farther away. Often the trouble at the end was based on how the project started. This course will provide the ten critical things to ensure projects start right such that they can finish with style. We cover the key reasons that these ten things are rarely done. We will provide you with the courage, skills, and language to overcome the barriers and actively start your projects with speed and style.

How to Deal with Technical Debt
As a project leader, your job is to get the project done fast and with high quality. One of the most significant detriments to speed that most organizations have is an abundance of technical debt. This course will cover the seven typical types of technical and why knowing the differences between them is critical. You will know how to measure it, how to deal with it with surgical precision, and best yet, how to prevent it from occurring.


Now imagine you have $500 you want to invest in an online training experience that leads to immediate on-the-job improvements.

Pick one of the four that would be most interesting to you. Hit reply to [email protected] to let me know your choice.

You may provide write-in suggestions as well.

Thanks for your votes and ideas. Vote early and often!

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

 Alan Willett

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
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