Workshop: Improving Alignment in your Project Team

ProDev 2017 keynote speaker, Rich Sheridan, has graciously offered to stay a second day to teach the PMI Heartland Chapter Members how to improve project team alignment!! 


Whether you are working on a new product, a long-range high-budget project, or a quick process improvement engagement, misaligned assumptions can create expensive and time consuming mis-steps.

Many initiatives would be well served to have explicit discussions regarding which key stakeholders require the greatest amount of attention, and then exploring the challenges regarding too much scope and too few resources. 

In this hands-on high energy workshop, we will simulate a $72,000 project.  Teams of attendees will work through stakeholder prioritization using a tool that we call Persona Mapping.  These teams will then work through a scope prioritization process that we affectionately call The Planning Game.

We will wrap up the workshop by exploring how one company uses these tools to help its clients design and build products that end users love.


Course Objectives:

After completing this workshop, attendees will be able to

  • Facilitate a project and feature prioritization discussion within their organization.
  • Reveal and define a shared understanding and objective for a project.
  • Make scoping decisions for a project based on data.
  • Align teams around a single objective and its user.
  • Create representative users based on real data.

Who Should Attend:

This course is ideal for project managers and managers who want to develop/expand their leadership and business management skills to fast track their careers.

Time/Date:    8:00-12:00 on Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Location:       Creighton Heider College of Business - Mike and Josie Harper Center (602 N. 20th St, Omaha, NE  68102)

Parking:        Same as for Professional Development Day on Monday; parking is located south of the Harper Center.

Capacity:        100

Cost:              $75

Registration:   Online registration only - registration expires Monday, 16 October.  Register

PDUs:             4 PDUs (Strategic: 2, Leadership: 2)

Professional Facilitator:      Richard Sheridan (

     Rich knew at 13 years old what he was going to do the rest of his career when he typed in a two-line program into a Teletype and the computer came back and typed back “HI RICH”. He was hooked. A year later, after having typed the entire Baseball Register into the computer, he won an international gaming contest for what would now be termed Fantasy Baseball. The amazing thing is that this all happened by 1972.

     In 1973, Rich landed his first job as a programmer, creating the first email system at the Macomb Intermediate School District, a decade before the term email would even be close to a household word. He couldn’t believe people would pay him to do something he just loved to do as a hobby.

     He went on to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Michigan and then followed that by earning his Master’s degree in computer engineering. After graduating, he worked his way through a number of Ann Arbor technology companies, ending up at Interface Systems. At the midpoint of his career rise, he wanted out. He no longer experienced the joy that had first drawn him to programming as a kid. His work life was filled with weekends away from family, disappointed colleagues and projects that were always in trouble.

After being promoted to VP of Software Development, Rich was inspired to pursue a lasting change in the organization and restore the joy he initially found in his job and industry. His investigation led him to different books, videos, and methodologies that opened his eyes to a new approach for running his team. He was delighted to see lasting change within his team. By early 2001, however, the Internet bubble burst and Interface System’s new Silicon Valley parent company shuttered every remote office it had. The beautiful, high-flying experiment that Rich and his team had run was over. For the first time in a thirty-year technical career, Rich was without a job.

     Rich knew that he had been on to something at Interface Systems. He had learned how to build a great team with a joyful culture. So he decided to do it again by starting his own company with three partners. On June 12, 2001 Menlo Innovations LLC was born. He and his partners decided that the company’s purpose would be to bring joy to the world through software, and to teach this method to others. Rich was featured on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2003, sharing his “hire yourself” story with the world.

     Menlo has gone on to win the Alfred P. Sloan award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility for eight straight years and has earned five revenue awards from Inc. magazine. Rich spends the majority of his time sharing the Menlo Way through teaching classes, leading tours, speaking at conferences and mentoring entrepreneurs in the community and sharing joy!