Making Project, Portfolio and Program Management Practices Stick in a Skeptical Organization

Making Project, Portfolio and Program Management Practices Stick in a Skeptical Organization


Douglas M. Brown, Ph.D., PgMP

Managing Member
Decision Integration LLC

PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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Event Location

Jacobs Technology
3850 Fettler Park Drive
Dumfries, VA, 22025

Agenda and Cost:

Pre-registration deadline is December 7
Member Pre-registration: $15
Non-Member Pre-registration: $20
On-Site Member Rate: $20 (cash or check only)
On-Site Non-Member Rate: $25 (cash or check only)
Cancellations and refund requests are accepted up to 48 hours prior to the day of the event. We cannot offer refunds requested after that time.

Registration and breakfast buffet: 08:15 a.m. – 09:00 a.m.
Network with project management professionals: 08:30 a.m. – 09:00 a.m.
Announcements: 08:45 a.m. – 09:00 a.m.
Featured presentation: 09:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Wrap up: 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

About the Program

Has your organization tried to implement project, portfolio or program management and ended up rejecting it? Or maybe it has never actually tried holding itself accountable at all? And now you're the one who gets to make it happen.

The challenge is that people don't want to be changed, even when they know it is in their best interest. In this session, Dr. Douglas Brown provides an overview of an alternative refined over 20 years of experience in PMO implementations. The Simmer System(TM) is a step-wise approach to improving organizational processes and creating lasting change with a minimum of conflict. Think of this approach as a way to help managers help themselves instead of throwing darts at you.

"Why the Simmer title? If you've got some tough food, you've got to cook it over a lower heat to melt away the gristle. Cook it hotter and all you do is burn it up. Take the heat off, and nothing happens at all."

The Simmer System(TM) consists of very specific components and explains what to do to implement each of them. The components include:

  • "Core 4" Principles: Four guideposts to keep you on track when things get murky (they will). The principles are integration, transparency, integrity and purposeful service.
  • Seven Lists: data you can gather without causing alarm, setting the stage for collaborative actions
  • One Essential Task: the single most important factor in determining the usefulness and staying power of your initiative - how to get, use and keep top-level support - and what to do if you don't get it, which in a process-averse organization, is quite possible. At at first, anyway.
  • Eight Collaborative Activities: how to let your peer managers bring themselves into the governance world by solving problems that they wanted to have solved
  • One Decider: how to identify the real decision-maker, whether it is a board or an individual, and how they can operate transparently without losing any of their autonomy

This approach will buy you the space and time to achieve that dramatic transformation in your organization, making it more coordinated, more collaborative and more productive. It doesn't contradict industry standards; what it does is help you get in a position where best practices become realistic options. The information in this book is provided as the result of over 20 years of practice in more than a dozen organizations, public and private. If your organization is just getting started, or re-started, it will apply to you.

As an added value to attendees of this session: Dr. Brown's book will have launched on Kindle just before the session date. Attendees may use this link ( to get a Kindle copy delivered to them at a low cost o/a December 1st [Amazon shows a list price of $7.99 but those who opt-in via that link will actually get it for a lower price].

Special Instructions: 

Free parking will be available.

PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs

Event Keywords

Soft Skills


Effective communication, in general: audience, media / message, attention vs. "noise", etc.

Negotiation / Conflict

Tools and techniques for negotiations and conflict management / effects of personality traits, etc.

Hard Skills


Specific tips and techniques in the use of PM tools (SW, other)

About the Speaker

Douglas M. Brown, Ph.D., PgMP

Decision Integration LLC
Managing Member

Dr. Douglas Brown helps organizations kick the culture of accepting failure.  He is the Managing Member of Decision Integration LLC (, offering short, intense workshops to move organizations towards their goals.  He explains his method in "Let It Simmer: Making Project, Portfolio and Program Management Stick in a Skeptical Organization" (; his forthcoming book (Simmer Until Done) applies the Simmer System concept to wider organizational and community settings.  In an Army career and 20+ years managing and consulting, he has saved tens of millions of dollars bringing programs under control and hundreds of millions through new program concepts. He has been a speaker at PMI Regional Conferences, several of the locations in the Washington DC chapter of PMI, ProjectWorld, and PM Summit. Residents of Alexandria, Virginia; he and his wife enjoy live arts, their dogs, eating well and sailing their boat.

About the PM Saturday

The PM Saturday quarterly breakfast meeting continues with an engaging speaker, a delightful breakfast, and opportunities to connect with professionals located in the southern-most region of Northern Virginia. Come join us and discover that Saturday morning is also a great time to earn PDUs and to network!

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