Fostering Innovation in Projects

Fostering Innovation in Projects


Mark Kozak-Holland, PhD, PMP, IPMA-D


PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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About the Presentation

Innovation is not always associated with project management but projects are one time opportunities and unique endeavors. Sometimes they may be the only time for organizations to innovate as the opportunities may simply not exist after the project. This presentation is based on several case studies in innovation from the First Industrial Revolution primarily the Transcontinental Railroad but also the Ironbridge, and Stockton Darlington Railway. These case studies have rarely been associated with innovation (and projects) and this is what makes this presentation so unique. Through these case studies the presentation highlights the importance of innovation and why it needs to be considered in projects. The presentation follows the project event timelines to better understand the opportunities and decisions made that led to innovation, both in product and process.

In this presentation you will understand what innovation is and why often it does not exist in a project at any levels. You will also see not only the different types of innovation but how a project can be set up to act as a catalyst for innovation. Through the case studies you will see the importance of innovation and how it needs to be carefully fostered to thrive. The case studies were all about challenging and difficult problems, sometimes close to insurmountable, that these projects faced. For example, the iconic U.S. megaproject was faced with harsh climatic and environmental conditions (mountains and deserts), serious labour shortages, and the rigors of a stupendous 18,000 mile supply chain. There was also a raging U.S. Civil War which actually played a very important role in the project that drove innovation and the evolution of technologies to provide needed solutions. Important lessons are buried in these projects and this presentation will extract them and connect them to today’s world. Innovation and innovative approaches were at the core of these projects.

New insights emerge when dissecting historical projects through a project management lens, and Mark brings this to life in his analysis. You will walk away with new insights and curiosity to re-examine these project more closely for lessons. Paying attention to how historical projects and emerging technologies of the past solved complex problems of the day provides some very valuable insights into how to solve today’s more challenging business problems.

Event Location

Fairview Park Marriott
3111 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church, VA, 22042

Agenda and Cost:
Chapter Members: $35
Non-members: $45
Walkins: $50

New for 2016! Registration to the Chapter Talks Event now includes your PM Tools Registration!

5:00 PM - Registration Opens
5:30 PM - PM Tools
6:00 PM - Networking Reception & Cash Bar
6:00 PM - New Member Meet & Greet
6:45 PM - PM Talks
7:45 PM - Presentation Concludes, Stay for Continued Networking!
PDUs Available: 
1.00 PDUs for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category: 
Strategic and Business Management

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.

Team Building

Techniques for building trust, team identification, common purpose, etc.

Industry / Sector

Construction / Infrastructure

Construction, Utilities or other public works, Transportation, or related industries

About the Speakers

Mark Kozak-Holland, PhD, PMP, IPMA-D


Titanic Lessons for business is from the “Lessons from History” series. As the author behind the series, Mark Kozak-Holland brings years of experience as a consultant who helps Fortune-500 companies formulate projects that leverage emerging technologies. Since 1985 he has been straddling the business and IT worlds making these projects happen. He is a PMP, certified business consultant, the author of several books, and a noted speaker.

Mark has always been interested in tracing the evolution of technology and the 3 industrial revolutions of the last 300 years. Whilst recovering a failed Financial Services project he first used the Titanic analogy to explain to project executives why the project had failed. The project recovery was going to take 2 years and $8m cost versus the original $2m cost and 1 year duration. As a historian, Mark seeks out the wisdom of the past to help others avoid repeating mistakes and to capture time-proven techniques. His lectures on the Titanic project have been very popular at gatherings of project managers and CIOs.

About the Monthly Dinner Meetings

The PMIWDC Monthly Dinner Meetings are held at the Sheraton Tysons (8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons, VA 22182), typically on the third Tuesday of each month (subject to change due to holidays and venue/speaker availability). Members and non-members are welcome to join us for the best speakers and networking the Washington, DC area has to offer.

The presentations are educational and informative to those professionals operating in the field of project management and functioning in leadership roles in industry and government. It is also of great value to those looking to step into the field of Project Management and begin their certification process. Each event will present specific learning points focusing on building a talent triangle of technical, leadership, and strategic and business management skills, unique to the presenter's area of expertise and the subject matter discussed while directly relating to improving the practice of managing projects and leading others. At each Monthly Chapter Event certified PMPs can earn 1 Professional Development Unit (PDU).


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