The Race to the South Pole, Panama Canal and Risk Management in Projects

The Race to the South Pole, Panama Canal and Risk Management in Projects

Contemporary Best Practices in Project Management Complemented with Historical Case Study Examples


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


PMIWDC Non-Member Rate

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About the Seminar

Risk Management is becoming increasingly more important within projects as their complexity increases through the interdependencies of organizational elements and tracking of huge numbers of different interconnected tasks and activities. This interactive full-day workshop addresses the managing of principal stakeholders and the sponsors through the requirements process, and how they can unwittingly compromise the project.

Using historical case studies, such as the Race to the South Pole and the Panama Canal, the workshop looks at the projects that designed, built, and achieved the unthinkable through the modern lens of the PMBoK nine knowledge areas. The workshop reviews the background of the Race to the South Pole as to how Ronald Amundsen initiated and planned a journey to the South Pole, to outpace his competition Robert Falcon Scott, and live to tell the story. The workshop then analyzes each of the project stages and shows how improving decision making minimized risks.

The workshop explains how through traditional approaches, Scott’s journey to and back from the South Pole was considered by practically all to be a manageable journey; however, even Scott realized all his own disastrous compromises and mistakes early on that were fully avoidable. “Amundsen's dogs seriously threatened his polar aspirations, because dogs, being more cold-tolerant than ponies, would be able to start earlier in the season than Scott's mixed transport of dogs, ponies, and motors.” It resulted in the death of him and his entire team on their return home. Likewise, a look at the Panama Canal and its multiple attempts in building. Initially started by the French and suspended for engineering problems and high mortality rate. Later completed by the Americans under budget and ahead of schedule. The main benefits relate to how the lessons learned from the past can be applied to projects today using risk management, managing stakeholders, and improving decision making.

By the end of the seminar you will be able to:

  • use risk management to address complexity in your projects and plan for uncertainty, ambiguity, and unpredictable situations.
  • readily describe the fundamentals of risk management in projects, and its importance as the complexity of projects increases.
  • use risk management in different project situations.
  • apply risk management techniques and approaches in your projects.

Event Location

Courtyard Marriot - Tysons Corner
1960 Chain Bridge Road
McLean, VA, 22102

Agenda and Cost:

8:00 AM - Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - Seminar Begins
4:30 PM - Seminar Ends

(Fee includes seminar, materials, breakfast, and lunch)
$315.00 - Member Registration
$340.00 - Nonmember Registration

PDUs Available: 
7.00 PDUs for Certified PMs
Talent Triangle Category: 
Strategic and Business Management

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 Educational Seminars

PMIWDC's series of all-day seminars featuring top names in Project Management.

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