What is Project Management by Design?


When I earned my Project Management Professional (PMP) credential in 2020, I quickly realized several things:


  • traditional project management terms and approaches utilized in industry settings are not easily translated into higher education;
  • it’s rare for higher education professionals to have any form of project management training;
  • higher education institutions suffer inefficiencies and project failures due to a lack of basic knowledge of how project management works; and
  • project management strategies and tools need to be adjusted based on your positionality within an institution and the overall goals you are trying to accomplish.

It’s been a years-long dream of mine to create project management trainings for faculty and higher education professionals that translate traditional project management approaches into language and tools that can create positive impact in higher education settings.


I finally did it.


This suite of trainings for higher education professionals, leaders, teams, and coaches is based on:


  • best practices in project management, change management, crisis management, and knowledge management;
  • what I’ve learned through earning multiple credentials in coaching, project management, change management, and talent development;
  • my studies in organizational leadership  (resulting in a recent MS degree); and
  • my hard won lessons learned through 15+ years of experience leading projects and teams in multiple higher education institutions.

Take a look below to see if any of these trainings might be a match for your professional development needs.

Project Management by Design

In this training, we explore the fundamental skills and knowledge required to effectively manage projects across a wide range of domains including research, teaching, service, grants, and more.

Over seven modules, participants will dive into 50+ topics related to project management, with a focus on essential skills such as personal task management, goal setting, and effective time management techniques—all tailored specifically to the unique challenges and opportunities of higher education environments.

This course will introduce participants to a comprehensive toolkit of strategies and approaches for juggling multiple complex projects and for bringing them to successful completion.

Course Learning Objectives

Participants who complete this course successfully will be able to:

  • Identify and define projects relevant to their academic and administrative roles.
  • Effectively initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close projects, ensuring alignment with personal and professional goals.
  • Utilize various prioritization methods, task management strategies, and time management skills to enhance productivity.
  • Tailor project management practices to different domains, ensuring effective management of research, teaching, service, grant, and personal projects.
  • Utilize project management tools and templates to enhance project efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Reflect on and continuously improve project management practices through personalized feedback tools.
Who This Course is Best For

Early-Career Professionals: Individuals who are new to project management or seeking to improve their personal project management skills.

Graduate Students: Those pursuing advanced degrees who need to manage research projects, thesis/dissertation writing, and other academic endeavors effectively.

Administrative Staff: Professionals in higher education institutions responsible for managing their workload and tasks efficiently.

Researchers: Individuals involved in academic research projects who need structured project management skills to manage timelines, resources, and deliverables effectively.

What You Get
  • Seven 2-hour live sessions
  • 190+ page training guide
  • 50+ project management topics
  • 3 supplementary course texts (included in course price)
  • Recommended resources guide
  • Course site w/ supplementary materials
  • Lifetime access to Prolific online community (with sub-group for your course’s cohort)
  • 1 coaching session
Dates & Pricing

2025 dates:

Jan 26, Feb 9, Feb 23, Mar 9, Mar 23, Apr 6, April 27 (Sundays 2-4pm MT)

$1497 per person or three monthly payments of $550

Project Management by Design for Leaders

In this training, we explore the skills and knowledge that today’s higher education leaders need to effectively manage, lead, and sponsor projects within their institutions.

Over seven modules, participants will explore the intersection of project management and leadership through topics such as aligning project initiatives with strategic goals, effectively managing project resources in constrained environments, and navigating complex organizational landscapes.

This course will introduce leaders to a wide range of strategies that can enhance personal leadership styles, contribute to effective change management, and provide best practices for institution-level transformation.

Course Learning Objectives

Participants who complete this course successfully will be able to: 

  • Effectively differentiate and navigate the roles of project management and leadership.
  • Confidently initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close projects.
  • Build and lead strong project teams with clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders and manage project-related conflicts.
  • Apply change management models to guide projects through transitions.
  • Manage project resources efficiently, including budgets, time, and team members.
  • Execute project leadership logistics, such as drafting project charges and establishing feedback loops, to ensure project success.
Who This Course is Best For

Academic Leaders such as Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Heads: Those responsible for overseeing multiple projects within their schools, colleges, departments or units.

Administrative Unit Directors or Leaders: Those responsible for strategic planning, execution, and oversight of large-scale academic initiatives or research projects.

Executive Leaders: Those who need to align project goals with institutional strategies and drive organizational change through projects.

What You Get
  • Seven 2-hour live sessions
  • 220+ page training guide
  • 50+ project management topics
  • 3 supplementary course texts (included in course price)
  • Recommended resources guide
  • Course site w/ supplementary materials
  • Lifetime access to Prolific online community (with sub-group for your course’s cohort)
  • 2 coaching sessions
Dates & Pricing

2025 dates:

May 25, Jun 8, Jun 22, July 6, July 20, Aug 3, Aug 17 (Sundays 2-4pm MT)

$1797 per person or three monthly payments of $650

Project Management by Design for Teams

In this training, higher education professionals who are managing projects in collaborative environments are provided with the essential skills and knowledge to support their teams.

Participants will engage in discussions on fostering collaborative planning, the dynamics of effective teamwork, and how best to encourage team resilience and adaptability when engaging in complex and challenging projects.

This course emphasizes effective communication, creating team cohesion, and conflict resolution strategies essential for effective teamwork. By the end of this course, participants will be equipped to manage and lead complex projects, while supporting team members along the way.

Course Learning Objectives

Participants who complete this course successfully will be able to:

  • Effectively initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and close projects, ensuring alignment with organizational and team goals.
  • Define project scopes, create project charters, and develop comprehensive project schedules and task lists to guide effective teamwork.
  • Navigate the stages of team development while fostering psychological safety and facilitating inclusive decision-making.
  • Nurture team alignment and build a positive team culture that values diversity, promotes effective communication and collaboration, and encourages continuous learning and creative problem-solving.
  • Manage and resolve conflicts constructively, provide constructive feedback, and model self-care to sustain team morale and productivity.
  • Differentiate between management and leadership roles, and apply strengths-based management strategies.
  • Establish and monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) and make agile resource adjustments when needed.
  • Assess team and project needs to select appropriate project management tools and technologies that enhance team efficiency and effectiveness.
Who This Course is Best For

Cross-Functional Teams: Teams consisting of members from different disciplines or departments collaborating on academic projects.

Research Teams: Groups working on collaborative research projects that require effective project coordination and communication.

Academic Program Managers: Professionals managing academic programs or courses that involve complex project coordination and implementation.

Administrative Teams: Teams within higher education institutions responsible for implementing and managing administrative projects, such as IT projects, facility upgrades, etc.

What You Get
  • Seven 2-hour live sessions
  • 200+ page training guide
  • 50+ project management topics
  • 2 supplementary course texts (included in course price)
  • Recommended resources guide
  • Course site w/ supplementary materials
  • Lifetime access to Prolific online community (with sub-group for your course’s cohort)
  • 1 coaching session
Dates & Pricing

2025 dates:

Sept 7, Sept 21, Oct 5, Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16, Dec 7 (Sundays 2-4pm MT)

$1497 per person or three monthly payments of $550

$6,000 for 5 people if sending a team


Project Management by Design for Coaches

In this training, we explore essential tools and methodologies to help coaching clients in a range of higher education positions manage projects effectively, ensuring their efforts are aligned with their personal, professional, and/or institutional goals and values. As clients deepen their understanding of their project priorities and values, we will introduce tools to facilitate detailed planning, resource management, and timeline development.

Following this foundational work, we focus on strategies to support clients in overcoming common project management obstacles. Achieving project goals can present various challenges, but the activities and techniques presented in this training will offer clients practical solutions for navigating setbacks, managing risks, and maintaining momentum.

By the end of this training, coaches will be equipped with a comprehensive toolkit to guide clients through successful project management, fostering their ability to achieve project goals while aligning with their personal and professional values.

(PM by Design for Coaches is also part of the Higher Ed Coach Training Program.)

Course Learning Objectives

Participants who complete this training successfully will be able to:

  • Explain the key concepts and principles of effective project management.
  • Identify the stages of a project lifecycle, from initiation to closure.
  • Assist clients in defining clear, achievable project goals.
  • Help clients align their project goals with their broader personal and/or professional intentions and values.
  • Implement tools such as project timelines and work breakdown structures to facilitate detailed project planning.
  • Guide clients in creating comprehensive project plans that outline tasks, deadlines, and resource allocations.
  • Support clients in prioritizing tasks and managing their time efficiently.
  • Identify common obstacles in project management and develop strategies to address them.
  • Support clients in risk management, including identifying potential risks and creating mitigation plans.
  • Coach clients on effective communication techniques to ensure clear and consistent communication with stakeholders.
  • Facilitate collaboration tools and methods to enhance teamwork and project coordination.
  • Work with clients to monitor project progress regularly and make necessary adjustments to stay on track.
  • Leverage problem-solving tools to address issues that arise during a project lifecycle.
  • Foster a proactive mindset in clients to anticipate and resolve challenges efficiently.
  • Encourage clients to reflect on completed projects and identify lessons learned.
  • Guide clients in implementing continuous improvement practices to enhance future project performance.
  • Foster resilience and adaptability in clients to manage projects in dynamic environments.
Who This Course is Best For

Academic Coaches and Advisors: Students can be supported in navigating their academic journeys, including on their academic projects.

Career Coaches and Counselors: Recent graduates may need project management support in career planning, job search strategies, and professional development.

Writing Coaches: Coaches who support academic writers can help them shape their publication pipelines, manuscript strategies, and team-based or collaborative writing endeavors through project management tools and approaches.

Leadership Coaches: Project management techniques can help coaches better support higher education leaders who are managing broad portfolios, engaging in change management, and ensuring that projects are aligned with organizational goals and objectives.

What You Get
  • 15 2-hour live sessions with 31+ ICF-accredited training hours
  • 100+ page training guide
  • 2 supplementary course texts (included in course price)
  • 14 coaching tools
  • Recommended resources guide
  • Course site w/ supplementary materials
Dates & Pricing

2025 dates:

Apr 12 – July 19 (Saturdays 1-3pm MT)

$1997 per person or three monthly payments of $650

PMP® Exam Study Club

Interested in taking the PMP exam?

Join the PMP Exam Study Club, a set of 7 sessions tailored specifically for faculty and higher education professionals aiming to pursue their CAPM or PMP credential. This course provides an in-depth overview of the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam, focusing on key concepts, processes, and knowledge areas critical to project management in the academic environment.

Participants will engage in collaborative learning, group discussions, and practical exercises designed to reinforce understanding and application of project management principles. If you are preparing to earn your CAPM or PMP credential, this study club offers the resources and support you need.

Course Learning Objectives

Participants who complete this training successfully will be able to:

  • Understand the structure and requirements of the CAPM and PMP exams.
  • Gain familiarity with the PMBOK® Guide’s knowledge areas and process groups.
  • Develop strategies for effective study and exam preparation.
  • Apply project management concepts to real-world scenarios in higher education.
  • Build a support network of peers to enhance your learning experience.
Who This Course is Best For

Research Coordinators and Managers: Individuals involved in managing research projects who seek to improve their project planning, execution, and monitoring capabilities.

Graduate Students and Emerging Scholars: Those preparing for academic careers and wishing to develop project management competencies early in their professional journey.

Academic Staff: Non-faculty staff involved in various project-based roles within higher education institutions, such as strategic planning, grant management, and administrative support.

Individuals Pursuing CAPM or PMP Certification: Professionals in the higher education sector who are actively preparing for the CAPM or PMP exams who are seeking a supportive, higher education-focused study environment.

What You Get
  • 7 1-hour live exam review sessions
  • Opportunity to ask questions about any area of the PMP Examination Content Outline
  • Recommended resources guide
  • Course site w/ recordings of all sessions

(It is also recommended that you purchase the PMP Study Hall Prep Tool for this course to support your self-study. This tool costs $49 or $79 for three months of access depending on the tier you choose.)

Dates & Pricing

2025 dates:

May 18 – June 29 (Sundays 9-10am MT)

Sept 7 – Oct 19 (Sundays 9-10am MT)

$997 per person or two monthly payments of $550

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm considering taking more than one training. How much content overlap can I expect across the courses?

I designed each of the courses in the PM by Design suite of trainings to be very distinct since I knew that it was possible that people might want to take more than one.

After mapping the curriculum and topics for all four courses, I can confidently say that there is a max of 10% overlap in the courses (usually covering fundamental project management topics) and that 90% or more of each course is unique to that curriculum and audience.

This isn't the best time for me to take a course. Will you offer these courses beyond 2025?

All the products and services that I offer through my business are dependent on client demand, so if there is enough interest in the trainings, I’ll definitely keep offering them in the future.

Do you plan to offer any of the trainings on weekdays?

Unfortunately, no. As a full-time-employed higher education professional myself, I’m limited to offering these kinds of programs on weekends.

What format is the training in?

All the synchronous training sessions are held on Zoom.

The trainings also include a course site to house session replays and supplementary materials and that course platform is Teachery.

Participants in all courses also receive lifetime access to my Prolific online community, which is located on the Mighty Networks platform.

What will the course sessions be like?

Each synchronous course session is two hours long and you can expect it to include group discussions, small group breakouts and activities, opportunities for reflection and sharing, and plenty of time for processing the course materials and asking questions.

Depending on the course audience, sessions might also include things like role plays, case studies, and other forms of active learning.

(Each course session will also be recorded and the replay posted to a website for later viewing.)

Would you consider offering a training just for a cohort from my institution?

Let’s chat. I’d love to hear about what your needs are and what this might look like for you.

Can I get a discount if I purchase more than one course?

Yes. If you indicate that you would like to purchase more than one course through the enrollment form, I’ll offer a 10% discount for your overall purchase price.

Can I get a discount if I send a group from my institution to a course or to multiple courses?

Right now, the only group discount is for the PM by Design for Teams course when you send five people as a team through the course.

Contact Katie at [email protected] if you want to inquire about other group discounts.

I'm interested in additional 1:1 coaching on project management. Do you offer that?

I sure do. You can learn more about my coaching services and packages here.

Do these courses count for PMI education hours requirements if I want to pursue a credential?

Yes. Seat time of project management education for each PM by Design course:

PM by Design = 14 hours of education

PM by Design for Teams = 14 hours of education

PM by Design for Leaders = 14 hour of education

PM by Design for Coaches = 30 hours of education

PMP Exam Study Club = 7 hours of education (can be repeated)

You can combine any of the above courses to meet the 23 hours (CAPM) or 35 hours (PMP) of project management education requirement.

Can I count these courses toward PDUs if I already have a PMI certification?

PMI says that for courses or trainings that are being counted as PDUs, they must meet the following rules:

  • 1 hour of instruction equals 1 PDU
  • When only a portion of a course relates to topics relevant to the PMI Talent Triangle skill areas, calculate PDUs by the percentage of the overall curriculum focused on the applicable topic
  • Report each course separately (entire degree programs will not be recognized for PDU credits, only individual courses)

If you have a CAPM or PMP credential, then there are several topics in each course that would count toward PDUs.

Katie is currently working on an alignment map for course topics with the PMI Talent Triangle skill areas, which will help to show the PDU potential. When it’s completed, it will be linked here.

I have additional questions about the courses. How can I get in touch with you?

I welcome your questions!

You can email me directly at [email protected].