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Coaching a specialist division of an international railway engineering group

Type/scale of projects: Replacement/repair of railway infrastructure.

Size and background of development group

Phase 1 – 1 professional project manager, 2 engineers promoted to PM role.

Phase 2 – 12 staff, mixture of professional PMs and engineers.

Phase 3 – 1 senior project manager.

Reason for troubleshooting and challenges faced

The project managers were so busy that there was no time to send them on further training courses. Their development had to deliver immediate payback on their current workload.

Major issues were recurrence of problems and lack of commercial focus from the project managers

Duration of coaching

Phase 1 – 5 months

Phase 2 – 6 months

Phase 3 – 4 months


Worked with them individually and as a group to identify the problems they were facing then implemented the relevant disciplines to sort those out. This involved group “surgeries” and one to one discussions

Key areas covered

Risk and issue management to prevent recurrent issues

Commercial management fundamentals in the project environment

Stakeholder management and interpersonal techniques


Through effective risk management, the rate of recurring issues fell steeply and profitability rose.  One of the project managers was on the verge of dismissal – this work turned him round and he became Head of Project Management! One of the project managers realized that his lack of enthusiasm (hence under performance) was because he was in the wrong job and moved on to a role he was a lot happier with.

Value delivered: During the period of development £3.75M in reduced costs, and ongoing at

£1.37M per annum.

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Project Management Coaching Case Studies