BackYard Seminars

ASFE's BackYard Seminars are so called because they are brought on request to the "back yard" of a firm, group of firms, agency, association, or college. This approach makes such seminars far more affordable than they otherwise would be, by eliminating significant promotional and administrative expenses. Those who attend the courses receive professional development hour (PDH) credits for their involvement. Click here for a schedule of coming events. If you don't see one that suits your needs, contact us to set one up.

More information about these seminars can be found below, or by contacting ASFE staff at 301/565-2733 or info@asfe.org. Seminars marked with an asterisk are part of ASFE's innovative Project Manager Training Program.

CLIENT MANAGEMENT AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS FOR PROJECT MANAGERS (Full Day)*
Project managers and those who want to become project managers will learn how to build trust with client representatives, in part by learning how to effectively manage client expectations. Other issues covered include selling and cross-selling services during a project, collaborative negotiation skills, coaching, and applying technology to enhance communication.

CONTRACT FUNDAMENTALS FOR PROJECT MANAGERS (Full Day)*
Project managers need to understand certain fundamentals about contracts, at least so they are in a position to explain key issues to their clients’ representatives. And that’s what this full-day seminar provides: Overview information about contracts, with special emphasis on issues such as indemnities and limitation of liability, and managing subcontracts. Click here for a program planner's guide.


FINANCIAL ASPECTS FOR PROJECT MANAGERS (Full Day)*
This highly regarded seminar begins with the ten commandments of finance as they relate to firms and projects, and the interdependency of employees, clients, and profit. Then it moves to such important issues such as proposal/project set-up, the various pricing methods used for private- and public-sector assignments, contracting and financial issues, kick-off meetings and their impact on overall project success, financial reporting, invoicing and collecting, the cash cycle and learning to ride it, and the need for profit.


FUNDAMENTALS OF FIELD REPRESENTATION (Full Day)
This is somewhat of an amalgam of "Professional Practice 101" and "Write Right," but with a heavy emphasis on issues and case histories related specifically to field representatives. They need to understand professional issues because, when they are on site, they represent the professionals to whom they report. Those professionals are responsible for everything said and done by their representatives. And because field representatives write so much, a writing review is appropriate, too. Click here for a program planner's guide.

FUNDAMENTALS OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT (Two Full Days)*
This marvelous, team-taught overview course has enthused hundreds of project managers, from those just starting out to any number of “old hands,” providing unique insights into what project management is all about. Topics covered include, among others:
  • the client's perspective of project managers and consultants,
  • authority, responsibilities, and duties of the project manager,
  • effective meetings and problem-solving techniques,
  • ethical and professional issues,
  • contract general conditions,
  • working with your accountants, and
  • planning, budgeting, scheduling, and monitoring the project.

MARKETING AND SELLING FOR TECHNICAL PROFESSIONALS AND PROJECT MANAGERS (Full Day)*
Project managers often report an aversion to selling, principally because they do not understand what effective selling really involves… and that they already possess the skills and attitude required. This seminar discusses selling and marketing from project managers’ point of view, stressing the need to establish bonds of trust between themselves and client representatives. Techniques for initiating and maintaining conversation are discussed and reinforced via exercises, as are methods for obtaining referrals and demonstrating client concern while not investing significant amounts of time for doing so. Click here for a program planner's guide.


PLANNING AND CONTROLLING THE PROJECT (Full Day)*
This excellent full-day course covers the fundamental techniques needed to manage projects (multiple projects in particular) effectively. The course uses group exercises to reinforce techniques. Principal elements of the course include defining the client’s objectives (client expectations and understanding their importance), the project management plan (participants learn how to prepare written project guides, work breakdown structures, plan fact sheets, and milestone charts), critical path method (CPM), and monitoring and controlling the project using the earned value (EV) approach.


PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE 101: THE ESSENTIALS OF RISK MANAGEMENT AND PROFITABILITY (Full Day)
This full-day seminar focuses on issues such as the standard of care, professional liability loss prevention, what clients really want from their consultants, the many hats worn by professionals in private practice, some key contract issues, and professional liability insurance. The course was developed for just about all technical and managerial personnel in engineering, environmental, and architectural firms. Click here for a program planner's guide.


STAFF MANAGEMENT SKILLS (12 Hours)*
This outstanding, team-taught course begins with a session on team leadership and motivation, then moves on to developing effective team relationships, focusing on the role of  personality and its impact on performance. Conflict management is covered next, and not conflicts that arise because of personality differences. Conflicts also occur between disciplines, with schedules, and among clients’ multiple demands. The seminar also provides solid guidance on managing group dynamics in meetings, individual and team time management, and effective delegation.

WRITE RIGHT (Full Day)
The emphasis is on writing fundamentals: understanding the “five C’s” of effective communication, sentence structures, key elements of the parts of speech, obtaining full information, and, time permitting, issues related to e-mails and preparing lists. Click here for a program planner's guide.


THE WRITTEN WORD: WHAT PROJECT MANAGERS NEED TO KNOW (Two Full Days)*
This 16-hour course provides in-depth writing guidance. It includes everything offered by "Write Right," but goes on to provide how-to guidance that project managers can use to move forward on a written piece. Specific guidance is provided on editing and developing materials such as formal reports, project memoranda, and even meeting minutes.


SPECIAL BACKYARD SEMINARS AND PRESENTATIONS
ASFE can prepare less than full-day seminars for your firm or organization, based upon topics you want emphasized. One of those readily available is titled "Managing Risk To Build Profit." It focuses on: client relations vs. customer relations (differences that make all the difference), keeping clients elated, creating allies among providers, the 30-second exercise that can create clients and friends for life, why clients (and others) sue, why contracts don't prevent lawsuits, why the method used to form a contract is more important than the contract itself, preventing third-party claims, and investing nonbillable hours wisely. Inquire about other presentations, ranging from 45 minutes.

* This course also is part of ASFE's Project Manager Training Program

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