20,000 Engineers Can’t Be Wrong!

Since 1981 the Lewis Institute has delivered training in how to manage projects and people to more than 60,000 individuals in 30 countries, including many of the Fortune 500 companies. This effort has primarily been led by Jim Lewis, who was an electrical engineer for 15 years before launching his career teaching seminars. Of the 60,000 who attended those programs, at least 20,000 were engineers.

It doesn’t get any better than this. Engineers learning to manage from engineers who have loads of experience doing it. You won’t get that level of expertise if you go to a college course taught by a professor who has only read about it in a book.

The thing is, Jim had the same experience—nobody told him that he would have to supervise anyone while he was learning engineering. That’s because the professors don’t know the real world.

And managing people can be a bear! Jim always said, that’s when you earn your pay—when you have to deal with problem employees, especially if you have to fire someone.

So we have put together a certificate just for Engineers. It has a lot of project management information in it, because so much of what engineers do is run projects, but as Alan Mulally, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (and an engineer himself) told Jim, there is no need to differentiate between general and project management. Every tool of project management has its place in general management.

What’s really special about our certificate, however, is that we limit a cohort to 15 participants and we coach and mentor every individual for the year it takes to go through the program. We’ve looked around, and there isn’t an equivalent program anywhere else on the planet.

If you want to take your career to the next level and establish yourself as a professional manager, then you’ve come to the right place. And if you have any doubts about it, arrange a free phone interview. Either Jim or Alan will be glad to answer your questions. Why? Because we love helping engineers avoid all the hassles we experienced in our own careers. 



Available courses

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One way to learn how to manage projects is through case studies. Using a variety of cases of projects that succeeded and some that failed, you can benefit from the lessons learned by the original stakeholders in the project.

Each week you will read a case and respond to questions that your instructor provides. Either through email on online contact, you can review with your instructor any questions or observations you have.

You will also be asked to recommend how you might apply some of the lessons from each case to your own projects.

This program focuses on the project manager as an individual and provides guidance on methods for being more effective both on and off the job. It includes practices such as the 80/20 approach, Excellence from NLP, making and breaking habits, and more.

This course covers principles of communication, influence, and negotiation that can be used in any application or environment, including work, business, and personal. Videos are used to demonstrate behavioral skills, and students will make videos of themselves performing those skills and upload them to the campus for review by their instructor. Videos can be made with smart phones or cameras.

Why You Should Attend

A committed and motivated project team can work miracles, but how do you create such a team? By applying the methods taught in this dynamic seminar, you can turn a project group into a winning project team!

Through this seminar you will learn to manage and lead, to influence and motivate, and to work with team members to get the best possible performance from each individual. If you have ever said,“I have no trouble solving the technical problems in my projects—it’s the people problems I have trouble with,” then this seminar may be just what you’re looking for.

The job of the project manager is to integrate people with different knowledge and skills into a functional team, so that each can make a specific contribution. In short, a project team needs a leader, not a manager.

A common problem for project managers is that they don’t “own” the people in their project team. For that reason, you must have very good people skills in order to have a successful project. You must hone your interpersonal skills so that you can exercise influence, rather than power, to get things done. You’ll return to work better equipped to bring out the best in those individuals on your team.

Attend and You’ll Learn How to

  • Get team members to “buy-in” to the project mission, vision, and objectives
  • Create a sense of project ownership
  • Clarify roles of team members so everyone knows exactly what he/she is supposed to be doing
  • Determine how to handle decisions in your team (by consensus, majority vote, or autonomously)
  • Understand different personalities and how they best contribute to team performance
  • Build a climate to enhance innovation and promote acceptable risk-taking
  • Manage conflicts to promote creativity without having the conflicts become interpersonal
  • Determine what motivates team members 
  • Achieve objectives through teamwork 
  • Organize the project team and build commitment to project objectives
  • Build a team in matrix or subcontract environments 
  • Deal with unsatisfactory performance 
  • Manage  team  development  stages 
  • Lead the team improvement process 
  • Improve your own performance

Who Should Attend

As a project manager you will benefit from this seminar, especially if you are involved in engineering, data processing, information technology, construction, research and development, manufacturing, maintenance, corporate planning, finance, marketing, and quality. The principles can be applied to any kind of project. The seminar is especially valuable for managers who are concerned with effectively managing projects for which the cost, schedule, and performance must meet rigid requirements.

Attend and You’ll Receive

  • A comprehensive, workbook full of easy-to-use procedures, guidelines and worksheets, plus an extensive reading list. This book will help you put what you learn to work immediately— and will serve as a handy reference in the years to come. (Downloadable pdf)
  • Feedback from the Kiersey Temperament Sorter to help you understand your preferences for dealing with others, contributing to your growth as a manager
  • 18 PDHs
  • A Certificate of Attendance


Emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed to help deal more effectively with interpersonal interactions and improve relationships at both work and home.You will learn the meaning of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), the areas of emotional intelligence, how to detect emotional intelligence in others, and strategies on how to improve your own emotional intelligence.

Why You Should Attend

This program is designed to solidify your position as a professional project manager!

You’ve taken the basic course covering the tools of project management, and you feel comfortable with work breakdown structures, earned value analysis, and scheduling. Now learn to think, act, and be seen as a true project manager, rather than just an accidental one. This is the advanced course in project management.

Successful project management requires technical, process, and psychological skills. At this program you learn how to bring these skill areas together to form the arsenal of tools needed to successfully achieve project objectives; included are methods for making better decisions about projects, handling scheduling uncertainty, improving project management processes, and dealing with power and politics.

Special attention is given in this seminar to teaching you to think like project managers–to be active instead of passive, to take responsibility for the project, and to take positive steps to keep it on track. The reason for this emphasis is that many people learn the tools of project management, yet have no idea what is truly the role of a professional project manager.

This program is presented in a learn-by-doing manner that will give you the confidence that you can master the management of any project you tackle.

Attend and You’ll Learn

Thinking Modes in Projects

  • The Herrmann thinking styles profile
  • How thinking differences affect project teams–and how to take advantage of them

The Job of Managing

  • What managers actually do: the myth and reality
  • Mintzberg’s managerial roles
  • Assessing your use of the roles
  • Improving your performance of the roles

Power and Politics in Projects 

  • Understanding power and politics 
  • The five faces of power 
  • Influence using WIIFM
  • Building and managing relationships with stakeholders and functional managers

Defining Success and Failure in Projects 

  • Deliverables, results, and expectations 
  • Research findings and how to apply them

Problem Solving in Projects

  • Fundamental concepts of problem solving
  • Decisions versus problems
  • Obtaining high-quality information in order to make sound decisions and solve problems [techniques from Neuro- Linguistic Programming® (NLP®)]
  • Challenging and removing obstacles to solving problems

Improving Decisions in Projects 

  • The steps to effective decisions 
  • Tools for decision making

Improving Your Own Performance 

  • Using NLP methods to achieve excellence 
  • Removing blocks to high performance

Who Should Attend

Project managers whose jobs involve engineering, data processing, information technology, construction, research and development, manufacturing, maintenance, corporate planning, finance, marketing and quality will benefit from this seminar. The principles you’ll learn can be applied to any kind of project.

Attend and You’ll Receive

  • A comprehensive workbook (Downloadable pdf)
  • 18 PDHs
  • A Certificate of completion

The program will focus on the unique skills necessary for leading people in an organization. Nontechnical and accessible, it provides an easy-to-follow program for transforming yourself from a by-the book manager into a leader capable of encouraging team members to plan, accomplish, and sustain excellence. 

In this step-by-step course for developing leadership proficiency, you will learn:

  • Proven leadership principles, with methods for understanding and adopting them.
  • Strategies for changing from the command-and-control role to that of facilitator. 
  • Proven steps for building the personal credibility required for effective leadership. 

As a project manager, you are generally given a lot of responsibility with little actual authority. In this course you will receive a comprehensive program for developing the skills of a leader. You’ll discover techniques for matching individuals’ talents to specific tasks, skills for delegating authority without losing control, physical approaches for quickly building rapport with other people, tips for acquiring credibility in an unfamiliar setting, and much more.

Why You Should Attend

Take the guesswork out of project management! If managing projects to get results is important to your organization, you can’t afford a seat-of-the-pants approach. Here are proven tools and techniques used by world-class companies to make their projects sizzle! With these methods, your projects will come in on time, on budget, and at the right level of performance.

This is not a theoretical, academic program, but a true nuts-and-bolts, no-nonsense approach to project management, taught by a seasoned project manager. Your instructor applies the latest methods of learning technology to accelerate your learning and increase your retention so you can apply these important tools. You’ll see how all techniques relate to each other during five interactive exercises that simulate a project.

Attend and You’ll Learn

  • How to manage every aspect of a project to achieve schedule, cost, and performance objectives
  • How to master the concepts and methods needed to manage resources efficiently to achieve project goals
  • How to develop and coordinate the total project plan
  • How to construct achievable project schedules using CPM, PERT, and bar charts
  • How to develop valid estimates of resource requirements and costs by applying the work breakdown structure (WBS)
  • Why the WBS is the most important tool of project management
  • Rules for developing the WBS
  • How to use the WBS to estimate time and cost
  • How to monitor and control project status using Earned Value Analysis and other methods
  • How to avoid the ten most common causes of project failure
  • How to get project team members to buy in, even when they don’t report directly to you
  • What you need for a viable project management system
  • The Lewis Method® of project management
  • How to manage the project life cycle
  • The importance of clarifying the project mission
  • The difference between mission and vision
  • The difference between strategy and tactics, and why strategy is important
  • Risk analysis and management – assessing probability, severity and detection for each risk
  • How to develop a risk management plan
  • Common mistakes made in planning
  • Why you need both arrow diagrams and bar charts e How to use the schedule to manage the project 
  • How ignoring resource limitations produces a worthless schedule
  • How software can help you allocate resources e How to estimate when you have no historical data 
  • The probability of scheduled completion
  • How to improve performance by evaluating projects
  • What to do to keep your projects on track 
  • How to forecast project completions 

Who Should Attend

This seminar will benefit project managers whose jobs involve engineering, data processing, information technology, construction, research and development, manufacturing, maintenance, corporate planning, finance, marketing, and quality. The principles you’ll learn can be applied to any kind of project.

What Others Have Said

“I have worked in the construction industry for more than 30 years, the course was helpful in improving my skills and overall competence.”

—Robert Bassford, Project Manager, Prince William County Park Authority, Manassas, VA

“I think any manager (project or otherwise) should take this course as a requirement. It is an incredible way to open your eyes to good, solid planning practices for projects.”

—Heather Kempfer, Therapy Support Coordinator, Biogen Idec, RTP, NC

“I have several project management ideas I look forward to implementing back at work.”

—Robert Powell, Group Product Manager, Grape City Inc., Morrisville, NC

Imagine what it would be like to be a part of a company or group that is as innovative as Apple Computer. Of course it is true that very few of us is as visionary as the late Steve Jobs, but creativity experts like Michael Michalko and Roger von Oech have for many years effectively taught methods that can be used by anyone to generate more and better ideas. Some of these have been employed by the renowned Ideo to develop products and services for their client companies all over the world. Now you can learn and employ these innovation methods in your own groups to develop cutting-edge products, services, or processes that will put you well ahead of the “ho-hum” efforts of your competitors. This highly hands-on program is led by a highly successful, former engineer who has practiced what he preaches throughout a 15-year career in industry, followed by 30 years developing and delivering innovative training programs for over 40,000 individuals around the world.

Technically skilled individuals do not necessarily have the skill sets and training to be good managers. The reason is simple: technical work is about dealing with things; managing is about dealing with people. In saying this, managing and leading are being included under one umbrella, even though leadership is much more about interacting with people and managing is about budgets, plans, schedules, and so on. But even considering managing to be more things-oriented than leadership, the truth is that many times we put people in managerial jobs and give them no management training.

This course is designed to correct that mistake by teaching the absolutely essential skills needed by all managers to be successful. Certainly there is more to know, which is why this is just the core course in a Certificate program that requires you to take three required courses and one elective.

This course introduces NLP, which is the study of excellence, and teaches how you can improve your own performance and that of people with whom you work. It is especially useful to managers of projects, teams, and departments, and no special knowledge of psychology or other social sciences is necessary to benefit from the program.

A study of the writing of exceptional people of the 19th to 21st centuries. 

Almost everyone manages projects at some point, but not every project requires the use of heavy-duty tools such as critical path schedules, earned value analysis, or detailed progress tracking. 

This three-hour online, self-paced class consists of narrated lessons with slides, as well as a workbook that allows you to develop a plan that is simple to understand and execute. The plan you develop with this approach allows you to identify all of the stakeholders to your project, develop a clear outcome statement that will help assure the end result you are after, and also helps you identify things that could go wrong that might cost you time, money, or lead to failure. 

This course is intended for people who are managing small projects that involve no more than a few people and does not require a highly detailed project plan. It is NOT suitable for managers of large, complex projects; it is ideal for executives who are managing strategic initiatives or individuals who need a rudimentary plan for a small project (either professional or personal).

This course is intended to help you overcome limiting beliefs, improve your self image, motivate yourself, adopt new behaviors, and more.

To get the most out of this course, you will have to do more than just listen to the narrations--you will actually have to practice the methods. Most of them you can do alone, but some will be best done with a friend. Some of the activities will have downloadable audio (MP3) files that you can listen to, as they will guide you through the procedure. In any case, many of these methods should be practiced a number of times to master them.

Furthermore, as you go forward in time and encounter a problem, you will want to return to these methods to make corrections in your current programming.