2 Day Workshop with Cargill

This workshop was conducted by TMG at Cargill Meats (Bangkok, Thailand) for ERP project team. There were approximately 50 participants from several locations who had diverse background & experience in projects.

Project Management Training. Bangkok, Thailand

Project Management Training. Bangkok, Thailand

The workshop was designed based on group discussion and exercises. It provided fundamental understanding on project management processes & methodology to execute projects including soft skill – ‘Effective meeting. People enjoyed the interactive style-workshop, while they gained more confidence to execute their own projects in a more effective way.

Project Management Bahrain

Michael Sypsomos, the CEO of The Mentor Group was invited to speak at the PMI Conference held in Bahrain and Kuwait, on December 6th and 7th, 2017. The theme of the Conference was “Project Leadership Through Excellence and Innovation”.

Michael shared a practical recount of lessons learned from his personal adventures over the last 40 years, that he encountered through leading or coaching projects with his presentation “A Personal Journey of Project Leadership and Innovation Lessons”.
Project Management Middle East

He shared priceless lessons that are neither taught in schools nor are part of the conventional Project Management training; these experiences did not only apply to organizing, planning and executing projects better, or develop fit-for-purpose Project Management Offices, but also were used to overcome difficult times and often used as survival strategies.

This presentation shared actual stories from his various leadership or coaching posts he has held with companies like CITGO Petroleum, ARAMCO, Chevron, and PTT among others, in the USA, Saudi Arabia and Thailand among other countries, that resulted in savings and other positive outcomes. These accounts range from finding creative ways to turn a negative organizational Project Management culture into a world class PMO, turning a good Project Management organization into an exceptional one, to how he coached the planning and execution of a project that was granted the Runner Up position in the prestigious PMI Project of The Year Award.

The audience walked away with many creative ideas that they will carry back to their projects and companies, and implement for immediate results.


Workshop on “Project Management for Petrochemical and Refining Industries”

Workshop on “Project Management for Petrochemical and Refining Industries”

On June 23, 2016, The Mentor Group International, under the sponsorship of PTIT (Petroleum Institute of Thailand) held a special workshop in Rayong Province, named “Project Management for Petrochemical and Refining Industries”. The participants were mainly senior representatives from various industries from the MapTaPut Industrial Complex.

Michael Sypsomos, PMP, CEO of The Mentor Group and Khun Sorawut Pairojkul, PMP, MD of The Mentor Group, in a highly interactive environment, shared common project management pitfalls, solutions and lessons learned in the petrochemical and refinery industries, as well as best practices used in successful international organizations.

[Article] – Most common problems that Project Executives and Managers face (2/2)

[Article] – Most common problems that Project Executives and Managers face (2/2)

  • Carrying on the project, regardless of the warning signals

Surprisingly we see this happen too often. No one likes to admit making the wrong decision, especially when there are political, emotional, financial or cultural implications involved in changing direction. Ignoring warning signals instead of taking a corrective action could lead to project failure, not to mention personal failure.

  • Unclear scope, little upfront definition, no system in place to manage the “scope creep”

When the scope is not clearly defined up front and there is no procedure in place to manage changes, it is inevitable that the project will take a life of its own and expand until it explodes. Among the associated problems that we see many executives face are unscrupulous contractors taking advantage of the lack of scope definition and turning them into “cash cows” by translating the scope to their advantage.

  • Aggressive (over-optimistic) timelines and budget

Unrealistic deadlines and over optimistic cost estimates always result in missed delivery dates, poor quality, low morale, cost overruns, and a loss of respect for organizational leadership.

  • Not having a consistent Project Management methodology, resulting in ad hoc practices

Lack of a consistent and repeatable Project Management methodology, or not having a PMO (Project Management Office) in place has been one of the main reasons of project failure, and it often results in increased project initiation time, a long learning curve for project team members and additional time spent to reinvent processes and templates for each project.

In subsequent articles, I will address some clever, some surprisingly simple and some more complicated solutions we helped create for clients.

For more information on how The Mentor Group can help turn your project challenges around, or to arrange for a complimentary coaching discovery session with me, you can contact us at Coaching@Mentor-Group.org, or send an email to my personal email address msypsomos@mentor-group.org.

[Article] – Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (1/2)

[Article] – Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (1/2)

From my personal project coaching experience of over 20 years, and our coaches at The Mentor Group, the following are the most commonly recurring problems we hear from frustrated and often stressed project executives asking for our help. There are many dimensions to these problems and varying degrees of severity based on each situation, the particular industry, demographics, culture and size of the clients company among others, but nevertheless they surface time and time again.

As Project Management Coaches, we spend as much time as necessary with each executive or project manager in order to thoroughly understand the issues which very often extend beyond the technical, and well into interpersonal challenges; we then work closely with them and empower them to develop their own solutions, which will address their particular situation. The results have been nothing less than spectacular and surprising for the clients in all cases. We have been getting immeasurable satisfaction helping these executives who have reached their wits end and feel they have run out of options, to consistently turn failing projects around, make better and quicker decisions and in general getting unstuck and create amazing value for the company and themselves.

Before going further, it will be appropriate to clarify that the definition of “Project Executive” has a wider meaning here, and includes anyone who makes project capital related decisions, assigns and often manages project resources and is responsible for “Go/No Go” decisions at project phase gates. As such, it includes people from the President to C-Suite Executives to Project Managers.

Here is the list, in no particular order:

  • Assigning the wrong person as the Project Manager

The too common problem of the “accidental Project Manager”; often assigning individuals as project managers simply because of availability, without considering skills and expertise, results in the Executive having to personally babysit the new project manager and spend too much time in solving day to day project issues.

  • Indecisiveness or poor decisions

Very often we have traced project failure to poor decisions made at the initiation phase and phase gates’ “go / no go” points, or slow decisions resulting in missed opportunities.

  • Not getting buy-in and support from key stakeholders and the project team

Too often projects are doomed to fail, as lack of support from stakeholders contributes to difficulty in acquiring funding, resources and support on key decisions and an overall increase in a variety of risks affecting the project in a detrimental way.

  • Lack of communication – Unclear Roles and Responsibilities – Inadequate status updates

The impact of less than adequate communication, which includes having unclear roles and responsibilities for the team members and decision makers, inadequate status updates, etc., leads to inability in keeping stakeholders engaged and the project teams are confused and often de-motivated. Unclear accountability between individuals results in duplication of effort, work that is delayed or incomplete, lack of commitment and potential conflict. Inadequate reporting reduces the opportunity to raise issues in a timely manner and it often creates lack of trust.

Michael Sypsomos

To see the remaining problems and how we address them...
Project Executives, don’t despair! These project pitfalls are all too common, expensive and..…. solvable (2/2)
Partnership Agreement with Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd.

Partnership Agreement with Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd.

On Friday, 29 January 2016, The Mentor Group International Ltd. and Ingenious Simulation Co., Ltd. signed a Partnership Agreement at The Mentor Group’s headquarter office in Bangkok, Thailand. This partnership is for the co-development and application of the Project Management training simulation board game “The Prime”. This game is designed to be an integral part of The Mentor Group’s Project Management training workshops which are offered to the construction industry and is expected that it will greatly enhance the practical side of the learning.

In the picture from left to right are Stephen Vianelli, Sorawut Pairojkul, and Michael Sypsomos of The Mentor Group, and Sotas Jaroenchaiyapongs and Sornkanok Apichanapong of Ingenious Simulation.

Visual Project Management Intensive Training Course on 16 October 2015

Visual Project Management course held on 16th of October 2015 at The Hilton Sukhumvit Hotel

Visual Project Management is a unique course that utilize Mind Mapping to teach you to finish projects on time, within budget and meet the requirements according to PMI (Project Management Institute) standard from America. In this course you will learn how to create a Project Charter, Work Breakdown Structure, Project Organizational & Resource assignment, Stakeholder Management, Scheduling, Earned Value Management, Change Management, Risk Management, Effective Communication Plan,etc. If you would like us to organize this training at your company, please contact us at

ประมวลภาพการจัดฝึกอบรม Visual Project Management ที่จัดขึ้นไปเมื่อวันที่ 16 ตุลาคม 2558 ณ โรงแรมฮิลตันสุขุมวิท หลักสูตรนี้เป็นความร่วมมือของ The Mentor Group International กับ Mastermind Training เพื่อพัฒนาหลักสูตร “Visual Project Management” โดยใช้สื่อการสอนที่เข้าใจง่าย เครื่องมือที่เรียกว่า Mind map และแบบฝึกหัดต่างๆ เข้ากับการบริหารโครงการตามหลัก PMI (Project Management Institute) จากประเทศอเมริกา หากท่านต้องการติดต่อเพื่อจัดคอร์สการฝึกอบรมนี้ที่บริษัทของท่านกรุณาติดต่อเราที่ office@mentor-group.org

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The Mentor Group at Perfect10 Symposium

Michael Sypsomos of The Mentor Group participated as a member of P10 participated in the Perfect 10 Annual Symposium on the 18th of September 2015 at the Hilton Sukhumvit. Michael spoke on the topic of “Creating Efficiencies in Projects and Organizations”, explaining the basic principle of Project Management and how to apply it to various type of companies across a spectrum of industries, along with other internationally prominent speakers, such as David Covey (shown in the middle), Dave Allen, author of “Getting Things Done”, and others.


(Public Course) Visual Project Management Intensive Training Course [October,16th 2015]

Visual Project Management Intensive Course

Course Highlights

One day workshop provides key project management principles based on PMBOK (Project management body of knowledge from PMI from initiation to close-out.

Course content is designed based on real-life project problems & lessons learned – focusing on frequent used project management tools/techniques to avoid major common pitfalls in most projects.

Participants will apply methodology through hands-on exercises & case study – with creative workshop facilitation techniques “mind mapping”.

Key Learning Includes:

  • How to Initiate project and develop Project Charter
  • Develop & manage project scope with work breakdown structure techniques
  • Design effective Project organization & responsibility assignment
  • Manage Stakeholders for success
  • Schedule development, critical path analysis
  • Practical Change management process
  • Identify, assess and manage Risks
  • Develop effective communication plan & tips
  • How to Close project properly

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Project Management for Oil & Gas Sector at PTIT

On 27 – 28 July 2015 Khun Sorawut was a speaker at PTIT Public Training Course about Project Management for Oil & Gas Sector.

Projects in the oil and gas industry are always large, complex and capital intensive. Therefore, a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of project management is essential to have any chance to successfully complete these projects on time and within budget. This intensive 2-day workshop-style course is designed to thoroughly present the subject and practice of Project Management of Oil and Gas projects. You will learn how to balance time, cost and schedule constraints in order to maximize stakeholder satisfaction. You will also learn how to objectively and accurately measure project performance. In addition, the course provides a “hands-on” approach to managing projects in the Oil and Gas industry, throughout the various project phases (Initiation to Planning, Engineering and Construction, Monitoring and Controlling, Performance Management and Close-Out). The course is aligned with the Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and is ideal for anyone working in a project team environment required to manage increasingly challenging projects in the Oil and Gas industry.