Cheetah Learning Reveals What the Olympic Games Can Help Teach Project Managers About Virtual Planning

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Before the first athlete took a step in the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, thousands of officials spent untold hours designing and developing every detail—much of it, virtually. The Project Management Professionals (PMPs) at Cheetah Learning ( have real world experience succeeding in a virtual environment. They share their secrets in a new free downloadable guide.

Long before real athletes flocked to London to participate in the 2012 Olympics, many others took advantage of virtual opportunities to prepare for the games. The Project Management Professionals (PMPs) at Cheetah Learning ( share their secrets about how to succeed working in a virtual environment with a new free guide.

But first some examples:

Athletes – The Australian Institute of Sport helped Aussie athletes prepare for the London Olympics by creating a mile-for-mile, hill-for-hill virtual video of the cycling course.
Viewers – To watch events as they happen, NBC created a free Olympics Live Extra app for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, which is available from the iOS App Store.

Visitors – Holiday Inn unveiled the world’s first “augmented reality hotel,” featuring virtual action in various locations at the Kensington Forum by top athletes, including windsurfer Nick Dempsey, BMX champ Shanaze Reade and long-jump record holder Chris Tomlinson.

Cheetah’s PMPs have more than a dozen years experience succeeding in a virtual environment. They share their secrets in a free new guide titled “How Effective Project Management Gives Virtual Teams an Edge.” The 10-step guide is downloadable at

“Once the tools that are right for an organization are in place, the biggest barriers are often around communications and work culture,” explains Michelle LaBrosse, CEO and founder of Cheetah Learning. “Virtual velocity can be hampered without the right tools and ground rules that can increase a team’s productivity, and let participants reap the rewards of the virtual workforce.”

Here is a sampling of Cheetah Learning’s “Ground Rules for Virtual Velocity,” as excerpted from the guide:

Hire People Who Work Well Virtually – Self-starters are the best in a virtual environment. People who love what they’re doing work well virtually. It’s difficult to keep anyone engaged when they don’t have passion for what they’re doing.

Make Flexibility Work for You – A big part of compensation can be the ability to work wherever and whenever you want. This means employees work when they’re in their own, most productive hours.

Manage Results, Not Activity – In the physical office environment, “busy work” gets mistaken for real work. In the virtual environment, the key is to manage results. Set expectations and monitor the results, not the daily activities.

Schedule Regular Communication – It’s important that there’s a time for reporting both progress and potential pitfalls to the team. This keeps people on track and gives everyone the discipline of a check-in

Make Sure There’s a Real System Under the Virtual Hood – Working virtually is about creating systems that enable people to work from anywhere and everywhere. There has to be a commitment to giving people the tools they need.

“Working virtually is not rocket-science, but it does require new rules for our workforce,” says LaBrosse, Cheetah’s CEO. “These tips are a good starting point for your team as you build your own best practices for effective Project Management in the virtual world. Enjoy the journey and invite your team to help you create a powerful work culture.”

Cheetah offers a variety of Tips, Tools and Deals at They include PMP Exam Prep SmartStart Guide, PMP Practice Exam, 2 PDU Skills Assessment Course, and the Getting Started with PM Guide, along with great deals on Professional Development Units (PDUs).

For more information, call (888) 659-2013. Outside the U.S., call (602) 220-1263.

ABOUT: Cheetah Learning is a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider and is International Association of Continuing Education and Training Certified. Cheetah was awarded the Project Management Institute Professional Development Provider of the Year for 2008 for the significant contribution it made to the field of project management with its accelerated approach to teaching and doing project management.

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Rita Soto
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