Course Design

Before you take the plunge!

Course Assessment

Mosaic's Short Courses and Workshops are designed to meet identified needs in the PM Training market.  As part of our development processes, we routinely update our courseware to optimize the content of each course, based on feedback from trainees received as part of Mosaic's Quality Assurance processes (see selected feedback from our trainees). Courses are reviewed after each delivery and updated as needed to meet the evolving needs of the project management community (see more on our short courses).


Mosaic's approach to course design

Our courses are designed to include ‘just enough’ material to achieve our target benchmark for the training as agreed with our client. Developing a ‘complete course’ covering all of the possible topics in a subject area would at least double the amount of work you need to do (and the cost of the course) for no additional benefit. However, we are continually adapting and updating the course contents based on the best approaches to learning, see: The Psychology of Effective Learning.

Courseware Development Processes

Course DesignMosaic’s training is designed to improve trainee’s performance in their present job, train new personnel to perform their job, or bringing a trainee up to a defined standard. Our courseware development follows the normal ISD (Instructional System Development) processes, although the analysis phase, including curriculum development, is more usually undertaken by others. The majority of Mosaic courses are developed and maintained on a continuing cyclical basis.

Develop the Training Plan

A Training Plan will help set the overall context for training and may include the following

  • The training strategy. The initial planning to obtain management approvals; the elements to consider include:
    • Strategy: Including an understanding of the stakeholders, type of training needed, the desired outcome of the training, assumptions, risks and the overall training approach.
    • Scope: Preliminary decisions on who to include: project managers, team members, functional managers, clients and/or external partners.
    • Overall Development Plan: Including 'high level' decisions on the proposed classes, the number of classes offered, their timing, the delivery mode (in-person, virtual, e-class), content development process, budget, etc.
  •  Training Plan Development. Once the basic proposal is approved, detailed planning can start:
    • Training needs analysis. You should assess the current skill levels and the required skill levels - see 'requirements analysis' below.
    • Specific classes. Define the specific classes to offer and the order of the classes.
    • Development. Determine how classes will be designed and developed, see below.
    • Delivery. Define how the content will be delivered. This could be using internal staff or training vendors. And the mode; there are many ways that training can be delivered including; instructor lead, e-classes, webinars, books, magazines, etc.
    • Costs. An estimate the costs for the training plan as developed.
    • Success criteria. Describe how you will measure the effectiveness of training and what metrics will be used.

Requirements Analysis

This phase is focused on Mosaic achieving a detailed understanding of the need for the training and, where appropriate, agreeing this need with our client. Where courseware is being developed against a third party examination specification, we spend significant time analyzing the requirements and ensuring we fully understand the elements being examined. Where courseware is being developed or adapted for the specific needs of a client, Mosaic's consultant will work with the client's staff to identify the key requirements of the training. The key elements in this phase are:

  • Analyse the role, or requirements, or documentation to gain a complete understanding of the training requirements.
  • Define the training needs (needs analysis). This may involve assessing the current skills level of staff to determine the training required.
  • Build performance measures for the training.
  • Define goals or outcomes.

Course Design & Development

The overall design of the course is established and where appropriate agreed with our clients. The key elements in the design phase are:

  • Develop the learning objectives for each element of the training, to include both terminal and enabling objectives.
  • Identify and list the learning steps required to accomplish the training.
  • Develop appropriate performance tests to show mastery of information, e.g. written, hands-on, etc.
  • List the eligibility requirements or entry behaviours that the learner must demonstrate prior to training.
  • Choose the instructional setting for the tasks to be trained, e.g. classroom, on-the-job, self-paced study, etc.
  • Sequence and structure the learning objectives.

The development of the course materials is closely linked to the design process. Development includes:

  • Determining the learning environment, media and demographics of the intended trainee group.
  • Developing learner centered instructional materials including:
    • Moderated discussions,
    • Self assessment and trial exams,
    • Team based scenarios and problem solving,
    • In depth reference materials and resources.
  • For more on effective learning see The Psychology of Effective Learning.

Implement the Training

Course DesignThe key elements in this phase are:

  • Create a management plan for marketing and/or conducting the training.
  • Conduct the training:
    • We blend theory with group and individual exercises to provide a wide spectrum of learning experiences.
    • A key aspect of our courses is a focus on deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is an activity specifically designed to improve performance, it can be repeated (a lot), feedback on results are continuously available, it's mentally demanding and it isn't much fun!
    • We have developed 100s of questions designed to support the learning component of each course that provide this type of practice to help trainees prepare for their examinations.
    •  Support as far as possible the different learning capabilities and styles of the group.
    • Mosaic's Paper on The Art of Learning, helps trainees understand their style and preferences.
  • Where possible we reinforce learning through Kolb's learning cycle
  • Obtain feedback from trainees on both the trainers performance and the courseware.


Continuing evaluation is a key component in our courseware development and maintenance; we:

  • Review and evaluate each phase (analyze, design, develop, implement) to ensure it is accomplishing what it is supposed to (Kirkpatrick Level 1).
  • Where appropriate, perform external evaluations, e.g. observe pass rates in certification examinations, etc (Kirkpatrick Level 2).
  • Actively seek feedback and suggestions from examination candidates (within appropriate guidelines).
  • Where appropriate undertake a formal review of the training in conjunction with the clients management.
  • Revise training system and/or courseware to continually improve outcomes.

Mosaic's course leaders are experienced Program and/or Project Managers, we actively maintain our subject matter knowledge and teaching skills (see Instructor Development Policy below). We have successfully guided many organizations worldwide, through the implementation of methodology and the cultural change.


Kirkpatrick's four levels of training evaluation

Donald Kirkpatrick is best known for creating a highly influential four-level model for training evaluation. Kirkpatrick's ideas were first published in 1959; but are better known from his book published in 1975 entitled, Evaluating Training Programs. The four levels of Kirkpatrick's evaluation model measure:

  • Reaction of student - what they thought and felt about the training
  • Learning - the resulting increase in knowledge or capability
  • Behavior - extent of behavior and capability improvement and implementation/application
  • Results - the effects on the business or environment resulting from the trainee's performance.

The way we apply the Kirkpatrick model in our training delivery is set out in the table below:



Instructor Development Policy

By design we are a small business focused on providing an excellent level of service to our trainees, as a consequence we do not employ training staff. All of Mosaic's courses are developed and delivered by:

Lynda BourneDr. Lynda Bourne DPM, PMP, FACS. Lynda is Director of Professional Services with Mosaic Project Services. Lynda is an internationally recognized consultant, author and trainer. See Lynda's CV.

Patrick WeaverPatrick Weaver PMP, PMI-SP, FAICD, FCIOB. Patrick is the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd. He is the designated R.E.P. contact within Mosaic responsible for ensuring the continuous compliance to R.E.P. policy. See Patrick's CV.

Skills Development

To maintain our position at the forefront of project management knowledge and teaching skills we actively engage in the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and information through the following activities:

  • Researching and writing blog posts discussing topical issues across a wide range of project and stakeholder management issues.
  • Researching and writing articles for a range of web publications.
  • Researching and writing articles for formal publications.
  • Researching and writing White Papers.
  • Developing and presenting conference papers.

The collection of papers and articles outlined above are consolidated in our PM Knowledge Index, sorted by topic. This resource is a valuable adjunct to our standard course materials and freely available for all trainees to use. In addition to developing materials, we also take the opportunity to attend conferences and workshops on a regular basis.

Contact Us for more information