UCLA Extension

People, Power and Projects: Managing the Human Dynamic

Course No. C1, Period 3

According to a recent survey, nearly 30% of projects fail and over 50% of them run over budget. This is an alarming statistic when one considers the advantages of a project team over a traditional team. The resources are highly trained, the timeline is negotiable and the budget gets approved by experts. So why the failure rate? In this course we will observe that project failures are most often caused by poorly managed human interactions.

This course will cover five guiding principle:

  1. Be the communication catalyst
    • Define successful communication
    • Improve non-verbal communication skills
    • Understand and apply the right communication medium
  1. Introduce conflict when necessary; and it usually is necessary
    • Learn how you manage conflict
    • Learn when to apply each resolution approach
    • Learn the advantages of mitigation over resolution
  1. Negotiate the right terms
    • Learn what determines who wins a negotiation
    • Participate in a negotiation exercise
    • Learn effective negotiation tactics
  1. Create a foundation for power action
    • Become an “Alpha” leader
    • Avoid power potholes
    • Practice creative power sourcing
  1. Manage the trade-off between power and ethics
    • Determine your ethics threshold
    • Adhere to your ethics threshold
    • Ethics case study review

Jerry Reed, PMP, MCPReed_Jerry

Project Manager, AT&T Wireless, Cerritos, California

With over 20 years of project management experience, Jerry Reed has led capital-intensive projects across the defense, public utility and telecommunication industries. Mr. Reed manages data center projects for AT&T. During his career with AT&T, he has pioneered build standards which are still in use today. He has delivered leadership seminars for project professionals at PMI® and AT&T.

Mr. Reed holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois, at Urbana-Champaign. He has earned several distinctions within the Project Management field including the PMP® designation, a Master’s Certification in Project Management, a Technology Specialist certification from Microsoft® and the Six Sigma Green Belt.

Mr. Reed has had great success in the effective management of complex projects. His teaching approach is to mesh real workplace dynamics with theories and tools to cultivate skills that leaders can immediately apply in the field. He encourages an interactive classroom environment and emphasizes that leadership theory is only as good as its applicability to the work place.

Mr. Reed has developed three courses within the UCLA Extension Project Management Certification Program and serves on the Project Management Advisory Board.


This course has given me a better understanding of both interpersonal interactions and my own views and tendencies of typical professional situations.”
Brian Ervin, Metallurical Engineer, ASARCO LLC