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Spotlight on Innovation: Making Things Happen with Scott Berkun

A special talk on the 10-year anniversary of the classic project management book

Scott Berkun

Watch the video recording of this event.

Making Things Happen is among the most popular books on project management ever written, known for its direct, actionable, and humane advice on every aspect of leading teams and projects. For the book’s 10th anniversary, author Scott Berkun will give a fast and fun summation and update of the book’s core ideas and explain how you can apply them to the projects you’re working on today.

Join us for this edition of Spotlight on Innovation to find out why projects succeed (and why they fail) and learn how to master the role of the project leader.

O’Reilly Spotlight explores emerging business and technology topics and ideas through a series of one-hour interactive events. You’ll engage in a live conversation with experts, sharing your questions and ideas while hearing their unique perspectives, insights, fears, and predictions for the future.

In every edition of Spotlight on Innovation, you’ll learn about, discuss, and debate the future. Best of all, you’ll discover what successful companies have in common and how you can follow their lead with small practical steps to transform your organization and prepare for the Next Economy.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live show, you’ll better understand:

  • The key factors for why projects succeed or fail and how to influence them
  • The special role project leaders play (and why it’s rare to find good PMs)
  • The essentials of mastering schedules, designs, and decisions
  • Why methods like Scrum and Agile often don’t solve the real problems
  • How to prevent and manage crisis, stress, and chaos

This training course is for you because...

  • You're a project manager or team leader.


  • Come with your questions for Scott Berkun
  • Have a pen and paper handy to capture notes, insights, and inspiration

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Scott Berkun is a best-selling author and popular speaker on creativity, leading projects, culture, business, and other subjects. He’s written seven books, including The Myths of Innovation, Confessions of a Public Speaker, and The Year Without Pants. His work has appeared or been mentioned in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, the Guardian, Wired, USA TODAY, Fast Company, National Public Radio, HuffPost, and other media. Previously, he, was a project manager and team leader at Microsoft and WordPress, taught creativity at the University of Washington, and was a cohost of CNBC’s The Business of Innovation. He's named on five US patents. Scott has written for Harvard Business Review and Businessweek and has appeared as an expert on various subjects on CNN, CNBC, NPR, and MSNBC. He was awarded an Amtrak writer’s residency and directed the short film We Make Seattle. Scott is the MC and speaker coach for Ignite Seattle. He was born and raised in Queens, NY, and studied philosophy, computer science, and design at CMU.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET

  • Introduction and presentation (15 minutes)
  • Interactive discussion and Q&A (45 minutes)