Foundation Management Workshops

Teaching from A.O. Smith University

The PHCC Foundation’s management workshops are intensive and highly interactive training sessions designed to show everyone involved in a p-h-c project (owners, senior managers, project managers, estimators, foremen and job superintendents) how common-sense changes to the way projects are managed can boost productivity, slash waste and add more profit to the company’s bottom line.

Forget the textbooks – our sessions feature instructors who have worked in our industry and focus on real-life situations attendees run into every day, not abstract theory.


Creating Super Foremen Workshop

The Creating Super Foremen Workshop is sponsored by
A.O. Smith University Logo A.O. Smith Logo Kohler Logo

The project foreman needs to be much more than just a talented journeyman who knows how to “go fast.” The foreman is the first line of management in the company, and must become the quarterback by learning more than just the technical trade skills required to install the work.

Like a quarterback, he must have a carefully crafted and practiced game plan (or else it’s sandlot football), he must be able to execute the plan, he must be able to adjust the plan when teammates stumble or show less talent, he must provide accurate feedback to the coaches on the bench, and he must AT ALL TIMES keep his eyes on the goal of winning the game.Super Foremen Workshop

That’s what this two-day program is about…Winning the Construction Project Game!

In short, a great class. For new and upcoming foremen, it gives guidelines for expectations and the structure to achieve them. For older foremen who have been in the game, gives you great info to improve everything you are doing.” — Foreman Workshop Attendee


Online Foremen Workshop Dates
– June 24 & 25, 2021 (SOLD OUT)
– July 22 & 23, 2021

July Workshop Registration Form


Offering the class online eliminates travel and hotel expenses, reducing the costs for attendees and avoids the current concerns associated with travel. Our 2022 classes will return to in-person training.

Kirk Alter, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, is the lead instructor for the Super Foremen Workshop. The AOSU studio allows Alter to move as he would in a physical classroom, teaching from slides or hitting the whiteboard to show the attendees how the numbers add up. All the while, staff in a control room switch the Zoom broadcast view from camera to camera in the studio, allowing the attendees to follow the instructor. The attendees were required to keep their video on throughout the program, allowing a monitor in the studio to display a gallery view to Alter, facilitating “face-to-face” conversations.

Here is a lesson where our course director explains how thinking about materials placement on the jobsite can have a huge impact on productivity.

Here is a lesson where our course director explains the best method he has found for managing job site labor bad behaviors.


Essentials of Project Management Class

The Essentials of Project Management class is sponsored by
A.O. Smith University Logo A.O. Smith Logo Kohler Logo

Offered each March, in the four-day Essentials of Project Management class, experienced project managers will pick up dozens of new ideas on site management, scheduling, cash flow and finances, marketing and how to manage people. New project managers and foremen who are making the transition from the field to the office gain the know-how they need to manage projects the right way from the start. The course also gives new or future business owners a head start on what they need to know to survive in the construction business.Kirk Alter Teaching the Essentials of Project Management Class, Nov. 2020

No – this is not four days of an instructor talking to his laptop! We are utilizing the TV studios at A.O. Smith University to bring a live broadcast of our great instructor Kirk Alter walking, talking and teaching in a classroom as he is interacting with the online attendees in real time. We are retaining the highly interactive elements of the class – attendees will be sharing their ideas, working together to solve problems and interacting throughout the program.


NOTICE: Our classes regularly sell out. To have the best chance at getting a seat for our next class (March 2022), please add your name to our notification list. Individuals on our notification list always have the first chance at seats when our class registration opens.

Add your name to the notification list for the next Essentials class


Kirk Alter Teaching at the Whiteboard for the Essentials of Project Management Class, Nov. 2020

Mark WeaverI should know this, but I was very surprised to see that we all have the same problems. But we are all coming up with very unique and creative ways to solve those common problems.

That was one of the biggest take-aways for me, was how do I solve the same problems that everyone is having.
— Mark Weaver, Project Manager at COPPERA in Taylor, Texas

Kirk Alter, Professor Emeritus at Purdue University, is the lead instructor for the Essentials class. His teaching style is highly energetic and interactive, featuring constant dialogue and role-playing exercises with the attendees. The AOSU studio allows Alter to move as he would in a physical classroom, teaching from slides or more often vigorously scribbling columns of numbers on a whiteboard to illustrate the impact project manager’s decisions have in terms of real dollars. All the while, staff in a control room are switching the Zoom broadcast view from camera to camera in the studio, allowing the attendees to follow the action. The attendees were required to keep their video on throughout the program, allowing a monitor in the studio to display a gallery view to Alter, facilitating “face-to-face” conversations.

After completing a full eight-hour day of training, attendees are tasked with completing intense project assignments in the evenings (we said it was a boot camp, right?). They were additionally responsible for coordinating how they would conduct these meetings with their group members who were spread across the country. For many, it is the first time they have needed to create work product and develop a presentation with an entirely remote-based team.

Offering the class online eliminates travel and hotel expenses, reducing the costs for attendees and avoids the current concerns associated with travel. Our 2022 classes will return to in-person training.

While the class is designed for project managers, anyone involved in the construction management process will benefit from learning about what it takes to successfully manage projects, including:
• Subcontractor Business Owners & Top Managers
• Project Managers
• Estimators
• Lead Foremen
• Superintendents

Topics for each class are customized for the needs of the attendees in the room, but core topics typically include:
• Grading Your Customers
• The Power of Pre-Construction Planning
• Going Beyond Prefabrication
• Construction Finance: The Importance of Project Billing & Cash Flow
• Partnering with Your Suppliers
• Understanding What’s in the Contract
• Knowing When & Why to Say “No”
• Sharing the Plan: Turnover Meetings
• Identifying Lost Time and Delays
• Winning at the Change Order Game
• Using Scheduling to Avoid Delays
• Painless Project Close Outs

What’s the impact to the company when a mistake happens? Learn how an $8,000 error means someone has to sell a $275,000 job to get back to even!

Need more? You can watch this webinar with lessons drawn from the class:

The New Essentials of Project Management: Move Faster!