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Q'vive and Schoolcraft offer completely updated Project Management Basics course in 2015 winter semester
We are pleased that our continued partnership with Schoolcraft College enables us to offer this great course again.  The content has been completely updated, and is based on PMBOK® Guide–Fifth Edition. 
We are thrilled to be able to offer this course, which is very hands-on and even more interactive than in the past.


“Actionizing Innovation Strategy” Seminar for Project Managers Offering Free PDUs.


 Is it possible to apply limited resources to endless opportunities without killing yourself, and still be successful? It all comes down to making the right decisions.  We will discuss a process that connects strategy with day-to-day activities, so you can recognize good projects and kill bad projects.  This empowering approach focuses your resources to get products to market quicker with better results.

This seminar will be held on Sep 11 from 6-8 pm.
The location is Unique Solutions of Advanced Technologies Inc., 1500 N. Stephenson Hwy, Royal Oak, MI 48067. 
Registration is required at
For more information call 248-681-1283.

Q'vive and Schoolcraft offer new PMP® Exam Shift course to prepare for updated exam
We are pleased that our continued partnership with Schoolcraft College enables us to add this new course.  There are many that have studied for the exam based on PMBOK® Guide–Fourth Edition, who now have to become familiar with the new Fifth Edition to take the exam.  We are thrilled to be able to offer this course, and are expecting to see many more pass the exam.
The Project Management Essentials & Exam Preparation course (Mondays September 23 - November 25 from 6 PM to 9:40 PM) and PMP® Exam Shift™ course (Thursdays September 26 - October 17 from 6-9 PM) are aligned with the new PMBOK® Guide–Fifth Edition.
Course information and online registration:

Important update about the
new PMProcess Flow™ poster
based on PMBOK® Guide  Fifth Edition
Available now.  Click here to order.
We received the new posters from our printer on May 10, and are shipping these now.
The companion documents have been updated and are available as well.
Available now.  Click here to order.

Q'vive and Schoolcraft offer new Project Management classes in advance of New Exam
We are pleased that our continued partnership with Schoolcraft College enables us to add these courses as there is increasing demand for effective project managers. The new courses are in the format we offered ahead of the previous exam change, which was well received by students.  We are thrilled to be able to offer these again, and are expecting to see many more pass the exam.
The Project Management Institute published the new PMBOK® Guide–Fifth Edition in January, 2013. The update to the PMP exam will be effective on July 31, 2013, while the CAPM exam will be updated on July 1. Exams prior to these dates will be on the current Fourth Edition.
The Project Management Essentials & Exam Preparation course (Mondays May 6th-July 15th from 6 PM to 9:40 PM) is aligned with the new Fifth Edition.  PMP® Exam Focus™ (Thursdays May 9th-30th from 6-9 PM), and PMP® Exam Fuel™ (Saturday, May 18th from 9 AM – 1 PM) are new classes which are shorter courses designed to help prepare for exams on the current Fourth Edition. 
Course information and online registration:
Join the Automation Alley Technology Committee for the first seminar in our Product Development series. The morning will begin with a keynote address by Azam Khan, deputy chief of staff at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) who is responsible for the Detroit satellite office of the USPTO. An in-depth discussion on the legal and intellectual property aspects of new product development throughout the product development cycle, from ideation to commercial launch, will follow. Next,  case studies will be presented. The session will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A.
June 12, 2012 from 8-11:30am in the Atrium at Automation Alley in Troy  registration information
Eric van der Meulen of Q'vive is leading the  project team responsible for this seminar.


“Actionizing Innovation Strategy” First of New Seminar Series for Project Managers Offering Free PDUs.

Is it possible to apply limited resources to endless opportunities without killing yourself, and still be successful? It all comes down to making the right decisions.  We will discuss a process that connects strategy with day-to-day activities, so you can recognize good projects and kill bad projects.  This empowering approach focuses your resources to get products to market quicker with better results.
This first seminar will be held on May 9 from 6-7:30pm, with networking starting at 5:30pm.
The location is Unique Solutions of Advanced Technologies Inc., 1500 N. Stephenson Hwy, Royal Oak, MI 48067. 
Registration is required at
For more information call 248-681-1283.

Eric van der Meulen, president of Q'vive is keynote speaker at the Small Business Conference of the Society of American Military Engineers on April 25, 2012 at the Gross Pointe War Memorial.  Go to SAME-Detroit.
Eric will be talking about "The Value of Project Management". 

Automation Alley puts New Product Development Workshop on the agenda of the IMPACT 2012 Conference on February 7.


Transforming Ideas into a Winning Product

The “New Product Development” workshop presents an organized and rational process for taking a product idea to a commercial product.  The importance of financial, commercial, intellectual property and technical planning throughout the product development process will be discussed.  Industry leaders with experience in successfully bringing a new product to market will present case studies of the development of tangible, manufactured and commercialized products during a panel discussion.
Eric van der Meulen of Q'vive is leading the  project team responsible for this workshop.
overview     IMPACT 2012     agenda


Schoolcraft College CEPD continues the

partnership with Q'vive in 2012, offering the

new Project Management Basics course

in addition to the successful Project Management Essentials and Exam Preparation.



Fall 2012 registration begins July 30.

Course information and online registration: Schoolcraft CEPD
Project Management  
Essentials and Exam Preparation


Want to learn more about this exciting training


Want to meet the instructors?

Want to get a better feel for Schoolcraft?


The Fall course starts on October 1 @ 6pm.

Attend our Information Session 

on September 17 from 6-7:30pm in BTC 160.

We hope to see you there! 





Are you a part-time project manager, accidental project manager, or a project manager that needs to refresh your knowledge and complement your skill sets? Learn the basics of project management, and apply these basics into your work projects.

Fall classes begin on Oct 2 from 6-8:40pm. 

Brochure with all Schoolcraft CEPD Project 
Management courses.



Q'vive announces PMP® Exam Fuel™, four hours of "high octane" exam prep, focusing on exam strategies and questions. Saturday 8/6 from 8:30-12:30 at Schoolcraft Livonia campus.



PMI announced that there will be a 4–6 week period between taking the updated examination (starting 8/31) and receiving the results via email.

The good news?If you take the exam before the change, this does not apply, and you will know your score right away.

How to get ready in time? 
Take advantage of PMP® Exam Fuel,  four hours of "high octane" exam prep, focusing on exam strategies and questions.


For more information about the PMP® exam update, PMP® Exam Fuel, and registration, go to or call 248.231.7452.


Q'vive announces PMP Exam Focus, a four-week, 12-hour, intensive exam prep, ahead of the PMP exam update on August 31. Start 7/12, 6:30-9:30pm at Schoolcraft Livonia campus.



This course prepares students to take the current PMP® exam, which is in effect through August 30, 2011. We will cover each of the nine knowledge areas, the code of ethics, and review the PMP® framework and exam facts, perspective, and approach.

The PMP® Exam Focus course:

·    prepares you for the current exam

·    is short, condensed, and intensive

·    uses 400+ practice exam questions

·    delivers high value for money


Attend the information session on Tuesday 6/28, from 6:30-7:30pm, at the course location.

Meet the instructor, and find out how this four-week, 12-hour, intensive course will benefit you.


For more information about the PMP® exam update, course brochure, and registration, go to or call 248.231.7452.



Q'vive, LLC announces InterChange Forum, and invites business leaders to attend this engaging symposium that will explore effective strategies to create long term business growth.

What Will Your Business


Look Like in Five Years?


Higher Revenue?  Bigger Profits?  

More Diversified?  Out of Business?


Join us on April 19 for an engaging forum

discussion that will give you a fresh perspective and a different way of thinking about business growth and how to achieve it.


You’ll leave with new ways of thinking about:

·      Developing a vision of the future of your business

·      Initiating proactive growth

·      Understanding the marketplace

·      Strengths and weaknesses

·      Obstacles and challenges

·      Asking the right questions

·      The importance of open-minded planning

Who should attend:     

Executives and business leaders responsible for the direction of their companies.  If you’re looking for a better way to grow your business and are ready to embrace change, this forum is for you.





registration information 


InterChange Forum is a collaborative     of four consulting firms with a focus       on assisting small to mid-market companies in their efforts to grow.

Robert Diakow Brand Development & Design

Griffioen Consulting Group, Inc

Q'vive, LLC

River’s End Consulting, LLC 


Schoolcraft Project Management Course Information Session Jan 10 @ 6PM

Want to learn more about this exciting training


Want to meet the instructors?

Want to get a better feel of Schoolcraft?

Come on out and attend our Information Session

on January 10th from 6-7:30pm in BTC 165.

We hope to see you there!


The course will start on Jan 24 @ 6PM.

The Schoolcraft College Continuing Education and Professional Development department has partnered with Q'vive.
Schoolcraft CEPD and Q'vive will be offering a ten-week, intensive project management training program:
Project Management  
Essentials and Exam Preparation
Registration begins December 13.
brochure           PRESS RELEASE 
Ad on back page of the winter 2011 schedule:


Another great
forum organized by Crain's and moderated by Walsh College's Dr. Lee Meadows
Startups are growing up in Michigan. Great interviews in Crane's Detroit by Dave Haviland of Phimation. Crain's Second Stage Event on September 14th was well attended.
Asked to facilitate round table discussions, I met great people with thriving businesses.
Yes, growth is happening in Michigan!


Wixom, MIJune 16 2010Eric van der Meulen, President of Q'vive is celebrating his first anniversary as credentialed PMP, and is currently facilitating the implemention of stage-gate New Product Development at two Michigan companies.
These comments were posted on Eric's 
LinkedIn profile update:
"Congratulations! I want to thank you for the
tremendous amount of work you have done on behalf of the project management profession in the last year." 
Barbara Ciaramitaro, Assistant Professor, Ferris State University
"Eric, congratulations and you did a great job
working with us teaching project management. I look forward to reviewing 20 of our projects on the 28th." 
John Moyer, President, Asahi Kasei Plastics North America

Q'vive's President Eric van der Meulen is honored to be part of ITT's School of Business and Project Management Advisory Committee and is looking forward to sharing his experience during the upcoming meeting on May 5.


Project Management Firm Q'vive Celebrates First Year           press release


Wixom, MIApril 1, 2010—Q'vive, LLC, specializing in the management and execution of innovative development projects, has just emerged from its startup year with a diverse and healthy client base. “I believe this may reflect the beginning of Michigan’s economic recovery,” said Q'vive president Eric van der Meulen. “We are seeing that successful Michigan businesses are again investing in the future and spending money to strengthen their performance in technology and product development. We are helping such companies accelerate the development of new products and technologies, capitalize on their ideas, and overcome technical challenges.”

      Q'vive supports manufacturing firms and individual inventors. Currently, Q'vive is providing project management training for technologists and plant engineers of two corporate clients. The implementation of best practices into their product development is increasing productivity and accountability, resulting in better products delivered on time.

Visit for more information.

      Q'vive is from "qui vive" –

alert, vigilant – an essential condition for success in every project. By teaming up with clients Q'vive widens their vision to full 360-degree awareness… so they can stay focused on their mission.



press release                 brochure 

Q'vive joined Automation Alley
Automation Alley acts as a catalyst to enhance the image of Southeast Michigan to help our members grow their businesses. We provide products and services that stimulate and highlight the technological excellence and diversity of our regional economy. We link industry, government and academia to attract, develop and retain a skilled workforce required by a knowledge-based economy.


recommended reading


Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach For Better Execution

(Robert Simons)


A framework that helps you focus.


The subtitle “a simple approach for better execution”, gets to the core of the matter, which is being able to actionize strategy.  The questions help you first define your customer, and then make you look inside to define what your values are.  Based on this foundation, the remaining five questions will help you frame how your business’ performance is measured, what you won’t pursue (important to keep the focus), and how you can create a culture of innovation and collaboration, topping it off with a discussion of how you can make change work for you.  This requires a two-way street of top-down and bottom-up information sharing and transparency.  Powerful concepts explained in a very practical way, laced with compelling examples.  Simons is able to communicate in common language what business owners and corporate management needs to hear over and over again.  One of my favorite quotes: “People think focus means saying yes to the things you need to focus on.  But that’s not what it means at all.  It means saying no to the one hundred other good ideas.”  (Steve Jobs).



Absolute Beginner's Guide To Project Management -

Second Edition

(Gregory M. Horine)


Practical with lots of hands-on tools and check lists, also for the not-so-beginner.


This is a helpful book if you actually want to apply project management. The author follows PMI's framework with few exceptions, and the terminology and language are consistent with the PMBOK® Guide. I'm using it in preparation for a basic project management training.  The book is well organized and has a very useful index.



Know What You Don't Know: How Great Leaders Prevent Problems Before They Happen  (Michael A. Roberto)


Not for the leader that is faint at heart, a dictator, or ego-maniac.


This book explains why it is much smarter to be focused on problem-finding, than problem-solving.  Implementing this approach means a cultural revolution in most companies I know.  The idea is that if you can catch and address issues when they have just emerged, and not swiped under the rug yet, they are manageable.  Illustrated with many examples and based on academic research, this is an engaging and refreshing presentation of seven critical skill sets that could make a life or death difference in your business.  Much of this is applicable to project management as well.  For example, there is a short list of key questions in the “Hunt for patterns” chapter that will help you scrutinize assumptions.  Question 6: How would our conclusions change if each of our key assumptions proves incorrect?  If you are ready to challenge your view of the reality around you, and think you can handle surprises, this book will be a delight.



The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization  (Peter F. Drucker)


Heavy on WHAT, Light on HOW — Leadership questions from the Management Guru.


I found this self-assessment tool refreshingly easy to read with laser focus on the five most important strategic questions:

1. What is our mission?

2. Who is our customer?

3. What does the customer value?

4. What are our results?

5. What is our plan?

Each of the five questions is first tackled by Drucker, followed by a brief expansion by one

of the co-authors, who are management buffs

in their own right. While the questions are universally applicable, much of the text and examples focus on non-profits. This really doesn't matter, because the text paints a broad enough picture to see how this applies regardless.

Reading this book makes it abundantly clear WHAT to ask, but leaves it up to the reader to figure out HOW to implement or actionize the findings. All in all a valuable "fog-lifter" to be revisited regularly to evaluate if your daily activities are still in line with your mission.

The brevity and organization of the book allow for time-efficient checkups.



Lean, Rapid and Profitable New Product Development  (Robert G. Cooper, Scott J. Edgett, Laura Brady)


Next Generation stage-gate, adaptable and scaleable, applicable to fluid market situations.


Less than 200 pages, which is a blessing these days.  Hits on the need to be practical about stage-gate, and treat is more as a framework and philosophy rather than a rigid process.

A fair amount of new material is mixed with recycled ideas, and there is some repetitiveness throughout. Overall well structured explanation of Seven Principles that will make/keep stage-gate lean, rapid, and profitable.  Principles 1-3 (customer focused, front-end loaded, and spiral development) will help gain competitive advantage. Principles 4-5 (holistic approach driven by cross-functional teams, and metrics, accountability & continuous improvement) improve time-to-market. Principle 6 (portfolio management) focuses on investing in the right developments, and principle 7 (flexible, adaptable and scaleable stage-gate) puts all of the above together in the idea-to-launch process.  If you are familiar with some of Cooper's other books and articles on stage-gate, much of this will be familiar themes. However, the focus on flexibility and adaptability makes this book a very appealing introduction to Cooper's stage-gate (he coined it in the 80s).



The Customer’s Way  (Daniel H. Walker)


How to find out what your customers really want


An easy to read short story  most people can relate to, which explains how to hear the “voice of the customer” and get it right.

The backdrop is an ailing and out of touch alumni association, that wants to increase alumni involvement with the college.  Reading through the book, David, who is brought in by Marty, the president of the association, takes you through the steps, starting with the introspective “Why are we here”, all the way through customer interviews.

The book is written to the point with no distractions, no fluff, only what’s necessary to keep the story on track.  Want to know more?  Read it in a little over an hour.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised.



Strategic Project Management Made Simple  

(Terry Schmidt)


Why are we doing this? – How to keep your eyes on the ball!


From a project manager's perspective, this book presents very practical tools that help keep your eye on the ball, without being distracted by the day-to-day grind.  Starting with the Four Critical Strategic Questions (what are be trying to accomplish and why?; how will me measure success?; what other conditions must exist?; how do we get there?) the reader is introduced to the Logical Framework, which applies If-Then logic to get from inputs to outputs to purpose to goal - goal being the strategic objective of the project.  This approach forces you to answer the Strategic Questions on the way.  Lots of practical advice - even on how to effectively facilitate meetings - and great examples.  A practical book that can be read by anyone that contributes to project teams, but it helps to be familiar with the foundation of basic project management principles.



Innovation on Demand: New Product Development Using TRIZ 

(Victor Fey, Eugene Rivin)


This textbook makes you think and rethink


Consider this required reading if you’re seriously interested in innovation, and TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) in particular.  This is a very clear and well organized text book, but don’t mistake clarity with easy or quick to read.  Having spent a major part of my professional career directly of indirectly in innovation, I had to “process” a lot of what is presented in this book.  It really made me think and rethink why what I did worked – or why not.  Most of the examples will really speak to mechanical engineers like myself, and I’m sure the pictures help explain the concepts to others as well. 

The way ARIZ (algorithm for inventive problem solving) is explained clearly demonstrates why this is the most powerful TRIZ tool.  Building on system conflicts, and using substance-field (sufield) analysis, the process to solve conflicts and how to make the right decisions is explained.  The chapter on the laws of technological system evolution is of particularly great value, as it makes you realize that progress or innovation travels according to certain laws or along certain lines.  If you want to focus your innovative efforts there are great answers to be found here.


 More Recommendations



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