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Commercial awareness for technical people


The aim of this one-day 'live' online course is to expose the commercial context within which technical work is carried out. It allows technical staff to understand how they fit into a larger picture, why they may be asked to undertake tasks that may not appear to be technical and the impact their interactions have within the commercial context.

The scope of the programme includes:

  • Stakeholders and their various needs
  • The need for sales
  • Estimating
  • Change control and risk
  • The value of intellectual property

On this course you will learn to:

  • Understand why technical roles are broader than we might assume
  • Appreciate the importance of, and the need to support, sales
  • Value the idea of ‘Good Enough’
  • Recognise what can affect profitability
  • Realise the future needs protecting

Who should attend?

This course is designed for anyone in a technical role or who has come from a technical background and would like a commercial perspective to aid their work.

The course emphasises the collaborative nature of delivery and the need to offer value to customers.

Aligned with UK-SPEC Competence

  • B: Design and development of processes, systems, services and products

  • C: Technical and commercial responsibility, management or leadership


This practical one-day 'live' online course involves exercises, case studies, formal presentations and tutor-facilitated discussions.

This course is delivered ‘live online’, via Zoom, making full use of the break-out facility so that the same level of interaction between participants and with the programme director can be maintained. The same exercises are used regardless of delivery format. As near as possible, the virtual experience replicates the classroom experience.

The course consists of two delivery sessions, morning and afternoon (2.5 hours each, including a 15-minute break).

It uses a number of exercises so that you can check your understanding as your learning builds.

Session one:

  • Roles & Stakeholder Expectations
    • How you see your role vs how others see your role
    • Stakeholder Mapping
  • Sales & Marketing
    • Finding customers
    • The Value Chain
    • Retaining customers
    • Customer-Supplier Relationships
    • A sales cycle
  • Quality
    • Perfect vs Good Enough
    • Acceptance Criteria
  • Estimating
    • The varying need for accuracy
    • The Estimating Funnel
    • Accuracy vs Precision
    • Five estimating methods

Session two:

  • Change Control
    • Controlling change
    • The cost of change
  • Risk Management
    • Risk Management Cycle
    • Project vs Operational risk
    • Positive and negative risk
    • Costing risk
  • Contracts
    • Payment terms
    • Risk, change and collaboration
    • Components of contracts
    • Terms and conditions
  • Cashflow
    • Milestone payments
  • Intellectual Property (IP)
    • The value of IP
    • Types of protection
    • Intellectual Property Rights