Get certified by science in the most advanced planning process - the NPPQ

The project management discipline has very few certifications that are outcome-based and have been proven to increase the reliability of the project plan. Most certifications are based in committee votes, opinion, and unproven methodologies that help administer the project. And while some of these methods do provide value, they often do not directly impact the accuracy of the plan.

NeuralPlan is different. It is built from solid, proven science (see example below) that has tested how humans make decisions when planning and forecasting, and mitigated the errors through redesigning processes, metrics, skills, and interfaces to reduce the errors of optimistic prediction.

The NPPQ (NeuralPlan Project Qualification) certifies that you have been trained in why humans make the planning decisions they do, and through the online certification training you learn how to mitigate those issues. The outcome is reduced risk, increased plan reliability, higher forecast accuracy, and thus more projects delivered on-time, thereby increasing customer trust and boosting your bottom line.

In the future, the institute will also enable NPPQ credential holders to earn their NPPP certification (NeuralPlan Project Professional), which will certify that a professional is both competent in cognitive planning processes and has at least 2 years of practice.

It can no longer be good enough for us in the project management discipline to just monitor and organize projects. We must use proven methods to change project outcomes by redesigning our processes around the human brain.


NeuralPlan – Certified by Science



Project Success Depends on Accurate Prediction

On-time completion of the milestone relies on two primary elements: accurate prediction of what will be delivered, and effective delivery of what was predicted

The same is true of weekly or monthly forecasting. Anything that requires looking forward in a project is prediction. Because of the nature of the human brain, looking forward into the future and calculating durations, resource quantities, and cost tend to be optimistic, which in turn increases risk and results in unrealistic plans and forecasts. Not only is this inconvenient to the organization, it reduces customer trust in outcomes, results in inefficiencies, and has a material impact on profit margins.


What are we doing about it

First, it is important to note that while there is tons of science out there to improve planning and forecasting, none of the existing project management methodologies in the world use proven, evidence-based studies to design their planning process. This is a problem, because these studies that have been conducted over the last couple of decades have shown that planning accuracy can be significantly improved. Furthermore, none of the existing project planning processes in popular methodologies address and mitigate the human factor in planning. 

We are changing this. NeuralPlan is the first science-based planning, forecasting, and risk process that is grounded in proven, evidence-based studies that show how to help mitigate the human factor and reduce optimism so that plans are more accurate, yielding more on-time projects and reducing risk.


What's in the course - the first science-based planning process

The NeuralPlan certification preparation course is conducted at your own pace, online, with a full training manual, a platform that uses gamification for better retention, and videos that provide instruction by the scientists who developed the course. Training consists of practical implementation of cognitive strategies to reduce risk and increase planning and forecasting accuracy. While traditional planning courses may include basic administrative processes such as WBS development, critical path, scope descriptions, RACI charts and the like, NeuralPlan focuses on processes that actually change performance outcomes versus just organizing and monitoring them. Some of the topics covered in the course include:

  • Overview of the decision sciences
  • Introduction to behavioral and neuroscience
  • Explanation of applicable cognitive biases
  • The role of various cognitive functions that decrease rational and logical thinking in prediction
  • Mitigation techniques in individual forecasting
  • Cognitive functions that increase risky decision-making
  • Various modalities that affect prediction
  • Using earned value and other metrics to measure optimism bias in the organization
  • Designing planning processes and procedures around the brain to increase prediction accuracy
  • Organizational, leadership, and social considerations that impact planning and forecasting accuracy
  • Project diagnostics to identify sources of low prediction accuracy


Meet a couple of the researchers


Josh E. Ramirez, PMP, MSM-PM (PhD cand.)

President, Institute for Neuro & Behavioral Project Management, and faculty at Columbia Basin College, United States


Dr. Shari De Baets

Department of Management Information Science and Operations Management, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium




Coming soon!

A science-based process for project planning, with an emphasis on the beings that predict project work: humans. If the brain is an information processor, and this processor has a tendency to make planning errors (up to 70% of projects fail their schedule and cost objectives), then why not redesign our processes around the brain?

NeuralPlan intends to deliver just that!

Please write to if your organization is interested in training in the near future.


Making projects better through science, worldwide...

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Ruth Pearce
    commented 2020-01-29 12:14:42 -0800
    I cannot wait for this course! I will be one of the first to sign up!
  • Ruth Pearce
    commented 2019-09-01 10:52:19 -0700
    This sounds like a wonderful development. I cannot wait to see how this helps to support project managers in more effective information processing, decision making, estimating and project progress. Time to stop fighting the brain and design our processes around it.
  • Rich Maltzman
    commented 2019-08-28 06:40:36 -0700
    This sounds fascinating! Project managers – human beings themselves – must ‘program’ and inspire, lead, and direct other human beings to get (aligned, sustainable) work done. This should help!