Become a Certified Entrepreneurial Project Manager (ePM)

and¬†License Our Complete Lean¬†Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ System


Why pursue the ePM certification?

Because scaling an entrepreneurial small business requires strategic execution capabilities that go beyond traditional project management.

Most PM certifications are geared toward established corporations and don't effectively address the dynamic nature of small, high-growth companies. These ventures face constantly shifting priorities, team members juggling multiple roles, and a rapid pace - an environment where successful project delivery is critical for success and sustainability.

As a certified ePM, you'll develop expertise tailored for this fast-paced and ever-changing environment. You'll enable business owners to focus on their vision while you adeptly navigate operational complexity and align strategic goals with seamless execution across key projects, products, and services.

For entrepreneurial small businesses and startups, certified ePM expertise provides a distinct advantage. You'll master strategic execution for the entrepreneurial landscape, becoming the strategic force that propels a founder's ambitious vision into reality.


What You'll Master

The ePM Certification addresses the unique needs and challenges faced by those leading projects working with entrepreneurial small businesses.

As with all of our certifications, we blend strategy with operations to enable scalable growth and sustainable results.

Pillar 1


  • How to be a Highly-Effective Entrepreneurial Project Manager (ePM)

  • Understanding Different Planning Frameworks¬†and an Introduction to¬†Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ¬†

  • Balancing Adaptability with Predictability for Small Business Success

  • The Art & Science of Project vs.¬†Product Management

  • Understanding Planning Cycles and Styles¬†and How and When to Use Each

  • Strategic Use of Tech, Tools, and AI

Pillar 2


  • Building the Bridge Between Vision and Execution

  • Strategic Decision Making and Prioritization

  • Avoiding Entrepreneurial Team Burnout with Capacity-Based Planning

  • Strategic Synchs: Who, What, When, Where, and How

  • Marketing and Content Planning for Visibility & Business Growth

  • Balancing Growth with Optimization and Delivery

  • Maximizing Productivity¬†& Results

Pillar 3


  • Inspiring Ownership and Leading Your Teams to Successful Outcomes

  • ¬†Effective Communication¬†and Collaboration

  • ¬†Managing Difficult Conversations and Situations

  • Managing Distributed and Disrupted Teams

  • Aligning Planning with the Team Design

  • Understanding the DNA of a High¬†Performing Team

Pillar 4


  • Risk and Dependency Management in an Entrepreneurial Business

  • Managing Scope Creep, Schedule Changes, and¬†Budget¬†Shifts

  • Recovering Projects that are Off-Track or At-Risk

  • ¬†Meaningful Metrics and Reporting

  • ¬†Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement¬†

  • Celebrating Success and Recognizing Achievements


Each pillar includes live and interactive training workshops, on-demand modules and supporting content, templates, toolkits, and playbooks that you can plug right into your services and begin using right away.


  • Live 1-Day Intensive: 1¬†full virtual day to deep dive into the lean strategic planning system, workshop implementation strategies, and set up a capstone case study for mastery¬†
  • Toolkits & Content: Access to turnkey implementation playbooks and tools and supporting training modules
  • Capstone Case Study: Implement what you learn with our carefully crafted capstone project where you'll develop and lead a 90-day strategic plan end-to-end and then turn your results into a case study to sell your services
  • Certification Exam: Pass a knowledge exam and submit your capstone project to receive certification as an ePM

But that's not all...


  • Weekly Training and¬†Coaching Calls for Situational Support

  • Private ePM Community to Network and Build Relationships

  • 1¬†Year Membership in the Right-Hand Revolution Community

  • Lean Strategic Planning Expert Certification

  • Certified ePM Badge Upon Passing of Exam¬†

  • Listing in the Certified ePM Directory

  • Eligibility for Matching Services (available in 2025)

  • An Invitation¬†to Uplevel to Certified CSOO*

*Once Experience Level Criteria is Met


Become an expert in:

Strategy + operations leadership.

Capacity-based planning to avoid burnout.

Connecting strategy to execution for scalable growth.

Project management in a fast-paced dynamic environment.

As an ePM, you are the bridge between Strategy & Execution.

Why It Matters

  • Say goodbye to the revenue rollercoaster and cash flow challenges with longer client retainers and higher-level roles

  • Trade in constant overwork and burnout for sustainable results at a sustainable pace

  • Elevate¬†your pricing to reflect the value you can confidently deliver to your clients

  • Simplify your own business model and service delivery with proven turnkey service offerings that can generate multi-6+ figures, without the endless hustle and grind¬†

  • Differentiate yourself from a sea of other¬†Project Managers and Ops¬†Managers¬†by becoming uniquely skilled in leading projects and teams in a dynamic entrepreneurial small business¬†

  • Easily step into a variety of roles small business owners are searching for, from Project Manager to Operations Manager to Business Manager, etc.

Who the Certification and Licensing is For

ePM certification and licensing is exclusively for those with existing project management or operational management experience including:

  • Fractional COOs, CSOs, CMOs, DOOs, & Chiefs of Staff¬†seeking to deepen their project management expertise and add a credibility boost with a certification
  • Consultants and Advisors¬†who want to¬†differentiate as true¬†strategic planning experts
  • Agency Owners¬†wanting to¬†train and certify their teams and license¬†proven strategic planning solutions for added revenue streams and improved client management
  • EAs, OBMs, PMs, Ops Managers¬†ready to expand their skillset and learn how to better¬†lead projects and teams to successful outcomes in a fast-paced and ever-changing small business environment
  • Corporate Operational Managers¬†pivoting to the entrepreneurial world
The ePM Certification is ideal for those focused on partnering with small businesses (those generating under $50M revenue and with less than 100 employees) or with funded start ups.

Q4 Cohort Timeline

Sept 9th

6pm - 7pm ET

Sept 13th

10am - 6pm ET

Sept - Jan

Mondays, 6pm - 7pm ET

Jan 13th

6pm - 7pm ET

Click Here to Download the Full Q4 Cohort Schedule

Join Our Q4 Cohort

Get Beta Pricing - 1st 15 People Only










Regular investment starts at $3,500 to become a certified ePM and license the full Lean Strategic Planning System in your business... but lucky for you, we're kicking off a beta round of the certification so you can get full licensing for $1000 off that when you join now!

Your Investment as a Beta Partner?

Far Less Than The Value of Gaining Only 1 New Retainer Client

Most Flexible

$650 / mo



Best Value




Hi, I'm Crista Grasso, Founder of Strategic Ops Institute and Lean Out Method

Here is a little about my story related to project management and why I created the Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ framework.

I started my professional career as a project manager, then program manager, leading large-scale programs for Fortune 500 companies while simultaneously working with entrepreneurial small businesses.

I advanced quickly and went on to lead global PMOs (Project Management Offices), hiring, training, and mentoring hundreds of project and program managers and PMO managers across multiple countries.

From there, I went on to become a world-renowned lean and agile transformation consultant who has completely transformed the way multi-billion dollar companies and their teams work and achieve their strategic objectives.

I found that I consistently had success in places others struggled, regardless of the company I was with.  

This led to always being in-demand with an endless stream of companies trying to hire me. I've had companies create custom roles for me and creatively find budget to bring me in.

I have landed multiple 6-figure and multi-6 figure contracts from nothing more than a text message or a meet and greet with a C-Suite executive.

At first I didn't realize just how different my experience was from others, but over the years I have had so many people ask that I have done a lot of reflection and broken it down to 2 core things:

1. I am relentless and won't stop until I figure out a way to make something successful.
It's helped me establish a great and trusted reputation and it's how I have built, grown, and scaled 8 of my own businesses and done the same for thousands of others over these past 30 years.

2. This is the big differentiator: I follow a more common-sense approach to project management and operations.  Although I am certified in and deeply understand alllll the frameworks (traditional, scrum, kanban, lean six sigma, SAFe, etc.), I was never dogmatic about them in the businesses I worked with. 

I could quickly assess what specific teams, programs, portfolios, or entire companies, needed to be successful given their context, vision, and goals.  I would rightsize and align the right frameworks and approaches based on their unique needs.

And I always kept things lean because I found most businesses made things so much more complex than was needed, and this made things not only take longer, cost more, and increase risk, but it made them so much harder to sustain.

What was surprising to me was that when I worked with entrepreneurial small businesses, many of them were following the overly complex and wildly outdated approaches that came out of the big businesses... and they didn't even realize it.

Small businesses often fell into one of two extremes - dramatically under-planning, or dramatically over-planning for the size and scale of their business and team dynamic. 

In both cases, they were keeping themselves from the results that they wanted.

Over the decades, I developed my own signature framework which I call Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ to align with the unique and very dynamic needs of a small business.¬†

Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ is a proven and highly effective planning and goal achievement system that balances structure with flexibility designed specifically for scaling small businesses who need much more than a personal productivity system but much less than¬†the overly complex, time and resource intensive, and restrictive planning systems used by most large-scale organizations.

When you become a certified Entrepreneurial Project Manager (ePM), you will learn and be licensed to use the¬†Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ framework and will understand how to adapt it to be exactly what the businesses you work with need¬†to¬†make their unique vision¬†+ goals reality.


Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ helps¬†businesses cut through noise, distractions, and competing priorities so¬†they¬†can achieve¬†their biggest goals and create a scalable, profitable, and sustainably successful business.

The ePM Certification and Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ framework are designed to equip you to help a small business to successfully scale and bring their vision to life.

It is so much more than simply project management. You will be the strategy and operations leader who creates the critical bridge between strategy and execution in the businesses you support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ready to Get Started? APPLY NOW

Here's the Details of What's Included

Live 1-Day Intensive Training Workshop

Following a kick off call where we introduce you to the ePM Certification and provide training and homework on what you'll need for the 1-day intensive, we meet for a full virtual day together where we deep dive into the Lean Strategic Planning‚ĄĘ framework.¬†

You'll leave with an understanding of the core skills and strategies needed to be successful as an ePM and you'll put what you learn into action by building a 90-day strategic plan for the next quarter which you will lead as part of your capstone project.   

4 Months of Weekly Trainings and Support Calls

Following the 1-day intensive, you will get 4 months of weekly support calls.  Calls kick off with a 15-30 minute training focused on key elements of each of the 4 pillars. The call is then open for Q&A so you can get situational support as you implement each of the strategies and experience challenges or roadblocks as you lead your 90-day plan.

Between calls, you have access to a private ePM community so you can get the support you need when you need it throughout the certification process. 

Implementation Toolkits, Playbooks, & Content

One of the things that makes this training and certification so comprehensive and able to be quickly integrated into your services are the implementation toolkits, turnkey playbooks, and on-demand training modules, checklists, templates, and more that you can pull from whenever you need it.

You have access to absolutely everything you need to plug this into any business and adapt it to their unique needs, goals, and team size. Content is drip released each week to complement the training covered in the weekly support call.

Workshop to Package and Sell Your ePM Services

There are numerous ways to integrate lean strategic planning‚ĄĘ into your business and your service offerings, whether you fill the role of PM or simplify want to add strategic planning to what you already do.

In this interactive 3-hour workshop, we explore the most successful ways to package, price, and sell your ePM services and workshop through what it will look like for your business.

90-Day Capstone Project & Case Study

We carefully crafted a capstone project that serves double duty - it helps you develop mastery by repeatedly implementing what you've learned and it helps you turn your results into a case study to sell your services. 

You'll develop a 90-day strategic plan for at least 1 business, whether it be your own or a client's. You'll then spend the next 90 days leading that business and their team to the achievement of their goals and financial targets while navigating the complexities and challenges faced along the way.

The ePM certification is not just about knowledge, it's about mastery, so your capstone is a required part of achieving your certification.

Certification Exam

The final step in achieving your ePM Certification and being able to fully license the Lean Strategic Planning system for use with your clients is to pass the exam (score of 80% or higher) which tests your knowledge as well as how you would handle specific situations. 

Licensing and 1 Year of Continued Support

Once you've achieved your ePM Certification, you'll be able to fully license the Lean Strategic Planning framework with your clients.  You will maintain your certification and licensing for a full year, at which time an annual renewal will be required for continued certification and licensing.

Here's everything that's included: monthly support calls for certified ePMs, listing in our Lean Strategic Planning Expert directory, matching services (beginning in 2025), 1 year membership in Right-Hand Revolution Community, continued access to the online portal of trainings and templates including updates.


Ready to Become an In-Demand and Indispensable ePM?

ePM is the ONLY project management certification designed for those working with small scaling businesses

Designed by a PM Expert for PM Experts