During my time as a Project Management Consultant, several clients have approached me about the value of doing formal project management training.
Training can be of immense value, but I do ask people to really think about what they are hoping to achieve, to ensure they get the best results for their staff.
For example, I personally believe that if a company is using a software package such as Microsoft Project to maintain project plans and review key milestones, then training for this kind of software is essential. I have in my career seen some plans that leave a lot to be desired and can create more work and confusion if not used properly. So I always recommend some training in project planning software before embarking on any planning activities. However project management training for burgeoning project managers would be of more value once they have started to manage a project or two.. indeed (i) the questions students come up with would be more relevant and (ii) this would enable them to apply any learnings directly to situations that arise during their working day. In fact I have found using an experienced Business Management trainer with a good solid knowledge of project management is a good starting point to introduce people to project management skills and then in a year or so, those students who have really embraced running projects and all the challenges they bring, might be in a position to gain some accreditation by sitting a Prince 2 or PMI examination.
The next point I usually make is that whilst there are some great training packages out there, be mindful of what training they provide. Alot of these training approaches, tell you what to do as a Project Manager, but not how. So for example, Prince 2 will tell you that you need to manage risk, and gives some guidance on how to does this, but doesn’t go into great detail… so other management tools may need to be approached to address this. This is where I have provided support by providing some tools and templates to project team members on, for example, how to perform a risk analysis for a key project without spending days analysing the results! And how to best present these data to key stakeholders and senior management.
However for the experienced project manager, passing an exam in formal project management training is a great way to be able to demonstrate their standard of learning and ability, and certainly now, more and more companies are looking for Project Managers with experience that can be demonstrated by having achieved a Prince 2 or PMI certificate. Customers are also keen that project management services provided by technical service providers (e.g. drug manufacturers) are properly resourced and that project managers are suitably experienced.
So the answer is Yes! Project Management training is very important! But my recommendation is that you tailor training to your needs, rather than trying a one size fits all.
If you need any advice on project management training, please contact Hanna at Dickenson Consulting Ltd.
Successful project management depends not only on what you do, but on how you do it. A project manager’s attitudes and behaviours toward people affect how they respond. The ten tips here can help you win people’s support. So why not read on ?
- Be a “Why” Person: Look for the reasons behind requests and actions. Understanding why helps you make sure you respond appropriately to team members, senior managers and all other project audiences (which in turn , increases people’s motivation and buy in).
- Be a “Can Do” Person: Look at all problems as challenges, and do everything you can to find ways to overcome them. Be creative, flexible and tenacious.
- Think in detail: Be thorough. If you don’t think through your project’s issues, who will? The more clearly you describe your intended results, the more easily people can recognise the benefits associated with your project. Also the more clearly you define your intended work, the more often people will ask important and insightful questions. Clarify leads to increased personal motivation and reduced chances of mistakes.
- Assume cautiously: Take the time to find out the facts, use assumptions only as a last resort. With every assumption comes a risk that you’re wrong. The fewer assumptions you make, the more confidence you can have in your plan.
- View people as allies, not adversaries: Focus on common goals, not individual agendas. Making people feel comfortable encourages brainstorming, creative thinking and the willingness to try new ideas, all of which are essential to managing a successful project.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say: Tell people what you want them to know, what you want them to do and what you’ll do form them. Don’t leave these details up to their imaginatons. Being vague increases the chances for misunderstandings and mistakes.
- Respect other people: Focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses. In each person on your team, find a qualit that you can respect. People work harder and enjoy their work more when they’re around others who appreciate them and their efforts.
- Acknowledge good performance: When someone does something good, tell them, tell their boss, tell other team members and tell their peers that you appreciate their efforts and its results. Recognising good performance confirms to a person the accuracy and value of their work; your praise tells a person that you appreciate their efforts, which motivates them to work with you and other team members on future projects. Be sure to provide feedback promptly, don’t wait weeks or months before recognising someone for their hard work.
- Be a manager and a leader: Attend to people as well as to information, processes and systems. Create and share your vision and excitement with your team members, but dont forget to share a sense of order and efficiency too. Encourage people to strive for outstanding results and provide the guidance and support to help them achieve those results.
Hanna has just successfully completed a fantastic ITOL (Institute of Training and Occupational Learning) approved Brain Friendly Training course with Stellar Learning. This was a fabulous learning experience and has really opened our eyes on how to successfully engage and teach people new principles/concepts/ways of working. We can’t wait to use these new skills in our next training project! Click on the brain below to learn more.