Some people say that good project managers are born, not made. That is partly true as project management requires well-developed soft skills, including intelligence, tenacity, and attention to detail. These are difficult to teach with project management training. But any project management professional needs more than just soft skills. They also need technical skills in project management.
Taking certifications in project management, such as Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, is one way to get trained. But certification is not the only way to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills. Other project management courses are widely available, some of which require very little investment.
Project management training and mental health
One important factor to consider when looking at different training options is the potential effect on the individual members of staff. Some will enjoy the level of dedication, concentration, and application demanded by PMP training. Others may not be able to cope with the resulting stress. This is particularly the case for staff who react badly to the stress of examinations. You could significantly damage a project management professional’s career by forcing them to take PMP certification training if they have issues with taking exams. Looking after your staff’s mental health is just as important as providing them with appropriate project management training.
Different approaches to project management training
Thankfully there are plenty of project management courses that won’t subject your staff to too much pressure. These will all provide training in how to do project management, using a range of different training techniques. A quick search shows that there are over 5,000 different courses available on how to manage projects. The majority of these are delivered online. Most of the rest are classroom-based, with a very small number of one-to-one training courses.
The recent expansion of online project management training has revolutionized how training is delivered. Most of these online project management training courses allow the students to learn at their own pace, with multiple-choice tests to check their understanding. Some online courses are full time, particularly those that result in higher-level qualifications. These are essentially distance learning variants of traditional classroom-based project management training courses from academic institutions. Some of these also offer one-to-one online tutor support to students.
Different levels of learning
Some of the project management training providers offer a structured level of diplomas, where each build on the level of skills learned at the previous level. This is based on the theory behind Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, where skills are learned at different levels. Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchical classification of the different levels of thinking which can be applied when creating learning objectives for different project management training offerings. These are brief statements that describe what students will be expected to learn by the end of the course.
Getting a basic knowledge of the subject is the first stage of learning. This provides the foundation for all subsequent development of skills and abilities. Structured project management training schemes such as diplomas take the students through the stages of comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The idea is that students move up through each level of this pyramid in Bloom’s taxonomy, starting from very basic learning to acquiring deeper knowledge on a subject, with each level crucial to the development of the next.
Project management training courses can apply Bloom’s taxonomy by asking questions and delivering assignments that directly correlate with specific learning objectives in each stage of the process. For example, using multiple-choice questions can help establish the students’ basic understanding and remembering of a subject, whereas asking a student to come up with a comparison or analogy is more appropriate when entering the application or analysis stage of learning.
There are thousands of different training courses available for learning how to manage projects. Selecting which is most appropriate for your organization can be a challenge. Using free project management training courses can seem an easy option, but they still require a time investment. A good approach is to build a long list of potential courses that suit your chosen methodology. It would help if you then narrowed this down to a shortlist of no more than 3 possible options, each of which is then considered in mode detail. Depending on your project team’s size, it may be feasible to try out each of your shortlisted courses. In reality, you will never truly know the effectiveness of any training course until the learning has been applied in a real-life situation. So make your choice wisely.