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How to Provide Excellent Project Management Training
By Michelle Symonds

The majority of organizations and businesses these days will seek to provide project managers with sufficient training at the beginning of their employment, and at several different points throughout, in order to ensure they are completely up to date with current methods and technology. This training helps enable the project manager to become better at their job and so this type of training is not only highly beneficial to the person receiving it, but it is an investment for the company.

Here are a few tips to help you provide an excellent project management training program:

  • Understand your course

    If you’ve invested in an external project management training course for your staff, you should make sure you fully understand the course content yourself so that you know exactly what your staff are learning and how to help them use those skills when they complete their period of study. If you’re planning an onsite course based on your own project management training and experience, you’ll want to brainstorm and discuss (with other managers) which skills you want your trainees to learn and which of those are top priority.

  • Give your learners a way to use their new skills

    Before you plan your program you’ll want to make sure your learners will first and foremost be learning skills they will be utilizing in their job role and secondly, ensure those skills can be put into practice with almost immediate effect. Learners are more likely to remember the skills they were able to apply to their project almost immediately after their training.

  • Use all the different styles of teaching

    People learn in several different ways and it’s important you incorporate training that matches all those styles so you know you’re reaching everyone in your group. Try to use verbal explanations, slideshows, role play and other forms of explanation to ensure a dynamic learning schedule is used. If one form of explanation does not appear to be working try to be flexible and explain it in a completely different way. For example; if you’ve drawn a diagram of key methodologies and don’t seem to be getting any feedback from your group, try using a discussion format or role play in order to get your group enthused about the information they are gaining.

  • Always encourage communication

    Right from the beginning of your project management training you’ll want to explain to your trainees firstly why the training actually matters and secondly, explain what their training will include. You’ll want to clearly define the objectives of the process all the way through the course and reminding participants of these objectives will encourage them to stay focused throughout.

    Provide communication training that enables delegates to learn vital skills like: how to successfully approach uncertainty and doubt and why it’s important not to make assumptions about a project. Learning when it’s better to schedule a one-to-one rather than using email, and learning to seek the truth from situations rather than make assumptions about people or listen to hearsay. A little cultural training is also beneficial because cultural sensitivity is so important in today’s multi-cultural workplace. And remember that effective project management training leading to a recognized PM qualification can help you advance your career.

Michelle Symonds is a qualified PRINCE2 Project Manager and believes that the right project management training can transform a good project manager into a great project manager and is essential for a successful outcome to any project.

There is a wide range of formal and informal training courses now available that include online learning and podcasts as well as more traditional classroom courses from organizations such as Parallel Project Training.

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