Project Management Training: 5-Days Out Of The Office?

Paul Naybour

During the past decade project management has undergone a transformation with through greater codification and formal certification. This certification and been based on the Association for Project Management (APM), Prince2TM and Project Management Institute (PMI) under taken by seemingly ever increasing number of organisations and individuals. With over half a million members of the PMI, 250,000 Prince2 Practitioners and 17,500 members of the APM, the world has seen a rapid growth in project management certification, much of it in the last ten years.
Traditionally this certification has been delivered as five days in a hotel with an exam on a Friday. Is this really the best way of developing project managers, or was it organised this way for the convenience of the training organisation and the HR department?
The weaknesses of the current 5-day project management training paradigm.
Project Managers are inherently activists, they learn by doing, so to remove them from a project for five days to develop new skills, always creates an artificial environment. Learning cannot be applied to the work place in bite size pieces. Putting the exam at the end of the course creates the pressure to focus on passing the test and not learning new skills. Some enlightened organisations recognised this limitation and committed to slightly longer modular programmes of two times 3 days or even 3 times 2 days. This at least gave time for individuals to apply what they were learning as they went. However in the tougher economic times organisations are beginning to challenge the paradigm of a week out of the office to pass a qualification. The challenge now is how to cover the wide range of project management topics in less time without reducing the quality of the learning.
Innovation has the solution
As with many such challenges technical innovation has the solution. Learning does not have to be done in the classroom. We can learn in many ways, through on the job exercise, reading books listening to the radio, playing on the computer. All the learner needs is access to the right material to help and guide the learning process. This needs to be available in a wide range of media to suit the learning style and approach of the individual. This is what is offered by the Parallel Learning System.
Parallel Learning System
The Parallel Learning System provides a wide range of learning activities including to a study guide printed as a book, e-learning, podcasts and workshops. Each can be used individually or as a combined approach to learning. Each element is widely available, the book and e-learning are easily purchased from Amazon and the podcasts can be downloaded free of charge from the web or iTunes. This whole approach means that the workshops can focus on skills development and preparing for the exam.
Click here for more information on innovative approaches to project management training.

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