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What Project Management Training Is All About

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 11th July 2013

Effective project management training, or indeed any type of professional  training offers many benefits to the employee and the employer; but many employees consider it a chore that has to be done and that they have no choice but to undertake a particular course either because their employer expects it or because all of their colleagues have already taken the course, or are about to, and they don’t want to get left behind.
But training should never be viewed as a negative process because apart from the obvious fact that you will gain a qualification afterwards (hopefully) there are many other benefits for the individual.
Training results in more confident project managers who have an increased awareness of risk and who know the correct procedures to follow in the event of a risk occurring. What’s more, they feel valued and have peace of mind knowing that they are developing their career as a project manager and so are more likely to retain their jobs in tough economic times.
Certainly, a happy employee makes for a more productive worker so they will return to bosses the benefits of time and effort they’ve invested in them in a training program which secures their future at work.

But training courses come in all different shapes and sizes and levels of quality; we have probably all at some point been unfortunate enough to attend a course where we sat watching power point presentations for hours while the trainer just recited what was written on the screen. Afterwards, many will have no idea what they were meant to learn because their brain had switched off shortly after the session began.
Such training courses are surely a waste of time and money; project management training should certainly not be about simply ticking the boxes out of sheer obligation. The aim should always be about receiving and understanding real-life information which will help your career prospects, help you in your day-to-day working life, lead to more successful projects and, of course, this will lead to greater success for your organisation.
Research show that a worryingly high percentage of projects could have been prevented from failing with more experienced and better trained project managers and project team members. Avoiding project failure and ensuring success is clearly in everyone’s best interest and employees should always feel comfortable about approaching their managers and sharing concerns so that obvious risks can be highlighted and resolved at the earliest opportunity.
Good interaction between a trainer and delegates is all important in training sessions, which can be made interesting and fun with the use of real-life scenarios that have relevance to the particular group being taught. Of course, true relevance can only be achieved on a bespoke course tailored for any given organisation and this is not always within the budget of a small company. But an experienced training provider such as Parallel Project Training always offers options of different trainers, training materials and scenarios to make public courses as relevant as possible to the delegates
Here are 4 aspects of a  project management training program that you should check to ensure it will be both high quality and entertaining:

  • Relevance to those called to the training session. Whilst the training must of course be cost-effective for the employer, he must ensure that the training providers are reputable, well-experienced and come up with a suitable training package to meet the needs of those taking part. Training on site is also more preferable as it’s more convenient and workers tend to feel more comfortable in a familiar environment.

The employees must be able to relate to the content of the course and see it was relevant to their own jobs. It should be tailored-made for their activities. If it’s not, they will simply switch off and fail to learn.

  • Make it engaging. A trainer who drones on endlessly in parrot-fashion will lose his audience. Fortunately, excellent instructors at Parallel all understand the importance of engaging their audience and encouraging them to interact with one another, take part and share their experiences. Practical, hands on training is fun and productive.
  • Trainer Techniques. Employers should ask trainers for information about their preferred training approach and find out about the techniques they use to deliver project management training.
  • Motivational Activities. Successful training approaches should include things like motivational games, interactive demonstrations, role-play scenarios, inter-team challenges and, always a favourite, competitions.

Any one or combination of the above PM training techniques can help to engage project management course participants and hold their attention throughout. You’d be surprised how motivated employees can become when a competitive element is introduced.

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