I asked Paul Naybour, Business Development Director at Parallel Project Training, what makes Parallel different to other training providers; how delivering training has changed in recent years and what customers expect from a training course.
A full transcript of this video is given below.
Parallel Project Training is all about opening up training to the people who couldn’t access it before. We do that by using lots of modern media so that people can learn in much more effective ways. For example, putting material on iTunes, making podcasts, publishing books – a few years ago if you wanted to do a project management training course it would involve 5 days in a class room and would cost you the thick end of £2,000. Whereas nowadays we give people the option to decide how to access that learning and at what cost.
What topics Do You Cover?
We do all of project management really – we do all levels of APM, PMI and PRINCE2 training so those resources are available for people to access as and when they wish to use them. People love the fact that they can listen to the programs on the train, or they can study at home from a book when they wish to.
Who Are Your Clients?
We have some really good clients such as the National Trust, who have some fascinating projects upgrading listed buildings and grade 1 scheduled monument. Network Rail who are a really good client of ours; they have some big changes underway that we are helping them with. Also The Prince’s Foundation for the built environment, which is Prince Charles’ charity, parts of the Ministry of Defence, Essex County Council and lots of other organisations.
What Do Your Customers Want From Your Courses?
Companies are quite often looking for the capability to deliver successful projects and you get that by working very closely with them in a partnership. So understanding their culture and designing courses that really improve particular topics in their organisation; so things they specifically need.
Individuals want to progress their career so they are quite often looking for more certification and qualification based training.
So you have both sets really…
The National Trust for instance is trying to put in a consistent framework that they say will save them £30m a year.
Whereas Network Rail, for instance, is going through a huge change programme and project management is vital for that. Parts of the MOD want to get more mature and more consistent in their delivery so we are helping them with that. Understanding exactly what the need is for each client is really, really important.
Has the way you deliver training changed?
Yes! The way we deliver training has dramatically changed – all the online resources: video, audio, e-learning, publishing books is all a lot easier than it used to be and all those modern learning resources people find much more accessible nowadays; so it has changed a huge amount. And also we originally thought that distance-learning would not be quite as good as a proper classroom course but actually we have found the opposite. The people who study via e-learning by themselves do better in the assessments and better in the exams because they have put their own time into the course and they have engaged in the material as well rather than being force fed it.
What is the Key Element That Parallel Project Training Can Offer a Business?
The key thing that we can offer a business is that we can, using cost-effective ways, improve your ability to deliver successful projects without taking people out of work and putting them in a classroom for a lengthy amount of time.