By Tania Melnyczuk
To some extent, the rationale behind the requirement to use Microsoft Project well also determines the best route to fulfilling that requirement. Do you want help right now, or is becoming an expert user part of a longer-term career move? Or do you want better overall planning and reporting in your organisation?
1. Getting help with a specific project right now
You may want help with a specific project, right now. In fact, this would be the best way of learning. You’d make with maximum connections in your learning, and greatly enhance your ability to make contextual decisions, because you will be learning how to take real needs and use your best thinking for solving problems. Consultative Tutoring in Microsoft Project can make a significant diffence.
2. Becoming a professional project planner, project scheduler or project engineer—or simply a better project manager
If learning Microsoft Project is part of a career move, my advice is simple: do the PCP. Over many years, I’ve seen a workplace demand for people who not only have a certificate from Microsoft, but who have mastered the use of Microsoft Project real projects. Some of these people are project managers, whereas others are professional project schedulers.
International competency standards for Project Management, such as the PMCDF, emphasise the importance of scheduling. But most degrees, diplomas and certificates in Project Management do not require candidates to truly master project scheduling in order to earn their credential. As a result, graduates of these courses tend to make career moves unequipped for what lies ahead.
3. Implementing Microsoft Project in the organisation
This is where we help organisations manage their risk.
The most common fallacy about Microsoft Project can be summed up in this sentence: “Send someone on a Microsoft Project course and our projects will go better.”
When we view Project Management as an organisational discipline, we begin to realise that implementing Microsoft Project is part of implementing Project Management.
Training people to use Microsoft Project without linking the endeavour to strategic considerations, becomes expensive and ineffective. I’m not talking about making this into a bigger thing than it needs to be. It just needs to be done step by step, with the bigger picture and the end in mind. There has to be a significant return on the investment!