The first 5 steps for training Project Management that works at work

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STEP 1 Understand that Project Management is an organisational discipline

Although some of the tools, methods and techniques of Project Management can be applied by individuals in their personal projects, Project Management is actually an organisational discipline.

Why it’s important to understand this

If you want projects to run better in your organisation, you’ll need to change the way in which some things are run in the organisation, not just in one person’s office. This is true regardless of whether it’s a big multinational or a small family business operating from home.

Sending one or more key staff members (or even the Top Dog!) on a syllabus-based course will not miraculously result in the changes necessary in the organisation. Changes must be made carefully, together, learning as you work, with a shared understanding of the reasons for doing things that way.

We know the pitfalls. We can help you.

STEP 2 Engage senior management

We don’t really like the expression ‘to get buy-in’. People often use it cynically when they need support for an initiative from people who frustrate them. For Project Management to work, you need a different kind of involvement from senior management, more than mere ‘buy-in’. Change must come with understanding, and senior management will have to lead that change.

We know this isn’t easy. We can help.

STEP 3 Set a goal for the training

This is where things become very specific to you and your organisation, depending on where you are right now and what risks you need to manage.

This example shows how your initial goal could differ from the goals of others in a similar situation.

Scenario

Let’s say you want to tender for a project that could take your company to the next level. You know you will need help planning your submission and understanding how to run things if you do get the deal. Your initial training goal could be one or more of these:

To understand what it would take to run such a project with your current team, and where you could run into trouble if you decide to take it on.

To produce a high-level Work Breakdown Structure and Network Diagram as a basis for estimating the time and resources needed for the project.

To determine the steps needed to create and maintain accurate reports of the project’s status, in such a way that everyone knows what’s happening, and how to respond when things start looking risky.

To understand what it would take to manage more than one such project at the same time.

To start getting everyone in your team into the habit of telling each other what’s really going on.

Setting a goal for the training is difficult if you don’t know what it would take to reach the goal. If you insist that you want all of the above in a half-day workshop next Tuesday, we’ll help you trim your list of requirements, or suggest a longer engagement! In short, we help you define the goal, taking into account your available time and money, your team’s prior knowledge, and so on.

STEP 4 Train accordingly

Based on the agreed approach, we quote, prepare and train to meet that goal. Our preparation often involves engaging with the people who will be trained (e.g. by means of customised questionnaires). We get consensus in advance of what would define ‘success’. Training may take a variety of forms, from one-to-one tutoring to workshops, online discussions or blended learning. In some cases, an intensive public workshop or part-time online course may be the most cost-effective way of reaching your first-step goal.

STEP 5 Evaluate and decide

Let’s say that we agreed from the onset that meeting your long-term goals would take more than just achieving your first goal. If so, we’d now need to get consensus that your first goal has actually been achieved, and possibly make some changes to the plan before we move on together with further steps.

Contact us to get started.