Many of the benefits of project training are obvious and straightforward. Individuals expand their skill sets and the PMO gains the ability to take on additional types of projects. But the upsides to supporting a strong ongoing instruction program run deeper than that. If your team hasn’t yet made training a priority for its members, consider these additional perks that make the cost/benefit analysis even more compelling.
1 – Newfound knowledge is often shared.
One great byproduct of a solid training session is that attendees usually return to the office eager to share their new skills and expertise with others on the project team. This is a benefit in a couple of ways. One, it provides for a good mentoring opportunity that brings the team together. In addition, it also ends up improving the knowledgebase of the entire group in the longer term. Even those who didn’t attend the training can often add to their skill set and go into new projects with increased confidence.
2 – PMP®s look for opportunities to try out new skills.
A team member who may have shied away from tackling a tough challenge a month ago is often more willing to take on new tasks after attending training. The reason is simple: where they might not have felt they had the skills to succeed previously, an engaging training session can kick their lack of confidence to the door and instill in them a new vigor and inclination to stretch themselves toward more difficult disciplines. Armed with new knowledge, your team will be more inclined to consider those projects of greater complexity that were outside its comfort zone before.
3 – Teamwork skills get a boost, too.
Many robust project training sessions entail some sort of team exercise, whether it’s breaking into focus groups to take on a specific challenge or scenario-based lessons that bring attendees together to problem-solve against a particular issue. No matter the format, this focus on teamwork carries over into the project office. Team members are better able to partner with others in the PMO on difficult problems and they’re also more likely to ask for help from a seasoned colleague when faced with a challenge that’s outside their expertise. This translates into a team that’s more effective at working together to execute projects.
4 – Your PMP®s will become better trainers themselves.
Though they may not realize it, a PMP® adds to their own skills as a potential instructor every time they attend training. They get to experience different techniques with each new lesson, seeing first-hand what they like and what they don’t like. They will quickly identify the class formats and activities that resonate with them and it’s also likely they’ll know which types of instruction styles cause participants to disengage. As PMOs increasingly see the benefits of internal training, even if it’s only occasional, those PMP®s who have been exposed to a variety of learning environments will be a natural fit for the role of instructor.
5 – Justifying the training budget becomes easier.
With the lean funding that’s typically allocated to many project offices, winning budget approval for training programs can sometimes be a struggle. But when the team’s education proves to be a benefit to the organization—by broadening the PMO’s project portfolio, by implementing more cost-effective project management practices, by executing difficult projects on time and within budget, etc.—those requests for funding are likely to find broader support. And as the PMO racks up additional successes that can be tied back to its participation in an ongoing education program, the justification for future training requests is even more compelling.