Continuing education is crucial in the project management sector. Best practices are always evolving, new thought leadership is always emerging, and PMO teams are always tackling projects that require new skills and expertise. Unfortunately, project management training isn’t always at the top of the priority list.
There are many reasons PMP®s may not chase down every available training opportunity. Today’s project teams are stretched thin, with most juggling workloads that don’t allow much time away from the office for continuing education. In addition, budgets continue to be lean, affording very little chance to participate in the kind of training that would benefit most team members.
Surprisingly, PMP®s themselves are sometimes the reason training isn’t more aggressively pursued. If your team members aren’t taking advantage of all the educational avenues open to them, see if one of these underlying factors may be the culprit.
Seasoned pro syndrome. As their own skill sets grow in scope and depth, some senior-level PMP®s may eschew educational opportunities out of the belief they have little or nothing to gain from structured learning. Of course, this is far from the truth. In reality, well-crafted training has the potential to offer new insights into difficult project management challenges and can help participants bolster their more advanced skills no matter their experience level. Instructors often have niche expertise that’s difficult to find within the average project office, giving even very senior professionals the ability to learn something new. To ensure every seasoned PMP®’s time is well used, potential training opportunities should be carefully matched against the disciplines and skills each professional wants to develop.
Newbie notions. Many would assume junior-level project team members are the most eager for training, but there are those newbies who are actually hesitant to pursue outside learning opportunities. The reason? A misguided notion that on-the-job training is sufficient and renders traditional educational courses largely unnecessary. But even with the stellar mentoring and real-time knowledge transfer that happens in most PMOs, conventional training is far from irrelevant. External instructors have developed expertise that may not be available within the project office. Another benefit resides in the ability to network with other PMP®s in an educational setting, where newbies have a chance to learn about real-world challenges not typically faced by their current team.
Technology devotions. Getting a gadget hound into a traditional learning environment can be supremely difficult. Some are under the impression that in-person courses are simply too time consuming and costly to justify, while others aren’t sure they can find the level of training they desire anywhere but online. Neither are actually the case, of course. Good training is available in every region of the country. It’s also possible to find excellent instructors willing to cater their courses to your organization’s specific location and topic needs. Working with other project professionals in a classroom setting can also be helpful in developing good teamwork, communication, and negotiation skills.
Traditionalist determinations. Though classroom learning is still an excellent resource, webinars and other online offerings are also first-class options when it comes to training. Unfortunately, PMP®s with traditionalist views may not subscribe to that line of thinking. It’s a perspective that significantly trims the field of available training avenues and may eliminate many learning opportunities that would otherwise be a perfect fit in terms of topic scope and trainer experience. One solution that may ease traditionalists’ concerns is a framework that incorporates a live trainer with video feeds connecting participants from various locations. It’s an option that takes advantage of the benefits technology has to offer without eliminating the interactive aspect of training that many PMP®s enjoy.