Key skill sets, best practices, available technology tools, and project management thought leadership are constantly advancing. To keep pace, PMP®s must make ongoing training a top priority. Unfortunately, too many project teams unknowingly undermine their educational endeavors and spend training dollars (and their time) inefficiently.
If you want to be sure your team is getting the most out of every course and lesson, see if your Project Team has fallen prey to these 6 mistakes.
1 – PMP®s take classes that are convenient and affordable, but not necessarily a good fit for their specific needs. While the pressure to maintain training levels and to keep credentials current can be significant, PMP®s would do better to seek out educational opportunities that genuinely speak to the requirements of their project office’s workload and requirements, rather than settle for whichever course is available.
2 – New hires are sent to training before they have a chance to become familiar with the environment in their new Project Team. Because they may not yet have a good understanding of the challenges they’re likely to encounter in their new job, they could miss out on scenario training that would give them skills and insight they could apply almost immediately. That near-term feedback loop is essential for many learners.
3 – PMP®s don’t provide the team with a review of the class. It may be mean extra work, but giving the team even a cursory synopsis of completed training courses means getting the absolute most out of every educational opportunity. There are two primary downsides to skipping the review step. First, if the training was fantastic, other team members may not know how much it could boost their knowledge. Also, if the training was mediocre (or worse), there’s a good chance other PMP®s in the group will simply recognize the course as one already taken by a teammate and—without realizing it isn’t worth the time or money—they’ll sign up for it, too. Both mean that scarce training resources aren’t being put to good use.
4 – PMP®s continue to incorporate all those bad habits they developed originally. Almost anyone who has stumbled through a task prior to attending formal training—whether it’s using a new software program or applying unfamiliar project control methodologies—probably picked up some poor practices along the way. Most instruction is designed to not only impart knowledge but also to correct these bad habits. But eliminating inefficient routines requires diligence and can be very difficult when other issues are vying for attention. Project teams need to be mindful that they don’t lapse back into all those bad habits once training is completed.
5 – Participants don’t ask questions if they get lost. Whether it’s a desire to avoid potential embarrassment or simple inattention, too many PMP®s don’t raise their hand and ask for help if they become confused by the course material. Sometimes it’s nothing more than an unfamiliarity with the terms or acronyms the instructor is using, but regardless of the cause it’s a surefire way to lessen your learning experience. The solution? Get over it and ask for guidance.
6 – They don’t take advantage of follow-on offerings. Training courses increasingly include additional components, such as webinars that examine real-world scenarios based on current events or student-provided examples, or post-class workbooks designed to help participants ensure they’ve been able to retain their newly acquired knowledge. When PMP®s miss out on these extra learning opportunities—typically due to a busy schedule but sometimes because they simply aren’t motivated to pursue non-traditional training—they run a greater risk of losing some of the information taught in the original cla