A while ago we talked about some of the project management skills PMs were adding to their toolbox (which-project-management-skills-should-i-be-learning-right-now). If you’re interested in developing new expertise or talents but are having a tough time figuring out where to go for more information, we have some tips to help get you started.
Within in your Project Team. Even if you aren’t one for formal mentoring, it might be prudent to identify a professional within your organization that has a skill you want to develop. Talk with them one-on-one to see if you can learn from them by partnering on a project, watching them in action, or perhaps taking them out to lunch so you can pick their brain. For departments where training budgets are non-existent, the price of a meal could get you access to some serious knowledge.
Through an industry organization. PMs already footing the bill for membership in a professionals’ group should investigate the organization’s educational offerings. Options range from learning general business operations to courses focused on a narrow topic, and participants may get the option for hands-on training or intern-type partnerships. More of these associations are starting to offer webinars in addition to traditional face-to-face seminars and workshops, so check out what’s available.
From a consultant. Depending on their area of expertise and exposure to the types of projects you’re seeking, an external consultancy may be able to help you hone specific skills or gain greater insight into a particular area of project management. Look for certified trainers with experience providing instruction to professionals at your level, within your industry, or on the size or complexity of projects you hope to manage. Consider joining forces with others in your Project Team to get the best bang for your training buck and improve your team’s overall expertise at the same time.