Project Management 2.0

New technologies, concepts, and Web 2.0 tools are popping up everywhere. How can you use them to help your project team collaborate, communicate - or just give your project an extra boost? [Contact Dave]

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ROI - In house Project Management Training

Categories: Advice, Training

Situation: Your Company Needs to Invest More in Project Management Training

My last posting "Does Formal Training Matter", generated a lot of discussion and a really great solution from one of our members, Michael Stanleigh.  It was good enough that I felt I had to share it with you. Another member had just asked how he measured training effectiveness...

"I have the participants bring their projects into the workshop. Commonly these are projects that are already underway, sometimes they're in trouble. As they learn how to scope it, form the team, develop the WBS, assess risk, etc. in the workshop, they apply the learning directly to their projects. I follow-up with them afterwards, managing any questions or concerns. In every case they have said that as a result of the training they got their projects completed within their constraints. Problems projects have been brought right on track. "

Some organizations have preferred to use generic project case studies. I still do the follow-ups to see how they have applied this knowledge to their actual projects. In every case they have said that they have measurably improved project performance. That is, they are managing them within their constraints of time, cost and resources. 

In some instances I have gone in and completed an audit on their project and then helped to implement the recommendations. In one recent case, the project was significant in that if they didn't complete it on time the company thought they may not survive. It was beyond crisis mode. However, the audit got to the root causes of the problems and our coaching got it right back on track. It has been an enormous success for them.
By Michael Stanleigh

Would this approach work for you?  Why or why not?

Posted on: August 20, 2013 12:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Does Formal PM Training Matter?

Categories: Training

Situation: You are considering investments in PM training. 

With the way the economy has been over the past few years, companies have generally scaled back their investments in PM training. They often emphasize on the job training with eers or just rely on lower cost options - at times even just hiring more experienced help at the same or lower pay.

According to a new study released by ESI Internationalentitled The Global State of the PMO: An Analysis for 2013, project managers are being trained in fewer skills compared to 2012—by as much as 20%. It was found, however, that organizations committed to applying training on the job and measuring its impact on job performance deliver projects on-time and to-budget more often than organizations without training adoption in place.

Here are a few metrics and commentary from the study

Methodology and Tools Training:

  • In 2013, 62% of workers who report up to a PMO said they receive training in using methodology and tools. That is a decrease from 75% in 2012.

  • Less than half (47%) of non-PMO managed workers received methodology and tool training in 2013, down from 68% in 2012.

Soft Skills Project Training:

  • A very low 30% of PMO-managed workers said they receive soft skills training (e.g., leadership, critical thinking, team building) down from 41% in 2012.

  • Only 22% of non-PMO managed workers received soft skills training in 2013, compared with 35% in 2012.

“While these training numbers reveal a decline in project-focused training, the survey  underscores the importance of training and its direct correlation to project success,” said Ward. The study found that 56% of respondents who are part of PMOs that are active in measuring training impact and learning sustainment said more than 75% of projects were delivered on time, to budget, within scope and to customer expectations. That number plummets to 39% for those whose PMOs are not active in either."

What's the situation at your company? Have they cut back on training?  If so, has it made a huge difference in people's performance?

Posted on: August 15, 2013 11:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

Positive ROI from a Project Management Conference?

Situation: You're on the hunt for great PM learning deals.

The bright spots in this economy are coming in the form of great deals from leading providers.  Two weeks ago, I told you about ESI’s awesome $500K scholarship program for unemployed PMs where they are giving away enough training to get hundreds of folks certified at zero cost.

This week I’d like to call your attention to the MS Project Conference
  • For a limited time, the whole conference is $699
  • You can mark down 32 PDUs for this conference (formal classroom sessions are commonly $1500 for this # of PDUs. PMI’s Global Congress costs $1,125 in advance, $1370 on site for a similar 3 day PDU opportunity).
  • You get MS Office Project Pro 2010 for free with the conference (a gift from Project Management Practice Inc. and Keystone Learning Systems).  As we all know, this is a VALUABLE piece of software.
  • You’ll get free online training (again from Project Management Practice Inc. and Keystone Learning Systems), which costs $395 List

Think of it this way.  If you are planning to upgrade your MS Project software anyway, you might as well buy it here and improve your skills for free.  However you think about it, it’s a great deal.

In the interest of disclosure, Microsoft is one of our advertisers and we are sponsoring this conference.  However, this is (of course) something I’d write about either way.
Posted on: August 06, 2009 09:46 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

PM Training - Why?

Categories: Advice, Training

Situation: You are thinking about a PM training buy.

This morning I had an email exchange with one of our members, Dan Fitzpatrick (who sells PM training).  Dan said some nice things about gantthead and asked,

"I want to do the best possible job with providing clients solutions that will provide them solid results with our great programs. What would you recommend salespeople in pm know to better understand companies training needs?"

My response was:


New PMs really need:
- practical ground level techniques, basic skills, opportunities for experience. The kind of stuff you find in Rita M's Crash Course book.

New PMs end up getting certification training because the PMP is a door opener.

New PMs rarely worry about PM certs other than the PMP, whether they are other PMI certs or ones issued by various training firms. Everything is a harder sell than a PMP.


Companies generally buy group training when:
- times are good
- they have a quality-driven requirement that all PMs are certified PMPs.
- they are under stress (not historically meeting deadlines, cost overruns, projects not meeting objectives, etc.)
- have some sort of board-driven program related to compliance underway.

Companies need group training when:
- they want to get everyone speaking the same language and adopting the same general approach to managing projects.

The reason I make the buy versus need distinction above related to group training is that training isn't going to solve quality problems or other PM issues. The experience people get over time trying to apply PM approaches makes them (slowly) better. If they all see those approaches through a similar lense, it makes it easier to learn from each other's experiences over time.

I could be way off base, but those are my impressions from talking to training buyers over time.  What do you think?
Posted on: January 09, 2009 09:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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