What We Still Get Wrong About PM Education...And How to Get It Right
In the sixty-or-so years since the advent of project management, there’s been a lot done in terms of education, training and skill development in the field. You would think we’d be getting it right by now. Or that we’d at least be getting it more right than wrong. In my considered view, we’d be mistaken if we thought that were true.
Part of the challenge in all of this is how we think about the problem. I very deliberately used “education, training and skills development” rather than just one term in the last paragraph. Each of those concepts is different. And while I normally don’t get pedantic enough to ruminate over dictionary definitions in these columns, in this case I’m going to make an exception. There is nuance here that’s incredibly important, so bear with me. I promise not to make a habit of it.
Let’s tackle training first. Merriam-Webster (my usual weapon of choice in such debates) tells us that to train means teaching to “make fit, qualified or proficient.” It “forms by instruction, discipline or drill” so as to “make prepared for a test of skill.” That’s a bit of a different concept than educating. Here, we get a definition that acknowledges training (“to train by formal instruction…”) but very quickly qualifies this with an addition of &
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