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Real World Project Management
Network:24

I'm gathering PM Pro opinions on the disconnect between what you learn about PM in school or training and what it's like in the real world. What are the biggest differences/misconceptions that you've seen between what you're taught and what you actually do?
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Network:1654



I did not understand what you mean by "school" (sorry because English is not my first language). But you posted a very interesting question. I performed conferences and performed courses around the world sustaining: each person in this world performs project management from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. When it has to be done inside organizations the only thing that differ is the level of formality. To achieve some level of formality then organizations have to be adhere (if they want that) to some model. Here is where you can find PMI, IPMA, GPM or methods like PRINCE2. It is so simple than that. But people is not aware of that in most of the cases.
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1 reply by Mike Raia
May 09, 2018 10:10 AM
Mike Raia
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Sergio, sorry I should have been more clear. By "school" I simply mean project management training you received in preparation for your role as a project manager. I'll update my question. Thank you for your response!
Network:24

May 09, 2018 10:05 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
I did not understand what you mean by "school" (sorry because English is not my first language). But you posted a very interesting question. I performed conferences and performed courses around the world sustaining: each person in this world performs project management from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed. When it has to be done inside organizations the only thing that differ is the level of formality. To achieve some level of formality then organizations have to be adhere (if they want that) to some model. Here is where you can find PMI, IPMA, GPM or methods like PRINCE2. It is so simple than that. But people is not aware of that in most of the cases.
Sergio, sorry I should have been more clear. By "school" I simply mean project management training you received in preparation for your role as a project manager. I'll update my question. Thank you for your response!
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
May 09, 2018 10:31 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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No problem Mike, thank you very much. So, I sustain my previous comment. Just to add the following: when you need some level of formality I think you need to understand that if you follow some approach (PMI, IPMA, etc) they provide guidelines about recognized best practices but what to use depends on the current situation, specific the current enterprise architecture. For example, we used Solution Selling selling method to work with requirements elicitation.
Network:485



I think it is a complexity of the real project and how many things must be managed in parallel. In a training you learn about processes, tools, techniques and everything is presented in a way for you to understand and learn one by one. But in real world everything is often happening in parallel. E.g. you manage your team, you deal with stakeholders, manage risks, manage plan... in one day you may encounter issues in several areas and you cannot say ok, let’s wait a minute, let me spent two days just dealing with the team and after I’m done I’ll look at the risks.
Network:1654



May 09, 2018 10:10 AM
Replying to Mike Raia
...
Sergio, sorry I should have been more clear. By "school" I simply mean project management training you received in preparation for your role as a project manager. I'll update my question. Thank you for your response!
No problem Mike, thank you very much. So, I sustain my previous comment. Just to add the following: when you need some level of formality I think you need to understand that if you follow some approach (PMI, IPMA, etc) they provide guidelines about recognized best practices but what to use depends on the current situation, specific the current enterprise architecture. For example, we used Solution Selling selling method to work with requirements elicitation.
Network:785



The classes I've taken in school have been more academic, pardon the pun. They covered the nuts and bolts, but there was rarely a feel for practical application, and in some cases it wasn't helpful. For example, I've never used COCOMO II or Function Points outside of the classroom. Estimating outside of the classroom is a lot more art than science until you have more hard data to work with, later in the project.

The training classes I've been to have been more practical and hands on; we'll see if that holds true next week. I'm going to a two day class on change management; I'm hoping it balances theory with practical application. You can never tell by the syllabus.
Network:100974



The training provides you with the theoretical side of the project management proccesess while real life experience provides you with the practical side and how to apply those procceses in real life.

Without real life exoerience, training doesn’t add lots of value.
Network:604



I think the biggest differences between what is taught and what the 'real world' is like how politics plays a significant role in project success.
Network:1058



Mike -

The biggest gaps I perceive in most PM courses are:

1. They present the "happy path" when you almost never encounter that in the real world
2. They don't delve deep enough into tailoring of what you've learned to fit the context of your project

Kiron
Network:261



Mike -

I think one of the major gaps, is the influence the organizational structure and PMO play in managing projects. If "Upper" management & PMO managers aren't knowledgeable in newer techniques/approaches and applications to make proper management "easier"/ more effective that can lead to quicker disengagement from the PM's.
Network:507



Training is more theoretical, while in practice managing project is a more complex task wherein a lot of things are happening simultaneously. PM has to manage lot of tasks in parallel whilst ensuring all of those activities are done on time with less noise.
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