E-learning is a fancy buzzword for educational courses delivered over the Internet. Through a combination of interactive text, graphics and video, e-learning courses provide employees with essential IT and other job-related skills for a fraction of the cost of traditional courses.
Failure to learn from mistakes–and from each other–can cost organizations dearly. Learning and adapting are hallmarks of good project management and of functioning organizations. Making mistakes is not a problem–it’s how we learn.
When considering the many e-learning options for project management training, there are eight best-practice principles — from active feedback to job context — to look for in the selection process. Here is a checklist of key questions for e-learning providers.
There are not a lot of presentations that actively engage the advanced project manager. If only there was course that dealt with a project management topic from an advanced perspective, one that allowed for real application with course attendees…something like a PM game!
In project work, widely accepted fallacies continue to squeeze out effective practice, often by executive edict. Above all, the favored “operations management” approach trivializes the complexity and uncertainty of most projects, creating self-inflicted problems that seriously undermine performance.
For project professionals seeking to build their skill sets and expand their career opportunities, there is an array of project management degrees and certifications, featuring flexible scheduling and experienced faculty. Here is an updated selection.
It seems ironic, but this practitioner wonders if the process of creating a curriculum and multiple choice-based testing procedure leads to an over-simplification of the subject matter and inhibits learning. Maybe it is the process of creating a credential or people’s inbuilt desire to simplify ideas, but we seem to have lost practical project management guidance on dealing with uncertainty.
Widely used project control methods often require more maintenance than the systems (and the people) they are intended to control. The pursuit of control becomes more burden than value facilitator. But on real-world projects, independent agents act in ways no closed-loop or anticipatory control mechanism could predict — and often for the better.
Nowhere does project portfolio management play a more important role than in government. Government IT departments are under constant scrutiny from county budget officials, watchdog groups and citizens to ensure that the money spent on IT is well spent. Here, we take a look at a Project Management Officer’s implementation of project portfolio management for her county.
First and foremost, project planning must be practical. Here are some insights from an old timer who has learned about practical project planning and management. These insights are presented in two parts. The first set pertained to project planning, while this second set focuses on the project management process.
When it comes to a person’s career, every individual is responsible for their own learning and development. The best way to take responsibility is to build your own learning culture. Here are four steps to help you get started.
The concept of double-loop learning exemplified by the Mobius strip can be a great model for encouraging transformational improvements by challenging key assumptions and strategies. Combining agile practices and a dose of courage, learn how double-loop learning can help your organization respond more effectively to change and thrive in the marketplace.
Fact is, most organizations want professionally certified project managers, never mind whether certification actually prepares anyone for the hard realities and fuzzy ambiguities most projects encounter. Of course, once the certified project manager is on board, something more than perfect recall of multiple-choice answers is required. And a huge dose of ‘unlearning’ begins.
We hear a lot today about the importance of project managers understanding the business reasoning for projects, but there isn’t anywhere near as much written about how PMs can gain that knowledge and understanding. Here we take a look at helping PMs to learn and appreciate the strategic elements of projects.
Most people have heard of the term “learning organization.” However, do we know what it has to offer project planning management? Before a proper discussion of how it can be employed throughout the project process groups, we must first discuss the five components that form LO.
Few would argue against continuous training of team members, but many fail to consider how that training will ultimately benefit the organization. By creating an overall L&D strategy, you can maximize your training efforts and see better business results than you may have thought possible.
First and foremost, project planning must be practical. Here are some insights from an old timer who has learned about practical project planning and management. These insights are presented in two parts. The first set pertains to project planning while the second set focuses on the project management process.
As project management matures and individual professionals take on larger efforts, change management skills become vital because leading people will only become more important. How can you overcome resistance, inertia and other worthy opponents?
PMI needs your help to test a new, immersive online learning tool! Your feedback will help PMI tailor this new tool to help learners quickly gain experience applicable to real-world project management challenges. Volunteers will complete an online assessment, work through 16 hours of activity, and provide feedback on the experience…
There’s no question that project professionals are busy. With people to manage, deadlines to meet and constant decisions to be made, project professionals spend most of their time focusing on the more pressing demands of day-to-day work. This article discusses how project managers can stay on top of trends and embrace new approaches. First, it examines the role complacency plays with project professionals and how organizational leaders need to encourage experienced project managers to incorporate new techniques and create a culture that welcomes innovation. It then identifies one of the main factors that stunts development in seasoned project professionals. The article explains how an environment that encourages learning should have a top-down approach, where project managers know that the culture supports taking the time to try new approaches.
When it comes to our projects, we don’t try to get better. Even when we claim otherwise, the sad truth is that we keep making the same mistakes over and over again. Even when change is within our power to influence, we don’t make the modifications necessary to improve. And this writer can prove it…
The project management office (PMO) of a municipality in the Middle East started investigating ways to make project managers practice and implement methodologies and techniques of project management. The challenge is to present project management (as a science) in an innovative way that grasps the attention of those project managers. The PMO conducted extensive research to identify new training methods and decided to provide a training course that is centered on a game simulating a real-life project.
Are we doomed to a life of insanity? In exploring the challenges that underlie the learning problem, we first need to understand why as organizations we most commonly fail to learn from our projects.
In the beginning, everyone in the small company did his or her part of the job and shared problems and results at the end of day. I was hired to bring about changes in the company and make it more structured and efficient while it was expanding. Joining as a project manager for this company, and one of only a small number of employees, I remember renovating and innovating at the speed of light, whereas on some days, our efforts to improve “continually” just didn’t seem to bear enough fruit.
We set out to learn the project management body of knowledge before learning that our projects’ communities are more knowledgeable and capable of guiding us than our earlier indoctrination acknowledged. And that our notions of what it means to play the project management game need some situated experience and a lot of unlearning before they do us much good. Then we start inventing games that work better for us than following the old rules ever did.
Determining the costs of a project is no longer as simple as figuring out what you’ll pay for parts and labor. For today’s complex businesses, the bottom line is often difficult to draw. Here’s how to make ROI calculations and cost/benefit analysis as easy as A-B-C.
For effective process capabilities to work, there needs to be an ongoing refinement to respond to the needs of the organization. We can make those updates in a vacuum, or we can update the process based upon what is genuinely working or not working. But how do you evaluate this?
Is your organization still training in a classroom? While there’s something to be said for handing out information through traditional means, take a look at just-in-time organizational learning for training that means a little more.
Most project managers are introduced to a way of seeing projects that is more reductive than holistic — more focused on work breakdown than flow and value creation; more metrics-measured than self-regulating. In Part Two of the series, the author explains why an emphasis on inputs, outputs and certain processes might hinder performance and, ultimately, project value.
However you might define project control, you should question its purpose before attempting to accomplish it. Otherwise, you may default to a control strategy poorly matched to your intentions and your project’s purpose. There’s considerable evidence that individuals, not managers, PMOs or progress reports, exert the most meaningful control over successful projects, and that external controls compromise this inherent capability.
Learning should never stop, but you can’t get all of your knowledge from books. In order to be a successful project manager, you have to be able to learn from other project managers. Get help forging your own path.
There are many reasons why learning and development departments are vital for organizational success and development. Learning is directly connected to employee performance metrics; it helps people progress in their careers—and the company to move forward faster.
We like to think we can impart some wisdom into people new to our profession, but we also have opportunities to learn from them. We have to try and look at how we execute projects in our organization through the lens of that new PM–and be prepared to question even the most fundamental part of that approach.
There are many convenient training opportunities now online. In addition, your organization might be creating its own. Make sure you are getting good training by checking for these best practices. In the previous article, we looked at evaluation criteria for e-learning, based on the best practices identified in the past few years. The issue we are dealing with is how to know that your team is getting its money’s worth when individuals utilize e-learning or distance education is some way.
Can projects managers better serve their teams and achieve more valuable results by not getting involved in task-level planning? Yes, because the real-time judgment of those who are executing the tasks will probably be more constructive and insightful than a detailed plan created before work even began. It’s not abandoning the plan, but using it more as hypothesis than directive.
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