Build Project Management Skills through a Training Plan

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Successful project management requires two main elements. First your organization must have aligned processes to help projects to be successful. This includes project management, portfolio management, financial processes, HR processes, etc. Second, project managers need the skills to proactively manage projects.
If your organization has good processes and the staff is well skilled, you will find you have a powerful combination for success.
Training (skill building) must be considered holistically. It doesn't make sense to just start teaching classes. Project management is a very broad field. There are dozens of classes that can be offered, in many different formats and delivery modes. A Training Plan will help set the overall context for training. A Training Plan includes the following.
  • The scope of training. An early and fundamental decision to make is the scope of your training effort. The project managers will be the primary focus. However, there are other stakeholders as well. You need to decide what, if anything, you will target to project managers, team members, functional managers, clients and external partners. 
  • Training needs. You should assess the skill levels of the organization within the overall scope that was determined earlier. Project managers will need practitioner-level training. Team members and customers might just need an overview. Managers might need executive level training. 
  • Specific classes. Now that you have determined the scope of training and the training needs, the Training Plan describes the specific classes to offer and the the order of the classes.
  • Development. Determine how classes will be developed, or perhaps whether you will rely on pre-built vendor classes.
  • Delivery. Discuss how the content will be delivered. This could be using internal staff or training vendors.
  • Mode. There are many ways that training can be delivered. This could include instructor lead, e-classes, webinars, books, magazines, etc.
  • Coaching. Coaching is less structured, and usually involves describing or demonstrating how project management techniques can assist. Coaching is usually targeted. For instance, you can coach a project manager on how to complete a Project Charter, or how to respond to certain situations the project manager is facing on the project.
  • Costs. Estimate the costs for the training plan you have developed. Training can be relatively expensive, or it does not need to cost anything at all. There are all sorts of options at all types of price points.  
  • Success criteria. Describe how you will ensure the training is successful.
  • Metrics. Describe how you will measure the effectiveness of training and what success looks like from a numbers perspective.
The Training Plan is where the overall training model is defined. You then need to execute the plan to ensure the staff actually receives the agreed learning.
Source:Tenstep

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