Is training in Project Management really worth it?

A look at three ways to upskill in Project Management
12 Feb 2019

Is training in Project Management really worth it?

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Alright…so, you’ve been browsing PM for some time now.

Perhaps um-ing and arh-ing about which project management course, if any, you could or should do to better position yourself at work, or in your career.

Maybe you want to increase your salary potential? Or perhaps, you’d like to apply for a new job? Or, it could be something your manager has suggested – even demanded – as a necessary KPI for your current role?

Regardless of the motive, the question you keep coming back to is; is project management training really worth it for me?

Especially when there’s an overwhelming amount of information, tools and resources available online.

Furthermore, much of this information is either free or has free options.

So, the question/s remain:

  • should I, or shouldn’t I get formal training in project management?
  • or can I just use software to help me with my current project/s?
  • do I have any other options to help me with my project management?

The answers?

1.It depends. 2. Yes. 3. And yes!

Should I get formal training?

This answer really depends on your personal motivations and current needs for upskilling your project management ability.

However, we will say, that Australia alone, in 2018, almost a million self-employed Australians worked on a freelance or project basis rather than in permanent jobs.

And even those in permanent roles are now required to deliver products, services and outcomes using a formal project management framework. Simply ‘knife-and-forking’ your way through the project until the money/time runs out is just no longer acceptable.

Project-based work is increasing

In fact, by 2027, the Project Management Institute predicts 574,399 roles in Australia and 87.7 million globally will be project-based.

The overwhelming evidence is that project based work in the very-much-present gig economy is only going to increase.

So, the sooner you invest in your project management knowledge, skills and credentials, the better!

However, there are different ways you can upskill in project management, and naturally, this will vary depending on your specific needs.

To help you in your decision making, we’ve summarised three ways you can get ahead of the game when it comes to project management and position yourself for greater success.

1.   Use online software

Here, we’re referring to software you can use to administer, control and monitor all the different aspects of your project in an accessible and centralised system.

Online software will help you with project activities like planning, task scheduling and allocation, collaboration, reporting, budgeting and issues management – and keep all of this in the one place.

What we recommend

Using project management software is very useful for everyone working on projects.

However, we’d recommend that software is complementary and that you have a level of competency first.

Regardless, PM tools are handy when you are:

  • managing a project involving a team of more than two people. This is because they provide accessibility and centralisation of communications which is the cornerstone of any successful project.
  • up against time. If your projects are taking place in real-time, getting one of these on board as quickly as possible is important to ensure that you don’t skip a beat.
  • needing to demonstrate progress to management or stakeholders. Most of these tools provide great data visualisations and easy-to-digest snapshots that can shared easily.

There are a number of tools out there for you to choose from, such as Microsoft Project, Smartsheet, Wrike, Open Plan Professional, Primavera, Principal Toolbox, Monday, Asana, and many, many more…

So we recommend doing some research and choosing one that suits your project/organisation.

Many of these software applications also integrate with other popular business tools and apps such as Tableau, Salesforce, JIRA and Slack so you can easily import existing data and have them work together seamlessly with your existing suite of business systems.

First, a word of warning!!!

Regardless of which tool you go with: none of these will do the thinking for you! It’s ‘rubbish in, rubbish out’.

You will need to engage with your stakeholders, negotiate, collaborate and think through the best approach for your projects.

Once you’ve done this, you can then enter the details into your PM tool of choice.

This is where knowledge and skills in project management are essential – and why formal project management training is always a wise investment.

2.   Learn online (via unaccredited online courses)

E-learning enables access to educational and upskilling opportunities for millions more people than face-to-face learning, and is available instantly for ‘just in time’ learning.

This method of education is fantastic for those of us who don’t live in a place where our preferred face-to-face course is offered.

What we recommend

We think online learning is perfect for when you know that you need to learn more about project management but aren’t ready to commit to participating in a formal certification, like a BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management.

When choosing a course, make sure you check the credentials of the group offering it and understand the requirements, pre-requisites, and target industry (if any) of the course. This is so you can self-manage this amongst your life and work activities.

Naturally, some people have greater flexibility to attend formal training than others; and project managers are notoriously time-poor creatures.

A bit aout Ecademy

We offer a subscription-based online learning platform called Ecademy 

It offers over 12 hours of video content, packaged into roughly 5 minute video bites and aligned with the national (AIPM) and international (PMI / PMBoK Guide and IPMA ICB4) standards for project management.

As used by the University of Sydney to teach students from the Bachelor of Project Management right through to the Masters of Project Management degrees, Ecademy videos offer clear and practical explanations of industry-standard project management concepts, processes, tools and techniques.

Accessible any time, from anywhere, on any device, Ecademy is perfect for learning on the go, enabling you to squeeze your professional development into the time it takes to commute to work or wait for a morning cuppa.

A unique feature of Ecademy is that it also offers you a pathway to becoming fully qualified as a project manager by achieving the nationally recognised BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management with the support of a personal online assessor.

Click here for more information on how the online BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management works.

Ecadamy offers an annual subscription priced at $99 (which is less than the average PM textbook).

Once subscribed, the site will give you immediate access to all existing videos plus new premium content.

This includes thins like panel discussions with industry practitioners and experts. We upload these regularly throughout the year.

3.   Gain a formal qualification in project management

Regardless of the industry you work in, this type of training is a game-changing career move.

Anyone can claim to have the leadership and organizational skills of a project manager, but formal qualifications and certifications are the hard evidence that employers and recruiters look for.

Employers also value PM credentials because formally trained project managers tend to have a more sophisticated approach to leading projects from inception through to completion across different methodologies.

In Australia, the nationally recognised vocational qualification for project managers is the BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management (a testament of knowledge).

Ideally, this is accompanied by professional certification with the Australian Institute of Project Management (a testament of current experience).

About our formal training in project management

Whether you choose to study online or face-to-face, formal training will be a valuable addition to your credentials as a project manager, program manager or team leader.

The BSB51415 Diploma of Project Management is our flagship professional development program.

It’s endorsed by the Australian Institute of Project Management. In addition, successful completion of this program results in your automatic AIPM Certification as a Certified Practicing Project Professional.

This prestigious combination of qualification and certification entitles you to the post-nominals “DPM CPPP”.

It also distinguishes you as a project management professional with the knowledge and skills required to give your projects the best possible shot at success.

This comprehensive course involves not only learning new knowledge and skills but applying what you have learned on a real, work-based project. It also involves support and feedback from a personal assessor, dedicated to you.

Who is this course for?

The course is suited to practising project and program managers from any industry, sector or technical background.

And the good news is that you don’t need to have any prior training or education in project management to enrol in this course (as long as you’re working on projects, or are currently between projects).

With 2-4 intakes per year, the course involves 6 days of face-to-face training. It’s delivered through two 3-day blocks in Sydney, spaced over several months. Also with ongoing support from a personal assessor, and complimentary 12-months access to Ecademy.

Conclusion

We can say with confidence, that training in project management is not only worth it, but essential, considering how our world of work is shaping up.

However, how you choose to upskill yourself in project management is a matter of preference, depending on your position, project complexity, time constraints and competing activities.

 

Got any questions or feedback? Get in touch with us at info@elemental-projects.com.au

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