VIE WPOIN TS
A well-trained project management workforce gives your organization an edge
in today’s competitive environment.
BY ROBERTO TOLEDO, MBA, PMP, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
When an organization decides to embrace project management as a core competency, a comprehensive, enterprise-wide training effort should be the very first step. In fact,
this training should occur before even beginning to think
about the development of a project management methodology or the creation of a project management office (PMO).
In my experience as a project management trainer and
consultant, I have seen many organizations embark on
large-scale efforts to develop project management procedures or implement robust PMOs—only to see them fail.
Why? The people responsible for using and implementing the tools were not well-trained. Or worse, they were
not fully aware of the benefits a structured approach to
project management would provide for them and their
These training efforts are often not as efficient as they
could be. This is mainly due to two common mistakes: A
lack of standardization (which will not produce a common
language) or, conversely, too much standardization (which
doesn’t differentiate between the roles and the level of
involvement teams should have on projects).
Here are some tips for designing an organization-wide project management training effort:
1. Don’t let team members receive training that doesn’t
match the organization’s approach to project management. Even though most training is somewhat aligned
with A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) standards, you cannot guarantee
consistency for a true common language. Agree upon a
concerted training effort up-front.
2. By no means use a one-size-fits-all approach. People in
the organization have various roles on a project, such as
sponsors, program managers, project managers, subject
matter experts and team members. Carefully tailor the
training for each one of these roles, addressing specific
knowledge, skills and challenges each will face.
3. Project managers are not the only ones who should
receive training. If possible, everybody in the organization should have at least basic preparation. Eventually,
most of an organization’s employees will reach a certain
level of project participation.
4. Use project management training as a way to enhance
employees’ skills and knowledge, and as a vehicle to communicate the benefits of standardized project management
tools and techniques to the individual and the organization.
In general, team members want to do a good job and help
their company succeed—but they also want to know what’s
in it for them.
5. Link the newly acquired skills with new responsibilities
and a carefully designed career path. When team members and project managers see opportunities or rewards
beyond their current position, they are more likely to
embrace new knowledge and skills to foster their professional development.
Many organizations brag that human resources are their
most important assets. But only the really smart ones properly
invest in training those assets. PM
Roberto Toledo, MBA, PMP, is managing
partner of Alpha PM Consulting. Reach
him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on
Twitter at @robertoledo.