Are you looking for project manager training options? Or are you searching how to advance your PM career? If yes, you are certainly reading the right post! As in this post, we aim to provide you with an overview of the project manager training options to advance your PM career. The dynamic nature of the market poses a lot of challenges for project managers. So project managers have to upgrade their skills to overcome these dynamic challenges.
For instance, time management is a critical skill that every project manager must have. Therefore, PMs must improve their time management skills by using time management techniques, attending time management training programs or by using other project management tools. For instance, attending in a Microsoft Project Training will improve your planning skills.
The project managers always strive to improve their skills so that they can remain the market champions. In addition to this, the organizations also look for the advancement of their employees which also includes project managers. As project managers are the ones who play a vital role in leading the projects to success, therefore it is of paramount importance that they plan their training and development properly.
Project managers’ desire to enhance their skill set which is also recognized globally. This can be achieved through certification courses, as well as various training programs. The interesting point for the certifications is that they always emphasize on the training. Some of these formal trainings are demanded as prerequisites to appear in the certification exams. In addition to this, these trainings contribute to the continuation of the certifications. So they are required to sustain the certifications. In short, it will correct to say that the training programs are must for the project managers at all stages.
Project Management Certification Training Options
Project managers’ first target should be to acquire pertinent certification. They should choose the certification path according to their future goals which will lead them to their career advancement with recognized skills. So if you are a project aspirant, your first aim should be to get the accreditation. There are a variety of project management certifications available in the market. Some of the top-rated certifications include:
- PMI PMP
- PMI ACP
- Agile Scrum Master
- Scrum Product Owner
Each certification demand trainings as a prerequisite to apply for the examination. So your certifications and training need to be aligned. Many project managers even acquire more that one certification to broaden the horizon of opportunities. This helps them not only to switch the jobs but to become the best candidate for a variety of projects.
Project Management Certification Training
The certification serves as the foundation of a career. It serves as the boot camp of career advancement. It ensures that the basic platform is ready to boost your career. There are a variety of training programs being offered for the project management aspirants. If you are also looking to achieve this milestone, you can look for training options in this regard. Many training providers offer a variety of mechanisms to provide the training. You can look for the following training formats as per your priorities. These formats include:
- Classroom Training
- Virtual Classroom Training
- Online Training
These trainings are great events that prepare you for the certifications.
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Project Management Talent
What comes after these certification programs? The project management credentials require project managers to acquire Professional Development Units (PDUs) to cover the continuing cycle requirements to maintain the accreditation. Therefore project managers have to keep up the pace by looking for further training programs.
It is of paramount importance for the project managers to stay abreast in their skills. The demanding dynamics of the environment requires project managers to keep up the learning pace in line with technology advancement.
PMI Talent Triangle
In order to understand the training requirements, you need to refer to standards that are suggested in the talent skill set. You can easily assess yourself in regards to these skill sets and identify which are the critical areas you need to focus on. In other words, by looking at these talent skills sets you can identify the gaps in yours. These gaps reflect the training requirements you need to address to bring your talent set with the global standards.
The below diagrams depicts PMI Talent Triangle that highlights the core areas of project management talents. These core areas are highlighted as three sides of the triangle. The triangle reflects the relationship of these areas with each other. In order to acquire the complete skill set, you need to address these three core areas.
The project managers should focus on their advancement in line with these specified areas. Because their advancement should cover their talent gaps in the pertinent areas. If you consider these skills as your target then you are set on the road to success.
Technical Project Management
Project managers need to have a very good foundation of technical aspects that are required to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close the projects. While executing the projects in each of the key process areas, project managers need to have very good knowledge of skills and tools. These skills and PM tools help the project managers to stay focused while foreseeing future aspects during the project life cycle. PMI Skills triangle highlights these technical skills for the project managers:
- Agile Practices
- Data Gathering and Modeling
- Earned Value Management
- Governance (Project, Program, Portfolio)
- Life cycle Management
- Performance Management
- Requirements management
- Risk Management
- Schedule Management
- Scope Management
- Time, Budget and Cost Estimation
Strategic and Business Management
Many large enterprises have management functions. Which include:
- Project Management
- Program Management
- Project Management
- Portfolio Management
These management functions streamline the transformation of organizational strategies into projects. Therefore these are important roles within the organizations. They ensure that the projects, programs, and portfolios are well aligned with the overall business strategies. Once the strategies are translated and mapped into a project, project managers play a vital role to take the projects to successful completion. Hence it is essential for the project manager to understand the business models as well as the business environment.
Following are the key areas that are enlisted in the PMI triangle:
- Benefits management and realization
- Business Acumen
- Business Models and Structures
- Competitive Analysis
- Customer Relationship
- Industry Knowledge and Standards
- Legal and Regulatory Compliance
- Market Awareness
- Operations Functions
- Strategic Planning, analysis and alignment
The management roles are posed to bring clarity from the chaotic big picture of the environmental dynamics. Many times project managers need to identify different alternatives. Based on these alternatives, they have to choose the best possible way which will minimize the risk of failure. So the project team must opt for the best alternatives. This means that project managers need to influence others while managing conflicts or difference of opinions.
- Coaching and mentoring
- Conflict Management
- Interpersonal Skills
- Problem Solving
- Team Building
Project Manager Training Options
There are a variety of projects due to the varying nature of project work. To handle these projects, project managers need to understand different ways of managing these projects. Therefore, project managers must have a good grip on project management methodologies. You must learn these methodologies to compare, choose and apply the best fit methodology for your project.
In order to have a good understanding of which methodologies are the right fit for your project, you can refer to Stacey’s model. The following diagrams depict Stacey’s Model of Complexity.
From this model, it is clear that the simple region reflects the low uncertainty of requirements and low uncertainty of technical aspects require linear approaches whereas, for complex and complicated nature of projects, adaptive approaches are most suitable.
Project Manager Training Option #1 – Waterfall PM Training
Waterfall comes under the umbrella of linear approaches. Waterfall is a well-recognized methodology. In a waterfall model, each phase must be completed before the next phase can begin and there is no overlapping in the phases.
Waterfall model has several advantages. The most prominent one is that a schedule can be set with deadlines for each stage of development. Since the requirements are pretty much clarified at the initial phases, therefore, the detailed estimation can be performed while planning. Likewise, engagement of resources can be well planned for the execution of the project. For example, Civil Construction projects are well handled by these methodologies where the detail of work is identified earlier, design documents are prepared and approved. Based on the approvals the next phase is initiated.
The following diagram depicts the different phases of the classical waterfall model.
The most important factor to view is the flow of phases like water which is moving downward. That means, that phases are sequential. You move to the next phase only after completion of the current phase. Therefore project managers define stringent criteria to verify and declare the completion of each phase. Therefore the concept of stage gates is vital in the waterfall model. Each phase acceptance is a critical milestone.
You can customize the phases. In each phase, you can have Work Breakdown Structures which may be defined as per your need. However, the purpose of these Work Breakdown Structures is to align and update the stakeholders on the overall road map of the project. Likewise, the progress updates are maintained and disseminated to all the project stakeholders.
List of Trainings
You can easily find the appropriate training on the internet. A lot of training providers keep these training as part of their core offering programs. You can acquire the training for Waterfall Methodology to grasp the traits that are required to conduct such large projects. Such projects emphasis on many aspects that includes the following:
- Detailed Requirement Analysis
- Extensive Change Management Process
- Extensive Monitoring and Control due to a long time of the projects
- Risk Management
- Team Management
- Extensive Documentation
- Extensive Process Definitions
- Goal Setting for each phase
- Detailed Scheduling
- Detailed Work Break Down Structures
Under this umbrella, you can easily find training. These trainings fall in the certification, and software training programs:
- PMP PMI ( e.g. you can check the best PMP exam prep programs)
- Prince 2
- MS Project Training
Project Manager Training Option #2 – Agile PM Training
The second option is to look for Agile project management trainings that are available in the market. For complex and complicated nature of projects, adaptive approaches are the most suitable. The Agile approach come under the umbrella of adaptive methodologies.
Recently the Agile PM has become a high demand for project management. There are multiple reasons for this demand. First of all, it is problematic to foresee problems that will arise during the implementation of projects. Secondly, the requirements are not static, they keep on changing due to the market dynamics.
Agile Values and Advantages
Scrum is one of the popular methodologies that follow the core values and principles of the Agile manifesto.
There are a lot of advantages you can get through the Agile methodology. Teams deliver project work in small iterations. These iterations are also termed as sprints. These small iterations enable the teams to deliver a small part of working functionality. The team picks the functionality on the basis of prioritization. This results in the delivery of most value adding features first. Therefore there is a quick and continuous value addition to the customer.
Also, the customer can chalk out the features for upcoming sprints. That means that the stakeholders do not have to wait for a very long time in which the market dynamics could have changed and affected the requirements. The incremental delivery system shortens the time to market, also results in higher revenue. Each completed backlog represents a new release of the product. Furthermore, the changes are incorporated as early as possible. Likewise, the team does not have to wait for a long time to get the customer feedback to align for the future sprints.
List of Trainings
Under the umbrella of adaptive approaches, you can easily find trainings. These trainings fall in the certification, and software training programs.
- PMI ACP
- Scrum Framework
- Agile Scrum Master
- Scrum Product Owner
- Version One
Project Manager Training Option #3 – Soft Skill PM Training
It is important to note that simply knowing the technical aspects as well as learning the methodologies is not sufficient. Soft skills are also vital for project managers to be successful. These soft skills are helpful throughout the project. They are great tools whichever methodology or technology a project manager is working with.
Especially larger teams and more projects mean more people to manage. Hence project managers are in dire need to adopt effective soft skills. These soft skills will enable them to apply their other skill set on the project. These skills will not help you to be an effective project manager only, these are also the foundation to advance on the management positions.
Many trainings are available relevant to soft skill and these trainings do not require you to be a project manager. Generally, there are no prerequisites of these trainings. Therefore you can opt for these trainings during your professional career at any stage. You can even start these foundation trainings prior to your certifications. You can avail such trainings which can help you earn professional development units (PDUs).
List of Trainings
You can easily find trainings on the internet pertinent to Soft Skills:
- Time Management
- Negotiation Management
- Problem Solving
- Communication Skills
- Conflict Management skills
- Team Management
- Decision Making
These are the training areas that can help you in many dimensions while you are managing a project. As throughout the projects you need to communicate with people. From time to time you need to solve the problems as well as resolve the conflicts. In addition to this, you need to take critical decisions. In order to implement these decisions, you need to influence the project team. You will also have to negotiate with the third parties. So project managers require all of these soft skills to mark the completion.
Project Manager Training Option #4 – Readiness for Digital Age Project Management
Even though the trainings listed in the above sections is enough to start with, there are many others considering the digital age of innovation. In this digital age, disruptive technologies are evolving across the globe. Forward-thinking organizations are building better products and creating stronger customer relationships with a speed that hasn’t been seen before. The most interesting factor of these disruptive technologies is that the organizations always strive to sustain by increasing market share. Therefore organizations like to have star performers with them. These star performers help the organizations to grow and sustain through the challenges brought by the digital age.
PMI published a report “The Project Manager of the Future Developing Digital Age”. In this report, they have listed project management skills to thrive in disruptive times. These areas are helpful for individuals as well as organizations. So you can focus on these skills to prepare yourself for the Future Project Management. These skills include:
- Data Science
- Innovative Mindset
- Security and Privacy Knowledge
- Compliance Knowledge
- Ability to make data-driven decisions
- Collaboration Leadership Skills
If you are looking for your advancement these future skills are the must-have for you. Therefore you will certainly benefit if you acquire these skills. After all who doesn’t like to be ready for the future?
In this article, we provided you the overview of the Project Manager training options. We aimed to provide you the different skill sets which can help you identify gaps as well as opportunities to advance your career. The global standards highlight these skill set requirements. We did not compare the various methodologies, however, we aimed to give you the very brief overview of these methodologies so that you could get some ideas about how to choose the suitable one and get the right training. We hope you enjoyed this article – a contribution to the advancement of the project management community.
Review by: Catherine Simmons
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