Training in How to Apply the Process

Finally, a training class was needed. Before launching into the specific subject matter, the students needed some introductory information to help them understand the need for project management, and, in particular, rigorous project planning. Examples of projects that failed when project planning was not done or was done haphazardly were given. The business drivers for both the customer and the service provider were covered in some detail. Once they understood why the subject was important to them, the employees were ready to learn the new methods.

The students needed to become familiar with the detailed procedures and to be confident in how to find the procedure they needed and apply it to the task. They also needed to understand the components of the toolkit and how it would assist them in following the methodology. To achieve these goals, hands-on lab sessions were incorporated into the training. These labs were intended to ensure that what was being discussed in the lectures could be applied once the student went back to the job.

The course material was constructed and reviewed by the team, followed by a pilot class delivered to the management of the target audience project personnel. Piloting with management gave needed feedback on the content and duration of the course, and also assisted in getting buy-in from management to support the process when it was deployed.

The students in each class offered feedback and suggestions for improvement. Where possible, these suggestions were incorporated. All suggestions were carefully reviewed and considered, and the conclusion of each class included a management review of refinements in work and planned. This review also addressed all the concerns raised during that class, whether the suggestion was in work, planned, or neither. In this way, the students were able to see that their concerns were being considered by management, even if every single concern could not be accommodated.

What was originally planned to be training for a small pool of 10 to 15 project managers grew into a training initiative that covered over 200 project personnel. As the project managers attended training, they recommended that their team members attend as well. Personnel with responsibility for very small, one-person projects saw the methodology as an opportunity to practice proven techniques that could lead them to greater responsibilities in the future.

Those trained were, for the most part, enthusiastic about embracing the new methods. By obtaining the knowledge and tools to do effective project planning, they became more confident that they could develop a plan and commit to a realistic schedule and budget to meet their customers' needs. The new approach also made them feel more professional — more capable of seeing the broad perspective associated with planning a project. Much like the general contractor building a house, they could understand how all the subtasks fit together, rather than seeing the much narrower view of a subcontractor.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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