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Project Management Training

~ By Jakob Jelling

University students in a classroom watching a presentation

Project management is a very specialised and often complex task, and requires more training than the average programmer or executive might expect in very specific organisational tasks. To meet this demand, professional groups such as the Project Management Institute (PMI) were organised to set standards for the training of project managers.

In general, to become a project manager, you need lots of hands-on training. To be awarded the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), a project management candidate must acquire at least 1500 hours of work on a project team or 23 contact hours of formal project management education. A project management associate is not qualified to run an entire project by themselves, only assist a project management professional in project management.

The other project management training certification provided by the PMI is the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, and is awarded upon satisfying education and experience requirements, passing an examination, and agreeing to adhere to a professional conduct code. To maintain this certification, the PMP must also satisfy CEU requirements.

The Best Project Management Training

The best way to train for project management is to work closely with a project manager. Dozens of things can go right or wrong in a project, and the only way to really learn how to handle them is to be thrown right into the middle.

You should seek hands-on training in the following areas:

  1. Project Management Tools: Gantt charts and other project management software and paperwork aren't that hard to understand, but they are hard to use well.
  2. Team Communication: In any project, the most important element is communication. You should not only learn to tell the team what to do, though, but also learn how to best listen to what the team has to say. Communication is a two-way street, and usually the most important part is the part that's coming to you.
  3. People Management: Project management is ultimately about managing people. You will always run into issues in a large project, and you need to be able to handle tough situations when they come up.
  4. Materials Management: you won't need materials management in every type of project, but many of them will require you to understand how to plan ahead for materials to be present when you need them. Just-in-time management is a topic you should understand - how to have just enough materials at exactly the time you need them.
  5. Time Management: more than anything else, project management is about the management of time. When any part of your project fails to run on time, it throws everything else off.

Project management training can also be provided in the classroom, but be certain to speak with your instructor. Find out what his or her background is in project management. An inexperienced person teaching you project management will only be able to teach you the mechanics; the best project managers understand that it is really an art.


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