The pace of business grows faster every year. And as businesses attempt to stay ahead of innovative trends, the pressure falls on project managers to keep new developments on track.
As a result, the need for excellent project management within an organization will only become more important in the coming years. The numbers speak for themselves:
- Nearly 10% of every dollar is wasted because of poor project management
- Project-oriented industries will contribute $20.2 trillion to the GDP over the next 20 years
- 93% of organizations report using standardized project management practices, but only 58% fully understand the value
The barrier to entry for project management is high. And even for seasoned project management professionals, there’s a need to constantly learn new strategies and techniques.
This is where L&D teams can play an important role. Providing on-demand access to project management courses and building a formal project management training program can ensure this critical function is keepigng pace and improving the business at large.
Not all project managers are created equal. That’s why various certifications require so much experience and participation in project management courses. Regardless of the industry, project managers face a number of challenges when trying to bring innovative ideas to life.
Beyond focusing on preparing employees for certification, leaders should offer access to project management online courses that teach individuals how to deal with:
- People Problems: Especially in large organizations, project managers must coordinate the efforts of very diverse teams. Whether it’s personality differences or departmental divides, project managers must create a working environment that facilitates civil discussion and high productivity.
- Resource Management: Time and human resources must be managed properly to ensure the success of a project. The more resources to manage, the more important it is to come up with a comprehensive plan that drives overall success of the project.
- Budgeting: More than likely, project managers won’t determine the budget. Instead, they’ll be given a number that must be strictly adhered to. Being able to balance high-quality output with budget adherence is a challenge that all project managers need to overcome.
- Scope Creep: This one challenge can significantly impact every other aspect of project management. When stakeholders come into the fold and request changes to the project, it’s up to project managers to keep the scope in check. Often times, scope creep happens so gradually that it eats away at budget and resources without anyone noticing until it’s too late. It’s the number one way that projects fall off course and waste money.
Without strong project management, businesses still find ways to overcome these challenges and bring innovative ideas to market. However, teams that work through projects without dedicated PMs often have unclear objectives and lack focus. They may finish the project, but it won’t be nearly as efficient for the business.
Offering the right project management courses helps businesses foster leadership and strategic capabilities that will streamline execution.
It’s a mistake to make project management training all about certifications. While certification is critical to project management success, L&D leaders should also focus on providing continuous opportunities to strengthen skills—even if a PM has already passed the necessary tests.
As you build out a continuous learning program, here are some project management courses that will deliver business results:
- Become a Project Coordinator: For businesses that never had a dedicated project management function, it may make sense to invest in internal talent. Turning an individual contributor into a project coordinator provides a stepping stone to a project management career.
- Become a Project Manager: As a follow-up, project coordinators who are ready to make the jump can take this learning path to become true catalysts of change. Here, they’ll learn how to effectively overcome project management challenges and start using Microsoft Project.
- Become a Six Sigma Black Belt: Six Sigma is a popular methodology for project managers. It’s all about using data to eliminate defects in a project. This set of courses walks through the foundational elements of Six Sigma, talks about working with statistics, and explains how to apply the key principles in a larger project management context.
- Become a Business Analyst: While business analysts aren’t necessarily project managers, the skills can be vitally important in any project management training program. Business analysts gather, document, and analyze the needs of the business and communicates those needs within the context of a specific project. Project managers can benefit from the technical foundations included in this learning path.
- Project Management Foundations: Project management training isn’t always about the profession as a whole. For some businesses, project management isn’t necessary as a comprehensive, company-wide practice. Sometimes, a simple project just needs some of the qualities of project management for streamlined execution. This course offers an overview of the foundational elements of project management.
- Project Management Communication: Coordinating the human resources within a project team is a critical aspect of successful project management. Floods of emails, Slack messages, phone calls, and in-person meeting notes can be enough to create communication missteps. In this course, project managers will learn how to keep it all in check to maintain alignment within a team.
- Solving Common Project Problems: No amount of training can completely eliminate problems over the course of any project. Bumps in the road are project management facts of life. It’s how project managers respond to those issues that really matters. This course offers techniques for getting through common challenges.
- Managing Risk: Project managers aren’t simply tasked with keeping execution on track. They must also mitigate risks of project failure throughout the process. But without risk, there would be no project reward. Rather than simply avoiding risk altogether, project managers must learn to properly plan for it. This course focuses on risk planning, risk registering, and maintaining project continuity.
These are just a few of the Learning Paths and courses on project management available on LinkedIn Learning. They give leaders the foundation necessary to create a culture of continuous learning for project managers.
Despite all the discussion about continuous learning and overcoming project management challenges, there’s one last concern that talent development professionals must address—the need for comprehensive project manager certification prep.
It’s no secret that many businesses rely heavily on the effectiveness of project management. If project managers consistently fall short of expectations, businesses will fall further and further behind competitors and risk missing out on many innovative trends.
That’s why many companies will only hire project managers with specific certifications. As such, L&D leaders can’t ignore the importance of preparing their project managers for critical certification programs. Here are three key certifications to keep in mind for your project management training:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)®: Perhaps the most prominent project management certification, PMP is a comprehensive standard that requires significant experience and preparation. In fact, nearly 50% of first-time test takers fail. That’s why a detailed prep course is so important. This course delivers complete coverage of the PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition.
- PRINCE2® Certification Preparation: While PMP is a standard, PRINCE2 is the world’s most widely-adopted project management method. It’s a proven approach to project management that all professionals should understand. And with this preparation for the foundation and practitioner exams, project managers can achieve certification and start bringing value to their businesses.
- Microsoft Project 2016 Essential Training: Microsoft Project is a powerful project management software that is especially applicable for the PMP standard. This course provides lessons from a certified Project Management Professional, exploring task linking, resource assignment, and project scheduling.
Everything discussed here is just a glimpse into the project management training resources available on LinkedIn Learning. Browse the full catalog to see which project management courses you can use to build an talent development program that delivers business results.
Bonnie BiaforeCertified project management professional (PMP), trainer, and best-selling author
Oliver YarbroughAuthor, trainer, and expert in project management and strategic marketing
Kelley O'ConnellAgile trainer, process innovator, and project manager; Agile Coach at Lincoln Financial Group
Chris CroftLecturer turned thought leader who has trained 80,000+ people in project management