Project management training used to involve taking time out of the office, traveling to a training venue and squeezing as much learning as you could into three or four days. Then you’d come back to the office and forget everything you had learned, going back to doing things the old way within a matter of weeks.
Fortunately, training has moved on a lot since then. Training companies and delegates have got a lot better at making sure that new skills are carried back to the workplace so that people really see a long-term benefit from learning new things. Project management training continues to evolve as trainers adapt their courses to suit the way we work today and delegates ask for more options to fit around busy work lives and commitments at home. Here are 3 new trends that we have spotted based on what we’ve seen change in project management education recently.
1. Video Classes
Online training has been around for a while but the major trend is that we’re seeing far more video in use, like our Primavera P6 Professional course. This is a sign that online training is getting more professional and more accepted. And, of course, it’s often cheaper! When companies want to reduce travel expenses or time out of the office but still want their employees to benefit from training courses, online and video classes enable that to happen.
You’ll also find that online classes give you access to the training materials over a much greater period of time so they are far more flexible than having to give up several full days to training. You can pace your learning over a couple of weeks if you prefer, and many people find this a more effective way of learning than trying to cram everything into just a few days. With video, you can often download the training materials on to your smartphone or other device and make the most of your commuting time by reviewing the course videos at your convenience.
2. Online Exams
There is also a shift towards being able to take your exams online too. The UK’s APM Introductory Certificate is now available online and you can take the re-registration PRINCE2 exam online as well. There are also plenty of courses that come with online tests that don’t necessarily end up in a formal credential but allow you to print out a certificate of achievement once you’ve passed.
In situations where you still have to attend a formal test center like for the PMP exam, there are plenty of online simulators to help you practice for the test in a realistic environment. It’s like taking the exam at the computer at home to get you ready for meeting the real thing in the test center.
3. Electronic Reading Materials
Gone are the days where you used to get a huge package of course materials through the post. In an attempt to save trees and money, training providers are shifting to electronic reading materials that you can download from their website. Some training firms are even providing delegates with Kindles or other e-readers, all pre-loaded with the course materials.
The other great thing about electronic reading materials is that they can be updated easily or if your class requires an additional handout or worksheet, you can simply push that out to the delegates at no extra charge – and it’s almost instant. Workbooks in the form of .pdf documents let delegates read their materials from anywhere without having to carry heavy folders around, but they can still print pages for reference if they need to.
Classroom courses are still a major part of project management training and arguably the best way to meet other delegates for some serious networking and discussion. However, this too is moving online with chat rooms set up for trainees and access to tutors via password-protected websites. In the future, we’ll probably see more and more courses with a classroom element delivered online via secure websites where the delegates can ‘meet’ each other and interact in real-time with the trainer.
In the meantime, we can all benefit from a greater range of training choices. There is something out there to suit every project manager and every business so there is no excuse for not investing in your staff and building capability in your project management team this year.
Further reading: Online Video Training Benefits