Project management or software training can be a significant investment, especially if you have many members of your team taking part. It can involve being off-site for several days, and even if you opt for online training as many of our clients do, it still involves taking time away from the day job to complete the course. As a result you really want to make sure that your training is successful and delivers the objectives that you want.
So what does success look like? What career benefits do you get out of training that makes it worth that investment?
There are loads of different reasons why people complete training courses, and below we cover the ones that we hear about the most when we are delivering courses.
Top of the list is the ability to improve an individual’s skills. There are training courses on every imaginable subject and lots of options for the project manager wishing to improve his or her skills. Whether it’s getting better at using enterprise project management tools or soft skills training, a huge benefit of attending a course is being able to do your job more effectively.
Training can also offer you the route to a credential – another popular reason for taking time out of the day to study. Many courses won’t end with an exam but they do give you the skills you need to go away and schedule that yourself. Some course fees will include the exam fee for the certificate that you are sitting, so it’s best to check with the provider so you know exactly what you are getting and whether or not the exam is included.
Another option for delegates is to take a course that provides Professional Development Units. These contribute to ongoing professional learning and are required to keep a PMI credential valid. Other credentials have other requirements for continuous professional development and many formal training courses (including those run completely online) can count towards these. If you or your team need to maintain your credential and are undergoing training, then think about recording your training hours for your development log.
There are plenty of circumstances where someone can’t progress in their own company. Perhaps the project management office team is too small or the people in the senior roles show no sign of leaving. For an individual, completing training can open doors that lead to other jobs, whether that’s in the existing company or elsewhere. While it might not be good news for employers, individuals often put themselves forward for training because they know the additional skills will help them eventually get their next job even if they aren’t looking to move on right now.
Building your skills can also improve your prospects in your current role. For example, someone skilled in Earned Value Management could take on bigger and more complex projects, which makes them a more valuable resource in the eyes of the project management office. Someone who has completed risk analysis training can take on this role, either as part of their project management responsibilities or by leading on risk management as part of a program team.
Real-world training offers the chance to meet other people and discuss practical problems in an informal situation. Open courses also give you the opportunity to talk to other delegates who come from different businesses and sharing experiences across industries can be very valuable.
Online courses can also offer this sort of networking. If you know of other people in your company who have signed up to the same course you can set up an email mailing list or discussion group to share your experiences, ask each other questions and motivate each other to complete the course.
Finally, we often hear that people go on training courses to get some kind of recognition. This could be in the form of better pay or simply an appreciation by their managers that they have acquired new skills.
Of course, you might not feel that all these points are necessary in order for you to have got something out of it. Or you might consider some other ‘success factor’ more important. What is essential though is that you take the time to think through what you want to get out of a training course, and what success would look like to you. If you go into your training knowing what you want to achieve and how it will benefit you, then you are far more likely to get a successful result at the end.
Ten Six has a range of open courses and online training and can also deliver bespoke courses at your premises. Call us to find out more about how we could help you make sure that all your training is a success.