5 Criteria for Choosing Risk Management Training for Projects
Project risk management is an important part of being able to lead change initiatives successfully. And risk management goes beyond the project level. Organizations with high levels of risk management maturity typically consider risk at the project, program, portfolio and enterprise levels.
There are lots of ways to learn more about risk management, and many project management courses (like this one) include modules in dealing with project risk. There are also dedicated project management certifications specializing in risk management. But how do you know which is going to the right approach for your project delivery teams?
Within the PMO or enterprise risk management structure, you know you need people to have adequate background in how to manage risk. Your team already appreciates why risk management training is beneficial, but it has to be the right type to help you meet your goals.
In this article we’ll look at 5 criteria to take into account when choosing project risk management training for your organization.
1. What do you want to learn?
If your business has been actively managing risk for some time, you’ve probably got the basics down already. You won’t get much from a basic introductory course. Look at where you are currently, and think about what knowledge gaps you have to fill.
Your teams might be perfectly able to create risk registers and analyse mitigation actions themselves. They might need advanced training in a risk analysis tool like Deltek Acumen. Or their next step might be in advanced risk reporting like tornado charts, or Monte Carlo analysis.
On the other hand, if you don’t know what Monte Carlo analysis is yet, and your risk management structures aren’t fully embedded across the organization, a course that gives you a solid grounding in introductory topics could be a perfect fit.
2. Do you need a certification?
Do you need people coming out of this training to have a certification? Some of your clients might require you to have certified risk management professionals on project teams. If so, you’ll want to check that the certification offered by a training course will give you the recognition you need.
Most organizations will not need all their project staff to have risk certifications. In fact, one or two certified experts in the PMO team might suffice – these colleagues can support other project managers and ensure best practice is used widely.
Certification courses often ‘teach to the test’ by necessity, so if you aren’t bothered about leaving the course with a certificate, consider whether you would get a more rounded exposure to risk management principles through a different kind of training.
3. How do you want to study?
People have different learning preferences. You may do best in an online, self-paced environment. You may prefer to be with other learners in the classroom.
There is no right or wrong answer here. Consider the learning styles of the people who will be doing the training before signing up, to give them maximum chance of retaining their new knowledge.
If there are a group of people from your business who all need training, putting them all through the same training course will give them a shared understanding of the jargon and key concepts.
4. What background does the trainer have?
When you’ve answered the questions above, think about who will be delivering the training. You might prefer a theoretical, by the book approach. However, most of our clients prefer the real-world knowledge and examples that our trainers bring to their courses. They have done the job, and managed risk in organizations large and small, so they can relate to the challenges faced by delegates. It’s helpful to be able to talk to someone who truly gets how risk works in business, and who has seen the positive changes that risk management can bring.
You should be able to find out the background of your trainer by asking the company offering the training. Consider it a red flag if they can’t provide you with a name or biographical details.
5. How tailored does the training need to be?
Off-the-shelf courses will teach you industry best practices and the concepts you need to be able to carry out risk management back at work.
Tailored training is more specific to your environment. It involves expert consultants coming into your business to learn more about how risk management is set up currently. They can work with you on a truly individual basis to focus on the areas where you will get the most return.
Both types of training are valid, but if you want to get the biggest benefit at a corporate level, tailored training will definitely give you the head start you’re looking for. It’s a consultant-led boost for your business. The consultant can run risk workshops and training for your teams on the topics you mutually agree would be the most useful, whether that’s schedule improvement, risk analysis, tools or planning and reporting.
Risk management training is a must-have for today’s business, to ensure you are ready to face any challenge that comes your way! The only question now is what’s the best route forward for you? What will you choose?