Nov 10, 2009

PM Training: Not "One Size Fits All"

Posted by Jeannette Cabanis-Brewin in Culture & Change Management, Project & Program Management | 2 Comments

Whether you call it The Vanishing Mass Market (as Business Week has done), or The Long Tail, (as Wired blogger Chris Anderson terms it) or Nouveau Niche, it's obvious that the way we interact with the marketplace has changed. Consumers want what they want, not some lowest-common-denominator, one-size-fits-all product. That's why we have 100 specialized channels of cable TV instead of three networks.

On the organizational level, we've seen that companies are less interested in generic PM training, and more drawn to training solutions that are tailored to one industry, one company, one culture: theirs.

Now, it's long been a matter of pride with project management experts that PM itself is a generalist. Project managers are fond of boasting, "have PMP will travel." that their skills apply just as easily to an IT project as to construction or a lunar landing. That may be true--certainly the basic techniques of PM are industry-agnostic--but if I were a CEO I'd want to be sure the lessons I was paying for were lessons immediately applicable to my business. Wouldn't you?

That's why -- and here's another prediction -- project management training will become less oriented to PMP self-study courses, and more "nouveau niche": customized to industry and even to individual organization. Hats off to the curriculum developers (this one's for you, Helene!): they will make all the difference. They make training solutions more nimble, more responsive ... even, you might say, agile.


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    2 Comments on PM Training: Not “One Size Fits All”

    Helene Matthews says:

    Thanks Jeanette!  You know, we are seeing more and more of our clients insisting on customization, to their terminology at a minimum.  Most of our customization clients are also interested in aligning the PM training with their development life cycle as well as using case studies that reflect the type of projects the participants have to manage.  The value this type of customization was clearly demonstrated recently at one of our clients.  During a customized session, where we specifically addressed their development life cycle and modeled the exercises and case studies on projects that mirrored their real work, the supervisor of the group had that “aha” moment, and implemented a new process that evening based on her experience in the course. For me, it brought home the importance of ensuring the content is client specific and the power of focusing on the specific needs of adult learners to make a positive, immediate business impact.

    Posted on November 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Karen RJ White, MS, PMP, PMI Fellow says:

    Helene, not only should the training be tailored in such a manner as to reflect the client’s processes and language, but so should any methodologies the client undertakes. When I have encountered a purchased “set of processes” (aka methodology) in a client’s location, I typically discover that methodology is not being applied because “it doesn’t quite work for us” - especially when one of the embedded processes needs to interact with another corporate process. Hence, I encourage all my clients to consider the purchased methodology like they do a good cookbook - start with it, but tailor the recipe to fit the taste desired.

    Posted on November 13, 2009 at 9:18 pm

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