Types of Corporate Training for Project Management
All project management training is not the same in terms of what it covers or how it is delivered; the variables in training types can make finding the right choice for your team or company a challenge. To ensure you maximize your training budget, align your corporate training solution with your team’s development needs.
Project Management Training Check List
Selecting the right training solution for your Project Management employees or team can be accomplished with careful consideration of three key areas.
As you develop your talent pipeline, you need to assess where your team’s skill are today in comparison to where the business needs skills for future grown. The difference between the skill level today and future state is known as the “skill-gap.” It is important to know the goals of your talent development so that you can reduce the skill gap as you prepare the workforce to meet the business needs of the future.
Fundamental Training: Preparing for New Project Manager Role
Fundamental training is focused on foundational concepts, tools, and best practices. It is an introduction to the terminology and concepts shared across all Project Mangers, regardless of the industry in which they practice. It is where you should start if you need to:
- Establish yourself as a new Project Manager Associate, Coordinator, or Administrator
- Break into the Project Management field in general
- Change the type of projects you manage or how you manage
For example, in an Agile Fundamentals class, you should learn what an Agile project is and the tools to manage it.
Advanced Training: Deepening Skills for Current Project Management Role
Advanced level training assumes a level of expertise is already in place and builds upon the core tenants of the profession. Pursue advanced level training if you seek to:
- Qualify for senior level roles
- Be eligible for more complex or larger project assignments
- Expand your professional options
Mastery Training: Transitioning to Expanded Role
With both education and work experience, the seasoned Project Managers on your team may be ready for Mastery level training as part of expanding their responsibilities. Master training may incorporate many subtopics, include capstone assignments, and/or require certain professional certifications to enroll. For Project Managers, a Master’s Certificate in Advanced Project Management is an advanced corporate training option that is not specific to one industry and simultaneously earn credits towards maintaining professional certification.
Completing a training does not mean you have earned a certification. Your Project Managers may complete a training, but that is not the same as earning the designation of Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. You need to know the credentialing needs of the training group and the different types to make informed class selection choices.
Certificate vs Certification
The Training Industry describes the most common types of completion records as:
- A certificate verifies completion of a course or training
- A certification verifies criteria are met as measured by a third-party assessment.
Project Managers, the certificate and certification apply to training efforts and you need to make sure that the training you select for the team applies to their current professional standing.
The training that those seeking to earn Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification status need may be too fundamental for those who have already earned their certification. Those with existing Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification status most likely will need training to deepen their knowledge of the profession; for example, classes around team building, communications, or negotiation skills.
Credentials / PDUs / CDUs
Ensure you know what credentials you need your team to earn or maintain before finalizing any training opportunity. Project Managers with Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification must earn a specific number of Professional Development Units (PDUs) within a certain timeframe to keep their certification status. Those with Business Analyst certifications from the IIBA must work to earn Continuing Development Units (CDUs) as part of maintaining their industry certifications.
When selecting your training company, find out if the provider is an approved vendor for the certification body that meets your team’s talent development needs. Not all Project Management training automatically qualifies to earn PDUs. Additionally, you should be sure that the training company can provide the required documentation for submission for PDU credits.
Format and Scope
Just as it is important to know the business drivers for team training, you should also know the format that best meets the team requirements. How training is delivered and the scope of content both directly impact your potential return on investment.
Onsite or Virtual or Hybrid
The labels of Onsite and Virtual are self-explanatory. For Onsite, employees attend a training in-person at a designated location as part of a larger group, all going through the same class at the same pace. Whereas with Virtual, employees participate in an online class environment using discussion forums, chat windows, and digital collaboration tools.
For some teams, the answer is not online or virtual but the best of both: hybrid. In a hybrid training, employees have a live class (onsite or online), in conjunction with asynchronous interactions with classmates and self-directed effort for homework.
Benefits of Team Training
Coordinating a group or team to complete training as a group reaps benefits such as reduced pricing per person, team building, and customization. When a team completes a training together, there is the advantage of team building and incorporating shared business experiences that can help the theories be grounded in what is experienced back in the office. Additionally, they can reinforce the training concepts and knowledge transfer among themselves when they return to the job.
Bundles vs Single Topic Focus
Depending on training goals, your employees may need a deep dive into a single topic or they may need proven Project Management Certification exam preparation.
If your employees need to earn completion credits for a PMP exam application, or to earn PDUs or CDUs as part of a maintaining an existing certification, packages and bundles might be the answer. Consider options such as the PMI® Talent Triangle Bundle or the Club PDU package that combine topics, course complexity levels, and extended access.
Pick Right for Your Project Management Training
Getting to the right fit for your company’s Project Management Training includes several steps. There is the selection of your corporate training provider, which includes budgets, instructor credentials, and areas of expertise. The next step is the selection of the actual training, including the consideration of the purpose of the training (fundamental vs advanced, certificate vs certification) and the type of training (how delivered and how much content). The planning you put into picking the training provider, format, and type makes the selection of the actual class the easy part.
About Megan Bell, MPM, PMP
A multi-hyphenate of corporate training, higher education, and creative agency work, Bell’s passion for connecting people to impactful information fuels an evolving career journey. Her portfolio includes conducting learning analytic research and reporting, managing a corporate mentoring program, authoring a blog series, facilitating leadership and career programs, serving on a non-profit board, and even occasional voice work. Bell’s education background encompasses UNC-Chapel Hill, Western Carolina University, and North Carolina State University.
- Connect with Megan Bell, MPM, PMP