Corporate Project Management

Choosing a Corporate Project Management course

There are many project management training courses to select from and it can sometimes be challenging to determine which project management training and development courses are most appropriate for your organization. 

The aim of this article is to provide context for people exploring what project management training courses are available to support the development of organizational capability in project management.

The origins of many recognized project management courses are based on training programs that have been designed specifically for the construction or IT sectors.   As interest over the past 15 years in project management outside these sectors increased, many training organizations and institutes have evolved their project management training to cater for a broader audience.

Specialist versus generic project management courses

As we know, the identified project management competency development need is what should drive decision making when selecting project courses.  If for example, your organization needs to develop specialist techniques, such as specific engineering techniques or software modelling, then perhaps a more specialist project course is more appropriate.

If understanding of project management as a management discipline is required then a generic project management training course focusing on project management processes, roles and responsibilities may be more appropriate.

There are some project management courses branded as ‘Project Management for Engineers’ or ‘IT Project Management’.  Based on the learning needs required, the course syllabus needs to be reviewed to determine what amount of the syllabus is allocated to ‘management’ and what degree of the syllabus is allocated to teaching ‘specialist’ techniques.  As some of these project courses limit the amount of time devoted to the discipline of ‘management’.

Project Management short-courses

Project course offerings range from short-courses to tertiary level qualifications.  Short-courses may be from 2 days to 10 days in length and tertiary project courses may include project management qualifications up to masters level.  These tertiary project courses may take several years to complete.

There are many providers of short project courses, some organizations have developed their own project management courses and others may use propriety materials based on recognized standards in project management.   Accredited project courses are project training courses typically assessed and certified by a national or international accreditation body.  Accredited courses may also be offered with or without project management certification exams.

The most common accredited project management short-courses in Australia are based on two popular international standards.  The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), which on passing an exam the qualification is known as Project Management Professional (PMP), the other is PRINCE2 (PRojects IN Controlled Environments Version2).  The PMP qualification, commonly marketed as a PMP training course, is based on the PMBOK guide and is often referred to as a ‘knowledge based’ project management training course.  It could be said that the aim of a PMP training course is to focus on: what project managers need to know about project management.  PRINCE2 training is a ‘method based’ program providing project managers and members of the project team a project management methodology outlining a ‘step-by-step’ approach for the preparation, execution and closure of a project.

Project management tertiary qualifications

10 years ago there was very few tertiary institutes providing courses that led to a direct qualification in project management.  Most training in project management at tertiary institutes, as it is now, is integrated as a single or a few units within the program of specific undergraduate degree.  Today several universities now provide graduate qualifications in project management.

Tertiary programs provide great value for the individual project manager, as the length of the program allows the syllabus to cover a broader range of topics relevant to the discipline of project management.  However, the length of tertiary programs can be a disadvantage should your organization’s skills development require a ‘quick’ turn around period.  Project management short-course can however provide immediate results and are accessible and typically more economical to a broader group of people.

Project management professional development courses Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Hobart. 

Whether you are seeking in-house corporate courses or public project training courses, in most cases training can be sourced from suppliers in any major Australian city.

If you are seeking a professional development courses such as PMP or PRINCE2, it may be worthwhile to confirm with the training provider that they are licensed and accredited to deliver the training and that the training is accredited to the certification exam level.

Project management certification exams

Learning development professionals sometimes ponder whether the training should also include a certification exam. Certification exams are designed to assess various competency levels. For example a PRINCE 2 training course is typically delivered with an exam at the end of the training. The PRINCE2 Foundation exam, which is typically completed at the end of a 3 day PRINCE 2 Foundation course, is designed to assess a candidate’s understanding of the PRINCE2 project management method. Whereas, the PRINCE2 Practitioner exam, which is typically completed at the end of a 2 day PRINCE2 Practitioner course, is designed to assess a candidate’s ability to apply PRINCE2.   The certification exams are one mechanism to help determine if the desired competency level of the participant was achieved.

Some clients insist on the certification exams.  There may be many reasons for this such as, verification of the competency of the individual, verification of the broader capability of the organization, marketability of the organization for example your organization is a provider of project management services.  Some client organizations may use the certification exams as a tool to ensure participants are emotionally driven to actively participate and complete the learning program.

Without the certification exam there is typically less restrictions on tailoring the training for your organization’s needs, as the exam syllabus restricts the level of tailoring that can be done to the training program.

Training delivery models

If you have a group of people to train then in-house corporate training courses may be a more economical option.  One advantage of in-house corporate training courses is that some tailoring of the project course can be done to align to your organization’s specific professional development needs.

If you have an individual or a small group to train some providers also offer a public calendar of their project management courses which can provide staff more flexibility on when to attend.

 

Additional notes: A PRINCE 2 training course is also sometimes referred to as a PRINCE training course or PRINCE ii courses.  However, PRINCE courses are different to PRINCE2 training, as PRINCE was created before PRINCE2 and developed as a specialist project course for IT projects. Whereas, PRINCE2 training is based on a generic project management method.  PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner training is readily available in Australia, whereas PRINCE Foundation courses and PRINCE Practitioner courses are not.

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