The course started and I asked who had been on a project training course before. There was one person. He was less than complimentary about the course he had attended using words such as boring; a waste of time and not very effective. I was able to move on pretty quickly before he depressed the rest of the course – and this was within 30 minutes of starting!
After the course he was able to say that this course was ‘much better’ and his feedback suggested that the course was really practical and he could use a lot of the project management training straight away.
What did I do to overcome the boredom, the waste of time and the overall effectiveness? As this is not the first time I have received this feedback I reviewed my training approach and produced a large number of points which I will share with you over the next few week.
Space means the points are very brief and of course, the points are NOT just about project management training – it’s about training generally!
1. Pre course work – have some pre work. This can be a brief questionnaire or an article to read. However, ensure you review pre work within the course
2. Objectives – we make it clear in all our project management training courses that projects must have clear objectives. So should your courses. Base your course around achieving these objectives and check several times through the course you are hitting them. You do not want to find out 30 minutes before the end of a course that you did not achieve your project management objectives
3. Work on actual projects – this makes the course come alive. We work on both case studies and on live projects – the latter makes the course more active and engaging
4. Make it practical – too many courses according to some of those who come along to our project management workshops are too theoretical. Participants find it hard to apply their learning. Use theory but build it around practical activities
5. Make it fun – people learn best when they are having fun. Try and build some humour into the course. How, maybe a brief activity or a story whatever you do try and do rehearse first!
6. Group work –use group work, pairs or more to work on activities. The power of the group should not be underestimated
7. Individual work – give some time for individuals to reflect. Have an individual activity to say look at roles in a project someone is working on
8. Process review – this is essential in making courses more effective. It’s the activities that produce the learning and this needs teasing out. How? review the activity to identify the learning. Use questions to do this alongside your own observations during activities e.g. I heard someone say that this was a risk in a project I was involved in. Can you say more here?
This ends section the first of 3 articles on how to make your project management training courses more effective.
What’s the question?
What has made your project management course an enjoyable and developmental process for you? Let’s hear those answers!