Organisations are using projects to deliver their business goals but failing to invest in the project management and change leadership skills required to ensure success
Project Management needs to be a core competency if you are to deliver projects and escape the current malaise of project failure which remains rooted at 75% of projects failing to meet their objectives.
Education is not enough
Many organisations believe they can create competent Project Managers by sending them on a PRINCEII course and assigning them a project. This approach is not working. Large sums of money are being allocated to training which is proving to be little more than education. It is providing the candidate with an understanding of the subject matter but is not giving them the skills required to execute a project. The net outcome of this approach is the pupil returns from the course with a knowledge set which they are unable to apply. The knowledge is lost and the course material is placed upon a shelf. However the organizational imperative of a successful implementation of a business change is not fulfilled either. At the end of the year both the employees and the organisation‘s score cards are evaluated and both are seen to be lacking. Thereby continuing the downward spiral of mediocrity.
Taking a different approach
Breaking out of the spiral requires a different approach which models the approach taken when learning to drive a car. This is a two stage process where the candidate learns the Highway Code and is assessed for the theory test where they learn how to conduct themselves on the road and the expected behaviour of both themselves and other drivers. To re-enforce the learning they have a qualified instructor who has a dual control car which enables them to master the basics of controlling the car. Once they have passed the theory test the candidate develops more skills and increases they understanding and skills though practice and guidance.
The same approach needs to be taken by organisations that are developing project management capability. There needs to be an element of theory where the prospective Project Managers are taught the rudiments of Change Management together with the techniques connected within managing a project.
Recommendations for Effective Training
blucone recommends a different approach which builds upon the driving school approach with a blend of theory (education) and on the job training together with the creation of the organisational structures which will lead to successful project delivery. Correctly executed this will lead to the creation of Project Management as a core competency that can be used repeatedly to deliver successful change.
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