Learning & Development

5 times you might need project management training

Project management

“Why do I need project management training? Isn’t that what our project managers are for?”

It’s a fair question, and likely one that many panic-stricken graphic designers, salespeople and even senior business leaders have likely asked. After all, if we’re being honest, not many employees queue up outside L&D’s office begging for project management training. 

But that doesn’t mean it’s not important, regardless of role, department or level of seniority! Equipping your people with even basic project management skills can help them get more organised, structured and productive - and your dedicated project managers will certainly thank you for helping people hit their timelines and offer proactive updates on their (now beautifully colour-coded) task list.

If you’re still not convinced, let’s take a look at five key times your people will benefit from project management training.


1. In times of routine change


Projects, by their very nature, are about change. In fact, a project is described as ‘a unique, transient endeavour undertaken to achieve planned objectives’, which always involves some degree of change.

But change brings uncertainty, and uncertainty can impact the wellbeing and feeling of security of your workforce. Even if an employee isn’t the one responsible for making a big change happen in the business, having the project management skills to manage their own part in the change process, no matter how small, can give them a sense of control and a clearer understanding of the wider picture.

Project management training can instil a sense of resilience and adaptability in times of change, which will ultimately help your wider change management efforts.


2. Working to a set timeframe


Many people struggle with deadlines, whether that’s internal deadlines or crucial external deadlines for clients, partners or third parties. 

While the project manager will usually be the one responsible for keeping the project moving and on track, everyone has an important part to play in making that happen. Understanding scheduling tools and concepts such as milestones, Gantt charts and Kanban boards will enable teams to work closely with the project manager to ensure everyone understands and abides by the given schedule and deadlines.

For instance, if an employee needs to produce a quarterly report by a specific date, they can adopt project management best practices to work backwards from the hard deadline to ensure they gather all the data, get it reviewed, format the report and have time for quality control.


3. Dealing with complex projects


‘Complex’ will look different for every business. Large, multinational companies will be well versed in navigating special projects with lots of moving parts, whether that’s big rebrands, secret product launches or mergers and acquisitions, but smaller companies will likely have a different definition of what constitutes a complex project.

As an example, your business may undergo a restructure, with new teams, hierarchies and management lines. This will require:

  • Strategic planning
  • Communication
  • Employee engagement initiatives
  • Training and development
  • Performance management
  • Culture transformation
  • A clear timeline
  • Metrics for success

While it’s technically possible to do this without business-wide project management training, everyone’s lives will be much easier if they’re on board with at least the basics to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.


4. Extensive change management initiatives


Change management is a natural part of business, and the ability to treat it as part of ‘business as usual’ is a major skill for any employee in 2024. It equips employees with the skills they need to take a structured, logical approach to change without getting panicked.

Project management training will also ensure you establish and maintain clear roles and responsibilities, engage with stakeholders, manage resources and prioritise tasks throughout the change taking place. 

In particular, agile project management will come in useful here. This iterative approach breaks projects into ‘sprints’, allowing for constant feedback and continuous improvement, alongside the ability to pivot when business priorities change. If change management is particularly important in your industry, agile project management skills are likely to be extremely useful for your team.


5. Risk management


Business risks come in all shapes and sizes where projects are concerned. You may face resistance from leadership or other teams, unexpected expenses, technology failures or any number of other challenges (remember the ‘unprecedented times’ we all lived through in recent years?).

The ability to think ahead and build potential challenges into a project plan doesn’t come naturally to everyone. To some, it can feel pessimistic or overly cautious, or can feel like you’re holding up the start of a project with ‘what ifs’. But project management training helps employees anticipate and mitigate risks, minimising the likelihood of project delays or difficulties and ensuring your projects keep ticking over smoothly.

Looking to build project management skills in your business?

We’ve got just the thing! Check out 5app's Plug and Play, giving you access to Hemsley Fraser’s award-winning project management training content, for the quickest, easiest and most cost-effective way to get started.


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