Is it time for CPD for the Project Management Profession?

I met up with an old friend recently. During the conversation he let slip that he had been caught speeding. He was ‘offered’ the option of some penalty points on his licence or taking a course. He took the course costing him £15 more than the fine.

Interestingly, he found the course very useful. In his own words, he had picked up some bad habits, forgotten some information (speed limits on various roads) and the course therefore acted as a good refresher.

This got me thinking about project management training . We train people on courses. We run certificated courses. But and it is a big but, do project managers (and sponsors) get a refresher? Do they forget? Do they get into bad project management habits?

We need constant reinforcing of good project management practices

Clients keep telling me that training budgets are under severe stress. They tell me there is not enough being spent on the training of new project managers, let alone on ‘refreshing’ those already trained.

But how can we expect those involved in project management to reach high standards, deliver effectively or deal with the myriad of problems they face? What further opportunities are there for further development? Now I am not suggesting that your company should be the only source of development activity; it should however, act as a stimulus for development.

We need a CPD Schemes for Project managers (and Sponsors)

We need something like CPD – Continuing Professional Development – most professions have schemes to continue their development. Does project management?

Maybe it’s time to invest some effort in a more structured development experience for project managers (and sponsors) or time for the professional bodies to start something?

For some details on CPD schemes see:

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4 Responses to Is it time for CPD for the Project Management Profession?

  1. Mike Watson says:

    The Project Management Institute’s qualification PMP (P Mgt professional) insists on CPD. If you do not register 60 hours every 3 years you lose the accreditation. This is one of the features that makes PMP the only truly professional qualification for P Mgrs.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Whoa Mike! This is not a whose better than who……….. more of a how can we improve the development of project managers. Yes, I’m pleased that PMI have this as part of their’set up’. But not every one is PMP qualified.


  2. Simon Moore says:

    Ron, I totally agree with the spirit of what you propose and if drivers, solicitors and archaeologists have it, why not project managers? However, I question that we need to achieve this goal by sending people back to a classroom setting. For example, it would be an improvement to help people learn and improve ‘on the job’ through tools like 360 feedback; post-mortems; shadowing others etc. If done correctly, this can be better tailored to the unique development needs of the project manager and it can be closely tied to their immediate role. Of course, classroom learning can be a great supplement to that, but I think it’s important to make sure on the job skills development is happening as that’s the obvious first step.

    • Ron Rosenhead says:

      Thanks for your comments Simon.

      I have no problem HOW development takes place; only that it takes place. I suggested that we need constant reinforcement of good (excellent) project management practice. I do not see very much evidence of this. If it could be done via 360 feedback excellent, if via coaching excellent.

      There is a but though. If this is to happen a culture shift is needed in some organisations. I have spoken with people who have shadowed, attended post mortems etc. and they have found them very powerful learning processes. We do not get very positive feedback from people on our courses when examining on the job areas mentioned. I wish we did.

      I have banged the drum for years about the real benefits of this approach…and will continue to do so.
      Training is expensive and the ROI is not always present. On the job training is much cheaper and can be focussed.

      Thanks Simon, good points.

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