Project Management Training

For four days last week I attended Project Management Training at my coporate headquarters in Laurel, Maryland (Exit 33 off of I-95, in case you care). It was pretty intensive with two full days and a half day on Wednesday and Saturday.

“Yeah yeah yeah, so what?” you ask. “Who cares? That’s boring corporate crap!”

You’re right. So stop reading.

Ah, you’re still here. Ok, so this PM training was conducted by Mike D’Allessandro, of PSMJ which stands for something I can’t remember. They are a management services company, and one of the things they do is train project managers. I learned a great deal last week, most of which I will have to go back through the project notebook and my notes to really grok. However, here are some highlights in no particular order:

  • According to PSMJ and Mike, a PM does not deserve the title Project Manager unless he/she contributes to the company in three areas: Production, Project Management, and Business Development
  • I learned a lot more about the nitty-gritty of the financial reporting information that gets tossed around at the office willy-nilly. This was good because it allowed me to internalize and understand information that had been much more superficial to date. Such as how we deal with the various multipliers on projects, and what Earned Value is used for. It will allow me to look at my project finianical reports and have a much better understanding of where the project sits.
  • I learned several different methods for managing a project much more proactively Some of these tips will be implemented immediately.
  • Sitting through this training seminar with the example project that I showed up with enabled me to see some specific ways to alleviate its (the project’s) current problems with being behind schedule and over budget. Plus I have developed the embryos of some ideas to keep similar problems from happening again.

It was an excellent four days. I have to compliment my company for sending me to this training. The cost of the seminar, plus the lost productivity of the 25 of us sitting in that room was a considerable expense, but I believe (and they must, too!) that it was worth the effort.

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One Response to Project Management Training

  1. Ken says:

    Congrats on surviving the PM training. I attended one of the classes offered by CIT (Center for Innovative Technogy) in Herndon, VA. It felt like one of the longest weeks of my life, and I can honestly say I enjoyed Military History and Tactics as part of USAF Basic Training over PM training for software development. :) The class reinforced my belief that I will forever be a systems analyst or systems administrator.

    If a PM is undeserving of the title unless he/she contributes to “Production, Project Management, and Business Development”, then I have known many undeserving PM’s. You can probably ask Mebbie about some of the PMs at our old jobs. I’ve heard similar definitions for what it means to be a Systems Administrator, with definitions varying wildly across company and contracts. I suspect it’s also part of the reason why salaries vary wildly across companies as well (in DC, $70K-$140K for sysad to sr. sysad).

    In my experience, Project Management is as much as set of social skills as it is a set of business skills. I haven’t yet figured out if PM is also a set of technical skills, since I’ve had non-technical PMs managing .Net and J2EE projects, with mixed success. You could make a good case for delegation, or a good case for ineptitude when technical awareness is lacking.

    PM… *shudder* :)

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