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8 quick ways to increase your PM knowledge

8 quick ways to increase your PM knowledge

If you’re a project manager, crammed schedules, overflowing to-do lists and restricted budgets can limit your chances of pursuing formal training. Here are eight ways to learn more about project management without breaking the bank or disrupting your busy schedule.

With 10 interconnected knowledge areas that incorporate the use of 47 processes organized into five process groups, project management can be a multifaceted maze to navigate. Developing a deeper understanding of this discipline can be an all-consuming and intimidating task at times, and just trying to find out where to turn for training can feel overwhelming.

Here’s a look at eight inexpensive and not terribly time-consuming ways to learn more about project management, with a rundown of the pros and cons of each.

1. E-learning programs and webinars

Online training is agreat way to develop project management knowledge because the offerings are easily accessible and often self-paced. There are many e-learning options out there, so you should do some research to find the ones that fit your learning requirements.

Pros:

  • Web-based, which means they typically offer anytime, anywhere access.
  • Usually self-paced.
  • Flexible — you can fit the training into your schedule.
  • Less expensive than formal classroom training and seminars.

Cons:

  • Not all online training programs have live instructors.
  • Participants must be fairly tech-savvy.
  • Additional support may not always be available.

[Related: 8 project management skills in high demand]

2. Videos and slideshows featuring professional tutorials

Watching tutorials presented in videos or slideshows is a good way to familiarize yourself with new material or solidify and expand on your existing knowledge. These resources are typically created by industry professionals and are often available free of charge.

Pros:

  • Web-based, typically offering anytime, anywhere access.
  • Flexible — presentations can be paused when necessary to fit your schedule.
  • The information is provided by knowledgeable professionals.
  • Typically free, or at least less expensive than other types of training.

Cons:

  • No live instructors.
  • Additional support may not always be available.
  • May not benefit people who prefer hands-on experiences.

3. Seminars

Seminars on project management topics are often available throughout the year in many cities. They offer advice from real-life project management professionals or trainers from consulting firms that specialize in project management or professional education. Participants also have face-to-face access to seasoned professionals.

Pros:

  • Led by real-life professionals with project management expertise.
  • Immediate on-the-spot responses to questions.
  • Direct access to experienced professionals.

Cons:

  • More expensive than some other options.
  • Participants often must take time off from work in order to attend.
  • Travel may be required.

4. Boot camps

A rigorous way to gain a wealth of knowledge, boot camps typically cram a lot of training into a short period of time. If you don’t mind the fast pace and the intense learning environment, you might prefer boot camps to traditional training programs because they don’t require as much of a time commitment.

Pros:

  • Offer significant amounts of knowledge in a short period of time.
  • Direct access to experienced professionals.
  • May include hands-on team-based exercises.
  • Immediate and direct feedback to questions.

Cons:

  • Can be extremely intense and highly stressful.
  • Very fast-paced — information can be missed.
  • Little individual support.
  • Can be very expensive.

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