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Why Should I Attend a Project Management Course?

Before we answer the question, “why you should attend a project management course”, let’s first look at what project management is and its importance and relevance to business success and longevity.

What is Project Management?

Project management is the fundamental application of processes, methods, skills, knowledge and experience to achieve specific project objectives that’s required by any business, regardless of the business type, size or geography, in order to help a business successfully deliver required business changes. Every business should have someone with the knowledge, skills and competencies to plan, delegate, monitor and control the related work required to create new business products, which will be used by the business to deliver their required business changes and subsequently acquire the resulting benefits. This is ultimately the point of project management. In a nutshell, project management is essentially the practice of turning ‘ideas’ or ‘needs’ into ‘reality’. Project management is relevant to, and should be a core competency right at the heart of every business spanning a wide variety of sectors, including IT, manufacturing, construction, information services & publishing, finance & insurance, management & professional services, pharmaceutical, energy & utilities, central and local government, the NHS, in fact the entire public sector, among others. It is necessary to successfully enable their required business changes.

Change is inevitable if a business is to compete and prosper into the future and the most effective way to introduce that change is through project management. No business can stick to the ‘status quo’ forever. Business changes are necessary due to pressures on business demands. For example, competitor activities placing pressure on a business, out of date IT systems, as well as changes in rules, regulations, legislations and simply the way people and society think and behave can all make it necessary to change the affected areas of a business. Sometimes new opportunities arise which can trigger a required change within a business. Essentially, if nothing is ever changed, then the business will inevitably suffer, become static, stale and potentially no longer be a viable business. If business changes aren’t managed and implemented properly and successfully through sound project management, again the business is very likely to suffer the consequences. Therefore, the knowledge, skills and competencies of a Project Manager are instrumental to a business being successful because, at the end of the day, the organisations that are successful are the ones which understand the demonstrated benefits of disciplined project delivery.

The benefits of a Project Management course

As mentioned, project management is the way to successfully deliver business changes and people will always be involved in and/or affected by such changes. Therefore, regardless of what the business is, or does, people will always require project management knowledge and skills, which can be effectively obtained through attending a project management course. Project Management is also just as relevant in our domestic lives.

We all undertake projects and apply aspects of project management at some point or another with things that we do in our day to day lives, such as planning a holiday, organising a social event, home improvements or moving home etc. Some people can plan and organize such things better than others, whereas some people always tend to mismanage the budget by overspending, omit important things, base too much on assumptions and never complete such projects on time, or indeed never complete things at all! Attending a project management course will therefore help with the successful planning and organizing of pretty much everything one does, both in business terms and on a personal level too. In summary, the benefits of a project management course are that it will help provide you with the necessary knowledge, skills and competencies to enable you to effectively:

• Justify the initial and continued investments in your projects

• Create a credible plan to ensure you can achieve the targets set for your projects

• Monitor and control the progress of your projects

• Report effectively on project progress

• Manage the resources (e.g. people, equipment and money) required by your projects

• Capture and assess issues and changes related to your projects

• Identify, assess and control risks related to your projects

• Manage communication and stakeholder engagement in your projects

• Plan, control and deliver the required levels of quality in your projects

• Lead and inspire the team of people involved in your projects.

Some courses include formal exams, such as PRINCE2® Foundation and Practitioner courses, allowing you the opportunity to gain an internationally recognized qualification in project management, which is a significant benefit in its own right. Further to this though, simply attending a project management course can be rewarding and beneficial in other ways too. For instance, you get to meet and network with other people in the project management industry. People share experiences and knowledge on courses and often keep in touch, which for some has led to business and job opportunities. Whether you intend on pursuing a career in project management or not, the benefits of attending a project management course and taking a project management certification can positively impact your success in both your personal and professional life.

Where can a Project Management course take you?

A simple answer to this question is that it can take you on a potentially invaluable and rewarding journey. Doors can be opened for you to any type and size of organization, pretty much anywhere in the world…but why? Because, as mentioned earlier, project management is a process and competency that’s relevant to and required of every business. Project Management is therefore a career that’s relevant within any business, although it can be said that there are a few, typically smaller businesses, that don’t necessarily understand or appreciate the pivotal role of project management to the business as much as others, but they are in the minority! Be mindful though that when you’re first starting out in project management, don’t expect to start big. However eventually, by having your name against a few smaller yet successful projects, this is likely to create new opportunities and bigger challenges for you to embrace. Imagine project managing projects such as the construction of Olympic stadiums, the Chard, or even Crossrail!

So, why should you attend a Project Management course?

Project Management and good Project Managers are in high demand and as a career is growing year on year. Research findings performed by the Anderson Economic Group (AEG), released in ‘Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2017-2027’, found that by the year 2027 the project management labour force is expected to grow by 33 percent across 11 countries, namely: the UK, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the United States. According to the analysis, nearly 22 million project management jobs will be created during the next decade - and by 2027, employers will need nearly 88 million individuals working in project management-oriented roles.

Within the UK, the project management profession is expected to have just over 168 thousand new job openings between 2017 and 2027. While the talent gap will pose challenges to organisations worldwide, the global shortage of project talent will present exceptional opportunities for qualified professionals to begin and advance their careers in the project management industry.

Attending a project management course and obtaining the requisite project management knowledge, skills and certifications can help you move into such a career and indeed many people who attend SPOCE Project Management’s training courses say they have chosen to attend the course for that very reason. Many project managers have gained their experience the harder way; ‘on the job through trial and error’. Professional training courses can be a fast-track approach to learning the knowledge, skills and gaining the competencies required to deliver projects successfully and reliably. They can also help to avoid the associated costs and risks through ‘learning on the job’.

As mentioned earlier, some of the more popular project management courses and related methods are ‘certified’ and include formal exams with project management certifications, allowing you to gain internationally recognised qualifications in project management. The project management methods and related courses include the most widely recognised and used method PRINCE2®, the APM’s (Association for Project Management) Project Fundamentals Qualification (APM PFQ), Project Management Qualification (APM PMQ), PRINCE2® Agile and Agile Project Management. Therefore, attending these project management courses and obtaining the related qualifications can lead you on the right path to new challenges and enhanced career opportunities. Not forgetting of course that, the better equipped you are with core project management knowledge and skills obtained through attending a project management course, the more likely it is that you will be capable of managing and delivering projects successfully within the planned and agreed targets and objectives, which of course will be of huge benefit and importance to any business. Additionally, this will give you a great sense of achievement, which in turn is truly fulfilling and motivating, which are both fundamental factors in achieving job satisfaction.