How to Teach Project Management
When considering how to teach project management, it’s important to define the audience, the setting, and the purpose. There are three possible goals for teaching project management:
- To provide a broad understanding of project management
- To instill an understanding of formal project management processes
- To teach how to apply project management on the job
How you teach project management will vary depending on your goals.
1. Teaching a broad understanding
If you’re working in a project environment, it’s important for everyone to understand the general concepts of project management and why they are important. This requires teaching project management at the highest level, in the shortest amount of time possible. You will need to cover subjects such as:
- What is project management?
- Why is it important?
- What are the 5 process groups?
- What are the 10 knowledge areas?
You may also need to teach an overview of some of the primary tools, such as how to read a schedule and Gantt chart. Other topics will depend on the project involvement of your students. For example, if they are required for approving changes, you should teach them the change management process. Often, this type of teaching is voluntary. If it’s something you’re interested in doing, speak to your boss about it. A common method is a short lunch-and-learn session with visuals and relevant work examples. Do you have an education, training, or learning and development department within your organization? If so, they may be able to assist with planning and executing the session.
2. Teaching concepts, fundamentals, and processes
Anyone wishing to earn their PMP needs 35 hours of formal classroom time. If you wish to teach formal project management courses in an educational environment, you will need to meet the requirements of the school.
While these will vary depending on the institution, they may include:
- Your PMP
- Industry experience
- Teaching experience or education
There are many resources, guides, and plans for this type of teaching, as the required outcomes are well defined and standardized. For example, the Project Management Institute (PMI) has an entire website dedicated to teaching resources.
3. Teaching on the job
New project managers have often already learned the fundamentals and concepts of project management. However, there are aspects of project management that need to be taught on the job. For example, many of the soft skills, such as delegating and managing a team, cannot be learned in a classroom. If you want to help teach new project managers, speak to your boss about teaching and mentoring opportunities.
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