Project Management Guide
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How to Teach Project Management

When considering how to teach project management, you must define the audience, setting, and purpose of the education. There are three possible goals in teaching project management:

  • To provide a broad understanding of project management
  • To instill an understanding of formal project management processes
  • To demonstrate how to apply project management principles on the job

How you teach project management will change depending on the situation.

1. Teaching a broad understanding

In a project environment, everyone needs to understand the general concepts of project management and why they are important. You will have to teach project management at the highest level in the shortest amount of time possible. Start by answering these four questions:

  1. What is project management?
  2. Why is it important?
  3. What are the five process groups?
  4. What are the 10 knowledge areas?

You may also need to give an overview 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 to approve changes, you should teach them the change management process. 

This type of informal teaching is often 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 project management formally 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 soft skills like 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.

Further Reading: