Last Friday, CIO published an article focusing not on any particular project management topic but rather on the general question of when and how to go about building a project management infrastructure in one’s own workplace. Interestingly, phrases like “PMP training, “agile training,” and “scrum” do not appear anywhere in the article; but of course it’s difficult for to read something like this and not think about how online information technology training can address the same issues and solve them more effectively.
As far as we’re concerned, the simple fact is that a background in PMP training can help to resolve a lot of the problems outlined by Brad Egeland, the CIO contributor, before they even become problems. His article assumes that the company leadership is starting from a situation of managing projects on the fly before realizing the need for greater structure. But it also clearly takes it for granted that that structure is a necessity at an early stage in the development of any business.
So in light of that, a key question is, “Why even let there be a stage in the business where that structure is absent?” It is understandable if one doesn’t have the resources to dedicate to extensive PMP training throughout the company hierarchy. But if the core management, even if it’s just the sole leader of most projects, has some PMP training or agile training under their belt, it will be able to teach the essential elements of best practice to subordinates, resulting in a much smoother and more effective modus operandi.
After all, Egeland makes it clear that this conveyance of PMP training to lower points on the company structure is an essential step in the process. But the difference between him and us is that he takes it for granted that there will be a point when the company leadership has nothing to teach, while we really don’t think that should be the case.
Whom do you agree with? Do you think that PMP training can wait until after you’ve gotten a company up and running? Or do you see the benefit of having a project management infrastructure in place beforehand? If you prefer the first option, bear in mind that even the CIO article acknowledges that you’re opening yourself up for problems once your projects get sophisticated and frequent enough that you need PMP training but don’t have it.
That’s not to say that this is an unacceptable way of working. You can make up the deficiencies after you realize where they are. And at a certain point, all of us have to do this. But the more knowledge you have about a set of potential problems, the more equipped you will be to address them. And even if you are not an official project manager or you don’t have local project management infrastructure in place, a reasonable background in PMP training will make it easier for you to see the warning signs of project management deficiencies, and to respond to them before you lose business or productivity as a result.