IT Staff & Team BuildingProject Management

10 Ways to Maximize Return on Training

You might be surrounded by a dozen perfectly competent project managers right now. But the beauty of competency is that the learning is never done, and these managers could become even better. In a post for the Association for Project Management, Matthew Channell describes 10 ways to maximize the return on investment of project manager training:

  1. Use training as a strategic tool.
  2. Have clear organizational goals in mind.
  3. Identify skill gaps accurately.
  4. Ask your project team to think about what it wants from the training.
  5. Create a clear and focused environment.
  6. Ensure that the training actually meets the organization’s needs.
  7. Evaluate job behavior before and after training.
  8. Hire the right training partner.
  9. Aim to foster personal and professional development.
  10. Ensure your project managers are consistently engaged.

Riding the ROI Train

If the only catalyst for the business providing training is that someone is not up to par and a boss moans, “Fine, give the idiot some training,” that is obviously bad. Training should occur not just to improve weaknesses but to make strengths stronger—particularly in areas that will benefit company strategy. In fact, employees should be told outright how the business will benefit from and appreciate their expanded skills.

On the flip side, seek to learn what it is employees want to get out of the training as well, so that employee and business alike come out happy. Maybe have employees write down questions that they would like to be able to answer as a result of the training, and then see if they can indeed answer them post-training. Likewise, leading up to the training, work with employees to free up their schedules so that the training can be the primary focus over other priorities.

Do not just assume that training will do its job. Establish methods to evaluate job behaviors before and after the training. This will show if training is creating the intended boost in capabilities. One critical way to waste training is to train a person who is not engaged. Do not allow people to get bored with the training:

If something isn’t working, or your team is losing concentration, communicate this with your training provider. Positive, professional providers will be flexible with their programme, and if your team is not responding well to an aspect of the training, the provider is obliged to adapt its style or delivery. Programmes should be continually improved and adapted to create the best results. As with a project, you should approach a training programme by first establishing your objectives and defining exactly what you are looking to achieve.

Training has upfront costs, yes, but in the long run, it is basically a button you can keep pressing for improved business results. You can view the original post here:

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