On the Strategy & Projects blog this week, we delved into a question about the optimal number of projects that one project manager can handle at a time. (You can read the answer here.)
As I poked around in various research studies looking for clues, I found that like many seemingly simple questions, the answer is “it depends.” In this case, much depends on the project manager. (And we proved that!)
Not a hard data point, but an observation based on the many PMO of the Year applications that I have read over the years is that determining the competency of project managers is a key first step in figuring out who is capable of handling multiple projects. Almost all the finalists share this as a feature of their PMO practice. For example, talent management played a key role in the PMO improvements that led to Navy Federal Credit Union winning PMO of the Year in 2015. Here’s a quote from the description of the winning entry:
The PMO has incorporated numerous best practices and standards to support better performance and success, including a structured career path that ranges from the Level 1 apprentice PM to Level 4 Program Manager, as well as a Project Coordinator track and intern program … [In 2015] the PMO ramped up efforts around talent management strategy. This multi-year effort will transition the group to become more intentional in assigning staff, aligning staff with the appropriate initiatives based on skills and competencies, and developing comprehensive talent management tools …
Knowing which project managers are capable of handling multiple or complex initiatives can mean the difference between success and failure. No hard and fast rule can be applied when each project is “a unique effort” and each project manager an individual. With determining optimal project manager load, as with so many questions of organizational performance, much depends upon the organization’s commitment to improvement. Assessment of talent and capability is a first step on the road.
In addition, managing multiple projects is a different challenge from managing large projects or program. For one thing, the leader of multiple projects often must juggle different stakeholder and strategy imperatives. There’s an internal consistency to the direction of even the largest projects and programs that scattered initiatives can’t provide. Furthermore, “multiple” project manager must be disciplined in her time management to get to everyone he must.
This post was adapted from an original post on the PM College Blog.
Does your institution need to offer project management or leadership training? Are employers asking for project management certifications from your business and engineering students? Do you have faculty who has the qualifications, but not the curricula?
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The trend is unmistakable: elearning is here to stay. According to research by eLearning Industry, this instructional method has grown by over 9% in the past five years. One area in particular stood out for us:
… The online corporate market is expected to grow by 13% per year up to 2017. Today, 77% of USA companies offer online corporate training to improve the professional development of their employees.
… Large companies are the main purchasers of eLearning products and services. As a matter of fact, these companies make up roughly 30% of all eLearning buyers.
And this makes sense. To drive change and improvement, organizations need their training to directly address their unique needs. And most companies realize that workers already have numerous priorities, both work and personal, clamoring for thier attention. Using eLearning erases some of the barriers to professional development, so it’s a win-win for both company and employee. Check out some statistics on business value of customized training here.
eLearning is the 21st-century way to deliver knowledge around your organization and even around the world. But the value doesn’t stop there; digitized content is the streamlined way to provide learning that is tailored to an industry, a company, or even a role within that company. At PM College, we get that … that’s why our approach focuses on what you need to drive compliance, understanding, and change. We do not simply say: “Here’s what have on the shelf, do you want one?” Instead, each course is tailored for your organization, your audiences, and your content. We’ve designed, managed, and delivered both virtual and self-paced content.
Did you know that PM College works with clients to build digital content from the ground up? Our instructional design and development capabilities are what make us different from other professional development providers. And that puts us on the leading edge of the wave that eLearning Industry‘s study describes.
This post originally appeared on the PM College blog.