On-line project management training is growing rapidly with new courses and new ways of learning emerging every day, ranging from webinars, flash presentations, podcasts and video. These learning methods may be highly effective for learning certification methods such as PRINCE2 or PMP but will they lead to a more competent project manager. It is widely recognised that the most important skills in successful project management is the so called soft skills. These include:
- Team leading including motivation, ensuring individuals have clear goals and objectives which match their capabilities.
- Negotiating with a wide range of stakeholders, suppliers and customers.
- Dealing with conflict and resolving project issues.
- Working with a wide range of cultures
If it is agreed that these skills are highly important, then is it possible for these to be developed using on-line learning technologies? It’s difficult to see how these key competencies could be possibly developed on-line. The most effective way is by role play, simulation and de-brief from a skilled observer / facilitator. This argument is strenghened by the fact that most adults are activists and they learn by doing and application.
So why the rapid increase in on-line learning. He answer is the cost. On-line training is much cheaper to deliver, over the internet with minimal cost of delivery. Hence in increasingly difficult times organisations are selecting the cheapest short term solution.
An organisation which values its long term future will also invest in a blended approach to learning which includes significant facilitator input and coaching. In addition to on-line learning.