21
MAY
2014

What Trainers Need To Know About Project Management

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Project management skills are essential when it comes to developing and applying a training program for employees; in fact, these skills are fundamental if the program is to be a success. Because we may have several projects on the go at any one time, as we bid to instigate a growth in our business, it can mean that certain projects either become neglected – or they run away with themselves. When this happens, stress can become manifest, and the training program we began with the best intentions begins to fall apart around us, with the staff becoming disillusioned. Project management, with skills centring around planning, organisation, and management, is something that can be learnt by all of us and its worth is invaluable.

Planning

Training programs are important for both the business and the employee. It is important that the trainer shows enough respect to their employee by developing and sustaining a program that is successful, and which doesn’t get undercut or neglected simply because the trainer has poor project management skills. Project management’s basics are centred around planning and organising. At the start of a project need to write up your overall end goal for each aspect, as well as your daily goals. By writing up daily goals and tasks that you want to achieve with each of your projects, you will be able to better manage your time. You will know what you have to do each day, and you will be able to make sure that you never over stretch yourself. If you don’t organise your time daily, you can be sure that at least one of the aspects of your training program will take months, rather than weeks, to complete. Make deadlines, and stick to them.

Naturally, it may not always be possible to accurately calculate a finish time for each program, but by using previous experience (and you will gain experience as you go along), and breaking down your program into daily goals and targets, you will have a clearer vision of all your deadlines – including the final deadline. When we envision end results, we have a greater chance of meeting them. Each project will have a timeline, and if you clearly delineate where you want to be at the end of each week, and as long as you’re reasonable with your expectations, you will have a much greater chance of success. Being reasonable with our expectations is, in fact, a key factor; you don’t want to over stretch yourself, and you need to remember to always work within your means. There are boundaries for all things, and project management is all about setting yourself boundaries that you can work within.

Know Your Staff

Organising and working with your staff means that you will need good communication skills. To get the best out of your training program, you will need to be able to work well with your employees. You don’t have to be the most perceptive person to be able to detect who is good at what; finding out the key skills of your staff and using them to everyone’s advantage is part and parcel of what makes a training program successful. You will need to be constantly talking to your employees, keeping them updated, and you can do this through meetings. This doesn’t mean that you need to organise a plethora of meetings that cover just a few trivial points; the key is to make the meetings as effective as possible.

Think On Your Feet

Finally, project management teaches the trainer to think on their feet. It may be that, from time to time, things go wrong and your timeline has to be altered a little to compensate for lost time. You need to be ready for these kind of moments, and experience itself is often enough to act as a saving grace in times such as these. It may even be that the time you were given by the company simply wasn’t enough, in which case you can talk to them about future changes in the way your training program is scheduled. Project management breeds experience, and experience is what will ultimately shape your future success as a trainer.

Ravinder Tulsiani, CTDP, BA (Law): Educator, business developer, corporate leader, author, & entrepreneur – I offer diverse talents across a wide spectrum of businesses & industries. My reputation for excellence reflects my expertise as a strategic planner who creates cultural transformation in business – with a focus on educating & motivating the workforce to achieve core business objectives.
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