Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Project Management training webinars

As I said in my previous blog 5 Best Podcasts for Business Managers, I am always on the lookout for useful free management training tools. I just recently came across a nice website with free Project Management training webinars.

PM Centers USA holds free monthly webinars for Project Management topics. Attendees can earn 0.5 Professional Development Units (PDUs) for each webinar that can be used for maintaining your PMP accreditation. You can register for their upcoming webinars at their website.

They also offer free access to many previously recorded webinars. You will need to register your name and contact information with the website, but it is completely free and well worth it. I highly recommend the following 2 Project Management webinars:

Common Scheduling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Joe Lukas, an outstanding presenter, takes you through his top 10 scheduling mistakes that he's seen people make. He gives some best practice tips including a nice Microsoft Project instruction document that will allow you to better track task float by visualizing early and late start/stops for your activities.

Essential Business Case Skills
Joe Lukas does another masterful job of providing useful training and tips in a short amount of time (about 25 minutes). Joe gives a very good introduction to Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), and other business finance calculations that all project managers should be familiar with. The webcast introduces an excel file document that can be freely downloaded from the PM Centers USA website that will automatically calculate NPV, IRR, and other project financial information. It's a very nice tool to play with, whether you're discounting future cash flows on your project or calculating your monthly car payments needed to pay back your loan in 3 years.

So there you go. More free management training tools for you to look at and learn from. As I continue to find others, I'll keep you posted on what I think are the best ones. Please feel free to contact me or comment to this post if you have other sources of good information that you know about.


Nathaniel @ project manager training said...

This post is great. Recently, I have been looking for seminars on the web until I got across your blog.

It's awesome that there are such seminars held online! Thanks for sharing. Keep it up!

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Sharon said...

If you have very little experience or you have just started your career, then CAPM certification will surely help you to take your career to the next level. This certification shows your employer that you are a capable person, and you have the ability to manage projects. It also shows that you are well aware of the terminology used in the PMBOK Guide.

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Anonymous said...

Great Post! This can be great help in managing projects. Although, I would say using great tool for your Project and Contact Management should be compulsory for every business in order to keep track of everything from tasks to invoices.

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Dave Edward said...

Tag: PM200A57. Let me share all of you about #5 Tips for Project Management Success,, I hope you enjoy it

1. Plan your day using time management techniques

As a project manager, time management skills are essential because you are dealing with a wide range of tasks that demand a quick turnaround time. Planning your day will go a long way in keeping you organized and increasing your productivity. Assist your task planning by using project management software which helps you track the work of you and your team.

If you are not very tech savvy, a simple to-do list can also be a great organizational tool. Prioritize your most important tasks by putting them at the top of the list and less important ones at the bottom. Having a visual plan of your daily tasks helps to keep you on track and aware of time.

Related post: Free ebook 104 secrets to become a great project manager

2. Include stakeholders in important project conversations

While you will have plenty of responsibilities regarding the project, don’t neglect your clients.

Good communication is essential is keeping both parties informed of project progression, curtailing scope creep, and apprised of changing requirements. Some clients may have different expectations when it comes to communication, so make sure to establish the frequency and type of communication (like emails, phone calls, and face-to-face conversations) at the beginning of your project.

Establishing communication expectations early helps alleviate stakeholder uncertainty about communication frequency and delivery.

3. Regularly communicate with your team

Daily team communication helps keep misunderstandings and unclear requirements under control. Keeping your team informed in every step of the project is essential to project management success.

For example, a study published by Procedia Technology found that good communication skills were the cornerstone of project management. The study examined over 300 “construction project managers, architects, construction managers, engineers and quantity surveyors” and their successes and failures on various construction projects.

4. Anticipate project setbacks

Even the best-laid plans often go awry.

Remember that even with a high amount of planning and attention to detail, your project may still encounter some challenges. Pay attention to complaints from stakeholders or colleagues, and other warning signs, like a missed deadline or cost overrun, that there may be a problem.

Preventing a crisis will keep your project running smoothly, save you a lot of time, and keep you, your team, and your stakeholders confident in progressing with the project.

Unfortunately not every complication can be avoided. Crisis management skills are essential for dealing with the unexpected. Project managers need to be flexible and pragmatic. Improvise and make sharp decisions when needed.

Related post: 92 free project management templates

5. Stay focused on the details

A common problem project managers encounter is having the project aims not aligned with the organization’s objectives. A great project manager will strategize a plan for the project to lead back to the overall success of the business.

Know your project’s scope by heart and avoid wandering outside of the project’s requirements. It’s too easy to get lost in minor details and forget what your focus is, so a well-planned project scope is essential for success.

And final, you should use KPI to measure effectiveness of the project, here are full list: 76 project management KPIs

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