Project Management Skills Training
Whether you’re looking to formally transition into a project management (PM) role or just improve your ability to keep a team on time and on task, thinking about PM from a holistic perspective is key to professional success. Though some may denigrate PM by reducing it to staying on top of reminders, excelling at PM tasks requires practice in a wide range of areas—including communication, leadership, collaboration, problem-solving, and adaptability, to name just a few.
Companies are increasingly recognizing the value of PM skills and acknowledging the large role they play across their organizations. In a recent study commissioned by the tech company Wrike, a whopping 94% of respondents said they consistently, though often unofficially, manage projects in their workplace. With a result that overwhelming, chances are PM is a significant part of your daily life too. Here’s how we can help you excel at it.
Learning Effective Project Management Skills
At their core, project managers are responsible for planning out a project’s task list and milestones, and working with stakeholders to ensure timelines adequately reflect both project goals and the amount of time needed to successfully execute a task. However, beyond this, their duties often extend to everything from ensuring stakeholders understand how success is defined for their tasks, to negotiating how work will be balanced against budget, to troubleshooting unexpected roadblocks—big and small. In terms of hard skills, this means being adept at everything listed below:
Project managers are charged with fitting tasks into tight timelines while ensuring their company performs well against their financial goals. This means knowing how to efficiently leverage the time aspect of internal resources, when to bring on external support to stay on schedule, and how to allocate funds for and negotiate vendor pricing to remain in the black.
Project managers don’t just oversee members of the project team—they’re a part of the project team themselves! To that end, they must learn to effectively work with others, soliciting their feedback on vital elements like workflow, task time, check-in cadences, and tools needed to keep everyone on track.
From kickoff meetings to retrospectives, project managers are tasked with clearly communicating the needs of the project every step of the way. This means knowing how to gauge team members’ communication styles, how to structure communications to optimize for both understanding and buy-in, and—most importantly—how to keep the project flowing smoothly while also ensuring everyone’s needs are being heard.
Forecasting and Risk Management
You know that saying about best laid plans? Well, it’s usually top-of-mind for most project managers. As part of their role, they are expected to both plan for and forecast expected outcomes—meaning when a project is likely to be completed, how much internal resource time needs to be allocated, and how much money should be set aside to budget for external support or overtime—as well as predict potential setbacks and roadblocks, and make contingency plans for them.
Knowing how to talk so others will listen is a key part of any management position—and PM is no different. Even if you don’t consistently lead a team, spearheading a project requires a lot of the same subskills. Namely, being able to inspire others to perform their best work, knowing how to spot and ameliorate interpersonal tensions, and effectively problem-solving through unexpected developments.
No longer a “soft skill,” popular PM methodologies have turned time management into a robust, testable field with multiple diverging philosophies, including Agile and Waterfall. Being well-versed in varying PM techniques, knowing which one is best for your industry and project type, and being able to seamlessly adapt your chosen approach’s principles to fit a given project’s specifics are all key parts of being an effective manager of time.
Though learning these skills sometimes happens through unofficial channels, with internal mentorship structures and on-the-job apprenticeship opportunities, it is more often honed in the classroom. Expert project managers typically get their start through recognizing PM as a recurring part of their role and seeking out training to ensure they are expertly handling the process.
Advance Your Project Management Skills with Our Top Courses
Don’t know where to start? Consider our Improving Your Project Management Skills: The Basics for Success class. Specially designed for people who are new to project management or for those who consider project management a distant secondary portion of their jobs, this introductory course offers lectures, discussions, and exercises that cover practical applications of Project Management Institute concepts.
Learn all you need to know about contributing to project management with one of our most popular classes: Essentials of Project Management for the Non-Project Manager. This two-day class is perfect for those who are often part of interdepartmental efforts, but not officially at their helm – such as subject matter experts, project sponsors, or contributors. Teaching essential project management concepts and associated terminology, this class is essential to ensuring everyone on your team is aligned on expectations and using a common language.
Ready to build on a solid foundation? Project, program, and team leaders with several years of experience leading project management tasks can take their acumen to the next level with a five day comprehensive project management workshop. Aligned with Project Management Institute principles, this immersive workshop builds on existing real-world experience to help managers master 35 professional development units pre-approved by PMI, including skills like risk management, team structuring, and effective documentation. Participation in the workshop paves the way to becoming a certified PMP.
PMP Exam Prep Course
Why AMA will help you advance your career with project management skills
Though the web offers plenty of so-called solutions for mastering project management skills, American Management Association classes provide an alternative option for those who are seeking official PMP® Certification, appreciate the stimulation of in-person classes, or are looking to replicate the in-person experience safely from their homes or offices while still adhering to industry-renowned PMI methodologies.
Though AMA offers both online and in-person options, all classes maintain an immersive, participatory feel, with educators taking the time to share real-world experiences, answer participant questions, and moderate exercises aimed at improving comprehension – a far cry from the pre-recorded feel of typical online courses.
“Extremely knowledgeable instructor who made all the concepts easy to understand by putting them into real-life context. I felt comfortable sharing my own ideas and experiences and asking questions. I also enjoyed how interactive the course was.”
- Norah C., Customer Service Specialist, Printing Industry
Essentials of Project Management for the Non-Project Manager
Find the PM and Communication Training You Need
Check out our full list of classes focused on project management and related communication, collaboration, and leadership skills. AMA offers courses across a wide range of levels, from beginner to advanced. Ensure you have a firm handle on the skills essential for your role by taking a class that corresponds with your professional level, or that you’re on an upwards trajectory in your workplace by taking courses above your current level.
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Agile Project Management
Though Agile philosophies started in the tech industry, helping redefine the methodologies used for successful software design and development, this project management method has now gone mainstream. Agile project management centers on iterative processes that are adjusted and learned from throughout the project, promoting adaptability and speed. This is in contrast to traditional project management, which often focuses on a single, linear journey.
To get started in Agile, check out our relevant courses:
AMA’s Virtual Project Management Training
Project management is a series of evergreen principles adjusted to fit ever-evolving business needs. We like to think of our courses the same way. With over 40 physical locations conveniently located throughout the United States, we’ve honed our craft in the classroom, learning how to lead participatory, immersive sessions that aid concept comprehension and retention – and now, we’re taking those skills online, with a comprehensive range of virtual class options.
Choose from our various project management training class types to find the one that best fits your schedule and learning needs.
The closest thing to an in-person experience, our Live Online classes allow you to work in groups with other PM learners, take part in lecture breakout sessions, solicit advice or ask for clarification from course-leaders, and enjoy personalized feedback on your progress.
Enjoy a live experience even if you’re pressed for time with our webinars, which pack a lecture full of real world expertise and examples into a single afternoon session. Better yet, get the option to revisit your learning at any time: paid registrants get a single-user license to access a recorded archive of the program for up to a full year.
Best for self-starters with a packed daytime schedule, our OnDemand Courses let you learn whenever works best for you, offering pre-recorded seminars formulated by real project management professionals. Packed with both overviews of PM principles and real world case studies, these sessions let you learn and complete assignment prompts at your own pace.
All AMA Project Management Classes