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PM Mentoring – The Importance of Project Staff Training

Mary Lewinson
September 5, 2010

The benefits of providing training opportunities to project staff

pm mentoringPerhaps you can hardly find organizations that do not try to follow the practice of successful project management mentoring and project staff training, because the modern competitive environment dictates to business organizations to have educated and skilled employees who can do daily tasks and perform projects with less time and money consumed. Through practising project management mentoring and training, any organization can direct and coordinate its human and material resources throughout the project life-cycle to accomplish established goals within the scope, expected quality, time and budget, while meeting expectations of the stakeholders.

Excellence in planning and implementing projects will be achieved if the organization owns training personnel that has earned online project management certifications and accomplished project management certificate programs. In this article I would like to describe a definition of project management (PM) mentoring and list its benefits so that you would see the importance of staff training.

Three Stages of the Training Process

But before focusing on PM mentoring definition and benefits, let’s review the project staff training process and understand its three stages. Why? – Because this process lets establish a framework for educating project teams through tutoring, coaching, and mentoring.

The process of project staff training refers to a complex of measures to educate project team members. There are three stages for developing skills and abilities of project staff. The stages are Tutoring, Coaching, and Mentoring. Let’s briefly review each of the options in relation to project management.

  • PM Tutoring. Typically, tutoring in projects refers to a process of educating project staff through teaching them and enhancing their skills and knowledge. Project management tutoring tends to make project staff more educated by showing the basics of project management and planning. It is the first stage of the project staff training process aimed at creating the fundamental knowledge about projects and the basic processes of project management. Tutoring often includes organization of project management classes, seminars and meetings to educate project staff.
  • PM Coaching. Coaching is a method of project management training focused on developing competency and skills of project staff through providing team members with professional advice and help. This project management training method assumes implementing a complex of tools for goals setting and results tracking that let “raise the bar” upon completion of the preset goals. A PM coach regularly reviews and updates the goals and then assigns project management classes and seminars in order to educate team members and move them towards achieving desired results. Project management coaching is the second stage of the project staff training process.
  • PM Mentoring. Staff mentoring is a complex of relationships between the mentor and the team. The mentor works on unlocking the factors required to let the team develop, generate creative solutions, and find new ways to succeed in performing projects. Project management mentoring is the third stage of the project staff training process giving the most effective education tools to organize project management elearning and plan for staff mentoring courses and online workshops.

What is PM Mentoring?

PM mentoring is a process of establishing knowledge sharing relationships between a project-experienced professional (e.g. a project manager) and a person or a group that has a less developed level of skills and experience in a given organization. Often the process is implemented as a mentoring relationship between the mentor and the mentee — formally, project management mentoring programs with official team training meetings make a foundation for the PM mentoring process.

The project mentor is a person who collaborates with the mentee and explores options to solve problems. The project mentor is responsible for “providing” project management certification courses and delivering expected project management mentoring results. The mentee can be a project team that must follow directions of the project mentor and attend assigned PM mentoring classes.

PM Mentoring Benefits

Here are the major benefits from implementing PM mentoring and training courses:

  • The team becomes more skilled in less time
  • The team can create new insights and discover new knowledge in the field of managing projects
  • The team gets access to people, project mentoring workshops, training sessions and other learning opportunities
  • Mentoring improves skills and competency of project team members
  • Mentors can hone their skills and enhance academic guidelines, becoming more effective
  • Mentors communicates with the mentee receiving feedback
  • Mentors and staff trainers will become more skilled at providing qualified help

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