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Why You Need Digital Project Management Training in 2020

 

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Getting digital project management training these days is critical, and smart organizations are providing it directly to their project managers, in order to increase the effectiveness of their project teams and upskill their employees.

In fact, the most successful companies are more likely to invest in project management training for their employees than lower-performing organizations. For example, 56% of successful organizations provide training in advanced skill development, compared to only 14% of lower-performing organizations.

For high-performing companies, it’s a positive cycle — they do well, they have money to invest in training their PMs well, so their PMs work better, which brings further success to the company. For lower-performing companies, it’s the opposite.

This article will cover the benefits of training, help you decide whether you need training, and what you can expect from digital project management training.

5 Benefits of Digital Project Management Training

While there are endless benefits to digital project management training, here are a few of the major ones.

1. Ongoing Support

One of the great things about digital project management training is the ability to get ongoing support from peers, experts, or both. You’ll have fellow project managers to turn to for advice and guidance for your real-life projects and project deliverables.

Ongoing is the key word here. Short term training is great, but with ongoing training, such as through our DPM Membership, you have more time to ask questions and learn as you go, instead of trying to jam everything into a few sessions.

2. Network with Peers

Digital project management training is great for meeting and connecting with other project managers working in the field. In addition to supporting each other in your respective roles, project managers can learn from each other, as they are likely to have different experiences, knowledge, and skill sets to draw from. Not to mention, lots of job and career advancement opportunities can come from networking.

3. Expert Mentorship

The ability to get mentorship or coaching from experts is another benefit of digital project management training. The better training options will offer opportunities for direct mentorship from experts, whether it’s one-on-one or group mentorship.

Having an expert weigh in on your questions or concerns based on their wealth of experience is extremely valuable. It’s worth noting that expert mentorship and workshops are also available through our DPM Membership.

4. Build Skills

Training will also give you the ability to improve your project management skills, as well as gain new ones that are essential to your work as a project manager. This might include hard skills, soft skills, or traits, as well as technical skills. Make sure that whatever training option you choose includes the opportunity to learn and build on the skills you want or need to learn.

One crucial skill for project management is communication, but 38% of organizations note that their project managers are lacking this skill. Mastering this skill, and others important for project management will bring a lot of value to your projects and to your organization.

5. Standardize Processes

Digital project management training will give you the opportunity to standardize your project management processes. As you progress through training and learn more about proper procedures and best practices in the trade, you’ll recognize the right way to standardize processes and procedures within your organization for things like quality assurance, risk management, project initiation, and more. Standardizing these processes will make you and your team members more efficient and help your projects run smoother.

According to PMI, organizations with set project management processes and practices are completing more projects successfully and wasting 28x less money than organizations that don’t.

Do You Need Digital Project Management Training?

Lots of positions outside of those with the title Digital Project Manager could benefit from digital project management training. You might not even realize that you are actually doing digital project management! Here’s an FAQ that will help you figure out whether your role could benefit from digital project management training.

What is Digital Project Management?

Essentially, digital project management is managing projects that are digital in nature. It follows the core principles and concepts of project management, but focuses on projects that involve digital elements or platforms like web applications or mobile applications.

What are Digital Projects?

Digital projects include any projects that have a digital platform or application at their core. Some examples of digital projects include marketing videos, web applications, website builds, mobile applications, social media, email marketing campaigns, SEO, and more.

Are you a Digital Project Manager?

If your job title isn’t Digital Project Manager, you might still be doing digital project management. Do you fall into one of these two categories?

  • Your title is Project Manager, and you have all the responsibilities that a project manager would normally take on. Take a moment to think about the projects you work on. Are the digital projects, as defined above? If so, you are a digital project manager, even if this isn’t directly reflected in your title.
  • You have a title that is seemingly unrelated to project management, such as “Team Lead”, “Operations Manager”, or “Marketing Manager”. Your role is in the digital space, and your responsibilities include things like scheduling resources, assigning tasks, and ensuring projects stay within budget and timeline, which are project management responsibilities, even if they aren’t stated as such. These conditions would also make you a digital project manager.

What skills are needed for digital project management?

Digital project management requires a mix of soft skills and hard skills. Along with general project management skills like project planning and risk management, and general soft skills like communication and prioritization, digital project managers also require digital skills.

This can include technical skills in things like programming, UX/UI, data and analytics, SEO, digital marketing, and copywriting skills. While digital project managers don’t need extensive training in all these areas, having strong knowledge in a few areas or a general understanding in a wide variety is greatly beneficial.

If you need to brush up on these skills, digital project management training is often a great way to do it.

What are common digital project issues?

Here are some common issues that occur in digital projects. If you find yourself running into these often, whatever your role, digital project management training could be of use.

  • Budget Overrun
  • Timeline Overrun
  • Scope Creep
  • Communication issues
  • Lack of resources
  • Quality issues

Keep in mind that these are just the most common project problems — there are a variety of other issues, and it would be impossible to categorize every single issue that might occur throughout the project lifecycle. Digital project management training can help with any of these issues as well.

What else is needed for digital project management?

Besides project management skills, technical skills, and knowledge of how to deal with common issues that occur in digital projects, there are a few other good-to-haves when it comes to digital project management, many of which can be learned through training.

These include:

  • Project management tools, methodologies, and processes: Knowledge of project management methodologies and processes, such as agile project management, waterfall, or scrum, and how to apply them is valuable. Using the right methodology and tools for your project will help you run it smoother and avoid project problems.
  • Experience: While you can gain a certain amount of experience through training, experience is best gained in the working world. General project management experience can be transferred to digital project management, as can experience with project management responsibilities such as resource scheduling and assigning tasks.
  • General management principles: This includes knowledge of and experience with managing people for things like dealing with conflict and differing opinions, motivating people, and keeping them on track. This can be gained through training, as well as through most management positions, whether project-based or not.
  • Ability to work with clients: A lot of this comes from experience, but training can also be valuable. Skill in this area can also be transferred from other roles such as account management or customer service.

What To Expect From Digital Project Management Training

There are many different types of digital project management training, which can take the form of digital project management courses, an intro to digital project management, mentorship, peer groups, project management communities, a project management academy, training for specific project management certifications, and more.

Depending on what type of training you opt for, the format will look very different. You might be taking a structured online course with set modules, or you might be joining a community of project management experts and peers for ongoing training and support.

  • If you are looking for certification, you can often expect an exam at the end of the course, although this is not always the case.
  • For degree programs at accredited universities, you are often looking at upwards of $20,000 USD, but this will earn you a university degree, which is very valuable. Master’s programs tend to be more expensive per semester than bachelor’s degree programs.
  • If you want ongoing training rather than a course-style training option, your best bet will be mentorship or coaching. This can be from an expert, your peers, or a combination of both. Keep in mind that it will likely cost more for mentorship from an expert.
  • If you are interested in following a course structure, courses in the $300 to $800 USD range often provide access to lessons and a course structure. These courses may be guided or not, but most provide the ability to go at your own pace.
  • Courses in the $800+ range often provide a more hands-on and interactive experience, which might include assignments, the ability to network with peers and experts, and other opportunities to get instruction from experts and peers.
  • There are also several online platforms that offer access to hundreds of courses for a monthly fee, such as LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera for Teams. These are a great option if you are looking for several specializations, such as in agile, scrum, digital marketing, and more.

What To Look For In Digital Project Management Online Training

Here’s a quick overview of what to look for in the digital project management training you might be considering. Again, depending on the type of training course you’re looking at, not all of these will apply.

  • Expert Advice: You might want to look for the ability to get expert advice, as well as to connect with experts. This might come in the form of case studies from experts, one on one discussions or mentorship, or instruction on course content and course materials.
  • Peer Interaction: You might prefer a learning experience that involves interacting with a community on a forum or community board.
  • Topics: Look out for specific topics that you want covered such as agile methodologies or how to create a project plan or a Gantt chart.
  • Format: Depending on your preference, check whether the learning path will be structured like a course or some other format, or whether it’s based on the changing needs and interests of the people in the training.
  • Certification or Exam Prep: If you’re looking for exam prep or a project manager certification specifically, make sure that the outcome of the training involves those things, whether it’s just a badge for your LinkedIn profile or a specific certification such as the Project Management Professional (PMP certification), a popular offering from the Project Management Institute (PMI).

What Do You Think?

Are you planning on taking digital project management training? Have you had training in the past? How did it go? We’d love to hear your opinion.

Make sure to subscribe to our DPM newsletter for more content on how to succeed as a digital project manager!

 

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Nuala Turner

About Nuala Turner

Content writer and project management enthusiast. Excited about the possibilities in research and copywriting for project management, marketing, media, and the digital space.

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