I completed a Project Management Skills Development course yesterday at IPAA, of course sponsored by my project. Now I have some kind of a certification for PM stuff!
As we all know, PM is not only limited to IT projects, but when we work on IT world, you feel like its a pure IT thing. At this course, I met people from all areas and the course also was delivered as a common methodology rather than an IT specific thing, which is correct, even PMI does the same. It was hard to believe but there were very successful (Judging by their age, experience and achievements) project managers in that group who don't use MS Project! In IT, we have a feeling like, PM is MS Project, but it is not, it's just the industry that has lead us to be Software tool users for everything. Surely, its an effective tool and definitely advisable to use, but clearly, project management is a lot more than that. It involves your organizing,directing, controlling, monitoring and planning skills.
Effectiveness of project work as oppose to traditional hierarchical structures is proven and gaining popularity, so no wonder that more and more industries, work are being moved to be projects. Software, I guess was always project based from the very beginning.
All the basics were covered from Project initiation to Closure. Importantly, some interesting tools were given which could be used to build communication plan/strategy, issue identification and resolution etc. The issue identification tool using sticky notes involving all stakeholders sounded really interesting , novel and effective and its called the Affinity Model.
Course was highly interactive and used our own experiences very much. Both individual and group work were given high prominence. Group work proved to be effective and very productive, because you get years worth experience onto the table from many people to be discussed and learnt.