A large number of technologists and engineers spend their working days in projects. Yet most make do without any sort of project management training.
Sign up for our new project management course
“Engineers and technologists are highly skilled, but may lack competence in leadership, organisation and creating a common understanding of goals, means and methods. This is what project management is all about”, says Otto Husby, managing director of Cimple, an e-learning company.
Although common sense and experience will serve project employees well, Husby maintains: “Project management is like cooking. Anyone can make pasta, but a good recipe often improves the dish.”
Course for engineers and technologists
Husby heads the team behind the Project Academy, part of NITO’s course offerings the past year. Now, in partnership with Cimple, NITO launches a brand new version of the project management course. Suitable for all engineers and technologists involved in projects, the course is available in English, Norwegian and as a tailor-made corporate program.
“We have created a completely new and updated digital course programme for NITO’s members. The course is a practical adaptation of international standards of project management, and will provide knowledge and skills of immediate use,” says Husby.
The end goal is to ensure high quality projects. The course is based on the PRINCE2 and PMBOK standards.
Step-by-step project management
The Project Academy provides a step-by-step guide to successful project management. The programme consists of five video-based course modules. Module one gives an overview of essentials of project management. Modules two, three and four cover how to plan, execute and organise projects. The project model, implementation and compliance are themes in the fifth and final module. Throughout, course participants will have access to guidelines, templates and checklists that are useful and transferable to their current projects.
«The Project Academy is a practical tool that we hope will be of daily use,” says Husby.
Each course module is composed of short, animated lessons and relevant exercises. Estimated time per module is two-three hours. At course completion, participants can obtain «The International Project Management Certificate». The Project Academy is condensed, interactive and completely up to date.
Planning is key
Husby has worked in project management his entire career. Several large domestic and international companies have retained his expertise as an advisor on project management and governance. Moreover, he has taught courses for companies and academic institutions such as NTNU, BI and SKEMA Business School. “For successful project management, go back to basics. It is the simple things that tend to trip you up”, advises Husby.
A common mistake, in his experience, is to rush through the early phases. Projects are poorly planned and insufficiently anchored in the organisation. “Too many half-baked projects are given a green light”, claims Husby.
As a result, uncertainties hamper projects from the beginning. What are the performance targets? Who is responsible for what? Where is the project based? If the wrong projects are started on the wrong basis, the risk is unwanted domino effects such as delays and budget gaps. “A lot could be avoided with better planning”, says Husby.
Another often unresolved issue is the question of what will happen when the project period ends. Who will receive the project outcome, and how will it be implemented? Husby concludes that this should be thought through from the outset.