When you’re looking for PMO training, you are often spoilt for choice. There’s a massive and ever-growing range of PMOs qualifications available (we’re including all the project, programme and portfolio ones too!), so how do you know you’re choosing the right course? There are lots of things to consider, so here’s our handy guide on picking the right training for you.
Before you start, this isn’t a simple quiz that will spit out the right answer, but it will help you ask some important questions before you commit to a course.
1. What Do You Want From Your PMO Training?
First things first, why are you looking for a training course? If the amount of options is baffling you, try and step back and write a bullet point list of what it is you ideally want to achieve. These can be a specific skill you’d like to develop, a challenge in your work you need help to overcome, a way to move into the world of PMO or just something new for your CV to help you get ahead.
By breaking down the details, you can use your list to crosscheck course content and make sure you’re getting what you need.
Now we know where we want to try and get to, let’s look at where we are now. It might be the case that the course you want to go on has some prerequisites you don’t hold, or you’re moving into a new area and need some foundation knowledge before moving onto advanced courses.
It’s important to know where you stand. No one wants to spend a week rehashing what they already know or be sitting in a discussion where you feel completely out of your depth. To help you figure out where you stand, we’ve defined the four levels of PMO (available on our Getting Started page) so you can see who each course is aimed at
This can help you make a more long-term plan. We recommend you undertake some training every two years within your role to help you develop and progress. If you have lofty goals, take your time, you can supplement your training schedule with some recommended reading, or use our coaching sessions to keep you on track.
3. What Courses are Available?
Now you’ve decided what you need, you can start to look at what’s on offer. It’s important to understand that there may not be the perfect course for you. Everyone is looking for their ‘goldilocks’ course so you need to be a bit realistic. If there’s a module that goes over what you already know, then you can treat it like revision. A module that goes beyond what you needed, well, that’s a good stretch on your knowledge and may well come to help you in the future.
You can use the PMO training schedule to see all the upcoming courses, or just browse through the various course pages. You should read the course content and prerequisites to help you see how they fit your answers to the first two questions, and you can begin to narrow down the courses that feel right for you. Here’s where you can use your checklist to discount the courses that aren’t at the right level or don’t cover what you need.
Still not sure? Don’t be afraid to ask, get in touch and let us help you with your question or query.
4. So, Which Course is Best?
Now for the nitty gritty. To make a final decision, you need to go back to Question 1, why are you looking for training? If you’re looking to improve your CV, then you might want to prioritise a certification course to really show employers you know your stuff. If you’re looking for training for your team, then a specialised course may be more useful to tackle the specific needs you have in your organisation.
This part is the personal bit. Only you know the most important bits of knowledge you want to take home. Training has many practical benefits, but it should also be fun! You’re going to meet like-minded people, learn new things and return to work, hopefully, feeling more confident and capable.
It not only helps yourself when you pick the right course but everyone else involved too. Your colleagues benefit from what you’ve learnt and your coursemates and trainer get a better course outcome from the discussions you stimulate in the classroom.
If you’re still struggling to decide between two close contenders, then moving onto the next step might help you pick the course most convenient for you.
So, you’ve found the course (or courses) you want but does it work for you? Location, timings and cost are all things that you (and your company) needs to know, so there’s a few things you should check first.
Where’s the course being held? If you’re in Aberdeen, then a session in Cornwall probably isn’t convenient for you.
When is the course? This isn’t just the dates but also the duration, it can be much easier to hop on a train for a one-day course, than it is to find a week out the office and make sure you don’t double book for that week of important interviews! We are normally able to offer multiple course dates to book in advance, and if something pops up, you can always transfer your place to another date.
How much does the course cost? This is part where you can get savvy. It’s much easier to get approval for a course if you can show you’ve found the best price. Plan in advance and you can take advantage of our early booking discounts or recruit your colleagues and you can enjoy a group discount (for more than 3 people). If you’re looking to book for more than six people, then it become much cheaper to host an inhouse course, where you can reap all the benefits of a private course for just your team.
If you’re looking for help gaining funding for the course you’d like to do from your company, take a look at the training justification guidance we have available too.
If you’ve looked at everything and nothing is piquing your interest, don’t despair! First of all – let us know. If you can answer the first two questions, we can offer you some professional advice (your LinkedIn profile can often help us see where you are now). It may be that you could use some coaching sessions, either on their own or alongside a course.
If you’re looking to book for an organisation, you have some more choice. If you’d like to run a course inhouse, we can help tailor the course for your team or, if you want something completely new, we offer bespoke courses