Not all forms of project management training are created equal--or are even effective, according to the 262 business executives and managers, PMO directors, and project and program managers who participated in the survey. They measure the effectiveness of project management training based on evaluations that training participants fill out, positive changes in how project resources do their jobs, assessments of knowledge gained, and based on business results that can be clearly linked to the training.
More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents rated instructor-led classroom training as the most effective method.
Crawford says survey participants ranked instructor-led classroom training highest for a variety of reasons, including the opportunity to network, to spontaneously ask questions and share experiences, and to learn in an environment that tries to mimic actual project team dynamics.
"The instructors are typically seasoned project managers who have a lot of war stories," adds Crawford. "They felt hearing lessons from someone who has the scars is invaluable. There are also a lot of breakout groups and exercises. Students work with each other to resolve problems and handle conflicts."
Blended techniques, which combine instructor led-classroom learning with some combination of self-directed e-learning, instructor-led e-learning (such as webinars), or technology-delivered training (such as CD-ROMs or podcasts), ranked second, with 53% of respondents casting their vote.
Technology-delivered training did not fare so well, even among IT professionals, says Crawford. Less than one-third (29%) of respondents deemed self-directed e-learning to be worthwhile. Fewer (27%) considered instructor-led e-learning to be valuable. One-in-five (20%) think technology-delivered training is useful.
When asked why readers should trust the results of Project Management Solutions' survey (since it's in the company's best interest to show the business benefits that stem from project management training), Crawford clarified the goal of the study. She said it was to help set expectations around the impact that training can have on project and business performance.
"It's in our best interest to make sure people see results, not to train for training's sake," says Crawford. "There are situations where we won't offer training because we don't think an organization is ready. [For example,] They may need to have project management processes in place."
Meridith Levinson covers Careers, Project Management and Outsourcing for CIO.com. Follow Meridith on Twitter @meridith. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline. Email Meridith at email@example.com.