Training for Project Management, Volume 1: Skills and Principles

Stokes, I (2011)

Publications: Gower

ISBN: 9781412968959

Reviewer: Michael G Dilcock

This first volume (Skills and Principles) of a three part series is intended to provide a comprehensive course structure and supporting materials for management trainers. The book seeks to deliver basic management skills in contributory part of a wider project management syllabus. The book by design is both professionally and practically presented. The A4 four-hole folder provides a sufficiency of space for notes to be made in the page margins and additional loose sheets. The text is printed in a relatively large font aiding readability of both the trainer and trainee. In addition the loose-leaf binding provides repeated copying which adds significant physical life to the book on the whole.

On the basis that ‘Volume One’ consists of thirty-nine modular action-centred learning activities, separated into five specific themes and based on the ‘timings’ applicable, it is apparent the intention is presentation of an introductory training course of one-week’s duration. The book in format is presented in five clearly definable parts where every part carries with it a separate introduction subsequently divided into several activities attributable to the ‘daily themes’, those parts being:

  • Project management principles
  • Setting objectives and assessing requirements
  • Creativity and problem solving
  • Communication, negotiation and co-ordination
  • Motivation, teamwork and leadership

These activities are specifically designed in order to delve into the applicable learning area, in tandem with developing team relationships and from that providing encouragement in enhanced self-learning including group appreciation The ‘lesson plan’ adopted for each activity has by way of individual/group input ‘specific aims’ and ‘learning objectives’. This allows the trainer immediacy in familiarisation with relevant information being readily accessible. Whether or not the student(s)/group have prior appreciation of management skills training/education, the aim is to provide group cohesion from the outset by way of collective appreciation/sharing in reaction and delivery. The activities applicable are presented thus:

  • The activity; its title and number
  • Description of the activity
  • Application of the activity; justifying importance
  • Primary aims of the session
  • Trainer Guidance
  • Method of group briefing
  • Learning messages, questions that the groups should be challenged with.
  • Typical timing for the exercise to be carried out fully
  • Materials required for the session.
  • Applicable session handouts

Whilst this book is primarily a viable tool in the delivery of training in the arena of ‘project management’, the books content per se and the logical approach in presentation would provide effective reading for ‘project managers’ engaged at the sharp end of organisational delivery.

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