When someone talks about continuous PM Training - often a Manager/Exec states the company does not need it, since they already did the PM training.

Often I hear PMs telling me, they took a PM training course, but then are not allowed any more.  They tend to hear " all PM training is the same, and especially when it leads to certification (e.g. PMP) and thus we don't need more of the same thing".

I fully agree to not duplicate things, but, wow, PM is so diverse, and every few years the profession has major advancements - since it is an enabler of business (which is constantly evolving). One thing for sure, you want success in business, you must be open to creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and the ability to evolve and continue to learn.

PM is an incredibly tough profession.  Mostly because everyone can rightfully say that we are all Project Managers and we all do Project Management. Thus we can also technically say we are already doing it so do not need training, or we already know so much we do not have time for more, or there is not enough value to take a class since it is too subjective (not enough immediate, tangible results).

Project Management is extremely diverse, unique, complex full of risk and varies greatly depending on the:

  • sponsor, 
  • project manager,
  • team, 
  • risk thresholds, 
  • stakeholders, 
  • culture of the organization, 
  • tools available,
  • clarity of success,
  • etc, etc, etc.

Thus the type of training, or education or coaching/mentoring and delivery approach can also have tremendous variances based on different instructors, methodologies, learning approaches, technologies, experiences, knowledge, tools, certifications, etc.

I like to think if you really wanted to get a few degrees to help master Project Management, in no order of importance, I recommend getting:  business, commerce, engineering, psychology, sociology, law, science, drama, physiology, computer science, statistics, math, education, HR, marketing, etc.

So how can we define Project Management then???
In its essence, PM is a structured approach on how to successfully deliver business. 
We must remember, business is fluid and there is no perfect answer as to how to do it (not like math or science).  We must always try to apply specific science around it (process and workflow and tools and templates) however one must be adaptable since each scenario will carry a level of uniqueness around it (so can be very different based on the situation) and has subjectivity since it will involve many human interactions and expectations.

Couple more points of interest, included below are definitions of Project Management from leading organizations:
  • PMI:  Application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements.
  • ISO:  Note: now has a PM set of standards called ISO 21500:2012, best definition I found was:  Application of methods, tools, techniques and competences to a project, includes the integration of the project life cycle accomplished through processes.
  • Prince 2 Definition: Planning, monitoring and control of all aspects of a project and the motivation of all those involved in it to achieve the project objectives on time and to the specified cost, quality and performance.
  • Wikipedia: The discipline of carefully projecting or planning, organizing, motivating and controlling resources to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Merriam-Websters Dictionary:  believe it or not, this dictionary does not have the word project management defined
So when you get a chance, take training from multiple instructors, multiple associations, multiple methodologies, and store all those tools and techniques in your toolbox, you can never have enough for your next project - and keep the learning going  :-)