I had the pleasure of facilitating JCI London’s first skill development workshop of 2019 on Project Management (PM). It was a really engaging session with very talented participants, and here’s how it went: What is a project anyway? A project is a one-time effort to change things in some way, with a clear beginning and end. A friend of mine is a professional project manager, and just finished working on the £1.58 Bn sale of the renewed Battersea Power Station property in London. While this is a very intensive form of PM, we are all project managers in some way. Moving house, planning a holiday, taking a course, finding a new job, planning a wedding - these are all projects! Given that so many things in everyday life are classified as projects, we thought PM would be a perfect topic for our first workshop. Overview of the workshop The workshop was designed to give participants an overview of the phases of PM and a taste of what project managers really do. We started with an interactive (and competitive!) quiz about the basics of PM using one of my favourite platforms, Kahoot. It releases questions rapidly and participants get points based on their speed and whether they get the answers right. While the score was neck and neck throughout, Olesja came out on top! After grounding ourselves on the basics, we dove into exciting case studies to help teams learn PM through experience:
We used these case studies to explore the core concepts of PM - initiating projects, scoping, planning, risk management, tracking progress and closing. A particularly important section was reflecting on the common reasons for project failure and what can be done during the planning to avoid them. All three teams then presented their proposals at the end of the session, and I’m sure any ‘real life’ stakeholder would have been impressed! Overall, I was struck by how much our teams accomplished with less than an hour of total working time, and made me reflect that it’s possible to resolve many complex business, political or community issues when you get the right people in the room and focus.
- Tackling youth unemployment in a developing country
- Offshoring a group of employees effectively
- The Opening Ceremony for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Chantelle Nylander-Quartey, one of our participants, shared her reflections: "This workshop had all the hallmarks of excellent facilitation, from its clear cut definition of what project management is to the simplified breakdown of its many facets, making for solid comprehension and active engagement. This showed good consideration for any calibre of audience, particularly those fairly new to the field. Overall, a encouraging boost for anyone desiring to get started on a project!" What’s next? For those who missed out in February, not to worry, this is only the beginning! Our next skill development workshop will be on Social Media for Professional Development on 16 April at 6:30pm, facilitated by Fiona McBride, who is a Training Director for JCI London in 2019. We’ll also ensure to reach out to Tokyo with our suggestions for their Opening Ceremony next year ;)