Helping students attain highly desirable skills in project management
ISG's Project Management Office (PMO) has been delivering online training events to help students gain practical project management skills that both help with their studies and provide sought-after skills for their future careers.
Project management is regarded as a highly desirable skill by many employers, in all business sectors, as well as being a great life skill for organising just about anything from a small garden project to moving house.
To help University of Edinburgh (UoE) students develop project management skills that help them with their course assignments and internships, as well as providing those all-important life skills for their future careers, the PMO, which is part of the Applications Directorate within the Information Services Group (ISG) at UoE, has delivered eight student training sessions over the last academic year.
This has reached 250 students from across the University, including Edinburgh University Students Association (EUSA), Unitemps summer interns, The Business School, and Informatics.
The training focusses on practical skills, tools and techniques that can be used for any kind of project, whatever the size or complexity, and aims to de-mystify the world of project management.
A range of topics are covered through the training, such as defining a project clearly at the beginning, creating a realistic project plan without specialist software, simple but effective stakeholder communications, basic risk management, and what to do when things don't go to plan.
The training has proven popular and highly useful for students who have taken part.
Ross Mennie, an MA Politics student (Social and Political Science) and summer intern at ISG, said: “The ‘Introduction to Project Management’ training was such a comprehensive and insightful training course that provided the opportunity to learn key terms, concepts and practical tips of project management.
"For an introductory course this provided depth and expertise on what project management is and allowed me to learn early on in my work in project management what success looks like and how to competently and confidently deal with problems that arise in a project. A really enjoyable training session!”
The PMO has been providing introductory and intermediate level project management training for students for over 10 years, with demand increasing year on year. Moving the training online as a result of the pandemic has meant that much larger numbers can be accommodated.
The training resources have also been made available as a recorded playlist for those students who are unable to attend a live online event. These are available from this link: https://edin.ac/3APbUp1
The PMO also delivers practical project management training sessions for staff and researchers. These are delivered online in small bite-sized sessions so that staff can fit them around other work commitments.
Eli Appleby-Donald, a Learning Technologist at Edinburgh College of Art, said: “Project management is one of those things I have struggled to apply, it always seems so complicated and unless you are applying what you learn straight away in real workplace scenarios, you kind of forget everything.
"I just took the bite-sized project management class again online... and I'm so glad... these are awesome, simplify it down to actual essentials and apply it to non "scary" scenarios. Within an hour of the second session, I'd written up a project brief.”
Thanks to the popularity and great feedback from these events, the PMO is planning additional sessions for the new academic year.
Dawn Holmes, Project Management Office (PMO)