How does it work certifying in best practices such as PRINCE2® and PRINCE2 Agile® via virtual classrooms and distance learning?
Right now, when most people are working and studying in a context of social distancing, it’s the only viable option. I’ve been delivering courses like this for more than five years and they work well.
Candidates tend to be relaxed in their own environment and, as a trainer, I can use my own home as an example to bring PRINCE2 to life – for example, how can we treat my kitchen as a project?
So, what are the crucial elements needed for successful virtual teaching and learning?
- Having the right technology
It’s necessary for trainers to have a whiteboard facility of some kind. A lot of organizations I work with have the technology to draw straight onto the screen and visible to the delegates. Not everyone learns by reading, so it’s good to illustrate examples.
- Building a learner-trainer relationship
In the virtual lessons, a chat facility is useful for delegates to use for private messaging or posting a question for everyone. This helps make it as engaging as possible – for example, by asking everyone to type their answers and compare responses. It’s important to have tasks that are shared across the group.
Also, in my case, each delegate can call me after a virtual session to support their learning. People need access to all the resources available and speaking to the trainer is a saving grace for many candidates.
- Building good learning habits
Learners studying PRINCE2/PRINCE2 Agile should familiarize themselves with the book as a reference manual, not just a study aid.
This means adding their own notes to make the text directly relevant to their working life. To get people into the habit of this, I’ve been known to dictate notes and, with that initial input, they start to write meaningful reminders which they can refer back to in future.
Making an opportunity out of a lockdown
The world of work has had to adapt quickly to the changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
For some businesses and staff, this will be the first experience of working remotely. However, when business premises reopen there is a chance that organizations will change the way they work permanently.
I think that will mean projects coming at us from everywhere and needing the right project management skills: for example, recovery projects, training people to deliver money saving initiatives and upskilling staff so they can run projects remotely (involving improved communications skills and stakeholder management). Businesses and their people will each have to alter the way they work in order to survive unprecedented change and project management is the primary way of delivering change. So, more than ever, skills contained in PRINCE2 Agile will be vital; enabling people to adapt to an evolving environment.
Upskilling self-employed people
If self-employed people are finding business in a state of hiatus, they could use the time available to increase their knowledge, skills and adaptability through best practice learning. It can help them look at their current business model to see what could improve their employability and services as a professional.
It’s a good opportunity to respond to current economic conditions. If people don’t use this as a learning experience and a chance to broaden their skills, it’s a missed opportunity. If you’ve got the technology, take the opportunity to learn and invest in yourself and your people.