There are many training options for training project managers, but you don’t often see a similar effort on training project team members. Project team members are usually subject matter experts and the prevailing belief is that the subject matter expertise is all that is required to be a good project team member. Based on my experience, I think that teaching team members a basic level of project management knowledge would be beneficial for the project manager and increase the chances of a successful project. The following are some knowledge and skills for your training program:
Definition of a Project and the Triple Constraints: A common set of terms greatly helps in communicating your decisions and ideas to your team. It is also vital that the team appreciate how scope, schedule, and budget constraints affect project decisions.
Effective Progress Reporting and Earned Value Management: Reporting progress is often seen as burdensome by project team members because they may not understand how their status reports helps in keeping the project on track. An overview of earned value management puts the reporting into context for team members and may encourage better reporting by team members.
Project Tool Interpretation: It is not necessary for a team member to create a work breakdown structure, a Gantt chart, or network diagram. Even so, a team member should be able to read these tools so that they understand the overall project direction and how their specific work tasks fit into the final project result.
Estimating Techniques: When creating a project schedule and budget, the project manager may rely on the project team members to estimate parts of the schedule and budget that apply to their tasks. Thus, knowing how to make good estimates is essential for project team members.
Identifying Risks and Reporting Risks: Of course the project manager is in charge of the risk management plan but project team members can be the early-warning system for detecting risks. Keep the team current on the risk management plan and encourage them to report potential risks.
There may be other topics that you want to include in your training program but you also want to make sure you don’t overwhelm the project team members. However, a good set of basic project management skills helps the project team members better understand how their efforts fit into the overall project activities and aids the project manager in effectively controlling and delivering the project.