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John P. Reiling, PMP:: Microsoft Project Training – Find the Hidden benefits

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If you are a professional who might benefit from Microsoft Project training, let me talk to you briefly about some hidden benefits that might peak your interest.  While Microsoft Project training will definitely provide you with an additional skill set, let me show you how the skills you learn can go far beyond just how to use the tool!

Since MS Project is the most popular and widely using project management software on the market today, when you learn it, you open a gateway to new job opportunities.  Indeed, Microsoft Project skills are even a prerequisite in many situations.  But the skills you gain potentially go beyond that, as the Microsoft Project training itself provides a gateway to learn more about structured project management itself.

Example:  Alignment with the PMBOK
Consider an example from one of our Microsoft Project training courses – online MS Project Server training.   Depending on your level of expertise, training, and certifications achieved, you may or may not be aware that the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) 4th Edition of the Project Management Institute outlines the Project Management “Process Groups” as follows:

1. Initiating
2. Planning
3. Executing
4. Monitoring and Controlling
5. Closing

Now, with that in mind, consider the titles of the five courses that comprise our Microsoft Project Server online training:

1. “Initiating Projects with Project Server 2007”
2. “Planning Projects with Project Server 2007”
3. “Managing Resource Capacity in Project Server 2007”
4. “Executing Projects with Project Server 2007”
5. “Monitoring, Controlling, and Closing Projects with Project Server 2007”

Comparing these two lists, you can see that this Microsoft Project training maps very closely to the PMBOK.  The only exception is that there is a heavier weighting of the training toward managing resource capacity using MS Project – something that the tool is very specifically designed to do well.

So what does this mean to you?  It means that for anyone that is newer to project management, learning Microsoft Project can be a great entre to the field, potentially openning the door to a job in the field and the chance to gain project management experience.  While you are learning the tool, you will also be learning a great deal about structured project management, which provides you with formalized project management training and experience in alignment with the PMBOK Guide.

Conclusion:  What Microsoft Project Training Can Do for You
Whether you are a new or experienced professional in project management, you will find that learning Microsoft Project provides an opportunity to learn about formal project management practices in addition to mastering the tool.  While learning Microsoft Project or any other project management tool is hardly a substitute for learning about stakeholder management, project communications, project planning, and other aspects of project management, it definitely can open the door for project experiences and insights in these and other areas.  If you do decide to take Microsoft Project training, try to stretch beyond the tool and soak up the formal structure of project management as a large hidden benefit.

John Reiling, PMP, is an experienced Project Manager across many industries and has used Microsoft Project on large and small projects. John’s web site,, which provides online PMP, CAPM, and related certification training, also provides online Microsoft Project training – MS Project Server and MS Project 2007/2003/2000 – at that also earns PMP PDUs and prepares for MCTS certification.

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