Is project management training really efficient?

Is project management training really efficient?

(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
There is a whole industry devoted to certification training for project managers. You will need to be either a PMP(r), PRINCE2 (r) Practitioner, or both. What does it really mean to be a PMP(r) Practitioner or a PRINCE2(r) Practitioner?
According to research by PM Solutions, training can increase your effectiveness by approximately 26% (link broken as of 19/7/16).
Only 28% of organizations measure whether their business results have improved as a result training. However, these organizations see improvements across 8 measures.
Stakeholder satisfaction: 29% improvement
Schedule performance: 27% improvement
Project failures: 26% reduction
Quality: 25% improvement
Budget performance: 25% improvement
Performance improvement: 25%
Productivity: 24% improvement
Time to market: 24% improvement (I’m not sure how this differs from schedule performance).

Conclusive, right? Wrong
We can’t see from the research if companies that don’t measure business results still see improvement. They may, but they don’t track it and can’t attribute it to training. Training may have helped their project managers perform better.
PM Solutions research does not examine how businesses measure business improvement. How can you attribute the fact that someone attended a PRINCE2 (r) course to the fact they now produce a 25% higher ‘quality’ result than last week? This assumes that the company has robust measures in place to track these business metrics.
They don’t, according to my experience.
Let’s see if our training was successful.
ESI has released new research that challenges companies’ ability to accurately measure the effectiveness of training. The study, which surveyed more than 10 times as many respondents as the PM Solutions survey, found that 60% of respondents said that their main method for determining if training was effective was guesswork or anecdotal information.
Guessing? That is a great reason to invest in training.
How can we make project management training more efficient?
PM Solutions reports that instructor-led classroom learning is the most effective way to train.
About 70% of respondents rated this as very or effective. All three types of virtual learning: instructor-led, self-directed elearning, and technology-delivered training were only moderately effective.
According to ESI, the top three strategies to ensure that students’ learnings are transferred to the workplace are:
Students are given the opportunity to use their new learning by giving them the resources, time and responsibility
Demonstrating that their manager supports them in their studies
You will be able to take a course that simulates the real work environment.

It concludes that post-learning tools are essential to help transfer the knowledge to the workplace after the course. These include on-the-job support, post-course discussions with their managers, and informal support such social networks or forums.
To make project management training as efficient as possible, it should:
Classroom training with instructors and training material that is tailored to your project management processes.
Your line manager will support you
Followed up by on-the job opportunities to put what you’ve learned into practice and share it with others.

This is not what my company does! What should I do?
First, be thankful that you have the chance to take training. Many companies are cutting back.
Second, if your employer won’t offer that support to help you transfer your learning into the workplace, why not take it on yourself? You will be the one that benefits in the end. You will be the one who benefits most.