A couple of months ago, I completed the Kepner-Tregoe Project Management Workshop facilitated by Bluefield Asset Management Specialists. I completed the course in Brisbane City with a group of my colleagues and we were the first trial group to be taught the Kepner-Tregoe content with a mining context delivered by Bluefield.
This course was designed to showcase the fundamental steps needed to run a successful project. As a Project Manager if you don’t follow these initial steps, then it is very likely you can lose control of your project and that’s what this course was highlighting.
There was a great mix of theoretical and practical exercises that kept us engaged throughout. We were split up into two teams, and each of us was assigned a specific role of a typical project team. We would complete some theoretical tasks on our own and then complete some as a team, while also stopping at some points in the day to complete some practical tasks that were leading into our last day challenge. It was a great way to keep everybody energised and focused on what we were learning. By completing the theoretical exercises, it was eye-opening to see what we knew and what we didn’t know about how to manage a successful project.
This course was a huge learning for me and showed me exactly what I was doing wrong and what I needed to improve on with setting up my projects. The part of the course that helped me the most was filling out the Gannt charts manually. It wasn’t something I would like to do again but it gave me the knowledge and understanding of how the project timeline software we use works and why it is so important that we get it right. By filling it out by hand, I was able to understand the fundamental basics of the software and it gave me an appreciation of how great it is that we have this technology to use and take advantage of. There are so many tools that can help us set up our projects and set us up for success, but we need to learn how to use them properly and get the best out of them and this course helped me with that.
I found all the example projects that we reviewed very interesting. They were all relatable to projects I have previously managed and projects I will be managing in the future. By going through scenarios that I was familiar with, it made it a lot easier to understand the theoretical parts of the course.
It can be challenging working with others at times, especially when you have differing opinions, but you have to remember that everyone wants the same end goal and the only way we can reach it is if we work together. To work well together you must listen and respect each other’s opinion which can be hard at times. A huge part of Project Management is people management and it is very easy to overlook that fact which can cause a lot of issues in your team. Although working with others can be challenging, it can also be very rewarding. The best thing in the workshop is the team building practical exercises you complete throughout. It was a lot of fun learning while role-playing a hands-on project and collaborating with your peers.
These experiences have taught me that if I can set my project up properly in the start and put most of the work in the front end then my project will be more successful in the long run. It also taught me that you must expect the unexpected, you can’t assume that out of the ordinary things won’t occur because when they will you won’t be prepared.
I would recommend this course to anyone in the Mining industry (or other industries) who are involved in managing projects or people on a regular basis. It is a great thing for any work team to complete for the first time or as a refresher course to align everyone’s way of thinking and to ensure there is continuity in their project team. I would also recommend it as a team building exercise as you can get everyone involved and working together to complete a shared goal which can help to unite people.