EARMA Conference Oslo


Developing Project Managers' Competence at Laurea University of Applied Sciences


EARMA Conference Oslo

Format: Fifteen-Minute Discussion Tables

Topic: Professional Development and Recognition

Session: BLUE5 - 15 Minute Discussion Tables - Professional Development & Recognition

Friday 6 May 9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. (UTC)


The discussion table session will give a quick sight into Laurea University of Applied Sciences' (Finland) actions to develop competence in project management. These measures include a training programme for project managers and informal coffee and sympathy discussion sessions for project experts. Laurea’s in-house training programme, Certified Project Manager (CPM), and informal discussion sessions are open for project managers and research and development (R&D) experts.

The CPM training programme and discussion sessions both include expert lessons and group work. The CPM consists of seven workshops processing for instance R&D work; guidelines on how to write successful project applications; project management and its different sectors like human resource management and communications; finance and contracts; ethics; and how to utilise agile methods in projects. This training is not compulsory for project managers, but we highly recommend them to perform it.

The informal discussion sessions are organised four times a year, and they have proven as an efficient way to disseminate good practices among project managers and R&D experts. Some examples of the topics of the sessions: impact of the project; time management; the concept for project communications; and how to start the project smoothly. The informal meeting atmosphere encourages them to open discussion among the participants and to ask questions related to topics that project managers might feel difficult to ask in another group.

The topics of the Certified Project Manager training programme are fixed but feed for coffee and sympathy discussion sessions come from the project managers and Laurea’s questionnaire for project partners. Laurea collects feedback by project collaboration questionnaire for projects coordinated by Laurea. The questionnaire is sent to project partners at the end of the project. It includes questions about the different areas of project implementation, the relevance of the project results, the participation of students in the project, and the willingness of project partners to make recommendations following the recommendation index. The received feedback is utilised in the content of the topics of the CPM and presentations of informal discussion sessions not only to develop competence but also to share good practices.

During the pandemic, the training programme and discussion sessions have been organised via Zoom, and Laurea plans to organise the training as an online programme in the future. Online material allows project managers to carry out the training programme whenever and is not bound to a specific schedule.

Take away messages:

· The Certified Project Manager training programme, and Coffee and Sympathy discussion sessions have both proven to be an efficient way to network and share good practices.
· The informal atmosphere of the discussion sessions encourages open discussion.
· The online version of the Certified Project Manager training gives the flexibility to perform the training anytime.