What can project management do for your CPD planning?

It can transform it. It can help you create joined up CPD plans that are structured, yet responsive to needs. It allows you to address strategic issues and also respond to feedback from staff and trends in lesson observations. It spells the end of knee jerk, unfocused flurries of activity that develop nobody.

Project management is a set of principles and methods that help you develop an awareness of what to focus on during the planning and implementation of any initiative and how to do it. It stops your planning from being ad hoc and unfocused and helps you to identify the outcomes you want to achieve and the steps that will get you there. It has a strong focus on identifying who needs to be involved in the work and how communications can be best managed. Evidence-based reporting and tracking of progress are also important elements of project management and help you monitor and control the work. Reviewing progress in line with business need encourages you to have an underpinning purpose to every activity and respond appropriately to the context as it evolves. It gives you a framework that’s not a straitjacket.

CPD plans and programmes in education are rarely as joined up as this.  There is often an initial attempt to respond to a strategic plan at the start of the year but this rarely joins up with engaging staff and tailoring the plan to them and their context. CPD is often proposed without adequate time being allocated to it on the calendar; little resource is available for engaging part time staff; evaluation is patchy and rarely responded to in planning; links between lesson observations and CPD planning are weak. It’s ironic in a sector dedicated to learning that this process can be so flawed and that project management has not been on our radar until now. The commercial world has been using the extensive body of project management knowledge for ages and it’s time the education sector reaped the same benefits.

Some schools and colleges have staff with project management expertise and qualifications and they can be deployed as mentors to support CPD planning processes by less experienced staff. Most institutions don’t have this luxury but even a single day of project management training can give people underpinning principles and approaches to improve their practice. For more information on one such day at LSN, click here. It can be even more powerful and also cost effective to commission a day of tailored training in house for people who have to plan CPD and other initiatives.

For information on this, please do contact me directly:

E: [email protected]
T: 01865 301 320
M: 07920 291 383

When running teaching and learning projects such as Supported Experiments cycles, project management skills are invaluable, for more information and details on our one day training events please click here.

So what kind of steps would project management lead you to take when planning CPD? Here are a series of tips for CPD planning using project management approaches. They are underpinned by key principles such as:

Project management tips for planning CPD

1. Devising the CPD plan

Before you write the CPD plan

In your plan

2. Timetabling CPD sessions

3. Forming a CPD network

4. Getting evaluation feedback on CPD programmes

5. CPD and the link with lesson observations

Written by Joanne Miles, Managing Consultant, Leadership & Management Unit


Contact us

If you need support with planning CPD in a joined up way or would like to discuss your organisations CPD planning processes, then please contact me on:

E: [email protected]
T: 020 7492 5391

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