Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Think China is the No. 1 Country for Hacking? Think Again.

Thirty-eight percent of cyber attacks originated in Indonesia during the second quarter of 2013, up from 21 percent in the first quarter, according to a report by security cloud platform Akamai. This spike helped pushChina off the hacking pedestal, with the world's most populous country accounting for 33 percent of attacks, down from 34 percent in the previous quarter. The U.S. rounded out the top three, generating 6.9 percent of cyber-attack traffic, a decrease from 8.3 percent.
Indonesia and China alone accounted for more than half of all cyber-attack activity during the quarter.
Related: Don't Get Hacked -- Tools to Fight Cyber Attacks
While it may seem like Indonesia came out of nowhere to take the lead (last year the country accounted for on average less than one percent of cyber crimes), hackers may be taking advantage of its increase in connection and weakening IT structure. 
The country's average internet connection speed increased 125 percent in the second quarter from the same time last year. That, coupled with the fact the country isn't spending a whole lot of cash on its infrastructure,  may make the country a haven for cybercriminals.
Related: Cyber Security a Growing Issue for Small Business 
In January, hacker group Anonymous Indonesia claimed responsibility for defacing 12 government websites with the tagline "No Army Can Stop an Idea" shown on the sites. In April, the country's defense minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro announced they were building a Cyber Defense Center to take on hackers. Microsoft also felt the supposed wrath of Indonesia criminals (among others) when it put the kibosh on a cybercrime operation in June. 

Akamai's findings are based on agents reporting log connection attempts, which the company defines as attack traffic. The company then can determine the top countries the hack attacks occur. One caveat to keep in mind: the IP address assigned to a particular country may not be the nation the attacker resides. So someone from China with an IP address associated with them, may be committing cyber attacks in France.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Developing a Core to Champion Your Training

Committing human resources to an eLearning program is one of the more critical investments a company must make in order to be successful. Identifying, assigning and empowering a core group of learning champions can help ensure the aggressive pursuit of excellence and value in terms of training. In this post we look at some strategies your company can employ to establish a core group of learning champions.  The goal here is to help your company cultivate a group of people who care about the outcomes of the training program.
Abstract: To help support the adoption of training at your company, it’s effective to have a core cadre of key staff members that fully understand the value of training and champion its use. Through needs analysis and planning, companies can identify and fill those key staff roles to create a self-sustaining support system for the corporate training program.
Audience: Corporate strategy officers and administrators for businesses that are seeking to implement or improve an eLearning program
There is strength in numbers
Your company may have an LMS administrator, but does it have a core learning champion? It’s common for companies to have an overwhelmed HR coordinator who is overloaded with work and intermittently gets interrupted with questions about the learning system. More mature companies, however, have a selection of “learning leaders” who are invested in the positive outcomes that come from a successful learning program. Even if your company has bought in to the values of a learning program, if the program isn’t properly staffed it will have difficulty getting off the ground.
What is a core learning group?
A core learning group is a core of people who are entrusted with the care and feeding of an eLearning program at your company. This kind of a group can help learning become part of your corporate language. This group can be as formal as a Learning and Development Department or can take the form of a loosely organized committee of managers and executives. The key is to have people who are close enough to the ground to be able to communicate and understand the staff, yet influential enough to enact change when necessary. Along the same lines, some companies go as far as to expand the core learning group to an entire learning and development department headed by a Chief Learning Officer.
The Core Learning Group can meet on regular occasions to evaluate the global performance of training, new training initiatives and to review feedback from employees during one-on-one training meetings. Three important aspects to consider when implementing a core group of learning leaders are the roles that must be filled, the responsibilities of the leadership group, and the target results for the group.
The Roles
Chief Learning Officer/Learning Leader
Not every organization will employ a c-level professional who is dedicated to learning initiatives. However, it is wise to empower a member of the management team with responsibility for training activities, and to provide that individual with the resources and support to follow through. Once this responsibility is assigned, the learning leader can recruit more members and the core learning group can build from the inside and form organically.
The Journal of Executive Education published their “Recommended Practices for New Corporate Learning Leaders” and indicated the most important challenges to tackle when enacting a program with a new learning leader.
  • Assess the current state of the company’s knowledge and skills.
  • Establish a Corporate Learning Steering Committee.
  • Define the desired future state for knowledge and skills (with learning goals). Ensure alignment of the learning goals with corporate goals.
  • Develop and communicate a learning plan for one year and for three years.
  • Create a Marketing program for the learning plan (and each major initiative).
  • Design and build your team.
  • Develop a team gap analysis and an ambitious plan for closing the gaps.
  • Select, train, and implement learning tools and methods (for formal and informal learning).
  • Develop an execution plan (deliverables; people; process; technology; and marketing/communications).
  • Present learning plan to clients, the Learning Steering Committee and the Executive Steering Committee.
  • Develop and publish an approved Learning Plan.
  • Form teams and initiate projects based on the Learning Plan.
  • Quickly complete the first high visibility, high value initiative (small in scale if possible).
So what are the other roles will need to be filled in a corporate learning group? Some experts feel that the makeup of the learning team should mirror the overall makeup of the company with a few key differences.
“One could argue that there is little difference between the team a CLO should build to ensure success and the team of any other leader in an organization;” said Jonathan M. Kayes, Chief Learning Officer for the CIA. “While that is generally true, I believe it’s worth distinguishing both the common and unique factors of a CLO’s vs. other executive teams.”
Ultimately, the roles in the group will be determined by your corporate environment. However, others’ examples may help focus your thinking. Martha Soehren, CLO for Comcast recommends the involvement of “C-Suite partners and champions, as well as team members skilled in communications and project management.” The c-list champions are particularly important because of their ability to generate buy-in among the staff. About team members, Kayes said “overall, I want empowered team members with excellent communication skills. They should be tied into the goals of the business and personally invested in the power that learning has to improve any workforce.”
Roles in your core learning group shouldn’t be limited to internal personnel. Soehren recommends leveraging external partners, including your LMS and training provider as well as your customers who have a stake in your company’s abilities. “Know your business partners,” Soehren said. “Stay connected to them; ask what they think and know what they need. Then, deliver on expectations.” Soehren recommends that learning leaders serve as primary contact with your LMS provider as opposed to less invested departments such as I.T.
Talking Points
  • Who are some candidates at your company for the learning leader role? What makes them good candidates?
  • What resources do you think will be required for your core learning group?
  • What label do you think fits your company’s learning group best? 
    • Core learning cadre
    • Corporate Learning Steering Committee
    • Learning Development Department
    • Other
  • What benefits do you see from a core learning group? Detriments?
What should a core learning group be responsible for? This is a group of champions, not necessarily a group of tacticians. At the heart of the group’s training related activities should be tasks that further the company’s learning objectives. Simply put, the core group should be comprised of people that are up to date on learning activities and doing things to make sure they stay successful.
Holly Huntley, Global Chief Learning Officer for CSC, a technical services company in Falls Church, Virginia, has a Top Ten list for learning leaders.
1. Make other people successful: be a trusted advisor.
2. Have a point of view: thought leadership is everything.
3. Don’t get seduced by the “goodness” of learning (and avoid learning jargon).
4. Recognize that learning is a social construct; be a connecter of talent.
5. One size does not fit all, so provide performance support tools.
6. Be at the center of the change agenda: understand how your corporate culture impacts performance.
7. Model the way for others (eat your own dog food).
8. Brand from the inside out (this is the age of talent after all).
9. Guide executives to become good sponsors (if you don’t have real sponsorship don’t bother).
10. Align learning programs with strategic roles: invest where it counts the most.
The core learning group should be filled with excellent communicators. The group will need to communicate with each other to make sure that thoughts, ideas and concerns are shared and that mutual expectations are being met. Additionally, the group will want to communicate with the tacticians of the learning program to gather feedback and evaluate progress. There is no prescribed manner for engaging in this communication. The lesson to be learned by the group is to do what it takes to be aware and informed about the learning activities of the company. That may involve quick emails, personal interviews or perhaps even daily scrum meetings to take the pulse of the learning program.
Huntley feels that the chief learning group should be communicating with all areas of the business. “I sponsor a CLO council at CSC,” says Huntley, “where each major business unit elects a CLO to serve as a dotted line into the enterprise learning and talent development function.” It should be the goal of a learning group to make sure to communicate with a representative group of voices at the company.
Talking Points
  • What tasks would you like to see your core learning group performing? 
  • What form of communication would work for a core learning group at your company?
  • What information would be valuable for the core learning group to know? 
  • What accountability would you expect from your core learning group?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Game on? The Use of Gamification in e-learning

by Sarah Sweeney, Marketing Assistant at Aurion Learning.

Many HR and L&D professionals face the problem of ensuring that their training and learning programmes maintain learner engagement and motivation. Gamification has been regularly recognised as an opportunity to help solve this problem.
In this post, we consider whether gamification can enhance the learning experience. Before we consider if it is game on for gamification in learning, it is necessary to look at what gamification essentially is.
What is Gamification?
Games and game like components have been invading the learning realm for quite some time now. Although its definition differs, for the most part, gamification in learning is the use of game mechanics to ‘gamify’ content to engage and entice users by encouraging and rewarding use.
Although Nick Pelling first coined the term “gamification” in 2002, it has actually been around for some time – 40 years in fact, with many organisations already using features in their work from video games.
Indeed, it can be said that loyalty programs, target-based bonuses and employee-of-the-month schemes are all examples of how gamification as an incentive to growth has been around for a long time too.
Examples of gamification in learning include:
  • Training: technology giants, Microsoft use gamification to train users of Microsoft Office on how to use the new ribbon interface effectively.
  • Education: New York based school – Quest to Learn, advocates game-based learning to make education more engaging and relevant to children.
  • Employee productivity: Management tool Arcaris uses gamification to improve productivity in call centres.
Now that we know what gamification is and where it is being used in learning, it is necessary to see whether it actually works.
Does Gamification in learning work?
The gamification of e-learning unquestionably presents unique possibilities for learning technologists as they explore additional ways to educate and importantly engage learners.
It is widely recognised that adding interactive activities in e-learning are no longer optional extras, but essential to effective learning. However, it is important that the addition of game like elements into the e-learning programme are only applied in the context of the programme that allow the learner the opportunity to apply their retained knowledge to live situations, rather than distract and dazzle learners with wizardry from the overall learning goal.
Frequently, my social media feeds are inundated with social games, although irritating at times, there is no escaping the surge in popularity of online gaming and social media. The site, DevHub, reported an eightfold increase in the number of users completing their sites after adding gamification elements to the process. If there was any indication that the gamification was a fad, according to research from M2 it’s here not only stay, but increase in its use.
“The global market for gamification apps and services will grow to $2.8 billion by 2016.”
The enthusiasm for gamification has however met with some criticism. Game designers Radoff and Robertson have criticised gamification for excluding aspects like storytelling, an important element of learning. Whilst university researcher Deterding, has argued that current approaches to gamification create an artificial sense of achievement.
What does the successful application of gamification in e-learning look like?
1. Gamification isn’t about games, but the learners.
2. It isn’t about knowledge but behavior.
3. It extracts the motivational techniques out of games and uses them for life-applicable learning.
4. It allows quick feedback of progress and communications of goals that need to be accomplished.

Gamification is made appealing for e-learning because of our human tendencies.  On the whole, we generally enjoy actively participating engaging and competing with others. Gamification allows learners to connect and learn together with playful applications and incentives, particularly when there are engaging game design elements used.
Today’s learners are however no longer placated with trivial reward systems but rather sophisticated experiences that hold real value. Organisations embracing the gamification in learning can stand to see learners more engaged and retain more information, but only if it is applied aptly to the e-learning programme, achieving the overall core learning objectives.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

LearnSmart Announces New Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching e-Learning Series

TAMPA, Florida - October 16, 2013 - LearnSmart, a global leader of corporate education and e-learning, announced today the release of its new seven course e-learning series for the all new Cisco CCNA Routing and Switching certification. The new courseware prepares LearnSmart users for Cisco’s redesigned certification and training curricula, including composite exam 200-120 along with ICND1/ICND2, meeting the evolving market demand for networking professionals who require cutting edge-training solutions.
Hosted in LearnSmart’s award-winning Learning Management System (LMS), LearnSmart’s new CCNA series provides IT professionals with a virtual classroom experience through full-motion HD video delivery, expert instruction, pre-and post-course evaluation, true-to-life scenarios, interactive labs and activities, and social and collaborative interactive options. Alternatively, LearnSmart offers AICC and SCORM compatible versions for corporate customers wishing to host the training on third party LMSes.
"The CCNA has been a vital part of our corporate IT offering for more than 10 years now," says Jay Gandee, President of LearnSmart. "I’m proud to say that this newest CCNA course is probably the finest product we’ve ever released. It is equally comprehensive and thorough in its coverage of the concepts as it is visually stunning in its vibrant HD presentation." Introduced by Cisco earlier this year, the new CCNA Routing & Switching certification covers topics such as IOS commands, IPv6 configuration, 802.1x security, IP services and security, and advanced troubleshooting scenarios.
More information about LearnSmart and the new Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching can be found at http://www.learnsmartsystems.com
About LearnSmart
LearnSmart is a worldwide leader in corporate training and development and offers a full line of IT, project management, administrative, HR/compliance, and workplace safety training. Our clients represent a broad range of Fortune 1000 companies, small and medium business, as well as universities, government institutions, and the armed forces. LearnSmart has been recognized with awards including Tampa Bay Fast 50, Innovation of the Year Finalist, and Small Business of the Year Finalist.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two Key Steps to Selecting the Right LMS

LearnSmart has found that there are two (obvious) steps you must take when evaluating LMS or e-learning solutions to ensure you get a system that fits your needs. And more importantly, these two steps will ensure you actually use the system. They are common sense steps that surprisingly are often skipped.  

Step 1. Think Through Your Courses
What’s the single most important factor for success with any new training program? The courses themselves. Even the top LMS or training system simply helps you organize and manage the process of having learners take the courses.  If the courses themselves are no good or you can’t easily create them, you’re not going to succeed.
It seems obvious that people would focus on their courses when selecting a new training system or LMS, but that’s not always the case.  There are several things you should do to ensure you’ve “thought through” your courses:
  • If you haven’t created an e-learning course before, make sure you create a course or two prior to investing in a new LMS.  Converting your PowerPoint slides or documents into an e-learning course is typically pretty easy, but if you are unable or unwilling to consistently create high-quality courses, you don’t need an LMS...and you certainly won’t succeed.
  • Make sure you think about your learning environment(s) and all the different types of courses you have and want to offer.  Many LMS solutions focus on a particular type of learning.  Will all your training be offered online so that learners can complete it on their schedule (aka asynchronous learning)?  Or will it be “live”, in a classroom-like fashion with everyone attending together (aka synchronous learning)?  Do you currently (or want to in the future) offer courses in multiple formats like, audio, video, Flash, or animation?

Being able to easily create courses for your learning environment(s) in the formats you want is the 1st key to success.

Step 2. Focus on Usability
Once you’ve considered your courses and created a few, the next step will be to “test drive” a few systems in order to get a feel for them.  Ease of use, user friendliness, U/X...whatever you want to call it, if you don’t like driving it, don’t buy it.  We’re constantly surprised to learn from buyers who hate their systems that they didn’t take the time to try the free trial or at least get a demo.  
Make sure you take the time to:
  • Check out the free trial or at least get a live demo. The argument against this by those who end up hating their systems is that it takes time, is hard or confusing to set up, or they don’t have someone to handle it. Any guesses why they aren’t succeeding with their e-learning programs?
    To love your LMS, you have to use it. Reading a laundry list of overly complex features seems like you’re evaluating the best learning management system, but love is a feeling not a list of functionality you’ll never use. Get a feel for the system.  How hard is it to create or load a learner, include quizzes, manage certificates, or track progress? Make sure you know before you buy.

  • Make sure you have the users check out the system too. Include the training manager, course designers/developers, and learners in the process of evaluating the system. The easiest and often the single best thing you can do to ensure adoption is to let the end users try the system and provide their input.  

Your 2nd key to success is ensuring people will actually use the system you buy.

Sure, there are numerous other factors that lead to people disliking their LMS (focusing solely on price, buying what your colleague has, or buying way more than you need, for instance), but by completing these two common sense, obvious steps you’ll protect yourself from making the most common mistakes when buying an LMS.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Benefits of Proper Course Evaluation

Proper Course Evaluation Helps Ensure Maximum Benefit
When it comes to training employees, online tutorials, in-person lectures and video courses are all practical options that effectively lay the foundation for exceptional achievement. And successful executives agree that training doesn’t stop when the class is over. But why, then, do so many organizations operate as if it does – thereby preventing their employees from fully profiting from the instruction?
Imagine that you’re a supervisor who shelled out thousands of dollars for a video training course that all of your employees have taken. Now take a moment to consider the purported benefits of training courses:
  • Training employees on an ongoing basis helps companies keep pace with their competition.
  • Training keeps employees motivated via the new skills and knowledge they glean from the material.
  • Training clarifies what employers expect from their employees.
  • Training is cost effective; it’s cheaper to train existing employees than to recruit new ones.
  • Training helps employees become more efficient.
With those benefits in mind, ask yourself this: Did the training work? In other words, did the employees get everything out of the training that they could have? And, more to the point, how can you tell? Surprisingly, the answer to those all-important questions has less to do with the training itself than the people who called for it. Sure, there are subpar classes and videos out there, but ultimately, the responsibility of making sure that training sticks falls on the people who footed the bill – that is, managers like you. It’s like the mother who wonders why her son isn’t getting any better at playing the piano, despite weekly lessons. It’s easy to blame the teacher, but if the child doesn’t practice between lessons, whose fault is that?
Evaluation issues
Some training courses include evaluation forms that employees are encouraged to fill out, providing a snapshot of their learning experience. Managers might also make up such questionnaires – again, to determine just what their employees got out of the training. Unfortunately, what most evaluations fail to cover is the gap between the teaching and the doing. That’s because evaluations – in their 1-to-5 rating scheme, with 1 being “not at all helpful” and 5 being “extremely helpful” – only identify what people thought of the training. The true benefit can’t be seen until some time afterward, when information from the class, video or online tutorial is converted into practical application. That doesn’t bode well for managers, who may find themselves in the awkward position of having paid for a training course that their employees enjoyed – perhaps the presenter was highly entertaining – but got very little out of, in terms of knowledge that they could apply in their day-to-day cube life.
One potential solution is reworking your evaluation methods to provide a better idea of the effectiveness of training. Instead of a relatively meaningless summary of who liked the course and who didn’t, evaluations should offer substantive information you can use to assess the usefulness of the training. This approach is a key part of the well-known Kirkpatrick Model – a system developed in 1954 as a means of measuring the business value of training programs.
So before you bring in another instructor or pop in a DVD, consider these tips for making the most out of a course evaluation:
  • Determine the purpose of the training. You may be tempted to file this one under obvious: “My employees need to know this stuff. Duh.” But why do they need to know it? And have you shared those reasons with them? Giving employees concrete, practical reasons to learn can be a great motivator – one that will likely improve overall retention of the material.
  • Make sure that the evaluation matches the training. Standard forms might as well be labeled “sub-standard,” because one size does not fit all. Every question on the form should be applicable to the specific course. Might that mean a little more work for you? Of course, but your effort will be rewarded with more cogent feedback, and greater consideration of the material.
  • Use closed-ended questions. This is not the time to call for essays from your employees. While there may be some insight to be gained from lengthy responses, for your purposes, you want to use some kind of quantitative measure – the old 1-to-5 scale works perfectly well if the questions are worded effectively. If you want people to elaborate on their feelings, leave room for comments at the end.
  • Don’t accentuate the positive. In order to get the most out of the evaluations, you want the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t ask for likes without dislikes, or compliments without criticisms. A balanced set of questions elicits more informative evaluations.
  • Look ahead. When do you expect to see the benefits of training manifest? Immediately upon completion of the course, or some time later, when employees have had the opportunity to apply the knowledge they’ve gained? The evaluation questions should reflect an attempt to put the training in perspective, and should ask about the potential impact of the material. Sample questions might be:
  1. What, if anything, will make it difficult for you to use your new skills on the job?
  2. Will your manager be able to help you with your new skills?
  3. How confident are you that you will be able to use your new skills on the job?
  4. How do you expect your job to change as a result of using these new skills?
  • Give it time. Asking for immediate responses puts unnecessary pressure on employees. Instead of mulling over the training, and thinking about how what they’ve learned will affect them, they’re dashing off answers to your questions – creating a disconnect between the material and employees’ feelings about it. Allow enough time for people to give you well-thought-out responses.
  • Last things first. There’s nothing that says that you have to wait until after the training to hand out evaluation forms. By handing them out at the beginning, you give employees “thinking points” – items to consider as they come up in the training, adding heft to the information, and making it more likely to be memorable.
Training courses are designed to impart information; it’s up to you and your employees to turn that information into practical knowledge. Evaluating the course effectively can be a great place to start.

Monday, October 14, 2013

LearnSmart New Releases October 2013

Our new releases include courses to help you configure connections on a network, begin mastering Windows Server 2012, and manage the human resources and procurement processes within your projects. All of these courses are available in our Knowledge Libraries.
CCNA Routing & Switching Series
Learn all the networking concepts involved in becoming a Cisco Certified Network Associate. The Routing and Switching series of six courses prepares you for Cisco’s composite exam 200-120 as well as ICND1/ICND2. This certification assesses entry-level IT professionals with 1-3 years of networking experience in their ability to install, configure, operate, and troubleshoot networks. In preparation, concentrate on the advances in networking knowledge and skills. In this series, you are provided with professional training that serves as a way to increase your understanding of switches and routers. You will study the skills required to plan, configure, verify, and troubleshoot switches and routers as they are implemented into networking solutions. When working with network connectivity, it’s important to know the difference between IPv4 and IPv6, WAN technologies and their functionality, how IP data networks operate, and the ways security is implemented. As a network administrator, you must also know basic network management techniques. Overall, you will strengthen your understanding of network connectivity and how to resolve connectivity issues.
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2012 is part of the Microsoft server family, and is the primary focus of the MCSE certification. This certification is for new and experienced IT professionals who are looking to increase their skills and knowledge on cloud technology. It encompasses a number of exams depending on the certification type that is pursued. But first, there are three foundational exams that all administrators must take to begin: 70-410, 70-411, and 70-412. LearnSmart will cover each of these exams as a series of six courses closely detailing the concepts assessed within that certification exam. The recently released series focus on Microsoft’s 70-410 and 70-411 certification exams.
Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 Series
Windows Server 2012 has many capabilities that will aid network administrators in managing networks. But before you can work with these new features, Server 2012 has to be installed and configured on the network. This series containing six courses focuses on the processes, components, and techniques used to install the server. One server component that you will study is Group Policy, its role in distributing permissions, and how to set it up. Along with Group Policy, you will learn about Active Directory focusing on its installation and administration to make accessing network resources even more simple and secure. It’s important to also solidify your knowledge of the crucial functions of server roles and features as in NTFS, the Print and Document Services role, and Remote Desktop. Using these functions will enable you to easily execute tasks across the network. Equally important for a network administrator to know about is virtualization, virtualized machines, and how to store files and folders in a virtualized environment. Deepen your understanding of how communication occurs across the network. You can cement those networking concepts by following discussions on core network services. With the knowledge you’ve gained in this course, you will be able to install, configure, and provide dynamic levels of administration for a Windows Server 2012 server.
Administering Windows Server 2012 Series
Prepare for your MCSE certification exam by exploring content from these six courses concentrated on the 70-411 exam. Learn how to manage Windows Server 2012 through the configuration of network access and services like DNS and Direct Access. Study the deployment, maintenance, and monitoring processes that are required when using Windows Server 2012 network infrastructure. Doing this will solidify that knowledge and develop a strong knowledge foundation in NPS and its different functionalities for a Remote Access infrastructure. You will go through the advanced File Services that are part of the File Server role. These services enable you to appropriately assign access rights to users, securely track access to resources, as well as provide up to date and efficient access to network resources. Active Directory Domain Services also plays a part in accessing network resources. AD DS is an important server role that serves as the foundation for the client/server domain model that the vast majority of organizations use. Branching from Active Directory, you will find Group Policy—the Microsoft implementation of configuration management in Active Directory—to be greatly impactful in applying individual settings. NPS, Active Directory, and Group Policy are all equally important to ongoing administration in Windows Server 2012 servers.
Project Human Resources Management Series
Within a project, project managers work at balancing time, cost, and quality to deliver the final project product under budget and on time. One element that can adversely impact each of those areas is improper staffing. LearnSmart’s Project Human Resources Management series offers two courses to help project managers learn the important skills and processes to manage human resources, while earning contact hours for their Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. Learn the essentials of effectively planning, developing, and managing human resources.
Planning Projects for Human Resources
As a project manager, you will take on a variety of activities to ensure the successful completion of the project. Among the most important activities that you will undertake is the management of project resources that are necessary to accomplish project tasks. Typically resources come in two forms: raw materials that are developed into components of a project and human resources that will perform the development work upon the raw materials. LearnSmart’s Planning Project Human Resources course will take you through the processes pertaining to the Project Human Resource Management knowledge area, which include the processes of identifying and detailing roles and responsibilities, skills, and relationships within the project.
Managing Projects for Human Resources
The strength of a project is dependent on the resources acquired. The Planning Process Group allows project managers to determine resource requirements for each activity within the project. It also ensures that the delivery of raw materials, along with the people to develop those raw materials, is sequenced according to project schedule timelines. These activities fall into the first two processes in the Human Resource Management Knowledge Area: Develop the Project Team and Manage the Project Team. LearnSmart’s Managing Projects for Human Resources covers the processes, inputs, and tools and techniques involved in developing and managing the project team. Furthermore, this course emphasizes the principles and best practices used by project managers to establish a solid team capable of producing project deliverables on time and within budget.
Project Procurement Management Series
During a project, project managers require raw materials and resources created internally and externally. While partnering with external suppliers, organizations utilize contracts to gain items from their suppliers. Study the important skills and processes that have proven to help project managers obtain the necessary goods and services to develop the final product in thevProject Procurement Management series. In these two courses, you’ll learn valuable procurement knowledge and earn contact hours applicable to your application for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam.
Planning Procurement for Your Project
As a project manager, your role will be to facilitate, or you might even say orchestrate, all activities that pertain to developing the final product of a project. In doing so, you’ll be gathering information, communicating with stakeholders and developing plans that the project team will use throughout the project lifecycle. Part of those plans and directions pertain to the purchase of goods and services needed within the project. This describes the Project Procurement Management knowledge area. Within Planning Procurement for Your Project, you will learn the definition of procurement and the value of procurement processes to project activities. You will also cover procurement contracts to understand the different types of contracts that exist, why there are different types of contracts, and who benefits by the stipulations inherent to a specific type of contract. Upon completion, students will be well-versed in procurement as it pertains to project management, along with the Plan Procurement Management processes identified within this knowledge area.
Managing Procurement during Your Project
Managing Procurement during Your Project course serves as a fundamental introduction to project procurement processing. It covers the process inputs relevant to managing procurements, conducting procurements, controlling procurement activities, and closing procurement work within a project. It also covers techniques for selecting sellers that will participate in project activities. It shows how a project manager can develop a pool of prospective sellers and illustrates activities based upon procurement scenarios. Some of the procurement tools and techniques covered include bitter conferences, proposal evaluations, independent estimates, advertising, and negotiation. Find details pertaining to procurement documentation and artifacts as in contracts between buyers and sellers that will be used to acquire both resources and raw materials to develop project components. Equally important to the contractual agreement and type of agreement that a project team would enter into, is the administration of the contract once the agreement has been reviewed, finalized, and approved. Students will gain a comprehensive foundation in managing procurement activities that pertain to project management in the Conduct Procurements process.