Project management is a serious profession. It developed over time and there are many possibilities of getting higher education, training and certification in the field. Somehow all this make us believe that we need to study hard to be successful. However, Daniel Defoe wrote in “An Essay upon Projects” (1697) that the “the honest projector is he who, having by fair and plain principles of sense, honesty, and ingenuity brought any contrivance to a suitable perfection…” So we carry already from the early stages of our childhood capabilities to get things done. In Germany, we have identified the Secondary School and Vocational Training as an interesting area for offering regarding project management. In Secondary School the learning is in Germany organised in form of projects. For example, the research into nature as well as organizing an event or an excursion are great opportunities of applying project management approaches in real practice. The German Project Management Association (GPM) offers for the youth a simple guide in form of a comic and training materials for teachers. The key challenge is to provide relevant know-how to the teachers as they typically are not prepared for such a topic. This is why GPM – besides the training materials – provide special lectures for teachers to understand the foundations of project management, based on the IPMA Individual Competence Baseline.
I even started working with kids in an earlier stage of their development using Lego. It´s very challenging to explain project management to kids at the age of 6 – 10. You need to use a simple language and demonstrate things practically. For example, the question how long it takes to build the house according to the manual helps them to understand time planning and estimation. Most important for them is the social part of project-related work. It is the first time they need to cooperate and lead, establish proper communication and teamwork. It´s a great experience to see how those “natural talents” manage projects and achieve their results. It is promising to see their eyes sparkling with joy. They are our future, so let´s engage with the youth in order to achieve our vision: “Promoting competence throughout society to enable a world in which all projects succeed”!
PS: It´s not only child´s play for the youth, but also for adults! Lego offers “Serious Play” for all those wanting to enhance innovation and business performance: www.seriousplay.com