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Training Program

Data Literacy for Project Managers

Enabling Data and Analytics to Boost Project Performance and Success

Why Project Managers Need to Take Data Literacy Seriously

The future of projects is data-driven. But only if project managers and teams have the right skills to enable data-driven insights.

The role data plays in decision-making across all levels of SMEs and corporations has never been more significant. And there are signs that its significance is likely to continue increasing for some time. According to a report by S&P Global, 79% of organizations believe that data-informed decision-making will become increasingly important over the next year.

Put simply, businesses can’t afford to ignore the huge potential of data-driven practices, including in the project management domain, which relies on sound and informed decision-making. Organizations of all sizes — and in all industries — depend on successful project deliveries for their long-term success.

According to anecdotal evidence from various surveys and organizations, project success rates usually sit between 30% and 40%. One thing is clear — businesses that take advantage of Big Data’s full potential can increase the chances of project success significantly.

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Data Growth

Global datasphere is predicted to grow from 33 Zettabytes in 2018 to 175 Zettabytes in 2025.¹

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Importance of Data

Almost eighty percent of companies think that data will be more important to their organization’s decision-making over the next 12 months ²

¹ Source: Data Age 2025, sponsored by Seagate with data from International Data Corporation (IDC) Global Datasphere, Nov 2018

² Source: “Voice of the Enterprise: Data & Analytics, Data-Driven Practices 2022″. 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence, 2022

But to thrive and outperform the competition, businesses must upskill their project management professionals with the requisite data skills.

Data Literacy for
Better Project Outcomes

Project Managers require a distinct approach to making effective use of data to improve their project delivery intelligence.

Commercial environments are more data-driven than ever before. Today’s businesses — no matter how small — rely on data at every level of their operations. But when it comes to project management, a specific, carefully tailored approach to the upskilling of project managers with the necessary data literacy skills is essential.

Although those skills are crucial for organizations, data literacy is often misunderstood as a technical skill that would concern only technology teams. And even with basic data skills, project management professionals often don’t know how to effectively apply them to improve their project delivery capabilities.

In truth, effective leaders simply need to facilitate the use of context-led data in a way that’s appropriate for their business.

Formal training programs can revolutionize the way project management professionals use data — drastically increasing project success rates.

Today’s businesses need to adapt to fast-changing circumstances with confidence and decisiveness, which calls for fast, high-quality decision-making. And that requires putting data analytics at the heart of all strategies and working practices.

Overcoming the Skill Barriers to Evidence-Based and Data-Driven Project Delivery

The ‘Data Literacy for Project Managers’ training program enables project management professionals to master the necessary data skills and helps to overcome usual barriers in project environments. It achieves this by taking into account their specific challenges, common behavioral and cultural constraints, and typical project delivery methods and processes.

Ultimately, this comprehensive program aims to increase project performance by giving key decision-makers the data literacy tools they need for success.

The 5 Key Steps of Data Literacy in Project Management

The ‘Data Literacy for Project Managers’ training program breaks down effective data culture into five easily digestible steps.

Project data can often challenge biased points of view and assumptions. Data and analytics are the differentiators that can deliver the truth about projects. Once this is accepted throughout an organization, project data will be viewed as a valuable asset.

Project management professionals are constantly producing valuable data that they themselves should benefit from. If those professionals aren’t diligent with data handling and management, they’re effectively limiting the potential benefits of the same data. And that’s why managing it diligently and impartially is crucial. There are three facets of effective project data management:

  • Collaboration to ensure assumptions and current ‘truths’ are challenged
  • The leverage of data through effective sharing and management strategies
  • The collection and effective use of data

Raw project data can be construed in a number of ways. Some data may be incomplete, and in some cases, be used to tell untruths or outright lies. This misuse of data is often inspired by working cultures fueled by fear, shame, or the search for success at any cost.

Only when trust and transparency are intrinsic in an organization’s culture can data deliver its full potential and value. Truthfulness across the board is key, and a lack of it is a barrier to successful data-driven project management

Some failures should be used as a tool for improvement. So-called failure ceremonies ensure future project performance is fine-tuned and improved over time. Making mistakes with data is often crucial to delivering insights and driving innovation.

When it comes to data-informed decision-making, admitting mistakes and leading by example in this regard is the key to long-term improvements in project performance.

Insights from human experience and intuition and those derived from data should work in harmony with one another. In other words, each should act as a stressor to the other.

Effective data culture in any organization should always be driven by critical thinking. Effective data literacy involves asking the right questions, productive curiosity, and data-informed decision-making. Such an approach to project management can improve forecasting and overall project performance.

Effective data management involves simplifying messages and stripping away irrelevant information. Upskilling project managers in this regard involves coaching visualization and storytelling skills while moving away from ineffective project status reports and misleading dashboards.

This coaching program breaks down effective data-informed decision-making into three simple instructions:

  • Avoid the misuse of data — don’t avoid data, but don’t become a data activist, either.
  • Manage the risks involved in projects with a series of data-driven risk controls.
  • Ensure all project communications developed from data insights are action-driven.

The proper use of project data doesn’t just aid risk avoidance and management, but it also helps to identify business opportunities. That’s why it’s important to synchronize risks and innovation initiatives with particular business areas and their strategies.

To maximize project performance, it’s vitally important to enhance the collective knowledge of an organization. Project managers can achieve this by seeking new data sources, forging productive partnerships, and broadening the scope of data and the resultant insights.

Project management intelligence evolves over time — but only when key individuals preserve and actively share insights with the relevant stakeholders. To aid that evolution, managers should continually look for improvements to their data-informed decision-making processes. Such improvements might be driven by the use of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Enabling Data and Analytics to Make an Impact in Projects.

Overcome the behavioral and cultural barriers to the effective use of data and analytics in projects.

The accompanying book outlines the key behavioral and cultural elements that are required to prepare the ground for data-driven project delivery practices, enabling capabilities that will lift the project management discipline to a high-performing practice.

Leading Projects with Data

Program Details

A tailored approach to ensure your specific goals are met.

Better Data-Driven Projects Are Just a Phone Call Away

For project organizations who wish to transition to data-driven practices, this data literacy training program contains all the relevant guidance and insights that help project management professionals engage with data at a non-technical level.

By the end of the program, students should be able to confidently interact with project data, supporting their organization to unlock the true potential of data and analytics in the field of project management.

Want to know more about our ‘Data Literacy for Project Managers’ training program? Get in touch today to discuss your current situation and objectives.


Common Pitfalls when Transitioning to a
Data-Informed Project Management Practice

Learn about the often overlooked barriers when embarking on a journey to become a data-informed project management organization.

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How data will boost your project delivery success and reduce uncertainty

Virtual Workshop Experience

The delivery of virtual workshops goes beyond mere lectures and slides in a Zoom meeting.
The main focus is to create a lasting and entertaining learning experience.

Miro example

Online Tools

Virtual sessions have their limitations but also many opportunities to use smart tools and technology to make the online experience worthwhile for attendees. All virtual sessions are Zoom meetings with the use of digital tools and collaboration platforms like Miro or Mural.

I am frequently assessing and testing out a variety of emerging tools, with the goal to make a virtual workshop experience as lively, interactive, and useful as possible.

Virtual Delivery

Facilitating and delivering training and workshops in a virtual format cannot fully replace the experience of live and in-person events, but it also provides several advantages in terms of its location independence and time investment.

To ensure a seamless and lasting experience, I am using professional video and audio equipment, while adapting to proven virtual delivery practices and techniques, making the online sessions highly productive and engaging, and yet entertaining.

virtual delivery