Project management is not the exclusive domain of certified professionals. Every day, in fact, children actively participate in these tasks. Many times they are not implementing the entire set of phases and tasks. Instead, they typically implement a simple subset of tasks. This is the case for homework, fun construction activities, and other children’s activities.
Simple project management techniques often work very well for children. Their projects tend to be relatively small when measured in staff resources, cost, and schedule. There is often little risk associated with these. For example, hours can often be extended with little effect. This is obviously true of personal work, such as building a tree fort.
Children quickly learn that reach has a very significant influence on their success. They may initially include an expanded scope and even add elements that make the project extremely complex. As they realize the scope is beyond their ability to complete, they learn to narrow it down. This is an axiom of simplicity. Children can be taught to implement better projects. Parents, teachers, and siblings can often do this informally. Instruction in simple project management ideas can be very helpful for children. Parents and teachers can easily incorporate these concepts into lessons.
Children will understand concepts much better when simple techniques are emphasized. Templates belonging to large commercial projects are often quite useless for a child’s project. Items like communication plans, risk registers, quality control methods, and others are probably beyond a child’s concern. This is especially true for those projects implemented by very young children.
Schools often set up work for children, but do not provide project management direction to children. If the child is lucky enough to have a teacher or parent experienced in project management techniques, she may have a mentor to consult when working on the project. If not, the child is bound to perhaps stumble in the execution of her work.
As children get older, their school projects become more complex. They begin to work in project teams for larger tasks that can take up a considerable amount of time. While kids have a natural tendency to improve their project work, formal training on scope, schedule, and quality checks can really help kids deliver quality projects on time. It is often much easier to understand the various processes of the project when the children receive real instruction specific to them.
With the project management resources available to parents and teachers, it will be relatively easy to formulate a training plan for children. Almost every library will contain project management texts that can be used as reference material for children. The parent or teacher should analyze the set of project management processes in those texts and determine the appropriate subsets that might apply to a child’s project. This will depend on the complexity of the project. Often, processes removed from consideration early on may need to be brought back into the project later. This is quite acceptable. It is much easier for children to start with a simpler set of project management activities and add more later. This allows the child to focus on particular deliverables early on. As more complexity is specifically needed, it can be built into the project as appropriate.
Many children will eventually become important project managers in the future. Some will become Eagle Scouts and other roles that are fully involved with the specification and implementation of major projects. These children will benefit greatly from formal project instruction at a fairly young age. Almost all children will benefit from learning simple project management techniques. As they develop these skills and take on increasingly complicated projects, they can use virtually the full set of formal project management practices.
With the right project management training and experience, kids can be guided to better performance. This will allow for better organization as well. The child will be better able to keep his projects under control. This will have a great impact on them. Project work is generally a requirement for school work. As the student reaches higher education institutes such as colleges or universities, projects are a frequent obligation. With proper training and experience, such project work will be executed in a timely manner with adequate quality performance measures assured.
Since financing education is likely to be difficult, especially for the lower grades of school, parents should be concerned enough to get study materials for their children. If your school library doesn’t contain the right materials, be sure to check out your local public library for additional items. Many of the libraries are also connected to online materials. These can be great ways to emphasize the scope, quality, and programming issues for kids.
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