How customer reviews are taking the project management training world to the next level.

IIL on Project Management Training Customer Reviews

Let’s be honest about it… about that uneasy feeling we get in our stomachs when we buy a project, program or portfolio management course. It’s because deep down, everyone knows that the quality of training varies dramatically from one training provider to the other.

As someone that has been responsible for the professional career development of various portfolios of project managers, and have also bought courses for myself, I know this feeling only too well.

Certified project management training courses don’t come cheap; they can cost you around of $1,750 and despite relevant accreditation, quality is “hit and miss.” Low quality courses impact on our skills development, career advancement, budgets; and from a corporate perspective, they certainly are not going to improve the chances of successfully delivering strategy.

How do we take project management training to the next level?

We analyzed 2,116 accredited project management training provider websites (yes we went to each one). Many contain a selection of their best testimonials. However, very few testimonials contain the full name of the person, and I am yet to read one “mediocre” testimonial. So in a world of “terrific testimonials” and “questionable quality,” how do we as individuals and heads of the PPM profession make informed decisions about the best project management training providers?

The answer is actually very simple: we read independent, un-biased course reviews that have been written by people we trust, i.e. fellow project management professionals that have participated in the course and rated their experience.

Welcome to www.CourseConductor.com

Courseconductor.com is a new, un-biased, independent website that is using customer reviews to positively disrupt the global project management training industry (think of CourseConductor.com as TripAdvisor for project management training).

We are here to raise the standards of professional training. We do this by helping professionals, corporations and the best training providers connect using reviews written by fellow project management professionals.

I launched CourseConductor.com in June 2016 with 25 of the best project management training providers as Founding Members. Today, almost every accredited project management training provider in the world (nearly 2,000) has a Course Conductor profile; and project management professionals like you are already writing reviews about their courses and helping the profession as a whole.

IIL – the first Founding Member on CourseConductor.com

I was very proud that IIL (International Institute for Learning, Inc.) was the first training provider to get involved with Course Conductor. IIL is one of the most respected and largest project management training providers in the world. CEO E. LaVerne Johnson’s story is very inspiring. LaVerne started IIL 25 years ago with a telephone in a tiny cubicle on 59th Street, New York City. Today, IIL has wholly-owned companies in 18 countries and whilst the headquarters are still in the same 59th Street building, the cubicle has grown into the entire 31st floor and includes state of the art learning center and media facilities.

I visited the IIL HQ in NYC a few weeks ago as the team was ramping up to use Course Conductor; they’ve already had some great reviews that you can read here.

In addition, here’s some interesting questions and answers between LaVerne and me about IIL and CourseConductor.com:

CK: You were the first to get involved with CourseConductor.com. Why did you believe in us so early?

ELJ: The first reason is because I’ve known you for a number of years, and your Management of Portfolios (MoP) book is the foundation of a course IIL delivers and you did a great talk about this topic at IIL’s 2013 International Project Management Day global virtual conference. So I trusted that whatever project you started would be of high quality and great value to our profession.

Beyond that, when you first told me about Course Conductor I thought it was a brilliant idea because the project management training market is saturated and this means it is very difficult for people to understand where the high quality courses are amid all the “noise.” Therefore, a high quality, independent mechanism that helps people and organizations make more informed purchasing decisions for their training is something that is desperately needed in our industry.

So I’m pleased you took it upon yourself to help solve the problem and build Course Conductor.  I believe it is going to positively change the entire project management training industry, and I’m proud that IIL was the first to be involved with that initiative.

CK: Why do you think the industry needs Course Conductor?

ELJ: People expect to read customer reviews before booking a hotel or a restaurant.  So it makes perfect sense that professionals can now do the same before booking their professional training course.

For 25 years IIL’s number one priority has been the complete satisfaction of our customers. Course Conductor helps us put our customers’ voice at the forefront of what we do. It helps us engage in open conversations with our customers which builds trust, not only with our existing customers, but with our future customers too. That’s because they can read reviews from other professionals and get a good feel for how we look after our customers by reading our replies to the reviews we receive. 

CK: Some companies get worried about negative customer reviews, but you were the opposite … why is that?

If training providers are nervous about their customers’ writing of negative reviews, they have much bigger issues to address. Personally, I’m very excited about our customer reviews on Course Conductor. We get “thank you” emails every day and I have absolute faith that the entire IIL team in all, 18 countries, does everything they can to ensure our customers have a wonderful, top quality training experience.

That being said, I do recognize that an IIL customer may write a negative review at some point. However, if this does happen I see it as an opportunity for us to engage directly with the customer, to understand their perspective. Then we will find a solution immediately. The worst possible situation would be if a customer is not happy and we didn’t hear about it.

CK: What is getting you excited about the project management training industry and IIL at the moment?

Agile, scrum and team work is exciting me very much. I see this as a critical success factor for an organization’s ability to deliver performance targets and strategic objectives. We are practicing these initiatives in our own “house” and in fact are using Scrum in Sales – where it has been infrequently applied. We are seeing some outstanding results which we will be letting others know about as we document them.

I’m also incredibly excited about IIL’s 13th Annual International Project Management Day Virtual Conference which happens on the 3rd of November this year. We have 28 world class speakers; the entire event is online and we anticipate that over 30,000 people will be attending from over 100 countries. Attendees can earn up to 30 PDUs.

———Q&A Ends ————

If you would like to attend IIL’s International Project Management day you can book your virtual place here.

If you have been on any IIL course you can write a customer review on course conductor here by clicking “Been On A Course.”

Note to reader:

CourseConductor.com is an independent course review website and whilst we have extremely strong relationships with many of the world’s most recognized training providers, the integrity, independence and unbiased Course Conductor rating system will never be compromised and reviews will always be posted as they are submitted by course participants without alteration.

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