Toward a Framework for Project Management Information Systems Training


J. McCarty1 and M. J. Skibniewski2

1School of Public Health, Office of the Dean

2Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering,

University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA



Organizations are increasingly using specialized software systems to enhance the management of projects, programs, and portfolios. Training delivered within the professional workplace has been well-documented as effective and widely used. However, previous research that examines Project Management Information System (PMIS) training has been limited. This paper proposes an empirically-derived multi-dimensional framework to facilitate improved planning of PMIS training initiatives, advanced measurement of PMIS training outcomes, and enhanced understanding of PMIS training by practitioners and researchers. The proposed framework uses a stakeholder-oriented approach that focuses on the sources and recipients of benefits to classify positive outcomes of PMIS training. Benefits of PMIS training are clustered within the framework into general areas of positive impact which provide context for training outcomes. In addition, the framework builds on existing models for conceptual training benefits realization, with PMIS training outcomes structured according to whether benefits are likely to be realized at the individual, project team, or organizational level. The framework proposed in this paper may contribute to improved understanding of successful PMIS training practices, with several future studies planned. The outcomes of this research have implications in improving workplace learning, promoting professional success in practitioners, and improving the ability of project-focused organizations to achieve their goals and execute their missions.


Training can be utilized to help maximize the benefits realized through the implementation of project, program, and portfolio management software toolsets. However, the relationship between PMIS training and the creation of value is not well understood. Beginning in the 1950’s, organizations began to use specialized project management software to better plan, execute, and track projects. Much research has been published that explores the extent to which training improves knowledge and performance (Salas & Cannon-Bowers, 2001). Utilization and effectiveness of various training delivery methods have been well-explored in the literature (Coppola & Myre, 2002; Sitzmann, Kraiger, Stewart, & Wisher, 2006). Numerous methodologies have been used to extensively evaluate the qualitative and quantitative value of training in corporate and other workplace environments (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2006; Phillips & Phillips, 2007; Westcott-Abudi, 2008).


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Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at the 1st Annual University of Maryland Project Management Symposium in College Park, Maryland, USA and included in the conference Proceedings in June 2014. It is republished here with permission of the author and the Project Management Center for Excellence at the University of Maryland.

About the Authors

pmwj26-sep2014-McCarty-AUTHOR1 MCCARTYDr. Andrew McCartyflag-usa

University of Maryland

College Park, MD, USA

Dr. Andrew McCarty serves as a Senior Project Manager and Specialist within the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. McCarty’s research focuses on enhanced adult training and workplace learning, advanced techniques to measure training outcomes, and patterns of success in enhancing business performance and achieving strategic objectives. Dr. McCarty’s experience includes serving in senior technology and management consulting roles with premier consulting firms in the Washington D.C. area for clients including many government, private sector, and non-profit organizations. He can be contacted at [email protected]

pmwj26-sep2014-Khan-AUTHOR2 SKIBNIEWSKIDr. Miroslaw Skibniewskiflag-usa

University of Maryland

College Park, MD, USA

Dr. Miroslaw Skibniewski is a Professor in the Center of Excellence in Project Management at the University of Maryland. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Automation in Construction, an international research journal published by Elsevier, and North American Editor of the Journal of Civil Engineering and Management published by Taylor & Francis. An author/coauthor of over 200 research publications, he lectures on information/automation technologies in construction, construction equipment management, and legal aspects of engineering. Miroslaw can be contacted at [email protected]