Time to train

I’ve been giving a little thought lately about maybe doing some formal training again for the first time in alot of years.  I have tended to learn as I go for the last decade or so and the rise of things like Twitter and Barcamps in particular has meant there have been plenty of opportunities to do this. For the most part I don’t really feel like I have missed out and in fact have found myself picking up skills that I probably wouldn’t even of considered if curiosity hadn’t gotten the better of me a time or two.

That said since my latter days at JISC I have had this nagging worry in the back of my mind about my lack of an ability to actually define what it is I do for a living!

Now I’ve managed a year (yay – my 1 year anniversary is Tuesday!) in this job and as I’m feeling pretty settled for the first time in quite a while (like 3 years!) I think it is a good time to take stock.

What I have come up with is that I would like to start building my skills around the concept of a ‘Product Manager‘.  At the moment many elements of my job already fall into this category one way or another but I’d like to approach the tasks and the planning in a way that better reflects the current thinking around this kind of role.  The BBC has really started to embrace product management and Mike Bracken,Digital Director at the Government Digital Service, is a supporter since his days at the Guardian.

The thing is finding the right training opportunity around this sort of thing isn’t easy.  I don’t really need to be trained as a ‘Certified Scrum Product Owner‘ at the moment as that isn’t really the way we work (nor is that likely to change any time soon) and I have previously undertaken some general Scrum training so know my way around it.  I do like the look at this BBC Academy course on Dynamic and Agile Project Management but a) I worry it will be too media focused and b) will it get me any closer to understanding ‘product’ rather than ‘project’ management?  The other course I have seen that looks particularly interesting is this ‘Agile Product Management‘ course but I do wonder how much can actually be covered in just one day.

I have noticed with interest the ‘launch’ of AgileTea a London based meetup for public sector workers and suppliers interested in working in an ‘agile’ way and that is something I will try to get to (but as with TeaCamp it will likely not be easy with my trips to London usually pretty packed already).

If anyone has any recommendations for training around this topic I am all ears – the clock is ticking on my securing a slice of our training budget this year so I need to get a move on🙂

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