Monday, April 20, 2015

"The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows"- Sydney. J. Harris

Let me tell you about my experience at mbh training. I was first introduced to mbh training by attending the certificate iv in project management course. The first thing I noticed was how broad the industries were amongst the students. There were projects managers from industries such as construction, community services, and information technology all in the class (that's a whole lot of knowledge and experience in one room!).

So how did this help me with my project management course?

First of all, prior to this course, I didn't have any experience with project management, like a few of the students did (and I wasn't alone). I was fresh to this industry, so there was a lot to take in. I found it so intriguing listening to the experiences of the other students. The trainer (Jack Peck) delivered the course in such an engaging way, I always looked forward to coming to each course day, his experiences also helped me with the course. The course structure and the way he related most of the learning outcomes with his own experience in the industry, gave myself and the students, real life example and situations where we could apply the knowledge that he passed onto us.

Towards the end of the course, I found a good balance of information, knowledge and experiences. The way a course and education should be delivered.

So why not turn those mirrors into windows...

Thursday, April 02, 2015

mbh is here to guide you

Over the past 15 years mbh have maintained contact with many of our mbh students, and just this week I was able to assist two past students with their project management careers.

With both students at opposite ends of the project management spectrum:

- one discussing a job application for a move from running projects to running a program management office

- the other to debrief on their first project and discuss the challenges they faced.

What does that mean to the mbh student ? 

If a student wants to continue to develop post classroom and actually take that step, then what better way to talk to those they know, who have taught them and assessed their work. Their facilitators understand their levels of project management maturity, get to know them and can provide direction to help them continue to grow and develop their project management practices.

Guidance, mentor ship, call it what you will, it provides mbh students a sounding board with links to traditional, new and the most appropriate project management practices for them to utilise, there are many shoes that fit!

mbh links to project management practitioners across a variety of industries, articles and books written by prominent project management professionals, knowledge of project management collaborative software, upcoming conferences, offers the students a range information they can access to expand their skills and knowledge and awareness of what is occurring within project management.

mbh links to project management practitioners across a variety of industries, articles and books written by prominent project management professionals , knowledge of project management collaborative software, upcoming conferences, offers the students a range information they can access to expand their skills and knowledge and awareness of what is occurring within project management.

What does that mean for mbh

We are able to remain connected to our students, gain feedback from them, discuss their experiences, what works , what does not - open their eyes to new tools and techniques they can utilise in their working environments. mbh assist our students to develop their careers and continue to support them post classroom.

Student feedback is an important component, along with industry recommendations, mbh staff knowledge and experiences to continually refine our courses. This ensures the tools and new theories that are incorporated reflect what is actually required by practising professionals, not just those that are reflected in the competency standards.

Student feedback is an important component, along with industry recommendations, mbh staff knowledge and experiences to continually refine our courses. This ensures the tools and new theories that are incorporated reflect what is actually required by practising professionals , not just those that are reflected in the competency standards.

What does that mean for me?

Guidance by the mbh team has been a major part of my own personal development- Guidance by the mbh team has been a major part of my own person development - November this year sees my 15 year work anniversary, I have beaten my usual 7 1/2 year itch, which was the length of time in my first two jobs. mbh has provided many challenges, both personally and professionally and I have been able to grow my own capability, and watch and share in our students growing theirs.

The fact students continue to connect with mbh whether they trained 10 or 2 years ago tells me that we got it right. Our passion comes through, the time we spend to support people in the classroom and throughout their assessment and beyond is valuable to all parties. It translates back to the workplace, our students earn their qualifications and we know they can apply the skills they have learnt instantly, improving their project planning and delivery, and ensuring those lessons learnt are shared.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Welcome to our new website!

We are excited to announce the release of our brand new website for mbh training!

When I first stumbled across mbh training, I thought, the website needed to capture the essence of what mbh training is all about. There is a lot of passion and guidance in the steps towards a project management qualification with mbh, so what better way to express this than through a fresh new website design!

We thought the butterfly was a great symbol to represent mbh training. We like to think of it as a metamorphosis process. mbh training, guides you from the very beginning, till the butterflies (students) fly effortlessly into their career in project management, with the knowledge and confidence that they need.

"Any transition serious enough to alter your definition of self will 
require not just small adjustments in your way of living and 
thinking but a full on metamorphosis."- Martha Beck

You will find it a lot easier to be guided through our website, and we've also added something a little extra! The new website features interviews with one of our trainer's Jack Peck. We wanted to give you a glimpse of the knowledge and experience of our trainers here at mbh training.

Why not check it out for yourself!

Enjoy! We look forward to training you soon!

3.. 2.. 1..  Launch!

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Students guidance and support all the way - its a requirement not an option.

We have found mbh students are keen to get in the classroom and learn new skills, tools, techniques and project management methodologies.

We often get the...

"WOW, that stakeholder analysis is simple and yet informative", "the network diagram has opened my eyes"  
"if only I had these tools when I was on the last project"
"it's great to share experiences with people from other industries, they face the same issues we do".

Students thrive in this environment, bringing to the table all their knowledge and experiences, and absorbing new information. More often than not, they relate to having the same issues occurring on their projects, no matter what industry they are working in.

What happens once they finish face to face classroom activities?

At the end of the course students are always keen to get the assessments finished and say "we will get back to you within the month, I want to get this done and dusted!"

However, once out of that classroom, and back to their daily routines - assessments are not their priority, their work and home life comes first! Understandably, however sometimes there is confusion, as assessments are based on practical application of a work place based project- this aims to make the process a bit easier towards assessment completion. We want students to use their current knowledge, and introduce the new tools they have learnt, where applicable.

So, what's the issue with assessment completion?

Well, our experience at mbh training over the past 15 years, tells us, unless you engage with your students within 8 weeks of leaving that classroom, and organise a face to face meeting in their workplace, or regular phone hook ups- you will not get the assessment in the near future - maybe when the deadline date is close, and student syndrome rears it's ugly head, or not at all. 

The question I often ask is what can we do to get them through?

As students and companies commit to the training, as educators, and RTO's, we must provide that support, and actually take the time out to communicate to our students to assist them, answer questions, provide where possible assistance and samples. We need to undertake a collaborative approach, and get in touch with students, understand their business, and the types of projects they are working on. One size does not fit all in the land of projects.

Where we are able, if education is driven by the business, we should contact company HR managers, learning development partners and the like. mbh have found if we all work together to assist and encourage people to complete their assessment, they will get the qualification they are working toward.

Finally, if a student earns the qualification, we can see the value in improving their project management toolkits, they know they have put in the effort, and their work is recognised. As project management educators introducing traditional and new concepts to challenge the norm, companies will, over time, improve their methodologies and most importantly, find out what works for them and grow the project management maturity at an individual and company level.

As students - contact us, ask us to help, get that feedback - you deserve it.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Philosophies of Learning

As a teacher/trainer we have inbuilt concepts and philosophies that guide us in the beliefs we have on education, and how we should train, teach or facilitate learning. We may not realise what these philosophies are and will act automatically on a day to basis without realising we have them, by identifying our philosophies we can locate a vast amount of information to assist us gaining a holistic understanding of adult education and obtain a framework for us to utilise as an adult educator to ensure we understand the needs of the learners.

Why should we have a philosophy? Well, some of the reasons noted by Hiemstra (1998) have been that having a philosophy can highlight an understanding of human relationships, it can help us to be sensitive and realise the requirements for positive exchanges towards other people, it can provide us with a framework for understanding personal values, and promotes flexibility and consistency when working with adult learners. All these principles are imperative to realising the intricate balance we as teachers/trainers require when involved in the education of adult learners.

As educators we should practice the art of reflection on all aspects of training not just the action of delivery, but ourselves, our views and beliefs, what influences us and how we influence the students. With regards to creating and understanding your philosophy try asking yourself;

• What are your perspectives on adult education,
• What is the role of the teacher and that of the learner,
• What are your ethical beliefs around standards of practice, certification and standards of teaching/ training?
• Why have a philosophy?

Once you have answered these questions have a look at the table below , you may identify where you believe you sit within the educational philosophies, however to gain a true indication I suggest you fill in the Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory by Lorraine M Zinn, PhD. This inventory assists you in truly determining where your philosophy lies and can be found at .

Below is a table adapted from Galbraith , M(1990) outlining Philosophies and Traditions of Adult Education;


Hiemstra, R. 1998, Translating Personal Values and Philosophy into Practical Action, in R.Brockett (ed) Ethical Issues in Adult Education, Columbia University, New York, pp.178-191.

Galbraith, M. 1990 Adult Leaning Methods, Ed. Kreiger, Florida.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What Adult Educators need to remember

An adult educator needs to be mindful of the variety of situations that can come up when dealing with adults in the training environment as well as the psychological perspectives that can occur. There are many external and internal factors that influence and impact adults as they go through their daily lives, there are obstacles such as past learning experiences, work related conflict, changing life events and poorly ran training courses from school days or private enterprise to name a few. It is a huge achievement for any adult and takes great courage to step through the doors on to further eduction whatever the reason.

Therefore educators need to understand where the student is coming from and ideally be empathetic to the needs of their students. The way in which adults learn has become of great importance through out the training industry, should we lecture to our students, is demonstration and practice applicable, via multi layered learning, or experiential learning to name a few.

All these are effective ways of training but consideration must be taken into account on the type of course we are running, it is not very effective just lecturing to a group of carpenters on how to make a table, they need to actually build it themselves with a degree of theory thrown in at the correct place to embed the learning.

Cultural Issues and experiences

In our multi culture society we need to take into account the backgrounds, culture and experiences of our students, there are such a myriad of questions we need to ask ourselves before we even step into the training environment.

Some of the questions we might ask ourselves are:

• How big is the group of students?
• What is the cultural mix of the students and are there any special requirements I will need if I training one type of cultural group from another;
• What is the age group as this can affect the ability for students to retain information
• Do we have activities to really get the group engaged?
• Have we catered for the different types of learning styles, pragmatist, activist, reflector and theorist (which have been designed by Honey and Mumford. UK);
• Are there any special needs required and how might I deal with this e.g. dyslexia, deafness;
• How should we set up the training environment?

However, we should try and remember that in a classroom of 20 students it is difficult to fill the needs of all, but as trainers we should endeavor to do so.

Too successfully transfer knowledge takes a mixture of education, life experiences and the well being of our bodies, these all contribute to how adults learn and how much we can take at certain stages of our life. As educators when we are delivering our programs we should think about age group and other circumstances, such as cultural background and gender to ensure we select activities to cater for these groups, this will help enhance the learning.

Our students have a great wealth of experience that should be encouraged to be shared as this will draw out a vast amount of knowledge for the group to digest and sharing this will encourage the students to participate. As students we can also realise our limitations and what can affect us as we grow older, we can then adjust our processes to help us embed the learning.


Before you start your training course set up a safe environment with your students, get them to brainstorm some rules for the session and write them on a flip chart for all to see. You could even get someone ton police them and change the person every couple of hours to involve everyone.

Useful resources for adult education:

Knowles,M. Holton,E and Swanson R.A. (1998) The Adult Learner The definitive Classic In Adult Education and Human Resource Development.USA: Buttworth Heinmann

Lefrancois,G.R (2000) Psychology for Teaching.(10th edn)
Belmont, C A :Wadsworth Publishing

Sofo,F (1999) Human Resource Development. Perspectives, Roles and Practice Choices,Sydney: Business and Professional Publishing.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

mbh training blog

This blog will be used to answer questions that we receive from our students. Please feel free to email us a question. NOTE: you do NOT need to be an mbh training student to send us a question.