Someone got in touch recently and asked for a copy of one of my premium templates for free. I said no politely (even though inside I was composing an email along the lines of ‘I bet no one asks you to work for free and doesn’t even say please!’ which of course I didn’t say).
But I get that not everyone can afford $6 for a project workbook and budget tracker. Depending on where you are in the world, that might be a lot of money.
So here are some places to find free project management templates and other resources, and some low cost/high value resources that I find myself recommending frequently to people who are on tight budgets. Despite some of these not costing anything, some of these links are affiliate links which means I’d make a small commission if you spent any money on them. The rules of the internet say I have to tell you that!
Projectmanagement.com has a huge free library of free project management templates. They also have premium templates which you can get free if you are a PMI member. I find their search engine quite difficult to navigate but if you spend the time hunting you can normally find the document you want.
Did you know that Enterprise Environmental Factors is an input to 27 PMBOK® processes? Nope, neither did I. BrainBOK has an ITTO Explorer makes all of that transparent. You get limited access to it for free, plus a 200-question sample exam paper to help you prepare for the PMP® exam. There are paid plans also available if you want more.
Dr Mike Clayton offers well-respected project management training and his free 78-minute video course, PM Fundamentals, is good for beginners.
Cornelius Fichtner offers a free podcast that you can use to claim PDUs – good if you are trying to develop your skills or get your PDUs sorted for the year. He also offers a free taster of his PMP training.
I was under the impression that you could access MOOCs for free, but I haven’t been able to find any relevant to me that offer free access beyond a really short trial. Futurelearn.com has some – if you aren’t looking for change management like I was they might have a course for you.
I have just finished taking their course on GDPR. It was nothing to do with project management, but gave me some subject knowledge to enable me to better manage my project. So think about looking for that kind of training too: it certainly makes it easier to have conversations with subject matter experts.
Many software vendors have free ebooks full of useful advice like this one, this one and these. You do have to expect a sales pitch or a mention of their product, but the fundamental guidance on project management is good and often better than you’d get through random Google surfing.
Low Cost Resources
There are dozens of places to go online to learn more about project management. Most of the options above have paid-for products as well, if you want to dive deeper and like the teaching style or resources offered.
Coursera has a lot of options, but you’ll have to pay to access the materials beyond the trial and you’ll need to choose carefully to make sure the course you choose is going to meet your needs. I looked at one MOOC on time management for project managers (yes! I definitely need this) and found the syllabus was all schedule management techniques (no! I don’t want to learn about crashing, thanks anyway). The description wasn’t misleading, but I misinterpreted it.
One area I get asked about a lot is work breakdown structures. WBSCoach is a good tool to improve your skills in that area.
And of course, I have some premium templates too, that are actually more than just templates as you get guidance on how to use them too like this meetings template kit and this stakeholder template kit.
Looking for something else? Check out my past archive of articles and reviews of different training courses.
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