The who, what, and the rest of the ‘w’s

Have a few questions about the program? Our FAQ has answers. And if you don’t see an answer to your question here, reach out and we’ll make sure you get what you need.

General

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Get in touch at help@louderthanten.com and we’ll work through your questions together. If it’s an emergency, please phone us at +1 604-773-7551.


Who is this training for?

A project lead is anyone who manages projects and people, whether they fill the role of a team lead, project manager, producer, coordinator, account manager, owner, or full team. This curriculum focuses on the web and tech industry specifically, so if you’re looking to hone your skills in the industry that will embed itself in everything you touch, you’re in the right place.


Who makes a great project management apprentice?

Deeply critical thinkers who are empathic and committed to continuous learning. Folks who live to serve and support their teams and who are comfortable being in uncomfortable situations with stakeholders. Strategic thinkers who love problem-solving. People in a transition stage in their lives where they want to make a career change and get more involved in tech. Interestingly we find content writers and editors, designers, developers, teachers, servers or bartenders, and others in the service industry also make great project leaders. It’s already in the blood.

Right now we’re focusing on two groups:

  • Agencies and orgs who want to build one or more teammate’s skills

  • Agencies or orgs hiring individuals who are already familiar with the lifecycle of design and development (otherwise we’d have to double the length of the program to teach you in the ins and outs of the web world—this might be an add-on as we further develop the program).


Who’s my trainer?

Your trainers are skilled digital project managers and consultants with years of agency and organizational experience under their belts. Rachel Gertz is your current trainer and we’ll soon be adding our next addition, too: is that you? Send us some details if you think you’ve got the right stuff and want to join the team.


How does the apprenticeship program work?

What will apprentices be learning?

As an apprentice, you’ll learn everything from how to work with salespeople to deepen project profitability, to reining in decision maker expectations, to managing the complete lifecycle of complex digital projects from end to end, as well as the future of PM and how it intersects with operations and strategy. You’ll get to practice on simulated projects while you onboard at your job and you’ll also be picking up real world projects in the second half of training (or sooner if you’re feeling ready). Need a training overview? Get in touch.


How does training work?

How does training work?

Teams or individual apprentices will learn in a similar manner. During the first half of the year, you’ll meet with your trainer and up to five other apprentices for a three-hour video session each week where you work through high-level concepts and theories.

You’ll also set aside a minimum of two hours a week for lab time, so you can work on homework and application exercises with your fellow learners and explore new thoughts, ideas, and resources in our private Slack group as you internalize the theory of digital project management. Your open time during the rest of the week can be spent supporting your team at work.

During the second half of your training, our trainers will be there each week to chat with you as you take on the full complexity of stakeholder facing projects by answering your questions and challenging you to deepen your real-world learning.


How does the support package work?

We’ll meet weekly with you and up to six classmates to discuss real time project problems and challenges over the course of three months.


How much time do I need to spend training each week?

During the first half of the year, you’ll be spending up to ten (10) hours a week learning and working through assignments. Up to five (5) of those will be with your trainer over video chat and Slack. The rest of your week is spent supporting your organization as you apply your new skills. During the last half of the year, you’ll be spending up to three (3) hours a week deepening your learning and receiving trainer support.

We recommend that if you’re signing up an apprentice who is working at full capacity or a whole team of project leaders who need training, you work with them to plan how to adjust their capacity so they can allocate time for learning. We find organizations benefit from collaborating around cross-team scheduling or hiring a freelance PM to support the team while its project leaders are learning. The skills your individual team or apprentices are learning will help them adjust real project scope to aid in this transition fairly quickly.


How long is the program? Why?

Change takes time. We’ve designed our program to give you a full year of training and support. For change really to stick, you need to commit to internalizing new information at a pace that allows you to absorb it. An apprenticeship with both the theory and support components allows you explore and grow as a project leader naturally over time so you’ve got the foundational skills you need to be strong and nimble in your role. Unlike a boot camp that spits you out quickly, you’ve got professional support to back you the whole way. You can learn in a safe environment, make mistakes, and get the reinforcement you need to refine and improve your processes. Think of training as a set of water wings and a personal lifeguard.


What format is the training?

The training and support we provide to you in this apprenticeship are completely virtual via video chat, Slack, and digital tools.


What materials do I need for training?

You’ll need high-speed internet, a laptop or computer with keyboard and mouse, a Google account (to access documents, spreadsheets, and other assets), a web camera, headphones, and plenty of snacks to keep you in fine form. In most cases, your organization will provide the equipment you need as a full-time employee. An extra screen is a nice to have (to view your high-level project data), but not required.


Can I work remotely while training?

Note: Your training component with Louder Than Ten occurs over video chats and Slack and is completely remote. However, you’ll be onsite with your employer while completing this apprenticeship. While we don’t recommend you complete the entire program away from your office (the physical support from your work team is what makes this apprenticeship so effective), it’s not a problem if you need to work remotely for short periods of time. Just make sure you work out the details with your employer first. In some cases, you may need to coordinate flex hours with work if your time zone falls outside our standard training schedule.


Is there support during training in case I have questions?

There will always be someone there to support you if you have questions. In most cases, an email to your trainer will give you the answers you need, but if you have deeper questions about the program or need help with account information, please email us at help@louderthanten.com and we’ll work through them together.


What can my project leads do while they are learning to be useful and help support our team?

Your apprentice will be able to support you right away by helping with things like note taking, scheduling, project setup, coordinating meetings, refining written process documentation, supporting client facing project managers or team leads, identifying process gaps, and demoing new learning and concepts to the team.


How will I know my apprentice is ready to pick up projects?

Ask them. You will be watching for your apprentices to take the lead on project planning, to run meetings with decision makers and teams, to ask for additional responsibilities, and to show initiative with implementing new processes. Go easy on them in the first few months but challenge them as they gain more experience and you’ll be impressed by how quickly they can maneuver down the project path.


As the employer, how do I know what my apprentice is learning?

You’ll have access to all the handouts and resources your apprentice receives. We’ll also check in with you and your apprentice at three scheduled times throughout their training. Recognize that your apprentice may be learning concepts that differ from your current processes. Encourage them to share with the team and you can determine together how you’d like to apply any new or different ideas together. Just like any training, it works best when people are open and collaborative. We’re going to push your apprentice and your org further. We recommend you to set regular check-in times with your project leads-in-training to follow up on their progress and ideas they can bring back to your team.


Is there ongoing support once I complete training?

If you’d like an additional six months of support, please reach out and we’ll set up a support package for you.


Costs

How much is training?

Training for each project lead is $11,000 a year (paid up front or $990 paid monthly). Training for your whole team of up to six people is $55,000 (paid up front or $4950 paid monthly).


How much is team support only?

If you want to test the waters with a little custom support, we offer a three-month package for $1500 per person or $7500 for the whole team.


How is training billed?

We bill a monthly subscription to your credit card or charge electronic funds transfer (EFT) payments. You can also choose to pay your program invoice up front and save 10% of your training fee.


How can I afford to pay an apprentice who’s learning while also paying their salary?

If you’re training folks on your team: they’ll put their newfound skills to use immediately and start increasing project profitability, while enriching the relationships and value with stakeholders so you’ll see a return on your investment via project revenue and operational efficiency right away. Great PM skills can shave 50% or more off project overages. When you consider the average project runs over by 27%, you’re actually making money by investing in your team’s business and management skills.

If you’re hiring a new PM who will be apprenticing: The great thing about this apprenticeship model is that PMs put their skills to practice after the first week. One way we suggest managing your arrangement if you’re planning to hire a new apprentice is to pay them an entry level salary and put a minimum two to three-year contract in place—you’re investing in their professional learning and development. Once your apprentice is finished training, you can negotiate a salary that feels fair to both of you. Apprenticeships that develop deep skills such as these can save you up to 50% on replacing salaries, hiring, and onboarding costs as you are investing in your talent—which means they are more likely to stick around and return the value in saved project costs and longer term stakeholder relationships.

There may also be grants and funding available for training in your city as governments look to close the skills gap and integrate tech into the workplace.


Evaluation

How will I evaluate my success?

We’ll check-in with you each week and have more formal check-ins scheduled throughout the program so we can assess your progress and review any gaps. You’ll also be responsible for self-assessment and reflection along the way.


How can I keep track of my progress?

You’ll have a student dashboard so you can preview all upcoming assignments and handouts. You’ll also be keeping personal KPIs and updating your program goals throughout the program.


How often will I be evaluated?

We’ll check in with you and your employer three times throughout the program so we can assess your progress and learning gaps.


Is there an exam?

There won’t be any standardized exam. We’ve done plenty of research and standardized testing is the least effective way to measure your learning. What’s most effective? Formative assessment: checking in with you and your team regularly to see how you’re applying new information and concepts. Down the road we may implement a certification program, but only if it makes sense for our learners and our future goals.


When I’m finished, what certification will I receive?

If you’re new to PM, when you’ve finished the apprenticeship you’ll have the equivalent experience of a keen mid-level digital project lead who has been working in the industry for two to three years. If you started out as mid-level project lead, you should be able to refine your skills to the expert level. The concepts you’ll cover push you into deeper learning spirals that allow you react more quickly, apply new information more meaningfully, and build a foundation of skills that will serve you for a lifetime. While you won’t have a formal certification like a PMP, you will demonstrate your skills and knowledge first hand within your industry—and comfortably within other industries who are progressively adopting lean project management methods. We believe in practical application over great optics.

That said, as an apprentice, you’ll receive a Louder Than Ten certification of completion once you successfully complete your training.


Synthesis & application

Will I get to work on and run real digital projects?

If your whole team is in training or you’re simply refining your PM skills, you may be running real projects throughout your training according to your agreement with your employer. We recommend your employer build time into your schedule for this type of learning.

As an apprentice, however, you’ll also be building your practice on simulated projects at first. They’ll feel real, and you’ll go through the steps to setup and manage them, but you’ll have the safety of your training environment and trainer and peer support to try new things. Then, in the second half of the year, you’ll begin to pick up or add additional real projects that increase in complexity until you’re ultimately able to handle a full project load within your organization.


Cancellation/substitution

My apprentice isn’t the right fit for our organization. What now?

As you’ll be hiring and interviewing your apprentice, your organization is responsible for finding the right fit. Because this is a one year program, you want to be sure of your investment. If the apprentice is a poor fit or isn’t meeting their requirements, we will handle things on a case by case basis. Please email us at help@louderthanten.com or reach out to your Louder Than Ten trainer for more details.


I don’t like the agency or organization I’m paired with. What now?

Refer back to your employment contract to determine how you need to proceed and talk with your employer. We want you as an apprentice to be happy, but we are also entering into a contract directly with the organization employing you and are bound to that agreement. We’ll handle any requests to cancel on a case by case basis.


My situation has changed. I want to cancel the program. What now?

You’re entering into a one-year contract with Louder Than Ten when you start, so please get in touch and we’ll talk through your situation to determine how we move forward with regard to learning and payments.


I want a new apprentice. Can I sub one out?

Nope, sorry. Because your apprentice is applying learning layer by layer in order, it’s really important that they start from the beginning. The pace is fast and a new apprentice can fall behind. That said, we run classes every three months so a new apprentice can sign up for the next class if it makes sense. We’ll determine payments for the new apprentice’s additional onboarding time together.


Talk to us.

Learn more about our apprenticeship or talk to a trainer.