Learning project management best practice doesn't just happen. Especially for those who don't come from the traditional IT project portfolio management background.
Over the last couple of years I have noticed that there is a lot of project-based work accomplished by managers who aren't formally trained project managers as companies turn to projects for increasing productivity. Because these "accidental" project managers are often left to themselves to figure out the best ways to manage projects, motivate teams, and get work done, searching out information to help learn best practices becomes critically important. That being said, some of those "accidental" project managers turn out to be incredibly effective and some of the most intuitive and successful managers.
Without getting into a discussion about certification and formal training, there are other ways for budding project managers to learn the ropes. (Anyone considering the path of the PMP should talk to Josh Nankivel at PM Student or Derek Huether at HueCubed, both of these guys are great resources for preparing for the PMP exam.) I'd like to talk about some less formal ways we share information and learn best practices.
Anyone who has read this blog for any length of time knows that I am a big supporter of the social network of project managers on Twitter who so willingly share valuable information with the rest of us. There is a tremendous amount of really good, real-world information, available to anyone who is willing to do a little bit of digging. There are excellent blogs, webinars, user groups, conferences, tradeshows, and seminars. In fact, it's never been easier to learn how to best implement sound work management methodologies within your organizations.
I think this almost instantaneously available information benefits the project management community. We are very fortunate as project professionals that there are so many talented and capable people willing to share their insight into what makes successful projects click and what it takes to be a skilled project leader. I believe this "community" lifts the profession and creates greater perceived value in the workplace.
I know that I enjoy the time I spend with my peers in person, on the phone, and even online. I think it helps me be better at what I do and inspires me to share with the rest of the community. As I talk to people about what makes them successful, it's rarely a discussion about software (although the right software tools contribute to project success). It's usually about implementing sound methodology and best practices.
Why don't you give it shot. Ask a question via someones blog or on Twitter and see how willing they are to help you find an answer. You might be surprised at how quickly someone who normally charges hundreds of dollars and hour in consulting fees will step up to answer your question.