In recent weeks we have covered the strategic importance of projects, how to measure and report their impact and the leadership skills that are essential to execute these projects. (You can find these blogs in our Strategy Execution archive.)
That is because, in today’s complex and competitive business environment, projects aligned with strategy are the means in which organisations are able to move forward.
These projects, selected for their strategic objectives, must be delivered successfully if the strategy is to be achieved – making it critical that project teams are structured in the most effective way.
Trained properly, a project team can become a passionate driving force behind the projects that align with long-term strategy – as long as the training develops a strategic perspective, is offered across all job roles and creates strategic thinkers who can help projects better align with a company’s purpose and objectives.
Today’s project team members must be equipped with the right balance of technical and relational skills to get work done. The more capable team members are, the more efficient and productive they and their teams will be.
More and more often however, project-based work is being undertaken by non-project managers, spanning a variety of roles and departments.
A comprehensive training programme is therefore needed to equip all project-based workers with the competencies and skills to drive better performances.
It is essential that project leaders, including PMO heads, identify any skills gaps within their teams and take the crucial step of selecting a training partner who can meet their specific needs.
While many organisations rely on internal learning and development resources, it’s more effective to work with a partner that can provide the best learning practices, engagement methods and most importantly, improve business performance.
The following six components are essential in order to achieve these requirements:
1. An assessment of current skills
A skills assessment should be used to scope the organisation’s professional development needs. Current knowledge and skill level of individuals and teams is measured and used to develop a targeted training programme that will take the organisation where it wants to go.
2. Development of a competency map
A competency map depicts the detailed career path that project-based workers need to move along. It helps standardise the education of project workers throughout the organisation and allows for the education to be integrated into the company’s larger learning and development programme. It also ensures the cultivation of a knowledgeable talent pool of project-based workers.
3. A configured programme
The most effective training is tailored to specific needs and contextualised for team members. Training that is personalised to an organisation delivers more impactful results than generic versions. When instructors modify their presentation of material based on the students in the audience, it is much more effective. Inserting relevant and applicable examples into delivery of course material also resonates more with learners.
4. A long-term relationship
The competency map defines the training path for the organisation at a given point in time, but it should not be viewed as a static plan. It should be validated—repeatedly over time—and tweaked as necessary to accommodate shifts in business and workforce needs.
A training partner should work to continually optimise short and long-term learning needs to ensure they are delivering maximum value to the organisation. The longevity of the relationship between educator and organisation does not happen by chance. It requires strategy and foresight and should be looked at from the perspective of this being an investment in the most important component of a business: the people.
5. A quality provider
It is critical that the training partner serves all levels, from foundational to advanced, moving learners across the spectrum with a broad range of courses that span all tiers of content, including a wide variety of specialised topics.
There are nuances to creating content that play a big part in ensuring material is engaging, impactful and absorbed by students. A quality partner will know what these distinctions are and will effectively employ them.
6. Measureable effectiveness
A partner that can prove its training effectiveness, job impact, business results and ROI will allow the contribution to performance improvement of the training to be proven, and most importantly – to be justified.
If possible, find out how effective the provider has been in the applicability and relevancy of content, time-to-job impact and how their training programmes have helped improve students’ business performance and, consequently, business results.
Both individuals and organisations benefit when a company upskills its workforce. With training, individuals are better positioned to advance their careers, while organisations profit from employees that can more efficiently achieve strategic goals and objectives.
Smart organisations also know how to leverage professional development as a competitive advantage and are able to use their structured career-growth programmes to attract and retain the top talent needed for long-term success.
If any of the above resonates with you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call one of our dedicated experts on +44 (0)20 3743 2910 or visit strategyex.co.uk for more information.
To address the needs of project leaders in today’s complex and competitive environment, we have partnered with Duke Corporate Education to launch the Adaptive Strategic Execution Programme. Find out more here.