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The Truth about Training

The only time training is needed when there is a deficient in skill and knowledge. (Stolovicth and Keeps, 2012) However, for training to be effective (Noe, 2010) identifies several training methods that involve action in learning.

Group Building Methods:

  1. Experiential Training program is tied to a specific business problem. Trainees are moved outside their personal comfort zones but it does not reduce trainee motivation or ability to understand the purpose of the program. For this learning need, multiple learning modes are used, including audio, visual, and kinesthetic.

  2. The Adventure Training program focus on the development of teamwork and leadership skills through a structured of activities, which include training in the wilderness, outdoors, drum circles, and cooking classes.

  3. Team Training program coordinates the performance of individuals who work together to achieve a common goal.  For the successful accomplishment of this type of training, allow participate to communicate, coordinate, adapts, and complete tasks objectively. The knowledge requirement requires participates to have mental models or memory structures that allow them to function effectively in unanticipated or new situations.

  4. Cross Training program provide understanding and practices for each type of skills so that participates is prepared to step in and take the place of a team member who may temporarily leave the team. (Noe, 2010)

  5. Coordination Training instructs the team in how to share information and decision-making responsibilities to maximize performance. The best group for this type of training is commercial aviation or surgical teams who are in charge of monitoring different aspects of equipment and environment.

  6. Team Leader Training is the type of training that team managers or facilitators receives. It involves training managers on how to resolve conflict within the team coordinate activities or other team skills. Of course, employee need technical skills that can help them accomplish various job functions.

 

Action Learning: gives teams an actual problem, and then have them work to solve it, and commit the problem to an action plan. It also holds the member’s accountable for carrying out the plan.

Six Sigma and Black Belt training: provides employees with measurement and statistical tools to help reduce defects and to cut costs. Its quality standard has a goal of only 3.4 defects per million processes. (Noe, 2010, p. 283)

In order for participates to become a Six Sigma black belt, they must participate in workshops and written assignments coached by expert instructors. The training is 4-day sessions for a 16 week period. Between and after training, participate must demonstrate their learning achievement.

 

Reference

 

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Stolovitch, H. D. (2012). Training ain’t performance. Alexendria, VA: ASTD Press.

 

Analyzing Scope Creep

The project that I was assigned to work on involves upgrading the billing system for the XYZ Company. The objectives of the project were clear, concise, and methodical. The key players were involved during the phase of the project. Upper management both local and Corporate was behind the successful completion of the project. However, two months into the project, the PM had an emergency that took his out of the country. While there, he became ill and was not able to return to complete his part of the project, which involved the IT specification. Nevertheless, I and another IT person were reassigned to complete the IT specs as well as continue working on our part of the project.

Realizing that we were overworked, stressed, and annoyed upper management decided to bring in a PM from the corporate office to assist with finalizing the project. He was able to get the team to refocus on the big picture concerning the project—completion and satisfaction. He was also able to response to the Scope Creep by reviewing all phases of the project from the beginning up to the point where we were not able to finish, identified all of the impacts that have taken place within the project to this point, and revamp the project scheduling and cost. We were able to complete the project.

There is no known way to avoid scope creeps or uncertainties, but we as instructional designer and/or Project Manager can, according to Portny, Mantel, Meredith, Shafer, Sutton, & Kramer (2008) anticipate and put in place contingencies that can offset the satisfactory completion of a project. They also suggest having a process known as the “Change Control System” in place whereby the PM can:

  1. Review all requested changes—content or procedural changes.

  2. Identify all impacts the change might have on other project tasks.

  3. Translate these impacts into alternations of project performance, schedule, and cost.

  4. Evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of the requested changes.

  5. Install a process so that individuals with the appropriate authority can accept or reject changes.

  6. Prepare reports that summarize all changes to date and their impacts.

Reference: 

Portny, S. E., Mante, S. J., Meredith, J. R. , Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E. (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

 

Project “Post Mortem”

ABC Company Billing System Project Upgrade

    

     The ABC organization was in the process of upgrading their billing system to accommodate more features and allow more user-friendly component to be installed.  My role in the beginning of the project was bot the PM and trainer. The project was a success, but not without several hiccups.

     The project “Post Mortem” was depressing because management looked to me for all of the answers, which I did not have. It was impossible for me to be responsible for both jobs in that I was not able to prepare for training or not able to guide the team toward completion. Saying “No” was not an option because they felt that the IT person alone with me could do the job. However, the size of the project was factored in during the pre-planning stage because there was not a planning stages that I was aware of during that time. We were it!

     The deliverable timeline given to complete the project was within three months from the month of April to June. This also meant complete training for all end users.

First thing first:

  1. I begin by creating SMART objectives for all core parties.

  2. Begin to define the Project boundaries because there were limitations in my ability to do everything and be everything to everybody. There were also limitations to skills set for the successful completion of the project, mine including. My educational background was technical and customer service training, but this project called for IT, finance, HR., Field Operation, marketing, collection, audit, dispatch, and warehouse to be involved.

  3. Begin to convenience Upper Management to use a specific person to act as the PM, which would allow me the opportunity to work on the project as the instructional designer, as well as the trainer. 

     The most frustrating part of the project was not utilizing a PM during the pre-planning stage of the project. We would have save time, and would not have had to extend the project completion date to another month.

What contributed to the project’s success or failure?

     The project was a success because Upper Management decided to utilize a PM to guide the project from beginning through its closure.

Which parts of the PM process, if included, would have made the project more successful? Why?

     The PM was able to plan the project, which included organizing, controlling, scheduling, resources, meeting the project specifications, as well as factoring in uncertainties. The PM was also able to set clear objectives ensuring a feasible plan for how everyone would reach their goals. The PM held individual accountable for their part of the project, communicated with clients and management providing them with up-to-date information concerning the project, and monitored performance against plans and dealing with any problems that arises. The PM also kept the project team focus on the benefits that the project completion would bring to all end users and the organizational leaders. The PM utilizes the Statement of Work (SOW) to keep the project on track, under budget and completed on time.

 

Reference

Portny, S. E.Mantel, S. J., Meredith, J. R., Shafer, S. M., Sutton, M. M., & Kramer, B. E.  (2008). Project management: Planning, scheduling, and controlling projects. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.