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Change management is a responsibility of the program manager. It is a role that is underappreciated, underutilized, and not performed well by some program managers. Change management is complex, and there is no cookbook recipe to apply.

Our 9 part Guide to Change Management will focus on how to prepare the customer, stakeholders, and team for change.

Part 1 of 9: Change Management-What Is It?
Part 2 of 9: Fear
Part 3 of 9: Change Models
Part 4 of 9: Change Management – Evidentiary Strategy
Part 5 of 9: Change Management – Vision, Goals, and Objectives Strategy
Part 6 of 9: Change Management – Segmentation Strategy
Part 7 of 9: Communication
Part 8 of 9: Training
Part 9 of 9: Mentors

Part 8 of 9: Change Management Training

Training is an important part of the change management process. Every stakeholder needs to be assessed in terms of what training he or she will require to make the change happen. This is not just training on the deliverable or the use of the deliverable; there is also non-deliverable training.

Nondeliverable Training

Remember, a project is not just the deliverable; it is the entire process from scope definition to the creation and acceptance of the deliverable. We have to train people for the journey, not just the deliverable. This means we train stakeholders on requirements creation. It means we train them on business processes. This means we train them on organizational roles. Finally, it means we train them on whatever else matters in our program context in preparation for the journey.

Change management training does not necessarily imply classroom or structured training. Training does not have to be formal. Whatever you can do to assure understanding of project management, requirements creation, business processes, organizational roles, and anything else based on your program structure and project management processes should be done. You must assess your stakeholders’ knowledge and strategize about how to bring them up to speed on these necessary areas. Do not underestimate the necessity of their knowledge in these areas because a lack of knowledge will ultimately manifest itself as an issue with the deliverable, a problem in the process of creating the deliverable, and/or unnecessary amplification of an issue with the deliverable. A lack of understanding of the journey or the non-deliverables can also cause people to fight the change to the deliverable.

Deliverable Training
Items for consideration with deliverable training can include the following:

  • Who will be trained?
  • What is the time frame of the training?
  • How will the training be integrated?
  • What is the budget for training?
  • Who will pay? (This should be defined up front.)
  • How much time is needed for the personnel to take the training?
  • Is training considered part of the program cost?

Be careful here. Depending on the project, these costs can be substantial. Additional considerations for deliverable training are as follows:

  • What is the scope of the training?
  • What is the shelf life of the training?
  • In regard to shelf life, will it be used just once or used continually throughout the life of the deliverable?
  • Who will conduct the training?

Don’t underestimate the value of using a professional trainer. If a professional trainer cannot be used, send the experts who will conduct the training to train the trainer classes before the training events. It is necessary to provide them with knowledge in that area or partner them with people who have the training expertise. It has also been my experience that defining the change management training up front with the users and/or customers by identifying their needs often helps refine the deliverable and on occasion identifies issues or assumptions that could have been disastrous if identified later. Defining the training can define operations and procedures, which can force an organization or project sponsor who procrastinates to make decisions in a timely manner. This becomes a positive driver for action.

Once your team has decided on their plan and process, PPM software can help you execute that process. WorkOtter helps you successfully execute your program process strategy for project success. Get a demo of WorkOtter and see how we can make your program management effective.

“The Handbook of Program Management: How to Facilitate Project Success with Optimal Program Management, Second Edition” by James T. Brown is a copyrighted work of McGraw-Hill and McGraw-Hill reserves all rights in and to the Content. ©2014 by McGraw-Hill Education. Purchase the book on Amazon.