Training Not Related to Job/Task
In order for continuous improvement to become organizational culture, it must also become a personal goal for every employee. Self-improvement should not be limited to immediate application, that would be an example of short-term thinking. Employees are the most important assets of an organization, and therefore require effort to retain and enhance them.
On project teams, the most important assets are the individual contributors that make the project happen. I believe in making all relevant project documentation available to the whole team, including planning exercises and other resources. Explaining your approach as a project manager is key to helping everyone understand the method to your madness, and by example you can help develop organizational and project skills in them. Anyone can become much more productive when they learn and apply many of the concepts in project management. Other skills will come through such as time management, documentation/configuration management, leadership, communication, planning techniques, estimating, and scheduling/workflow management.
If you are a project manager of a permanent group of project team members, you have an even better opportunity to help them grow personally and professionally. On a permanent team, you may even have the power to set aside training time for everyone where they can plan to educate themselves on any topic they wish. This reminds me of Google’s policy of setting aside time for developers to work on their own personal projects without any interference or direction given from management.
References and Resources
Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence
Deming and Goldratt
Out of the Crisis
The Deming Management Method
The New Economics
Four Days with Dr. Deming
Deming Route to Quality and Productivity
Deming The Way We Knew Him
About the author
Josh Nankivel is a Project Planning & Controls Control Account Manager and contractor for the ground system of the Landsat Data Continuity Mission, a joint project between the USGS and NASA. His academic background includes a BS in Project Management, summa cum laude. He can be found writing and contributing in many places within the project management community, and his primary project management website is located at pmstudent.com.