ראשי » Coaching and OJT (On the Job Training) of Hi-Tech Project Managers

Coaching and OJT (On the Job Training) of Hi-Tech Project Managers

 

פורסם לראשונה נובמבר 2001

תקציר המאמר:

הנושאהדרכה וייעוץ למנהלי פרוייקטים בהייטק.

אימון (Coaching) של מנהל פרוייקט הינו תהליך של למידה המתנהל בין החניך לבין היועץ, במטרה לתרגל את הידע המקצועי והמיומנות של מנהל הפרוייקט. תמיכת היועץ בחניך לכל אורך מחזור חיי הפרוייקט, מביאה את מנהל הפרוייקט להשגת הביצועים הטובים ביותר, להכשרתו בצורה מעשית ואף להשגת המיומנות הנדרשת לשם אימון של מנהלי פרוייקטים אחרים. השיטה אפקטיבית וחסכונית יחסית, כיוון שהיא גם תומכת בשימור הידע והמומחיות שהושגה בתוך הארגון, וביכולת להפיצו בצורה נרחבת בין כל מנהלי הפרוייקט.

 

Abstract

This Article discusses the issue of Coaching (Also described as 'Mentoring') and OJT (On the Job Training) of project managers. Further more it describes the uniqueness of such actions in Hi-Tech Environment. How suitable this solution is?   and what are the special specifications dictated to this activity by Hi-Tech projects with an essential R&D aspect ?

What is Coaching of Project Managers?

Coaching or Mentoring in Project Management is the process of Learning by Practice of Project Management skills. It is a continuous process that takes place between two role players: The Mentor and the Trainee.

The Mentor's role is to support the Trainee along the project's life cycle, to complete knowledge gaps and to verify excellent practice of the project's managerial tasks. The Trainee is trained on he job in order to both accomplish the best practice, and become the next potential Mentor to other Trainees.

How does it work ?

The format of the Coaching activity is subject to specifications related to the organization, the project itself and the nature of the persons involved, but usually consists of three formal phases: Training, Observation and Practice.

Training is the formal teaching of managerial skills lacked by the Trainee. It may take place as a lesson, a lecture or any other session in which the material itself is passed on.

Observation is the action in which the Trainee is observing the Mentor while the later is demonstrating a managerial skill on the job. Its objectives are to demonstrate the best practice expected, and to discuss further difficulties or specifications.

Practice is the Trainee's operations, guided and corrected by the Mentor. It's meant to verify the success of the former two phases as well as to increase the Trainee's confidence in his/her independent abilities.

The Mentor can be an experienced Project Manager within the firm or a Management Consultant hired for the Coaching purpose, as long as the Coaching activity framework is keenly obeyed for every managerial skill on the spot.

Preserving the Knowledge

One of the most important issues in Coaching or Mentoring of Project Managers is to ensure the preservation of the skills achieved, and to maintain the knowledge within the organization. Furthermore, it is essential to spread the knowledge as widely as possible, in order to improve the practice of as many Project Managers as possible.

One of the most common ways to ensure this is to create an organizational Project Manager Manual, along with the Coaching activity. This enables the Mentor to review the entire Project's Managerial Tasks, to generate and consult as for an improvement about them and to clarify the best practice for them, for the use of any future Project Manager to come.

Special Adjustments

An additional form of Project Managers Coaching is highly common in Hi-Tech firms, and in projects with a major element of R&D. In these cases, as a result of strict time boundaries and 'Time To Market' constrains, the Mentor may also fulfill the role of a professional who will replace rather than coach or train.

In that case the knowledge is transferred only by demonstration, and sometimes is most likely not to be fully obtained by the Project Managers of the firm. The Mentor or Consultant may take the role of a Managerial Task functional operator of one Project Manager or more.

Summary

Coaching of Project Managers is an efficient and relatively economic method of achieving both improvement of the project itself as well as an established process of Project Management. It's practically one of the best ways to ensure an ongoing knowledge preservation, fitting into Organizational Project Management Infrastructure.

About the Author
Pilat Management Consulting is an international Consulting Firm specializing in Project Management Implementations. The firm's employees are involved in projects from various disciplines all over the world. Gil Feldman (B.Sc.) is an Industrial Engineer, highly experienced in Coaching and Mentoring of Project Managers in Hi-Tech firms.

 

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