Planning your team’s studies

One of our clients sending a team on the Project Management Concepts course, is a retail company. The training manager asked how much time the participants would need to set aside for their studies. Here’s an extract from our reply.

Theoretically, the online activities are at any time that suits the participant, approx. 30 min per day; and people don’t necessarily fit in one activity per day, which means that the course can run into more than 10 weeks if people find that they need more time.

In practice, though, doing it synchronously works well for teams, to build cohesion, rhythm, and to embed the concepts. Note, though, that this approach will not necessarily work for all organisations, which is why the Preparatory Meeting needs to get consensus on how it will work for your team. The following is an example of how it has worked well for one of our recent corporate clients:

  1. 40 minutes per day at the same time every day for everyone. 30 minutes are used for individual self-study, and the remaining 10 minutes for check-in or typed feedback in a dedicated team portal (such as Microsoft Teams). This portal is also used for raising risks and issues (e.g. “I have a meeting tomorrow at our usual study time, so I will catch up over lunch and then hopefully be in sync with everyone again by tomorrow” and “Can anyone explain to me why PBS is the correct answer for the first question? I read the explanation, but it still doesn’t make sense to me.”
  2. A once-a-week 45-minute meeting for the entire team to discuss what they’re learning. This may be in Zoom, for example, and the team’s designated leader leads it.
  3. A once-a-week 15-minute phone call between the team’s leader and the Learning Facilitator (me). In this meeting, I guide the leader to lead the team, and there may be requests to slow the pace of the activities which participants receive daily via mail.

Tania Melnyczuk

Director of Programme Design at ProjectManagement.co.za and the Collaboration Director of the Autistic Strategies Network.

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