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Deming's 6th Point in Project Management

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Job/Task-Related Training

A quality organization understands the value of the people who work in it. The same goes for project management. Training project managers, analysts, and everyone else who regularly works on projects in the company methodology, soft skills, etc. can bring significant rewards.

Many companies use the cop-out of "on the job training" to sidestep any responsibility to have a formal system in place to ensure their people are constantly learning how to do their jobs better. I am not saying that OJT isn't valuable, but it can't be the only training "effort" put forth by the powers that be.

The companies I have experience with that get this have the following resources and programs in place:

  • A project resource center with books, periodicals, and other materials
  • Time specifically scheduled for training and learning each month
  • Presenters, either from the team or externally, giving a talk monthly to the whole group
  • A significant amount of funds in the budget earmarked for training
  • Sending a few people each year to seminars and events like the PMI Global Congress, etc. --And then those people present what they learned to the whole group when they get back
  • A formal mentor program whereby new employees are paired with a vetran
  • Company methodology and process training

There are many other ways to show commitment to project management training and education, these are just a few. Please leave your ideas and experience about best practices as a comment below.

Deming's 14 Points
  1. Commitment from the Top to Continuous Improvement as a Way of Life
  2. Adopt a Philosophy of Cooperation Where Everyone Wins and Teach it to Everyone
  3. Inspection is a Tool for Improvement, Not a Whip
  4. Consider Costs and Benefits of the Entire System and Deliverable Lifetime
  5. Continuous Improvement
  6. Job/Task-Related Training
  7. Teach and Institute Leadership
  8. Drive Out Fear and Create Trust
  9. Break Down Departmental Barriers in Pursuit of a Common Goal
  10. No Slogans or Disingenuous Pep Talks
  11. Attribute Results to Processes
  12. Enable Pride of Workmanship
  13. Training Not Related to Job/Task
  14. Total Participation Starting From the Top

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

Josh Nankivel is the Vice Chair of Special Projects for the Students of Project Management SIG of PMI, and a project management student/enthusiast. His website is

Read 21842 times Last modified on Sunday, 13 December 2009 19:19
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