A Quick Guide to Project Management Methodology

Phase 6 – Training

So far, we’ve covered the first five phases of the PM methodology/process that I use for IT projects. These are:

  • Phase 1 – Project Kickoff
  • Phase 2 – Exploration
  • Phase 3 – Design
  • Phase 4 – Development
  • Phase 5 – Testing

Through the first five phases we’ve delivered to the customer the following:

  • Kickoff meeting
  • Revised schedule (on-going)
  • Business Requirements Document (signed off)
  • Functional Design Document (signed off)
  • Weekly status meetings (on-going)
  • Weekly status reports (on-going)
  • Revised risks/issues list (on-going)
  • Technical Design Document (optional to the customer with no formal signoff)
  • Developed system (no signoff required)
  • QA/Test Plan (signoff optional)
  • UAT (official signoff on production-ready system)

The key things that need to happen during the Training phase are:

  • Development and delivery of a Training Plan
  • Development and delivery of training materials
  • Set up of a training environment or server with a production-ready copy of the system
  • Training-specific data loaded to the database
  • Delivery of training, or train-the-trainers training

Training Plan & Materials

Development of a Training Plan and training materials has likely started during the User Acceptance Testing activities. At that point, the system is developed and system-tested by the delivery team and is hopefully 99% production-ready. Therefore, the delivery team – most likely the Business Analyst – can begin the task of putting together the Training Plan and training materials based on what needs the customer has for training.

Training Environment & Data Load

For an IT project, there likely also needs to be a separate training environment/server set up for use in training the customer. This, too, should begin happening during UAT. As the Training Plan is being developed, the Project Manager needs to also ensure that useful, meaningful training data is ready and loading into the database for the training session or sessions. This task will likely be performed by a data migration specialist who has already been working on the project preparing any necessary customer data for loads into the production environment and therefore is familiar with the data needs and loading requirements and timeframes.

Training Delivery

Depending on the size of the user-base, there needs to be decisions about who is being trained and the materials must be geared specifically for that audience. If the user-base is small, then it may be practical to train nearly everyone on the developed system. If the user-base is very large, I highly recommend a train-the-trainer approach where the delivery team – again, likely this will be primarily the BA or a professional trainer – trains key customer SMEs or trainers on the system and then those individuals conduct training sessions for others within their own organization. The materials for those future training sessions will need to be developed – at least in part – by the delivery team, but the training will be conducted by the customer.

Up Next

Depending on the how the training approach is planned out, Deployment – our next phase – may happen either at the end of the train-the-trainer sessions or once all training is done. Either way, UAT has provided everyone with official, production-ready signoff for the system and once training has been completed to an agreeable level, then Deployment of the production-ready system can commence.

To recap…

Training Phase Deliverables:

  • Training plan (deliverable – signoff optional)
  • Training materials (deliverable – signoff optional)
  • Training environment
  • Training data in training database
  • Revised Project Schedule (revised weekly as needed)
  • Revised Risk/Issues List
  • Weekly Project Status Reports
  • Weekly Project Status Meetings

➤ Back to the Overview