Estimate how much time your team members spend on training activities annually, and subtract that from the time available for them to work on project tasks. You probably already subtract out average values for vacation time, sick time, and other assignments; treat training time the same way. Recognize that the high-tech field of software development demands that all practitioners devote time to ongoing education, both on their own time and on the company’s time. Arrange just-in-time training when you can schedule it, as the half-life of new technical knowledge is short unless the knowledge is put to use promptly. Attending a training seminar can be a team-building experience, as project team members and other stakeholders hear the same story about how to apply improved practices to their common challenges.
Adapted from “Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools” (Microsoft Press, 2007). A condensed version of this paper was published in Software Development magazine.
Karl Wiegers, Ph.D., is Principal Consultant with Process Impact, a software process consulting and education company in Portland, Oregon. Karl’s most recent book is “Practical Project Initiation: A Handbook with Tools.” Karl is also the author of four other books and 170 articles. Karl is a frequent speaker at software conferences and professional society meetings. You can reach Karl through www.projectinitiation.com or www.processimpact.com.