Team Mentoring and Learning Path
Continuous learning and training are vital to preparing your workforce for new challenges. It will benefit both organization and the individual.
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Considering a lot of demand for the various skill sets of people for upgrading existing systems or for new projects, it is very challenging to prepare the best team for the project.
A few successful processes could improve the situation; I have listed some of them below and hope they are helpful.
The most important aspect of learning is self-awareness. As a leader and an individual, the team must know the strengths and areas of improvement. Learning begins only when you are aware of your weakness. Once you know, there are weaknesses; the situation will never allow you to sit on them. Instead, it will continuously push you to take steps to come over weaknesses.
Once you are aware of strengths and weaknesses, you could take retrospect and find out more about the areas of improvement. The retrospective is a very important process about yourself, the team, and the existing process, and learning from it is a foundational requirement for success. It is important to have data on the strengths and weaknesses of your team so that you can define the best strategy and lead the team to success.
Product Roadmap and Industry Trend
As an individual and as a team, you could be in a perfect situation considering the current requirements of the industry or customer needs. However, the skill gap analysis must be done considering your future industry trends and customer needs. As an example, there is a buzz about AI/ML; it could be ChatGPT or any other similar trends. Assessing yourself in such contexts will give you a better sense of the skill gap.
You and your team would be doing great with on-premises deployment architecture; however, the industry trend would be on cloud development. Questioning yourself on your team's skill set related to the cloud would give a sense of the skill gap.
1. Data Collection and Identifying the Gaps
Identifying the current skill set of your team through surveys, team meetings, and capturing the data, as explained below.
By keeping yourself or a team member or a process in the center and analyzing the strength and weaknesses, list down strengths and weaknesses. The process can be as follows:
- Prepare the Roster (people or processes)
- Programming Skills
- Project Management Skills
- Soft skills
- Design and Architecture
- Status of the team member (Beginner, Developing, Mastered) for the skill.
While preparing the list of skills to measure must consider two aspects:
- Current Requirements
- Future Requirements
Update the status for all the team members. Once the skills level data is captured for all the team members, it is important to make them into buckets like current demand and future demand.
2. Define the Learning Paths
Based on the categorization of the skill gaps, you can define the learning paths. Using your L&D tools, you can assign these learning paths to your team members to complete them.
To make it effective implementation, reward and recognition is one of the important tools
3. Learning Partnership
In case you are not equipped with content, you should identify a partner who can provide the content required for your skill gaps.
4. Learning Path Types
The upskill learning path is mainly focused on learning new skill sets, but they are in the same domain of expertise. For example, the developers could be learning languages and tools required for the new requirements.
Training is an important aspect of team development. We must have a predefined set of training for the team member's growth based on the skill gaps. We should continuously run them to be prepared the future requirements.
Tools and technologies are changing so rapidly, and we need to keep team members ready for the new skills required by the customer.
Training can be two methods:
Every team usually has a few people enthusiastic trainers by nature; we should identify them and encourage them. They are generally very passionate about training. It will help both from an organizational perspective and also achieve efficacy in the training. The internal training concept will help to develop leadership and communication skills for the team members.
To make the best use of external training, it is important to prepare the team on foundations so that the training can be utilized effectively.
As part of internal training, we should encourage learning by motivating team members to learn and share concepts. This builds strong bondage among the team members.
Once team members have understood the concepts and basics through our internal training, we could hire external trainers/specialists to train the advanced or specialized topics. With this approach, it will have two advantages:
- Team members are ready with basics and can absorb advanced topics easily.
- Less expensive and deep dive.
The Reskill learning path is mainly focused on training your team members on the new domain of expertise. The leaders/Managers must try to identify potential team members who are ready for the next positions. They will be doing a fantastic job and achieving mastery in their current role. We must identify them and reskill them by providing the necessary training required for the next role. It will help them to understand the next role more effectively, and will be successful in the next role. Many times, the people who are successful in their current role will be failed in the next role. It is mainly because the requirements for the next role might not be the same as the current role. We must support them by providing the necessary training for the next role as well.
Keeping the skill matrix up to date, upskilling, and reskilling the workforce will help embark on new projects with different skill set requirements. It will also help in building next-level leadership for the organization.
Published at DZone with permission of Lokesh Raj. See the original article here.
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