The “Training Moment” for Professional Development

One of the most important responsibilities of a manager is to provide his or her team members opportunities for professional development and growth. While there are many ways to approach this responsibility, I’ve found that one of the simplest, low cost/high return professional development activities is something I call the “training moment.”

What is it?

The training moment consists of 15-30 minutes set aside during team meetings – or scheduled separately depending on team member availability and convenience – during which a team member or two may take the opportunity to demonstrate use and benefit of a tool or technique, share knowledge from personal research or project work, or use the opportunity for a trial run for feedback before presenting an idea to a stakeholder or team. Training moments are an opportunity to be taken, not an assignment given; while participation as a presenter is encouraged, it isn’t compulsory.

While the time is not rigidly structured, the presentations should be well-prepared and delivered professionally, usually with some sort of hand-out or presentation media. The key to the effective training moment is to make mutually beneficial for the presenter and the audience.

Why do it?

The training moment provides the presenting team member(s) an opportunity to work on communication and presentation skills in a safe, supportive environment, while the audience benefits from the insights and experience of the presenter.

To summarize in terms of a few, simple objectives, the aim of the training moment is to:

  1. Familiarize team members with new knowledge, techniques and resources
  2. Improve presentation, facilitation and teaching skills
  3. Build up our own central body of knowledge specifically designed to address our unique industry and organizational challenges.

Potential topics

Below are a few example topics which could be explored during a training moment.

  • presentation of techniques or knowledge areas from the BABOK Guide
  • presentation on techniques applied successfully in project work
  • report lessons learned from books or other industry publications
  • report on good practices or success stories or lessons learned from projects
  • present ideas on improvement opportunities for feedback
  • present findings resulting from personal research on the profession or industry

The training moment is an effective way to simultaneously increase the skill of the presenter while increasing the knowledge of the audience, all while fostering a sense of community among practitioners, and a rewarding opportunity for providing professional development value as a manager.

There you have it, the training moment. It’s nothing complex or revolutionary, just a simple way to provide some additional professional growth opportunities within the team construct.

If you have other ideas on how to carry out the training moment, or if you’ve done something similar in your organizations, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

About the Author

Jonathan Babcock is a management and IT consultant with expertise in business analysis, process optimization and solution delivery methodology. Practical Analyst is his outlet for sharing what he's learned, and for interacting with solution delivery professionals across the globe.

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