What is your Side Wheel
I was rushing back from the office to home. It is already 06.40 PM, and with 15 minutes of commute still left it is going to be a nail-biter finish in attending my 07.00 PM daily standup meeting. As I parked my car in the garage, my little angel came to me running very excitedly, “Mama! I learned to drive the bicycle without side wheels” she exclaimed. As I bent down to give her a hug to congratulate her new skill, I could see a beaming grandfather in all smiles walking toward us with a sense of achievement. As I was winding down for the day, a thought popped up which made me think harder. Today my 5-year-old daughter learned a new skill which made me retrospect on the new skills I have added to my arsenal….and I realized the Void!
Jack of all Trades, Master of None
Learning something new is always exciting and refreshing, and mastering what you learned is much more, both of which are important for an individual’s career progression. Continuous learning helps the individual and the organization by way of knowledge retention, job satisfaction, meeting business demands, and feeling valued. Change is the only constant in IT and Cross Skilling& Up Skilling are the antidotes.
A Missed Opportunity…. Retrospection Continues
A year back, I joined a team skilled in Migration. We had proven our talent in a previous project and excelled in the currently assigned as well. The deliverables were on schedule as planned, and quality standards were met. These goals were never compromised. However, our next assignment is where things got tricky. Our conversations and documents revealed that this will also be a Migration project that required Power Automate knowledge. Taking the easy way, the boot camp was created with just the basics.
We sweat in peace, so we don’t bleed in war…. Getting Ready for Course Correction!
Instead of putting in the groundwork, and upskilling ourselves, we did the bare minimum. This came back to haunt us, and we found ourselves unprepared for the challenges ahead. The team did their best to turn around the challenges of the knowledge gap by burning the midnight oil and coaching each other. We did complete our goals but learned it in a harder way – Growth is key. Upskilling is key.
The mantra that rings in the back of my mind since then is that learning is a continuous journey. Mastery over past skills and acquiring new ones always helps.
This scenario reminds me of the boy scouts’ motto, “Always be prepared”.
The following are some definite benefits that upskilling presents.
Your team needs to be a more confident set of individuals. They will tend to progress with their work despite hurdles. It paves the way for them to find new opportunities.
Improved Efficiency and productivity
Work accomplishments will come out evident. The ability to support each other and complete tasks in a shorter duration of time will be visible.
Easy cross-team deployment
The need for swapping team members between similar projects is a common scenario. With a sizable number of individuals trained, it is easier to move them for specific needs.
Focused team effort
With a common purpose, the team works with a single approach and mutual understanding. This greatly enables the success of the project.
Challenging & Enabling Your Team
Identification of the skill area
At first, the specific skill/technology that is going to be upskilled must be identified by going through the project skill needs.
Current Skill Assessment
The next step is to assess the expertise level of individuals on the team. This helps in addressing two dependencies: 1. Select the right team. 2. Determine variations required for the learning strategy.
Derivation of a customized learning plan
This is the most crucial step, where a learning plan is created. It must include detailed topics, schedules, and references as well as sources of learning. Input from architects both onsite & offshore is key in creating an effective LP. The plan is then circulated to you r team who will undergo the upskilling exercise.
Tracking Plan & Progress
Once the learning starts, the SM keeps tracking the need to revise certain topics based on feedback, and their progress will be assessed to ensure they are on track. The plan/topics can be revised accordingly.
Post-training skill assessment
The Architect\Lead evaluates the individuals’ skill upliftment through a review session.
Training plan effectiveness poll
The survey conducted to understand the effectiveness of the overall training journey will give insights into improvements required for the next iteration.
I have successfully removed my Side Wheels & in my own balance moving forward like a Stream … Thanks to my angel for lighting the lamp that has made me shine!
Warren Buffet once said “The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.” – something I’ve learned the hard way.
It’s important to remember to keep growing, no matter what stage we are at our career. Love this Anitha – thanks for writing such a great piece.
the importance of investing in oneself is well told.
Nice write up on a much needed topic. Sharpening the saw is always needed from time to time and that will show in the results.