On site training delivering benefits to council

When The Shire of Esperance identified a need to address a skills shortage in project management across the organisation it was decided to deliver the training on site.

 This move enabled Council to train a large group of people at once, assisting greatly in the retention of knowledge and support amongst the workforce.
“We established that the Shire needed a standardised methodology for project management in order to increase effectiveness within the organisation,” CEO Mal Osborne said.

Several Project Management training providers were approached, with the scope of providing an accredited Diploma in Project Management course for  20 employees at various levels within the organisation.

 “The decision to select a course giving staff a formal qualification was made to encourage support towards a change management process that would promote a project management methodology, embedding it within our organisational culture at the Shire. 

“In addition, a Microsoft Project Training Course was held over one day for employees to further their skills in the use of this vital management tool.  
“The provision of skills-based training promotes the Shire as an employer of choice and assists in the retention of enthusiastic and qualified staff.

“Whilst this is not an organisational requirement, we could see the long term benefits of having a range of dynamic staff participate in the course. The ability to assist each other and the need to introduce a methodology that requires organisational support meant a win for all involved,” said Mr Osborne.

Expressions of interest were requested from staff due to the commitment required to complete study outside standard work hours. The number of interested staff exceeded the positions available, showing that staff had an awareness of the importance of project planning through their commitment to advancing their personal skill set.

Encouraging external facilitators to visit Esperance to conduct training courses ensures courses are tailored to Council’s requirements and allows a large group of staff to attend, ensuring successful progress through new changes in the industry.

Scope Training was engaged to undertake the lead role in facilitating the three-day course for the Diploma of Project Management and the one-day course for the MS Project.

In addition, a further six months of post-course support was provided. All course attendees selected a project to complete for assessment. This allowed assignments to be work-related projects, thereby encouraging staff to follow best practice principles when working on projects.

“The committed approach of the Shire of Esperance, including the involvement of senior staff and the CEO, was great to see, as it will strengthen the Shire’s ability to realise the benefits of the training through a sustainable unified approach and internal support network,” said Scope Facilitator Nic Thomas.