No one admits they are not a good driver. Even fewer would say they are a bad lover. What about writing? Yes, writing; just how good are you at writing, preparing reports or writing clearly on a project management templates?
I ask this because I had a conversation with a project manager recently who told me about a member of his project team called Trevor (not his real name). This person was asked to write the end of stage report which would feed into releasing funding for stage 2 of a 9 month project. The draft was due in 1 week to be discussed with the project team for final amendments and submission to the project board.
But, the draft was in danger of not being delivered at all. The project manager told me that but for a chance meeting the report may not have been delivered to the project team in time. He met Trevor in a part of the building quite by chance and on asking him how the report was going quickly picked up that he was struggling with it. He concluded after a brief discussion that Trevor had a problem; his writing skills were not very good. In the end the project manager and another team member wrote the report and got it to the project board in time to get funding.
Trevor had never been asked to write a report before this request and after further discussions with the project manager asked for some help with his writing skills. He went on an external course and was also going to get some one to one support internally.
The project manager felt bad. Trevor felt bad and had sleepless nights worrying over this.
We all need to develop a wide range of skills and writing is one of them. But, how many people have been formally trained to really write powerfully? How many people have been trained in the way the company wants them to write reports? Feedback to us suggests very few.
Now it is easy to get bogged down with people needing writing skills. This is not the main aim here. Are you a good lover? As I said earlier few of us will say no and before this article goes completely off course I want to bring us back to 2 key themes;
• how does a project manager assess the skills people have?
• how do we ensure that people receive the right development?
Look out for part 2 of this article which will look at these issues
So, back to writing! How good are your skills here and just how good are the people who have to write reports and templates? Maybe some quick training is needed, maybe not. However, how do you know?
This is part of our skill series in project management. Why not click here to find out more