International Software Company Focuses on Improved Project Management
International Software Company (ISC)
ISC is a leading provider of software, IT services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Headquartered in the United States, the company has over $80 billion in annual revenue, nearly 900 offices worldwide and more than 120,000 employees in the U.S. and around the globe.
Confusion over Project Management Roles and Inefficient Customer Engagements
SC found some inefficiencies in their customer engagement cycle after an internal realignment caused some confusion around the project management process. ISC had two primary job roles that were responsible for different stages of the project management process. The engagement manager was primarily responsible for pre-sales processes and the project manager was responsible for overseeing customer engagements post-sale. The realignment left both roles unclear as to who was accountable for each particular engagement milestone. The role confusion resulted in uneven attention to customers and unpredictable results across the project management community.
The unclear expectations led to internal team conflict and decreased effectiveness in managing the customer engagement lifecycle from sales to product delivery. ISC needed training specific to the responsibilities for these two job roles, foundational project management training for baseline knowledge, and training to help build camaraderie among project managers and engagement managers.
ISC had previous experience partnering with Global Knowledge for training. A year prior to the internal role realignment, Global Knowledge helped ISC to design, develop and deliver a custom course for a small targeted group of U.S. project managers. Based on the success of the original course development and deployment, ISC re-engaged with Global Knowledge to revise this course to include a focus on the change in roles and responsibilities and to make it appropriate for a larger audience of both project managers and engagement managers including participants located outside of North America.
Custom Course Development and Worldwide Training Delivery
Global Knowledge experts reviewed the original course content with ISC and determined what modifications would be needed to accomplish their training objectives. The revised five-day course was designed to provide participants with the opportunity to learn and practice the key tools, processes, resources and skills to successfully manage the delivery of a customer engagement.
Engagement managers and project managers took this course together acquiring a shared understanding of each role and how they partner, complement and support each other throughout the entire engagement cycle. Live training was conducted at various ISC facilities on five different continents in cities that included Atlanta, Amsterdam, Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix, Prague, Paris, Chicago, Mexico City; Hyderabad, India; Sao Paulo Brazil and Vienna.
In addition, portions of the course were delivered in break-out sessions, allowing engagement managers and project managers to dive deeper into the unique facets of their roles and network with other individuals in the same job roles.
The Global Knowledge program team consisting of a subject matter expert instructor, instructional designer and program manager traveled to ISC to ensure all feedback on the course was captured and they participated in debrief meetings with ISC. Course materials included a student workbook, facilitator guide, resource guide and coaches' guide, all of which were developed to be distributed in digital format. The revised course design was heavily based on student exercises and case studies to provide participants with the opportunity to embrace "learning by doing" as opposed to sitting through lectures.
Experienced ISC project managers and engagement managers were selected to be coaches to lead a one-day breakout session during the five-day course. The coaches were internally selected by ICS and attended a two-day train-the-trainer course. Coach candidates were selected from across the globe to ensure they had the necessary knowledge to assist through the duration of the class. All coach candidates had previously attended the course as students. The in-house coaches led the discussion on the use of ISC specific tools and templates related to either project managers or engagement manager roles. Students were broken into role-based groups and asked to present class exercises and case study results to the entire class. Coach and student participation and feedback were a critical part of the course delivery.
Customer Engagement Cycle Efficiencies Increased
The course successfully increased employees' knowledge of the roles and responsibilities in the ISC project management process and helped to build camaraderie among project managers and engagement managers. In total, about 200 to 300 ISC employees received training.
Global Knowledge partnered with the Project Management Institute (PMI) to allow participants to get 35 professional development unit (PDU) hours to assist with their PMI certification maintenance requirements. About 80 percent of course participants were PMP certified.
Student comments from the course evaluation:
"I now have a much better understanding of how different tools and templates can be linked and used together. Both instructors knew their material very well and presented/taught well," said one student.
"Now, I know how better manage projects, my role activities, where to search for content and who can I ask for help. I'm going start [SIC] with all information needed to achieve my goals and the company goals," said another student.