Software development productivity
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Training & Mentoring


To successfully implement a new process, each member of the team using the process must clearly acquire the necessary skills. These may include, according to the role performed:

  • New techniques, such as UML, Requirements Management, Iterative Project Management etc.
  • An understanding of the new process and how they contribute to it
  • Use of new tools - Modelling, Requirements Management, Configuration and Change Management, Testing etc.

To be effective, the introduction and application of these skills should be integrated; a successful Skills Development programme should be planned according to existing capabilities, both individual and team, as well as project opportunities which will allow the new techniques to be practiced and applied while knowledge acquired in the classroom is still fresh.

Training and Mentoring

We have developed an approach which we describe as Integrated Learning. This incorporates both theoretical and practical (tool) skills and focuses on the actual roles to be performed on a project rather than simply background concepts. It is highly modular – most training courses are 4 to 6 hours in length – and is designed to be immediately consolidated by project work and mentoring. In many cases, our trainers are also the mentors.

An important aspect of the approach is that all of these activities are scheduled as part of the project plan for the development project into which the new techniques are being introduced. Training is delivered "just in time" and is followed up with desk-side mentoring sessions and team tutorials based on real project deliverables.

Our recommended approach comprises 3 elements with an optional 4th:

Personal Development

For each individual, identification of required skills, assessment of current capabilities, planned training programme, planned project activity, recognition of accomplishments and ongoing reassessment


Formal education targeted at required skills for each role, planned according to process implementation and project requirements


Expert guidance during project work

Seeding (optional)

Use of expert resource as part of the project delivery team to accelerate the adoption process and maintain project timescales


© fcsl 2006