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Chapter 8 - Project Management And Next Steps At HP When...

Chapter 8 - Project Management And Next Steps At HP

When Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) Services division decided to focus more on external IT consulting, Ron Kempf, the director of project management competency and certification at HP, brought together the firm's various stakeholders to conduct a needs assessment to determine what type of training would be needed to achieve the new goal.  HP's decision to expand its consulting and integration business meant that 2,500 client-focused project managers and support staff around the world would need to improve their skills. 

Based on the cost of training and the resources it could provide, ESI International was chosen to train Kempf's division so employees could achieve the "project management professional” designation.  The designation has become a standard in the industry, and clients ask for the certification when requesting project bids.  As a result, HP needed its project managers to be certified in order for the company to be competitive. Kempf worked with ESI to provide training in various formats in order to meet the needs of the worldwide workforce. The training methods included using HP's knowledge management system, networking participants so they could learn from each other, e-learning, self-paced instruction, and formal training conducted at a "project management” university. 

The training initiative, which has been refined as needed over the years, has been very successful.  Kempf credits it with boosting HP's profit margins and keeping projects within budget.  Now, however, HP needs to decide on the "next steps” to ensure that it doesn't lose its competitive edge since many other companies have the same certifications for their project managers. Also, about 20% of the first group of employees who were trained will retire in five years.

Answer the following questions by applying the concepts learned in Chapter 8. Also, conduct literature reviews on the subject of discussion and use to support your case study answers:

  1. Discuss the role that a needs assessment played in planning the training program for project management staff.
  2. What are the issues HP now faces? What role, if any, will training need to play in addressing those issues?
  3. How would you begin the process of creating a new training plan? Who should be involved? What would be the desired outcome of this training?
  4. HP is a very large company.  How might the planning process for training be different if HP were a much smaller company?

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