Frequently Asked Questions: Practical Mission Training
Answering your FAQs about the new Practical Mission Training
What types of projects are appropriate for this course?
All projects are unique, and it can be tough to know whether a project is suitable for this course. To make things more complicated, projects sometimes change as new information is uncovered, unforeseen barriers arise, and/or when organizational priorities shift. Part of the learning process comes from the issues you experience with a project since barriers are so common in the real world. The barriers can be a blessing in disguise if they provide opportunities to apply the OBM skills, tools, and methods you hope to gain more experience with.
This is the reason why this course was designed with flexibility in mind. Because all projects are unique, there is no “cookie-cutter” approach to practicing Organizational Behavior Management. The amount of time it takes to successfully collaborate with others and progress through the Project Milestones outlined in this course will vary from project to project. This will depend largely on the size and type of organization, and the complexity of the business opportunity addressed within the project. To compensate for these extraneous variables, this course was designed to enable students to go at a reasonable pace while meeting their objectives. By the end of this course, students should be ready to roll out the changes they’ve carefully selected to drive the targeted business results in the desired direction.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Project
Below are some things to consider when selecting a project idea that will likely work well for this course:
- Consider timing. The project shouldn’t be crazy urgent since you will be waiting to begin it when the course begins.
- Consider scope. Your ultimate goal is to improve performance in some business result important to the organization. You should begin the course with an idea of the result you are trying to impact (e.g., quality, revenue, cost, etc.), but the intervention for impacting that outcome should not be predetermined. This is because many variables (e.g., process outcomes and performer groups) likely impact the business result you’re targeting. In the course, you will spend time using OBM tools to identify the variables that have 1) the most significant influence over the result and 2) room for improvement. You will assess the current state of those variables and determine an appropriate solution for driving the result in the desired direction. You should aim to finish the course and be ready to implement changes that will drive the business results in the desired direction.
- Consider your position. Think of the people you would likely need to influence if you were to do a particular project. It is okay if you anticipate the influencing to be challenging but try to avoid projects that would require you to influence others you won’t have much access to. It will also be helpful to find someone interested in the success of the project idea who may have more influence than you because of their position. If this person is willing to dedicate some time to help you with the project, they could be considered your sponsor.
- Consider other ongoing initiatives. If other projects are being implemented in your organization, you should try to find a project idea that won’t conflict or hinder the progress of the other projects.
- Consider how the business results could benefit from OBM methods. The project should allow you to practice some typical steps in an OBM approach to performance improvement. This means you should be able to identify processes, tasks, and key performers that influence targeted results. Then you should be able to identify what key tasks and behaviors aren’t happening as they should today and why. The results of this assessment should help you identify realistic solutions you can implement to help key performers start doing things in a way that will improve the business results.
Question to Consider When Deciding if You're Ready to Take this Course
- Have you completed the prerequisite course “OBM Specialist Certificate?”
- Do you have support from someone in a position of authority with the organization who could operate as the Project Sponsor?
- Do you have sufficient influence over any performer groups who impact the business result you are targeting?
- Do you have the time and ability to collaborate with other people in the organization?
- Do you have an internal opportunity to address within your organization (instead of consulting with a different organization)?
- Do key performers in your organization regularly perform tasks that can be observed and/or measured across time?
- Do you have the time and flexibility to thoroughly vet the root cause of an organizational opportunity before intervening?
Can I change projects after the course begins?
Absolutely. OBM projects typically evolve from the process outlined in this course. Many students approach this course with some expectation for their organization. They often find that truly impacting the purpose of their project requires focus on variables that they didn’t initially consider.
Can I team up on a project with another person?
Yes, working together with another person from your organization on the same project is an option. Group rates are available at a discount from the original price of the course.
Do I have to complete the project and demonstrate improvement in a targeted performance to pass this course?
No, completion of the course is based on participation and completion of the required assignments in the course. While guidance will be available through the duration of the course, the Project Milestones take students from identifying an appropriate business opportunity through planning the appropriate intervention. Obviously, performance improvements are the desired outcome; however, the overarching objective of the course is to learn some practical approaches to applying empirically validated OBM methods while gaining real-world experience applying these methods.
Is additional support and guidance available after the course Milestones are completed?
Guidance within the course parameters will be provided throughout the course, regardless of the project’s progression. Additional arrangements may be worked out on a case-by-case basis with co-instructors upon completion of the Course.
What textbooks are required for this course?
There are no required textbooks for this course. There is, however, an optional workbook available from the OBM Specialist Certificate that may be useful when completing your OBM project.