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What You Need in Your Skills Capability Uplift Playbook

Why Your Team Should Consider PRINCE2 Agile

To be a success, a project needs successful staff, staff driven by skills and experience that are up to speed. And while investing in standalone training programs and certifications will set you in good stead, if you want to drive delivery improvement home––then it's a holistic approach you'll need. The following article looks at how you can engage a capability uplift playbook to practically support and embed learning over the long term.

Why You Need a Skills Capability Uplift Playbook 

Time brings changes in technology, industry direction or business needs; you need a capable workforce if your organisation is to keep up. Engaging in a capability uplift ensures the advancement of your team, allowing them to improve on their existing capabilities or acquire new ones as required. Without one, you’ll soon find that you have an under-skilled workforce lacking the knowledge needed to increase your competitive advantage.

Practice Makes Perfect

It’s well known that what we don’t use, we lose. According to The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve, people tend to forget a considerable portion of what they've learnt if it is not put to active use. The visual tool demonstrates the exponential nature of forgetting and the speed at which information is lost if no steps are taken to review it – in most cases, retention of new knowledge drops to below 20% after just one week.

Conversely, the Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve highlights that retention can be increased with regular practice at spaced intervals. Relate this to your organisation by moving beyond one-off training to supporting your staff with ongoing learning and practical application of those skills. You will build your team's capabilities and extract optimal value from their investment.

Shifting Your Approach

The allocation of training resources will always depend on the organisation's team size, the number of projects currently running, and budgets, to name a few. However, a good rule of thumb is to shift from a pure training-based strategy to one where 10 per cent of the time is spent on training, 20 per cent is spent coaching, and 70 per cent is spent applying skills on the job. For want of a better phrase––a holistic capability uplift toolkit. 

The 70:20:10 Learning Model

Based on its principle when it comes to maximising the effectiveness of learning and development programs, the 70:20:10 model couldn't be more relevant in that it is leveraged to build stronger workforce performance and capabilities via a range of strategies. 

How does it work? 

The ten per cent component suggests that individuals obtain ten per cent of their industry knowledge from structured formal learning and training. For example, e-learning, courses, accreditations, and master classes.

The twenty per cent component suggests that individuals obtain twenty per cent of their industry knowledge through social interactions with others. This may be through coaching and collaboration sessions, as well as through giving and receiving feedback.

The largest component suggests that individuals obtain seventy per cent of their industry knowledge through on-the-job learning. This component focuses on learning and applying skills firsthand. This is primarily achieved through undergoing challenging tasks, using problem-solving skills, auditing and reviewing performance, and ultimately reflection, all while on-the-job.

In short––learning and development primarily happen and are most effective when it's part of our day-to-day workflow. 

The prerequisite of getting one's work done often outweighs the necessity to expand on corporate learning, ultimately reducing an employee's longevity and overall business performance. 

However, putting the 70:20:10 model into perspective shifts the focus from training to performance, giving your workplace a holistic approach to learning––this enables businesses to establish and support a high-performing workforce effectively. Ultimately utilising the workflow to drive learning within the organisation and deliver enhanced performance.  

The 70:20:10 model continues to be widely employed by organisations worldwide, and it's easy to see why. It can be used as a guideline for everything from goal setting to overall program design. It's simple and effective and can help create an environment where everyone can thrive. The key takeaway––building your organisation's capability will improve performance across your teams, organisation, and Portfolio/Program/Project Management processes.

Designing Your Skills Capability Uplift Playbook

Designed with the following five-step approach in mind, your capability uplift framework should work to help your team understand their strengths and where they need to improve, resulting in increased organisational maturity and agility. 

1 | Objectives

Establish clear parameters from stakeholders. Understand their objectives for the engagement and identify any constraints.

2 | Assessment

Benchmark the current position of the client's project management capability, encompassing both the project context and organisational context, incorporating multiple diagnostic tools.

3 | Capability Management Roadmap

Review findings with client representatives and establish a roadmap aligned with organisational objectives and change agenda. 

4 | Implement Agreed Initiative

Deliver the agreed key initiatives to deliver short, medium and long-term goals.

5 | Monitor and Control

Provide continual monitoring and management of the agreed initiatives to ensure maximum returns are achieved. 

Pulling it All Together - Best Practices

As with all forms of business planning, if you want to engage in an effective capability development framework, there are some things you should consider, such as:


A capability uplift must be unique to your business. It is not a one size fits all approach. For it to be unique, you need to determine the capabilities specific to your organisation, and its business objectives. With tailoring, it will comprise the necessary skills or knowledge required to complete projects and achieve the desired business objectives outlined for your business.

Balance Skills: Technical and People

For your organisation to stay ahead, maintain a healthy balance of technical and people skills. Technical skills include expertise and proficiency in systems, processes and job-related activities. They are the skills that get the job done and deliver on targets. While people skills include communication, adaptability and leadership––these are just as essential as the former. Leaders require these "soft skills" to communicate effectively with their team. Regardless of the goals set, you'll need a capability uplift that plans for both skills within your workforce.

Regularly Assess Your Talent

You must regularly assess your employees against your capability uplift to measure their improvement in their set capabilities. Ensure that this is communicated with them so they know how they have been evolving throughout their individual capability development and whether or not they need to adjust their focus.

Use a Learning Platform

Implementing and carrying out a capability framework can take up a lot of time and effort. However, utilising a project managing consulting group can make the process easier. They'll be able to assist you in choosing which organisational capabilities require specific teams and individuals to develop, allowing them to learn in their own time without requiring your company to organise dedicated internal training.

Deliver Superior Results with MetaPM

As business leaders, we all want a sustainable organisation that is productive and can carry us into the future. Engaging in a capability uplift crafted to serve your organisation's strategic objectives will improve business outcomes and ensure that you are well on track.

To improve your program and project delivery efficiency, or for more information about MetaPM’s Capability Uplift services, please contact our team at 1800 800 436 or visit our website at https://www.metapm.com.au/services/consulting.

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