While trial by fire can be a good way to learn, no one likes the anxiety that comes with a brand new job, project deadlines, and all new software and systems to learn.
That’s where P1 University comes in. P1 Group goes above and beyond to train new project managers so they get up-to-speed about the company and their job function as soon as possible.
P1 University is different from the general Empowerment offered to all new associates. Corporate Trainer Sarah Garcia says P1 University started around the time the multiple entities that make up P1 Group (A.D. Jacobson, Huxtable & Associates, U.S. Electrical, etc.) came together.
“People were doing things differently. Even though we were all one, in some regards it was still like working with multiple companies and it was getting confusing,” Sarah said.
CEO Smitty Belcher called for reform to get everyone on the same page, and a committee was formed that included Sarah, Consultant Ted Davis, owner of Grace Strategic Services, and several project managers.
The main focus of P1 University has always been project management topics.
“When a new project manager comes on board, I have three sessions with them right away,” Sarah explained. “Each individual’s learning speed determines how many total sessions we’ll have. It could be three or four, or it could be 10.
“We try to give an overview of basic project manager duties, but leave the door open for more – whatever will help an individual the most,” Sarah said.
And the education doesn’t end after a PM’s formal sessions. Sarah makes herself available to help any time.
Sarah says P1 University has gotten away from a classroom setting, opting instead to conduct the training one-on-one.
“It makes it less daunting to ask questions, and we can get more in-depth on the different topics,” she said.
“We also look at real projects an individual is working on, which is more helpful than using a fictitious project for the sake of a classroom setting.”
Sarah says P1 University also gives the company an edge in hiring new talent.
“I think it sets us apart that we have a formal program to not only help new project managers understand what they’re supposed to be doing, but also to be there as a reference as long as they are with P1 Group,” she said.
“Not many contractors have something like this in place.” Recently, Sarah has worked with other departments, like HR and IT, to create an online learning library for convenient reference.
“We are taking the curriculum we’ve developed and creating PowerPoint presentations and videos to have out there as an on-demand resource. For example, if someone gets stuck on how to process a submittal, they can go watch a quick video to help them through it.”
Training and education is one of P1 Group’s highest priorities, and we’re lucky to have Sarah here helping us pave the way for associate success.
As-needed training on topics including: