Just over a year ago I was looking to win a new contract for work and I was asked the question which I am sure is familiar to most in this line of work………
‘Give me a recent example of where you have delivered change successfully?’
It was about the same time I was looking through my profile on the LCS website and saw the link to Continuous Professional Development (CPD), it got me thinking, is this the way I can continually demonstrate that point not only to customers but to myself as well?
The life of a Lean Practitioner/Consultant/Change Agent/Analyst and on and on…..
So, before I talk about what LCS CPD has given me, let me explain how it feels for me to be in this line of work, I think you may be able to relate!
Whatever the role title (I’ve had all these and many more) the feelings are still the same;
- Excitement – New challenge, new process to review, new team to meet
- Anticipation – Of what type of processes you will see, how good/bad are they?
- Assessment – Of the work ahead, how big a task have I taken on?
- Trepidation – Will the plan I have in mind work here, or will this be the place where it just won’t stick?
- Set the tone – Expectations of the SME’s, expectations of the stakeholders. Be honest, be realistic
So why is CPD important to me?
Firstly, it provides the structure to be able to answer questions like the one above as well as demonstrate the depth and variation of the competences gained.
Secondly, unlike other qualifications such a Six Sigma it is a way of demonstrating ongoing learning and development year on year. Obtaining the qualification is half of the story, consolidation embeds the learning
Finally it supports inward reflection and review. To continuously improve we must all reflect on where things could have gone better and CPD supports that in a structured way. Learning from mistakes is how the best practitioners develop and CPD provides the space in which to do this.
Why did I choose LCS Continuous Professional development?
- LCS CPD provides the structure and format to enable easy updates of development set against a direction that I have chosen to pursue during the year. Set your own challenges to stretch your experience and knowledge
- Outlining all goals and competence examples in one place – simple to complete and locate
- A way of demonstrating ongoing competence – It is important to demonstrate that I keep learning and pushing the boundaries of where I use my skills and experience, with this CPD you can do that.
- A way of demonstrating up to date relevance in this discipline – having LCS endorse that relevance provides credibility to the competence
- Support – Just the right amount of input but without constant checking and pressure to complete tasks. The ongoing support has been superb and has allowed me to have input when I can without the pressure to update every day.
How is the first year?
- Setting the A3 Annual Plan – This is the most crucial part to get right at the start of the year but also the most challenging.
- TIP – Make the plan stretching but achievable – think where you want to be
- Keeping up with recording activity – Essential to not miss any activity you have undertaken or achievements attained
- TIP – Update frequently – don’t leave it for more than one month at a time
- Making you think – Remember this is the point! There will be a number of times where you struggle but persevere, its really worth it
- TIP – Embrace the process, this is what CPD is
- Ongoing demonstration of practitioner competence
- Provides structure to evidence that competence
- An annual ‘reset’ point for career planning and training requirements
- Provide focus on what can move you forward
- To make you think!