Business Office

Mentoring & Coaching

The concepts behind mentoring and coaching are quite different from teaching courses, as these types of training are predicated on a longer-term relationship where we build on accumulating knowledge or skills. The focus of what we are looking at in this program is assisting people who are doing the work as they try to hone their skills in the selected subject matter. We do not merely entertain people in class, we can be actively involved (or make arrangements for someone) to help people succeed once they are employed in a role where their training is called upon to get work done. It is important to understand a mutually agreed upon mode of operation:

  • Mentoring involves actively assisting the person(s) being mentored with practical advice and/or direction on how to perform specific tasks more effectively. This is quite different from being in a classroom setting where the individuals absorb theory and complete simple assignments that are in scope for the limited time available to complete a program of study.
  • Coaching involves providing support and encouragement by reminding the person(s) involved of what was covered in the course and encouraging them to step outside their comfort zone to apply their own initiative and learn from what they are doing.

Sometimes we provide mentoring or coaching as a natural extension of doing contract work for clients, but in many cases we did not have the opportunity to engage in active training of the people involved as proposed in this section. Here we expect that the person(s) involved have the right training but lack the hands-on experience and/or confidence to move forward in executing actual work assignments. These kinds of arrangements are usually short-term (at most a month) but sufficient for the person(s) needing the support to take on more and more initiative until they are effectively running independently.

Mentoring and coaching can be excellent retirement career options, where individuals prepare to work part-time or on-demand to provide their training skills coupled with years of experience in the subject matter to continue their involvement in a chosen line of work. Not everyone wants to retire and leave the workplace behind: some people need the income, plain and simple, to supplement their retirement income (especially because we live longer and we cannot count on dying before the funds dry up). For other people it is an opportunity to do something they truly love – passing on their knowledge and their experience to the next generation. In this segment of our catalog we will step you through a number of opportunities that may resonate with you to start a retirement business of your own.

Application of Project Management       TDMC_APM

The focus of this program is to introduce project management to non-project management staff like line-managers or administrators who may need to understand how projects differ from the normal line-operations or production paradigm they are used to. There are different levels in the program from truly an overview of concepts to different ways to implement Excel™-based tools that cover the most important aspects of project management. This is derived from a mentoring program that attracted people who were simply curious about how to work in a project context after they were assigned specific user representative roles: while the focus of mentoring was on helping junior project managers to develop their skills to qualify for more senior positions, there was a clear need to have a strategy for explaining project management in more general terms.

Business and Project Management       TDMC_BPM

In this capacity we assist the PMO in establishing best practices in project management and we create (or adapt) courses that are relevant to the organization. With project management, like many other types of work, there are different ways of accomplishing the same thing. While we offer a number of different approaches that may be of interest to individual project managers, a corporate PMO may want a more narrow focus for what it deems acceptable for in-house use. In keeping, we can then select specific methodology to adapt to a mentoring/coaching approach so senior project managers can guide junior project managers in best practices as perceived within the organization. We sidestep the battle of which are best practices and concentrate on basic standards that any sort of project management best practices have to deliver in order to achieve the governance objectives of project management.

Evolution of Project Management       TDMC_EPM

Project management has evolved to be much more than the control over project execution that some major companies lead you to believe. What we look at in this context reflects everything from defining requirements to financial analysis to operational impact and to quality assurance. You cannot focus on “HOW” projects are delivered without a close control over “WHAT” projects deliver in order to meet client expectations. In this list of subjects covered we expect that your students will have less prior exposure to the concepts and tools we introduce than was the case for project management tools. Project management purists may argue that this is out of scope, but in reality these aspects of project management being overlooked is often one of the major reasons for project failure – a good reason, therefore, to include that in our program.

Business Management Courses       TDMC_BMC

One of the common concerns is that project managers are “too technical” and not sufficiently up to speed with how businesses operate. They, and many other people involved in different work altogether, can benefit from a thorough overview of business management represented in this college-equivalent training program in business management. Learning about business can open many doors in your career: after all, the decision makers in the company are business people for the most part. Like in any other dialog, things go a lot smoother if you speak the same language and you understand the same concepts, so that you can focus on results rather than to focus on “educating the other party” instead (that never works under pressure). In addition, this can be used as a program to prepare individuals to become entrepreneurs in their own right – several students of this program have gone on to open their own business venture or find management opportunities within their place of employment.

Office Management Courses       TDMC_OMC

Office Management is really the operational side of supporting business management, not per se a lower level clerical activity that it is often portrayed as. Depending on the nature of business it can be extremely important to have these support activities well taken care of. While people do not necessarily regard this as a core career focus, many individuals actually prefer to work in the support role rather than to be the principal for a project, or a business unit, or other organization units. While we do not really dwell on titles, many of the roles have unique titles like “technical writer” or “project control officer” to elevate the status of jobs that are, in fact, important. Many people look down on an “assistant” role, but we need to acknowledge that without that support many major initiatives would come to a grinding halt for lack of information sharing.

Career Management Courses       TDMC_CMC

When you work as a contractor there is nobody who keeps an eye out for you to grow into some future career opportunity. If you are fully employed, the tendency is that career management is increasingly outsourced to you, the employee. In the big picture, change often means a company starts some new division, and then later on winds up operations in an old division: first hiring the workers for the new division and then letting workers in the old division go with little chance for a transfer. We can try to figure out why that is: we can also recognize downsizing as a reality we should prepare for, so that when the inevitable axe falls we are psyched to move on to the next opportunity rather than to grieve helplessly wondering what we did to deserve such treatment.

Business Consulting Services       TDMC_BCS

Some people like to give advice and show off their abilities, other people rather start a business but run into challenges when they look for funding. Bring these people together and you have a business opportunity for our graduates to offer support services to entrepreneurs. Businesses have a demand for these services from before they start to on-going budget planning exercises and analytics that they need help with. If you are savvy you can carve out a niche and with just a handful of clients you can do enough business to enjoy a satisfying lifestyle. With an increasing interest in entrepreneurship this provides business opportunities in training also, because, as a coach or mentor, you can expect people to be interested in getting trained in these fields.

Consumer Consulting Services       TDMC_CCS

There are many popular reality-TV shows that deal with the challenges consumers have in many different areas, and how they are guided by a “know-it-all” host who solves all their problems in a 30-minute time slot with plenty of commercials competing for the limited time available. There is a lot more to counseling consumers, and it takes a lot more time than can be acknowledged in a 30-minute time slot, so there is a lot riding on being prepared to deliver these services. As the mentor or coach you have a similar challenge to make sure that protégés learn and thoroughly understand all the aspects of these services before they go out and peddle their skills to people that are really more dependent on them than they might realize.