1. Identify Your Learning Needs

Taking a training course—even a short one—represents a significant investment of attention, time and money. Because of this, a successful training experience should not be left to chance. Making even a modest effort to prepare yourself before you attend a learning event will increase the likelihood of positive outcomes after the course when you return back to your job.

APPEL Knowledge Services’ PM&SE Career Development Framework and PM&SE Competency Model are two tools to help you identify your learning needs in advance of selecting a training solution. The PM&SE Career Development Framework helps you determine which steps to take to develop skills and competencies that support your current position as well as those needed to take you to the next level in your career. When used correctly, the framework helps highlight skill gaps and gives both you and your manager an opportunity to discuss how to fill these gaps—and, in some cases, how to prepare for a move into a new role. This exercise also minimizes surprises during the performance review process. Click here to view the framework and start planning your career development goals!

Success in a role requires a specific set of competencies that relate to the job as well as to NASA’s goals. The PM&SE Competency Model is a collection of project management, systems engineering, and common competencies that together define successful performance for NASA project management and systems engineering professionals. Visit the PM&SE Competency Model to learn more.

As part of the process to identify your learning needs, APPEL Knowledge Services suggests you have a conversation with your branch/project/task supervisor. The goal of this conversation is to get their input on your learning needs and their concurrence on APPEL Knowledge Services courses that would address those needs. APPEL Knowledge Services has developed a checklist to help guide that conversation.

 2. Attend the Course

 APPEL Knowledge Services’ interactive Course Catalog is a one-stop resource for everything potential participants need to know about APPEL Knowledge Services courses. By using the Course Catalog in conjunction with the PM&SE Competency Model and the PM&SE Career Development Framework, you can better understand the skills and abilities that are considered drivers of success in your field and determine which APPEL Knowledge Services courses will support your career development goals.

For a step-by-step walkthrough of how to register for an APPEL Knowledge Services course, view the Course Registration Process video. You can also visit the Registration Overview page for additional details on the process.

Building an Action Plan: The Action Plan template is a tool to help reinforce what you learned in the course. Before attending a course, you should review the course agenda with your branch/project/task supervisor and discuss potential development areas relative to the course.  During the course, you will have an opportunity to fully develop your Action Plan, focusing on specific courses objectives and aspects of the course. You can download a copy of the Action Plan template for completion here and find an example of a completed action plan here.

3. After the Course

The desire to learn for learning’s sake is an admirable personal quality, but the application of learning back on the job in order to improve individual, team, and organizational performance is the goal of APPEL Knowledge Services courses. That is because APPEL Knowledge Services courses are designed to support NASA mission success.  In that sense, completing one of our courses is not the end of the APPEL Knowledge Services experience. Need ideas on how to apply what you learned in an APPEL Knowledge Services course once you are back on the job? Review the options in the Applying What You Learned guide.