Capability Building: The role of projects

Image to show knowledge share between individuals to represent capability building
Two heads with gears, concept of information sharing and collaboration (3d render)

Projects, when carefully planned and executed, can be powerful vehicles for driving change and building capability within an organisation.  They provide a structured approach to address challenges, implement improvements, and capitalise on opportunities. Here are a few ways projects can be used to build capability…

Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge is a competitive advantage for organisations.  We develop capability by sharing knowledge, enabling new experiences and giving constructive feedback.  When employees are pushed out of their comfort zones, they are more likely to discover untapped potential and learn on the job.  Offer opportunities for skill-building.  Building capability goes beyond traditional training;  it’s about developing the ability to adapt, innovate, and excel.  Establish systems for knowledge sharing.  The following list could be of help:

  1. Mentorship programmes
  2. Regular meetings to share new knowledge – from reading, videos, courses or experiences
  3. Job rotations and secondments
  4. Cross-functional collaboration
  5. Internal wikis

These all contribute towards knowledge sharing that help individuals gain insights, acquire new skills and knowledge that help build capability quicker.

Cross-Functional Collaboration

Projects often require collaboration across various departments and teams.  Encourage cross-functional collaboration among teams.  Cross-functional collaboration breaks down silos and encourages diverse contributions.  A diverse range of ideas leads to innovative solutions and a more capable workforce.

Consultants and Change Agents

Organisations engage Consultants to provide experience, advice and capabilities that don’t exist internally.  Whilst consultants bring expertise and knowledge, your goal may be to empower your own team to tackle challenges independently.  Assign staff to shadow Consultants and become Change Agents.  It will give them an insight into viewing work objectively and start to build your internal capability for business process improvement.

Employee Engagement

Every project or strategic initiative involves people.  People are the driving force behind any project.  But people generally don’t like change when they first face it.  They often change their minds if given the opportunity to shape the change. Involve them in decision-making processes, provide opportunities for skill development, and create a sense of ownership over the change initiatives.  By investing in their development, organizations can build both individual and organisational capabilities.

Rich Downey, Consultant, Hague Consulting Ltd. © Hague Consulting Ltd 2023.