Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Onboarding

KAI Partners Internship Program

Agile, Business Analysis, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Hiring, Human Resources, Information Technology, Internship Program, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Learning, Onboarding, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Professional Development, Sacramento, Scrum, Technology, Training, Workforce Development

KAI Partners recently graduated the second cohort of our Internship Program in Sacramento! With interns from Sacramento City College and Sierra College, we were honored to have such hard-working interns adding value to our Special Projects team for the past few months.

We wanted to check in with our interns to get their feedback on the internship program. Here’s what they had to say:

Sumayyah Jackson: Since I was young, I have been exposed to IT consulting—my aunt is in the Organizational Change Management (OCM) field and my father is an IT Consultant. While I had some prior knowledge, IT is not something I usually focus on, so I knew this internship would be stepping out of my comfort zone. I have always been open to change and learning, so this opportunity caused excitement rather than fear.

During my time at KAI Partners, I learned about each field in IT Consulting and I was able to gain background on these fields by interviewing a few of my colleagues. I became a Certified ScrumMaster, learning the ins and outs of the Agile/Scrum methodology. I learned to facilitate meetings, assisted in planning and executing events, and mapped out Business Process Diagrams using the BPMN 2.0 standards. Overall, this internship sparked an extreme interest in me for IT and Business. My internal personal skills strengthened along with my analytical and research skills.

Shyanne Long: I wanted to be an Intern for KAI Partners for a few reasons. I have family members who either are currently in the business or were previously in a similar line of work. However, they were never able to give a solid answer of what they actually did on a daily basis for work. I never had a clear understanding until I started working at KAI Partners.

The KAI Partners Internship Program exceeded my expectations! I was able to become a Certified ScrumMaster and practice using Scrum methods throughout the program. I learned how to create and maintain a LinkedIn profile, how to plan and execute events, and how to write a blog post. I also learned BPMN 2.0 standards and applied them by mapping KAI Partners’ business processes. I supported special projects, the communication team, and the business development team. I was forced out of my comfort zone many times with facilitating meetings, events, and conducting interviews with team members. It felt great to do things I never thought I could do before!

Says Stephen Alfano, KAI Partners’ Fall 2018 Intern Program Manager, “I’ve participated in many internship programs in my career. Of all the programs that I helped construct and lead, this one was the most rewarding for me personally. In addition to helping me drive special projects forward faster, this program provided me with a golden opportunity to deliver on our firm’s workforce development and diversity agenda—creating commercial value for our business in the process.”

Stephen continues, “Shyanne and Sumayyah were engaged and all-in from Day 1; I couldn’t ask for a better cohort.”

KAI Partners wants to thank our superstar interns for their diligence and dedication over the past few months. We know you will go on to do great things and we are excited to be just one small part of shaping your future!

Interested in applying for KAI Partners’ next Internship Program cohort? Email your resume to recruitment@kaipartners.com.

Where Have All the Project Managers Gone?

Hiring, Human Resources, KAI Partners, Onboarding, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, Workforce Development

By Stephen Alfano, CSM

Run a project manager job search for your location on Glassdoor.com or Indeed.com right now. Chances are good you’ll find there are at least 250 openings. [In Sacramento, on 10/18/2018, I found 936 project manager opportunities on Glassdoor and 256 on Indeed.]

Widen the search area to include your state or province and you’ll see the need for project managers expands exponentially. [In California, on 10/18/2018, there were 20,256 project manager jobs posted on Glassdoor and 5,322 on Indeed.]

Even though I wasn’t a math major in college, and I’m nowhere near being a labor statistician, I can see that job openings in the thousands translates into a huge, human resource and talent gap. This makes one wonder where all the available project managers have gone—in short, they are busy working elsewhere, or they have retired.

According to the Project Management Institute (PMI) in a report generated five years ago, the shortage of available project managers is right on track with a trend that started in 2008. The report states:

“[through] the decade ending in 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created]” in the U.S. alone with another 13.4 million growing out of 10 other large job markets, including Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Japan, and the United Kingdom.

In other words, the shortage is worldwide…which makes me wonder who’s working to fill the global gap. (Hopefully everyone.)

Regardless of who or how many folks are on the task of filling that gap, resolving the shortage is paramount. And the solution to do so, in my humble opinion, needs to start and be sustainable at the local level—through workforce development initiatives that are driven by diversity and economic equality outreach and education campaigns (subject matter that has been near and dear to my heart for a long time).

When I published the blog post, “Why Workforce Development is Everybody’s Business” last October, I hoped my narrative would spark change in the Sacramento business and nonprofit communities. I thought I made my request flexible enough to appeal to both change agents and policymakers to get busy building up the capability and capacity of the regions’ employable talent base. I believed then and even more so now that to have a sustainable workforce development initiative in any community, you need to ensure there is a certified and available pool of highly-skilled resources (including project managers) ready in the queue.

Having these highly-skilled resources in reserve helps fuel innovation and income growth in the marketplace. It brings tangible benefits to the business and public sector leaders looking for options beyond the conventional (and ingrained) approach of binding economic empowerment goals with commercial development tax incentives and concessions.

Perhaps my expectations for a groundswell were too high back then. Moreover, a year later, especially with the unemployment rate around 3.7% in the country and the Sacramento area (a 50-year low!), my rallying cry must sound a bit unnecessary. But I assure you, and most economists and human resources professionals would agree that dismissing the need to build and support a pipeline of upskilled and qualified candidates is foolishness. Prosperity comes in cycles. The next economic downturn could be right around the corner. Planning and preparing for that event isn’t an option. More important, it will take a superhuman effort to minimize the fallout and prevent another great recession. In the meantime, the need for project managers will continue to grow.

Again according to the PMI, this time from the Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap – 2017–2027 report: “[by] 2027, employers will need 87.7 million individuals working in project management oriented roles.” So, if you live in the Sacramento region and are considering a career in the Project Management field, start here.

About the Author: Stephen Alfano is an Organizational Change Management Consultant and Communications Expert. He has over 30 years of experience leading and managing internal and external marketing initiatives for both private and public-sector clients. His résumé includes providing both new business and business process improvement services to Apple, American Express, AT&T, California Department of Transportation, Chevron, Entergy, Levi Strauss & Co., Louisiana Office of Tourism, Mattel, Microsoft, Novell, SONY, Sutter Health, and Wells Fargo. Stephen currently works as an Executive Consultant with KAI Partners, Inc., providing change management and communications expertise and support services to California State Departments.

KAI Partners is Hiring!

Agile, Business Analysis, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Hiring, Human Resources, Information Security, Information Technology, KAI Partners, Onboarding, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Sacramento, Scrum, Technology, Training

KAI Partners is excited to hire for a number of positions in the Sacramento area! Interested in joining our team? Take a look at the following positions for which we are currently hiring!

Financial Analyst

The Financial Analyst should have a strong understanding of the California state budget, as well as experience analyzing California’s fiscal policy. Financial Analyst responsibilities could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Prepare, review and distribute regular financial reports for oversight agencies and other stakeholders;
  • Provide financial analysis for project planning efforts; and
  • Track overall budgets and expenditures across multiple projects.

Click here apply for the Financial Analyst position.

Information Security Specialist

With a Bachelor’s Degree in IT/MIS, IT Security or Engineering related field and CISA and/or CISSP certification, the Information Security Specialist will provide services including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Assessing the privacy, confidentiality and security needs;
  • Developing a high-level Security Plan;
  • Conducting a wireless security assessment and threat assessment; and
  • Reviewing and analyzing current audit findings and incorporating the results into a target plan and roadmap.

Click here apply for the Information Security Specialist position.

Technical Lead

The Technical Lead must have a Bachelor’s degree in IT/MIS, IT Security or Engineering, or a related field. In addition to other requirements, this role requires three years’ experience in reviewing and developing security policy and implementation plans, three years’ experience in analysis and documentation of IT security findings, and experience and knowledge with State and Federal laws related to data privacy.

Click here to apply for the Technical Lead role.

But wait, there’s more!

Here are some other Sacramento-area positions for KAI Partners is currently hiring:

We look forward to receiving your application today! Any questions about the above positions? Email recruitment@kaipartners.com.

KAI Partners is Hiring!

Agile, Business Analysis, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Communications, Corporate Training, Hiring, Human Resources, Information Technology, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, KAIP Academy, Managed IT Services, Onboarding, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Sacramento, Small Business, Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC), Technology

KAI Partners is excited to be expanding its team once again! Interested in joining our growing company, including positions within our training and managed IT services divisions? Take a look at the following positions for which we are currently hiring!

Business Solutions Analyst

The Business Solutions Analyst performs business systems analysis and is responsible for work that involves applying analytical processes to the planning, design, and implementation of new and improved business information systems and business processes to meet the business requirements of customer organizations.

Click here for more information or to apply for the Business Solutions Analyst role.

Certified Business Analysis Professional

KAI Partners’ training division, the KAIP Academy, is seeking a Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) in Sacramento. The CBAP will be expected to deliver the following trainings:

  • ECBA – Level 1
  • CCBA – Level 2
  • CBAP – Level 3

Click here for more information or to apply for the CBAP role.

Software Developer Erlang and Elixir

The Sacramento-based software developer is experienced, motivated, enthusiastic, and flexible. The ideal candidate should have three or more years’ experience, working knowledge, and interest in Elixir and Erlang.

Click here for more information or to apply for the Software Developer role.

System Engineer

Our Managed IT Services department is looking for a Sacramento-based System Engineer with 6-10 years of relevant experience. The System Engineer is responsible for resolving Information Technology (IT) issues for our clients.

Click here for more information or to apply for the System Engineer role.

But wait, there’s more!

Here are some other positions for which we are currently hiring:

We look forward to receiving your application today! Any questions about the above positions? Email recruitment@kaipartners.com.

10 Best Practices for Setting Clear Job Expectations From the Start

Best Practices, Employee Engagement, Hiring, Human Resources, Managing/Leadership, Onboarding, SHRM

By Melissa McManus, Ed.D and SHRM-CP

I’ve heard people say if you set expectations then you should be prepared for disappointment. From my perspective as a Human Resources Professional, if you fail to set clear expectations, then the only likely outcome is disappointment.

Expectations are an essential business function. The inability to meet unspoken expectations can lead to frustrations for both the employee and the employer. Not only do clear expectations create an understanding and a guideline, they create accountability for the employee. With clear expectations, the employer knows what to expect from the employee and the employee knows what to expect from the employer and the job itself.

Expectations should be established from the beginning. When I hire for a position, I always include the basic functions of the position, the necessary qualifications, and desired skills I am seeking in the job announcement. Before I have even looked through resumes or interviewed potential candidates, I have already begun to set expectations for that position. Expectations should be further identified through onboarding, orientation, and discussions with team members and supervisors.

Here are some of my tips for setting clear expectations from the beginning:

Guidelines for setting clear expectations:

  1. Expectations should be clear and understood by all parties so that there is no confusion
  2. Expectations should be outlined early and often. Setting them once is not enough—they need to be revisited on a regular basis as job functions can change and evolve
  3. Set attainable, realistic expectations; keep in mind your floor could be someone else’s ceiling
  4. Expectations could be in writing (i.e., in the form of a job description), simply verbalized, or both
  5. Expectations could differ from position to position; they should be specific

 Benefits of setting clear expectations:

  1. Improves performance
  2. Happier employees
  3. Establishes goals
  4. Sets priorities
  5. Enriches team dynamics

Having clear expectations, goals, and objectives is a must if you want your staff to be as productive and efficient as possible. Job success is not simply trying to determine who can sink and who can swim; I think the rate of turnover experienced in certain positions is a direct result of either unclear or unrealistic expectations. If you want quality, high performing employees, then you should give them all the tools necessary to be successful.

What has been your experience with setting expectations in your role as an employee or in a role you hire for or manage?

 About Melissa: Dr. Melissa McManus is a human resources professional and research guru. One of her greatest strengths is her resolute ability to soak in new information and her never-ending thirst for knowledge. Melissa has a Master’s degree in Counseling, and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership with a focus in Human Resource Development. Melissa’s professional interests include human behavior, career development, research, writing, training, and knowledge transfer. She is passionate about life and describes herself as an avid bookworm. In her free time, when she is not running her kids to gymnastics or karate, Melissa enjoys reading (a lot), wine tasting, being with friends/family, and spending time with her husband and two children.

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