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An argument for training

Sathya Mithra Ashok | Jan. 14, 2014
Greg Jones, head of Landcare Research's IS&KM team, talks about the challenges in developing and implementing an organisation-wide ICT training programme.

Over the last year, the firm has been working to roll out a comprehensive digital strategy that enables its users to take advantage of various digital tools -- both in-house and external -- to add to their overall productivity.

"We have a digital strategy that was revamped from our previous IT strategy in the last year, and is aligned with the business needs. The vision for it is to enable transformation of Landcare Research into a digitally rich science organisation.

"There are a couple of themes that form its key areas. One of them is around data and knowledge management. It is about organising our data and knowledge within the organisation. The other covers the inclusion of new ways of working digitally. This covers the realms of integration of collaborative work spaces, new cross-organisational communication tools. All of this involves increasing the digital skills of our staff, around the place," says Jones.

Over the last year, the firm has been working with Ripped Orange to develop a way or method for raising the IT skill sets of its staff across the organisation. However, it is proving to be more difficult than previously thought.

"We are trying to work out a way to provide training to up-skill staff across the organisation. Not as a big bang approach, but an incremental way of sort of gradually moving these skills up as we go forward. We want to get the organisation to lift those skills so that they will see the productivity gain that will come if people knew how to do these things properly.

"We are struggling with that side of it. We are trying to build a case with Ripped Orange and build that into the funding side," says Jones.

The promise that lies ahead
This does not mean the firm has given up on training.

"At the moment we are trying to capture antidotal benefits from small scale training that we are doing and trying to decide how we could roll this out across the company in a beneficial manner," says Jones.

This includes producing and making available short, one- to two-minute training videos, as well as catering to people who especially request it with in-house IT staff. This is the preferred method with the IT team, especially for its in-house unique solutions that the team has either developed or is actively maintaining.

"We have been working on organisation-wide digital literacy for well over a year. We wanted to convince ourselves that this would work before presenting anything up to the organisation. Couple of months ago we made it a bit wider and took it to the HR team to try and get them involved in it. At some stage we want to take it back to the information governance group to get their backing and try to turn it into some funding," says Jones.

 

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