International Nonprofit Transforms to Capitalize on Consumerization of IT
A nonprofit, nonpartisan senior advocacy and services organization with a membership of more than 37 million. The association has over $1 billion in annual revenue and more than 2,400 employees with headquarters in D.C. and offices worldwide.
IT Department Restructuring
The NSAG was reorganizing its entire 200-person IT department to reduce costs, convert to customer-facing services and improve access to senior citizen-friendly technology products. These changes were driven by membership demands and requests from internal business units. The operating methodology changes required staff to develop new competencies.
By working with a third party, the NSAG evaluated employee skill levels, knowledge, functionality and morale to identify a baseline. However, the nonprofit was left without a transition plan, role-based training curriculum or core competency development for its managers and human resources departments.
The NSAG needed a partner with an all-inclusive training portfolio to focus on transitioning some of its workforce from technical support to project management and server virtualization. In addition to shifting several positions to vendor management and product development, existing IT staff needed to learn new skills to adopt big data analysis, cloud computing and mobile application initiatives.
NNo formal training plans existed for job roles, limiting growth and development. Some skill competencies were defined but not applied, developed or reinforced. Meanwhile, morale continued to suffer within the organization. The NSAG needed a department-wide system to evaluate and support the skills of IT employees with paths for career advancement. Without these capabilities, the association struggled to:
- Capitalize on revenue-producing partnerships
- Respond to market demands
- Adopt new technologies
- Define new hire criteria and core competencies for each role
- Provide a clear career path for all IT workers
Assessment, Customized Training and Roadmap
This was a multi-phase project. Phase one included a needs analysis where Global Knowledge worked with the client to identify success criteria and the steps to follow. Phase two included leveraging training industry best practices and research. A Global Knowledge transformation specialist validated desired competency levels for roles in a number of departments including: OCIO & program execution, technology, strategy and innovation (TS&I), client services group (CSG), IT operations (ITS) and application services management (ASM).
Phase three involved identifying skills gaps. Our expert worked with the NSAG's leaders to assess employee skill levels, conduct staff interviews and prepare learning solutions. As part of the process, 140 individual IT staff development plans were reviewed and analyzed.
Phase four was focused on developing plans to close existing skill gaps. By working with the NSAG's existing learning assets and vendor relationships and leveraging the Global Knowledge training portfolio, our expert was able to create training plans for each job role. The plans included core required skills, advanced skills for technology and non-technology career advancement. The client contracted for 18 months of training for customized courses related to Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), server engineering, leadership, business skills and project management professional (PMP) certification.
GGlobal Knowledge delivered training across three of the NSAG's locations: two sites in California and at one site in Washington, D.C. Training was offered in modules so each employee had the opportunity to fit the schedule to their needs.
Reduced Costs, Added Revenue Stream and Improved Employee Efficacy
By working with Global Knowledge, the NSAG was able to streamline its IT department, realign positions and reduce costs. At the same time, the client was able to identify and train the key positions needed to support a partnership for a tablet product aimed at senior citizens. The user-friendly tablet was pre-loaded with educational content, important applications and large icons. Global Knowledge put in place learning paths that gave the IT staff the necessary additional skills to respond to changing needs.
"We were able to expand training opportunities and spend more of the training budget in more efficient ways," said the NSAG's former VP, Office of the Chief Information Officer who was involved in the transformation. "Global Knowledge provided effective business consulting that enhanced our value; customizing our leadership development and driving the cultural change we needed."
In the past, allocated training dollars were going unused. By working with Global Knowledge, the NSAG was able to create a more targeted learning plan. As a result, the NSAG was able to reduce the education budget line item while providing more training. Global Knowledge's assessment led to organizational awareness, structured training and development program, and increased project effectiveness.
"Global Knowledge helped my organization's performance in several ways," said the NSAG's former VP, Office of the CIO. "Global Knowledge augmented the organization's employee value proposition and the balance of rewards and benefits that are received by employees through the delivery of training across information technology, leadership and business courses."
Global Knowledge discovered that the majority of the client's staff had strong technical abilities but a gap existed around "soft skills" like project management, public speaking and problem-solving—all the skills needed to interact with customers and potential partners. By working with the NSAG Global Knowledge created a custom program for all IT employees to redefine the baseline "soft skills" to make them more consultative and engaging in their IT-to-business interactions.