Creating world-class learning facility at the University of Oxford
The University of Oxford Training Division provide IT training to approximately 1,200 employees across the University in Finance based roles. This training centers around half day training sessions on the required skills and knowledge to carry out required tasks and responsibilities in Oracle Financials.
The training courses available are scheduled and published by the training team and individuals are asked to book on courses via the website. Example attendees would be inventory, or purchasing clerks.
Over the last few years the Finance Division has undergone enormous change to successfully shift the perception it has across the University from ‘school keeper’ to ‘business partner’. It has done this through streamlining processes and operations to ensure 1st class added value service to its customers.
Although the training team had a clear purpose and delivered against expectations, it wanted to challenge itself further and create a training team that was structured efficiently; role models best practice and was in a position to respond effectively to future challenges and change. In addition, it wanted to create a shift in ‘perception’ of the training team such that it is regarded as a true business partner by its own internal customers.
Jeff and the team and Global Edge carried out an intitial Best Practice review followed by 18 months of ongoing support:
Best Practice Review
- A rigorous assessment structure to enable the training team to benchmark itself against best practice principles
- A range of best practice ideas and principles on how effective training teams - Deliver a ‘wow’ service to internal customers, – Structure themselves and organise roles and responsibilities, Minimise costs whilst not sacrificing on quality
- A set of real life case study examples to illustrate how best practice principles are implemented in other organisations
18 month programme of support
- External facilitation for forums and workshops (including best practice reviews, customer consultations and Champions forums)
- Support for strategic influencing of stakeholders
- Sounding board, observation and feedback
- Coaching on personal leadership and communication styles
- Challenge and feedback on content and format of presentations
- Advice, input and support for communication and engagment strategy and activity
- External project management and maintaining momentum
- Designed coaching standard for Champions Network
- Providing support to develop team’s consultancy skills
- Members of the training team taking ownership and responsibility on specific areas of the project and are bought into the overall change.
- Establishment of a Champion’s network to facilitate sharing of best practice and ideas across the Finance Community.
- Each member of the team now has a clear role profile outlining the purpose of the role they are transitioning to, related accountabilities and where there time should be spent.
- Individual leadership skills and capabilities developed through coaching and feedback leading to improved strategic influencing and engagement of senior stakeholders.
- The team have received training on consultancy skills – they now have started to consider a consultancy process and approach for the team as well as how they develop the right profile and perception, recognition of the consultancy services they provide.
- The working relationship and communication between individual stakeholders and customer groups is now much more effective and productive.
- The development of a champion’s network has begun with nominations made, briefings delivered and actions agreed.
- Strategic Communications have started to raise the profile of the training and learning team and make people aware of the varied and changing opportunities available to learn and get support.
- A strategy for the Academy project with a clear vision, process and action plan has been agreed and presented to both the Operations and Management boards.
- A 6 month project plan has been created setting out key tasks, milestones, responsibilities and dependencies.
- The team continue to deliver ongoing requirements for the UPK project, creating more on-line learning opportunities.