Tag Archives: GIS training
The two most important components of a successful GIS are good planning and good people. Keep in mind, though, that all the planning in the world is useless if you do not have adequately trained people to operate your system.
So said the late, great Dr. Roger Tomlinson, who coined the term “geographic information system,” and authored Thinking About GIS, Geographic Information System Planning for Managers (now in its fifth edition). Tomlinson writes:
If you’re a manager, you are responsible for supporting the people who build, manage, and maintain your organization’s GIS. How have you supported their development? Like Tomlinson, do you see a relationship between developing your workforce and the success of your GIS program? Do you see a relationship between the success of your GIS program and the success of your organization? Continue reading
In keeping with time-honored holiday tradition, gift-giving was in order this past week. For all the lifelong learners seeking to build GIS knowledge, enhance existing ArcGIS skills, or make progress on a professional development plan, we hope you enjoyed the free learning opportunity we selected and sent your way each day via Twitter. If you missed them, here they are with our best wishes. Continue reading
It’s been just over a month since we released our new website to the world. While we welcomed it warmly (with three cakes no less!), the release was only the beginning of a much larger effort.
The two main objectives of the initial release were to modernize the site and simplify access to ArcGIS learning resources. Here are five new features that met our objectives and can help you achieve your learning objectives.
Live training seminars are one of our most popular training options. Each year thousands of Esri users attend a live broadcast, and thousands more access the recordings. Their budget-friendly price (free!) can’t be beat, but attendees appreciate other aspects as well.
- Convenience: We do three live broadcasts on the same day to support attendees in different time zones. Continue reading
Experts say the outlook for formal skills development in 2013 is rosy. According to a recent study, overall spending on training increased by 12% in 2012, and the technology sector saw a 20% increase.
“As the pace of innovation accelerates, and companies look to expand their operations, employees should acquire more specialized skills and adapt to a workplace that grows more transient, mobile and self-serving – what we call the ‘borderless workplace,’” said Bersin by Deloitte’s Karen O’Leonard, lead analyst, benchmarking, Deloitte Consulting LLP.
Perhaps you will be attending a training class this year. Here’s a question to ponder before you start crafting your out-of-office auto-reply:
- Why are you going?
If you initiated the training request, you should be able to answer quickly with one or more job-related benefits because, for lots of us, submitting the request means providing a justification. At most organizations, gone are the days when you can take a class just because it sounds interesting. Typically, the justification documents how the training relates to your current job responsibilities (or references your professional development plan if your organization uses those). Continue reading
Like people, training comes in different packages. Put another way, training suits different purposes—and it scales from individuals to organizations.
- Individuals take training to gain new knowledge and skills that will help them do their current job better, earn a promotion, or launch a promising new career path.
- Projects often include a training line item in order for team members to acquire the technical skills they need to complete the project on time and on spec. The skills team members acquire are almost always transferable to future projects.
- Departments often have training plans for each job role. Training is used to onboard new employees and support annual performance objectives for all employees. Training plans are a great tool to document the knowledge and skills needed for each position and assist with recruiting and evaluating job candidates.
- Organizations increasingly see the benefits of staff development. Staff development includes training but more fundamentally, it encompasses the organization’s belief that investment in their human talent is directly linked to meeting long-term business goals. When integrated into the fabric of an organization, money spent on staff development pays off when it comes to the organization’s bottom line. Because when individuals are empowered to perform to their potential—and they believe the organization is vested in their success—productivity, loyalty, and innovation have a rich environment in which to thrive.
Think about it. Where is your organization on the training scale? Where would you like it to be?
Given what seems like a constant stream of conflicting economic news, it’s not surprising that some organizations remain in a hunkered-down, wait-it-out mentality. Being cost-conscious—by scrutinizing purchase requests and paring budgets to essential spending—is the fiscally responsible way to operate these days. It begs the question, though: What is “essential spending”?
A lot of people, the lucky ones who are employed, have more work to do in the same amount of time that was allotted when the economy was good. Finding time for GIS training—whether to upgrade your skills, investigate a new career path, or just stay current with the industry—is a challenge. Fortunately, training is like exercise. You can get the same benefits from combining short bursts of activity as powering through one long session.
Sure you can keep on doing your work the same old way, but at some point something happens (technology evolves, new competition threatens your market share, customer expectations about products and services change) and you realize the old way of doing things has become obsolete. Continue reading
When the economy seems down, many organizations cut non-essential spending. Often, one of the first items crossed off the budget is staff training. The reasoning is that training is a luxury, like a store-bought latte, that can be done without in lean times.
While no doubt a little belt-tightening is in order from time to time, we think of training as an investment, not a luxury. Sort of like a flu shot, training can reduce the likelihood of a high-impact illness (i.e., operational breakdown) down the road, when you least need or expect it. Trained staff are not a guarantee that nothing will ever go wrong with your GIS program or the business operations that rely on the GIS, but training does instill a measure of confidence that your program is healthy.
So what is the training return on investment (ROI)? Or, perhaps we should think in terms of return on instruction. These are not findings from a rigorous scientific study, but below are some benefits I thought of while sipping this morning’s latte: Continue reading