Lambeth Council wanted to increase the efficiency of its ICT service through enhanced skills development support. The council wanted to move beyond the technical focus that had typically defined the skills development of its ICT teams, and equip them with the business skills necessary to deliver efficient service and effective change through the use of appropriate technology solutions. As such, it wanted to implement a targeted skills development programme for ICT professionals across the organisation.
When Lambeth Council wanted to align the skills development of its ICT division to its business objectives, it consulted QA to help shape its training requirements against the SFIA framework.
“Building on our strong partnership, we asked QA to help us ensure that our investment in training was focused to deliver the maximum business impact.”
As early adopters of the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA), and having used the Framework to define job roles across its ICT teams, it was appropriate for the council to use the Framework as the basis of its skills development objectives.
The council sought the expertise of QA, who used the SFIA to define the skills requirements of its 122 ICT professionals.
The programme was delivered through a structured approach that incorporated the following features:
- Detailed analysis of roles within teams
- In-depth dialogue with managers and team leaders, identifying key areas of focus for each role and specific skills priorities through to 2012
- Identification of training opportunities across the full range of development areas aligned with the council’s needs
- Providing support to managers, team leaders and specialists to help them plan each team’s training programme to maximum effect, aligned with the annual appraisal process
These methods enabled QA to define skills requirements aligned to the council’s wider ICT strategy, as well as accommodating both individuals’ personal skill profiles and specific areas of work, which was essential given the range of projects that the council’s ICT division supports.
Lambeth is one of 14 local authorities which make up Inner London. With a population of around 270,000, it is one of the most densely populated inner London boroughs.
Its largely in-house ICT service is one of the lowest cost ICT services in London, and achieves high levels of service performance compared to other councils.
The output of the project has provided a clearly focused training plan for each of the roles within the division’s teams, moving the management of the council’s ICT division’s skills development away from the traditional ‘shopping list’ approach to a structured and business-focused process.
Feedback from the council’s ICT teams shows that the focus given to developing a wide range of skills is genuinely valued and is helping to broaden each individual’s understanding of the part they play in the council’s further transformation.
Since the start of the project, a number of other London boroughs have displayed an interest in the SFIA skills framework as an option for developing their ICT services in order to drive high performance and value.
The project has moved our training up a gear, giving us the confidence that we can achieve the best from our teams, harnessing their business knowledge and technical skills to make a real difference across the council's work. The SFIA skills framework provided a solid foundation to achieve this and the partnership with QA has given access to the expertise needed to use it to best effect.
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