Digital Productivity & Office Applications

National Grid receives bespoke application and training

National Grid asked QA to develop bespoke software for their gas and electricity engineers, and to deliver the training too.


National Grid

When National Grid wanted to deploy new efficiency tools to a distributed team of planners and engineers, it turned to QA to design and deliver a high-quality learning solution that was fully integrated into the development of the bespoke tools and deployment programme.

Meet our client: National Grid

National Grid is an international electricity and gas company based in the UK and northeastern US. They play a vital role in connecting millions of people safely, reliably and efficiently to the energy they use. Read more on the National Grid website.

The challenge

“It was really important for our engineers to be trained. Particularly as the need for training had become the critical factor for the business-wide project to proceed.”

Malcolm Ankrett, Senior Project Manager, National Grid

National Grid wanted to roll out bespoke applications to the planning and engineering communities for both their Gas and Electricity divisions, designed to help each group to manage their working processes (that is: receive work, update work orders, and submit them back into the system). Planners were to use the applications to take work from their asset management database and send it out to the engineers, the engineers would then pick up the task and, ultimately, fill in the database when the job was closed.

As the business had grown through acquisition, there was a need to create bespoke training courses that recognised the differences in system functionality used by the different groups. National Grid recognised the importance of high-quality, tailored learning as a key step in the adoption of the new tools and engaged QA early in the process to form part of the project, developing high-quality bespoke learning solutions that accurately reflected the day-to-day reality of the teams involved.

The solution

QA’s starting point was to have a Bus Apps trainer and Project Manager spend 10 days working with National Grid to gain a deep understanding of the requirement and the development of the three applications that made up the workflow. On the back of this work, QA was able to create a detailed statement of work and project plan that involved developing learning content alongside the development of the software. To ensure ongoing connection, trainers were embedded within the project team to make sure any changes were fed into the courseware design processes.

To get the strong engagement required, training was developed along a “day in the life” theme and courses were developed for the four key groups. Content development finished in early February 2014 and QA was able to share a simulated capture of the training end-to-end.

The training delivery was then split in such a way that National Grid delivered to the planning communities while QA used a team of eight trainers to deliver to the engineers. The QA team underwent three weeks of product training and were then deployed in sync with the physical roll-out between March and June.

Engineers would turn up on site in the morning, hand over their old equipment and then attend the training. At the end of the session, all engineers would give full feedback on the training and collect their new equipment, ready to use the new tools the following day.

“Our engineers are very difficult to please, and yet their feedback has been the best ever. This positive feedback reflects not just the quality of the product, but also the quality of the training.”

Malcolm Ankrett

The outcome:

The programme was successfully delivered during 172 events to approximately 1,376 delegates. Feedback from delegates was reported to be the highest satisfaction rate achieved within National Grid:

95% of delegates were either satisfied or very satisfied with the training

97% attendance for the duration of the training

Company-wide feedback has been very positive.

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