In the second part of the digital transformation series, Matt Pasienski, Wizeline's VP of International Operations & Data, explains the value of upskilling and how it can help your team and clients.

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Upskilling can take many forms—getting an advanced degree, attending a webinar, enrolling in an online course, or simply training under an expert or mentor. There’s no right or wrong way to upskill, but the key is that your company’s leadership team views it as a critical component of a digital growth strategy.

The value of upskilling

Our collaborative product development work with the Australian Open Fanbot had elements of upskilling throughout. The Digital Arts Network (DAN) team was ready to work on an innovative new project, even though they had never deployed a chatbot before. DAN was a unique client in that they were already a digitally-focused agency. They were able to successfully pitch a chatbot but recognized it as a niche technology and fairly new territory that the team needed to ramp up on quickly.

We worked with DAN to educate the team on the fundamentals of designing a successful chatbot—how to write conversation flows, how to train a bot for different use cases, and walking through the general technical limitations and capabilities of conversational UIs. DAN went from no prior bot experience to full deployment in just a short matter of weeks.

The value of upskilling is twofold:

  1. Saving time and money by adopting a new skill in-house
  2. Enabling the team to take on new opportunities post-training

We believe that digital transformation is an investment and it is never truly finished. Ongoing education is critical to the success of both in-house teams and partner developers.

Establish a culture of upskilling

Help your employees upskill and empower them to work on the most impactful digital projects for your business. Employee education has undergone its own digital transformation. You no longer need a higher degree to build upon career-critical skills. Employers hoping to stay competitive are investing in their employees’ professional development. Investing in employee growth is a win for everyone—skilled employees produce better work, better work drives business results, and results keep clients happy.

It is also important to get buy-in from your newest employees on the digital transformation roadmap and strategy. Aside from upskilling current employees, enroll new hires in training to fill in any gaps from the beginning. Developing skills early on is critical to saving time (and money).

At Wizeline, we put this value to work by offering free courses through Wizeline Academy and investing in our client teams. We make it a priority to upskill our own employees and to cultivate the growing talent pool in the communities we work in.

Executives need to upskill, too

Being a CIO or CTO is very different in 2018 than it was in 2008. Partner with a company that can spend the time to dig into your business and consult your team, regardless of the maturity of your digital products. Lean on your partners to help drive education programs that align with your product development goals. Prioritize your business goals and identify a focus. Perhaps data science is too broad a subject area, would courses in machine learning be more impactful?

If you can’t upskill, outsource

Sometimes the urgency is too great to wait. Establish a relationship with a partner that can handle burst capacity. Our engineering network was created to meet that urgency. We have over 5,000 developers with a diversity of technical talent so we can source the right people for a project, for ourselves, and for our clients. We also partner with trusted talent programs, such as HolaCode and Laboratoria, that offer upskilling-as-a-service and for incredible social causes. They’ve supplied highly skilled and qualified candidates, now leading development projects for our clients. Sometimes all it takes is finding the right partner.

At Wizeline, we’ve worked with small and large clients to bring them up to speed on the skills and knowledge they need to accomplish their goals. Whether it’s UX design, conversational AI, or agile product development, we have people on our team who have done it before and know the importance of working within your processes. Questions? Reach out. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about how to upskill your team or how to approach your digital strategy.

Nellie Luna Posted by Nellie Luna on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

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