Learning from the Australian Department of Defence’s Use of Virtual Training Labs during COVID-19
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Over the past two years, more than 1000 personnel who work in the Directorate of Maritime and Engineering Logistics under the Department of Defence in Australia have been trained in Configuration Management tools and Asset Management Software. The department has used a straightforward process, where trainers go out on the road with their laptops in hand, and set up mobile training centers so that these staff members can undergo training and accreditation on these vital technologies, wherever they are.
Of course, even straightforward processes become somewhat more complicated when faced with a global pandemic.
COVID-19 meant that the Department of Defence had to say goodbye to face-to-face mobile training sessions, and had very little clarity on when they would be able to set these up again. In the meantime, dozens of personnel were going untrained, an untenable situation for such a mission-critical agency. In fact, trainees were unable to be deployed without obtaining this training certification.
A global problem – with a solution growing in popularity
Although this might be an extreme example, the situation is far from unique. In fact, the Harvard Business Review estimates that as many as 76% of organizations are implementing some kind of virtual training solution to cover the shortfall during the pandemic. Of course, as with any technology – these are going to have a variable amount of success.
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Quick time to value: In less than 4 weeks, the virtual training labs were up and running, and working to certify trainees on both of the software tools. In part, this was down to the easy integration with existing technology, in this case with GovTeams, the commonwealth licence of Microsoft Teams.
Real-world environments: All training elements remain unchanged, allowing the Department of Defence to continue to utilize the same audio and visual elements that they did in-person. In an extremely interactive virtual classroom, trainees can all access the same, easily replicated environment, wherever they are.
Low-bandwidth availability: Many virtual instructor-led training courses need complex hardware or software to run to full capacity. As CloudShare works equally well on any machine with an internet connection and a web browser, the online training was available even in situations where connections were poor, and bandwidth was minimal.
An increase in deployment: Many organizations would have been happy just to reach their pre-COVID-19 numbers. The Department of Defence was able to scale up their trained personnel by 50%, adding to the numbers they were able to deploy during the global crisis.
Operational excellence: In governmental organizations, streamlining processes and adding efficiency can be a matter of national urgency. The Department of Defence has been able to reduce costs, eliminate the need for lengthy travel, and keep continuity at a high during this unpredictable time.
As virtual training solutions become ordinary, make sure your choice is extraordinary
As the world shifts to virtual training solutions, it’s worth taking the time to ensure that you onboard the right solution for your organizational environment. A strong virtual labs solution for training will allow you to add value, not just meet the shortfall, improving your software training model to provide immense business value from day one.
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