The better the question
What’s the foundation to enable digital learning?
Rethinking vision and conceptual future state design can enhance the learner experience.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Safety and Technical Training faced significant issues in overseeing the training of its air traffic operational team — and these escalated with the switch to remote working in the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAA reached out to us to help it redesign the operating model for technical training for its mission-critical employees, including 14,000 air traffic controllers and 5,000 technicians, who service equipment, separate airplanes and follow safety protocols.
The challenge identified by the Office of Safety and Technical Training was that training required trainees and staff to spend weeks, and sometimes months, away from their jobs for in-person courses. When the pandemic placed travel on hold and limited in-person training, the FAA needed to quickly pivot to provide virtual training. While addressing urgent training needs, the FAA also needed to plan for a comprehensive digital learning transformation.
The Office of Safety and Technical Training recognized the need for change and collaborated with us to build a future state design and vision and a business case for implementation. “Seeing EY’s strategic road map helped the FAA understand how training could effectively modernize to support the learner,” says Merav Bushlin, Senior Manager, EY US Government & Public Sector.
Seeing EY’s strategic road map helped the FAA understand how training could effectively modernize to support the learner.
The better the answer
A technical training road map
Building on strengths, prioritizing initiatives and customizing the learning journey for the next five years
In the initial project phase, we developed a journey map that documented the learner experience throughout an employee’s career with the FAA. It highlighted what the workforce needed to learn, and the pain points along the way. The focus was on how a future operating model supported by technology would help achieve the FAA’s vision for technical training.
EY NogginLabs, which has 20 years of experience in award-winning digital learning that drives behavior change, came onboard with its cross-discipline team of experienced learning developers. EY NogginLabs leveraged its experience to design a journey that reflected the technical learner’s needs and applied leading practices.
The proposed plan is focused on engaging learners more effectively, compressing the training time and reducing reliance on travel. Supported by EY US People Advisory Services, the plan also identified organizational, operational and people-related opportunities for improvement. This will help the FAA reimagine the way training will change over the next three to five years.
“We engaged EY for six months and are so pleased with the strategy and plan they delivered that we are bringing them on to continue their support in laying a foundation for our future state operating model,” says Glen Martin, Vice President for Safety and Technical Training at the FAA.
… our approach to designing the future of technical training focused on mapping the learner journey and designing the transformation to meet those learner needs.
The better the world works
New approach. New operating model. Customized learning
Old processes have been rendered obsolete in the wake of COVID-19. New solutions will embrace digital learning and a highly trained workforce.
In addressing the future state design, the EY team recommended a road map with 19 initiatives. These were sequenced based on complexity, feasibility of implementation, cost and resources, urgency, impact to the mission and industry leading practice. Priorities were shaped with valuable input from the FAA stakeholder team.
Objectives fell into three categories: content management, learning technology and learning operations. Areas for change were proposed for each over a five-year period:
- Short term: establish the foundation and enable digital learning
- Midterm: customize the learning journey and scale operations
- Long term: optimize the learning experience and change learning culture
Expectations for the long term include:
- Continually upgrading learning content management tools and processes
- Driving performance improvement by enabling a learning experience at every career stage
- Integrating learning technology architecture so that learning can be accessed on demand from any device
- Striving for a culture of innovation through transformation and improvement
“The FAA needed a road map that demonstrated leading practices for learning but could be practical to implement in their environment,” says Roberta Mourao, EY US Government & Public Sector Solutions Leader. “To achieve that, our approach to designing the future of technical training focused on mapping the learner journey and designing the transformation to meet those learner needs.”
We are so pleased with the strategy EY delivered that we are bringing them on to continue their support in laying a foundation for our future state operating model.