Digital transformation has become a critical priority for banks around the world. As banks strive to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change, they need to build a robust digital talent pool to support their transformation journey. However, this is easier said than done. Finding the right talent can be a challenge, and even if banks do find the right talent, they need to ensure that their employees have the necessary skills and competencies to drive digital transformation.
This was the challenge faced by a foreign exchange commercial bank that wanted to build a sustainable model for continued in-house digital talent development. The bank realised that it needed to cultivate a continuous process of learning in the organization to keep pace with the fast-changing digital landscape. To achieve this goal, the bank partnered with us to design and implement a comprehensive digital academy program.
The digital academy program was designed to be an extensive 16-week course that would cover best practices in coding, agile programming, pair programming, and test-driven development (TDD) in the languages and technologies that were chosen for the batch. The program was divided into two phases: the Academy phase and the Enablement phase. The first eight weeks were run as the Academy phase, which included classroom sessions with hands-on training. In this phase, the students learned about various programming languages and DevOps concepts. The second eight weeks were the Enablement phase, where the students would join a live project as a team member and start contributing their skills to the project.
The students were measured on their learning and how well they applied their skills on the ground. The program also included a Trainer Bootcamp to help train senior graduates to become the faculty along with the trainers, making the program scalable.
The bank faced two significant challenges in building a learning organization. Firstly, the need to build a sustainable model for continued in-house digital talent development to become self-reliant. Secondly, the need to build the learnability muscle to create a resilient workforce capable of picking up new things and pacing their learning.
To overcome these challenges, a "Digital Academy" program was designed, which was an extensive 16-week course. The first eight weeks of the program were run as an "Academy" that covered best practices in coding, agile programming, pair programming, and TDD in five programming languages and DevOps concepts. The second eight weeks were the "Enablement" phase where the students joined a live project as a team member and started contributing there.
The Digital Academy program enabled the bank to churn out over 150 graduates from six academies rolled out over 24 months. The graduates were measured on their learning and how well they apply their skills on the ground. The program showcased a 40% increase in overall competency and a visible 30% reduction in time to launch. The bank was able to enable over 20 internal trainers for continuity, and the program is now being sustained internally with support when required. Additionally, the organization and process design were tweaked to support the academy program, helping absorb the graduates into various work streams.
In conclusion, building a learning organization is a continuous journey of learning and development, and a Digital Academy program is an excellent solution to build a robust digital talent pipeline. The foreign exchange commercial bank's successful implementation of the Digital Academy program resulted in a 40% increase in overall competency, a 30% reduction in time to launch, and the creation of a resilient and self-reliant workforce. By implementing such programs, organizations can foster a culture of continuous learning, enabling them to adapt and succeed in the digital era.