Training is vital for the successful integration of new technologies into the public domain. Hence, it is a central component of IMQS’s people-centred approach and agile methodology. What is IMQS’s training approach and how does it add value to our customers?
Infrastructure asset management (IAM) is a proven multidimensional approach to ensuring that our cities function optimally. Technological innovation can make the lives of those in charge of managing vital city infrastructure easier, and empower them to manage future growth in a rapidly changing urban world.
IMQS’s software products address the challenges that different stakeholders face in the broader infrastructure asset management domain. We harness technology to facilitate decision-making and enhance transparency. The IMQS platform makes visible - on desktops, tablets and mobile phones - the many layers of countless infrastructure assets that serve the needs of our modern cities.
But what does this mean if our users are unable to adequately harness the power of IMQS?
Technology is an enabler of change that can only be driven and accelerated through empowering people. Training is vital for the successful integration of new technologies into the public domain. Hence, it is a central component of IMQS’s people-centered approach and agile methodology.
There can be no IMQS without empowered users on the ground for which IMQS must work everyday.
IMQS’s training is designed to empower stakeholders at different levels in the IAM value chain. The aim of continued support and education is to empower users to overcome every-day challenges in the working environment. To this end, it is important to understand who our users are, where they are situated within the value chain and what their concerns / needs are in relation to: their objectives; skills; and access to hardware such as desktops, tablets and smart phones.
The following infographic briefly illustrates levels of IMQS users and their needs:
After the specific needs of each user-base have been assessed, tutorials and manuals assist two main training methodologies that are informed by the requirements of the client at hand:
Scenario-based setups: Scenarios are a useful means of enlightening users to how IMQS can be harnessed in a practical manner to assist in specific tasks that they may be struggling with. Tutorials, manuals and short videos are used as an interactive learning platform by which users, especially on the operational level, become acquainted with the many features of IMQS
Real-time interactive interface: Real-time training, such as in the area of maintenance management, involves users conducting tasks in real-time with trainers on hand to help them on their journey through the IMQS platform.
Training ensures that different IMQS users are able to solve real-world problems and become an active part of the IMQS family. Moreover, IMQS offers on-going telephonic and face-to-face support, while feedback helps managers understand how their workers operate and where there may be skills shortages. All in all, the most important value-add coming from training is the transfer of knowledge and skills to users that loops back to IMQS through valuable information.
IMQS works to support municipalities in developing economies where skills shortages and a lack of hardware such as computers and tablets abound. For many IMQS users that work on the operational level, IMQS may be their first real interaction with the kind of technological hardware and software that we take for granted. There is a valuable transfer of skills from, for example, a high-level computer user who works behind a desktop everyday, to plumbers who have less access to such technologies. Moreover, an indirect skills transfer has been observed when group leaders are able to meet around a touchscreen platform at the start of each day to assign work using the IMQS platform.
Lastly, this transfer of knowledge is by no means unidirectional. IMQS training offers us a direct link with our users who interact with the products we provide. We become acutely aware of general challenges such as the lack of technology at hand on the ground that stifles the use of our products. Or we become enlightened as to how our products are actually being used or perceived in the environments for which they have been created.
In this sense, training is the vital link between the user and the developer. It is only through the knowledge of our users that IMQS can innovate for our customers to “unlock value one asset at a time”. We are able to learn more about our own products so as to better them for the benefits of our users.