Automating and Optimising Training Request Forms

Mersey Internal Audit Agency (MIAA), North West, Other

The problem

Automation of the study/training form needed to happen because otherwise the forms were in Word documents, being sent by email, without oversight to all the forms completed for the business and professional lead. An opportunity was identified to automate an existing Word document to allow the streamlining of the process from requesting training, manager authorisation, training lead authorisation, through to reflection after the training. The data analytics team at MIAA have used the full range of Microsoft 365 including Sharepoint, Automate, Power BI and Teams to optimise the process.

The challenge

How might we automate the process of requesting training so that it is more efficient and effective within MIAA? How might we get greater oversight on the training forms submitted so that the professional study lead can see all courses applied for easily? How might we review past courses for effectiveness so in the future we can make better business decisions about investment in learning and development? How might we remind learners automatically about reflection so that this important step in the learning process if not forgotten?

The outputs

A SharePoint data source, a set of new digital forms, a workflow (process) which monitors the requests.

The outcomes

The internal business process has become significantly clearer, delineating the approval responsibilities at each stage and ensuring the correct order is followed. There is now heightened visibility into all training requests, eliminating reliance on whether the final approved Word document was correctly stored in the online file/folder.

There is a greater potential for the impact of training to escalate. Feedback from learners is now more readily accessible and can be compared, facilitating evidence-based business decisions concerning investments in learning and development. This data-driven approach allows for assessments of improvement and positive employee feedback to guide decision-making.

Additionally, there is an increased potential for embedding learning. Reminders for reflections are anticipated to yield greater employee benefits and feedback. This, in turn, is expected to contribute to employee engagement scores in staff surveys, exemplifying the tangible benefits of employee investment.

The Innovation

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This is a neat, relatively small scale innovation which improves efficiency and oversight. It could be easily replicated in other organisations and also applied to other approval processes.”

“The system has significantly improved efficiency and streamlined the entire process, reducing the administrative burden and saving valuable time for staff and managers.”

“Innovation saves time and is more efficient as forms do not get lost.”

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