October 29, 2018
Workforce development is one of OneIT's strategic goals. Two experiential learning programs are being developed to ensure that university IT staff have opportunities to grow and that the skills of the workforce meet current and future institutional needs. SPARK (Sharing Perspectives And Realizing Knowledge) OneIT and Health Care Information Systems are developing a new experiential learning program as part of the OneIT Workforce Development strategic goal and in alignment with UI Health Care’s ICARE core values. SPARK would enhance on-the-job learning and career development and mobility for IT professionals. It could leverage existing skills, promote knowledge and best-practice sharing, address skill shortages, drive recruitment, retention, productivity and engagement, and reduce turnover. Staff could experience "stretch" opportunities, explore interests/goals, innovate, and bring fresh perspectives to a new setting. SPARK would comprise opportunities on a continuum from one- to two-hour observational experiences visiting another work area to potential immersion experiences, such as rotating into a position in a different workgroup for an extended period, perhaps as long as one or two years. SPARK process details are still being developed by the project team in collaboration with HR, Finance, and staff representatives at leadership and individual contributor levels. More information will come, and details will be shard when they become available, including how to capture and reflect on SPARK experiences. Even before this program is completely detailed, if you are interested in opportunities, begin conversations with your supervisor about your interests or what skills and knowledge you can share, and discuss how exploring these can be beneficial to you, your team, and the organization. Important considerations include: timing, capacity, identifying the team or individual that might have the skills or information you are looking to receive or could benefit from your experiences, and the next steps towards sharing. Oftentimes, after such experiences, you will have the opportunity to share what you have learned. Building knowledge, skills, and partnerships are all part of SPARK. BTAA IT Fellows Program The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) CIOs are launching a three-year pilot program called the BTAA IT Fellows Program to provide professional development opportunities through job shadowing/mentoring experiences and staff exchanges of varying lengths. It would create career-growth opportunities for staff, enable sharing expertise across universities to assist with time-limited initiatives or temporary staffing needs, and help to retain IT talent within the BTAA institutions. Staff exchanges could take the form of a staff member: participating as a team member on a project or initiative at another BTAA university, being immersed in a host institution to gain expertise or a better understanding of a host project or service, or supplying expertise that is needed by the host campus on a short-term basis by being temporarily reassigned to another university. This will be on a fairly small scale; the CIOs are targeting at least one fellowship per school in the first year of the program. The OneIT Operations Team brainstormed ideas for areas in which UI could provide expertise and where it could learn from peer institutions. Associate Vice President and CIO Steve Fleagle will share those ideas with his counterparts.