Elearning! September


Elearning! Magazine: Building Smarter Companies via Learning & Workplace Technologies.

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Page 34 of 52

34 September / October 2014 Elearning! Learning! 100 People-centric DAU Repeats as One of Learning! 100's Best Public Organizations Tere's a reason why the U.S. Defense Acqui- sition University (DAU) has been named a top Learning! 100 organization for four years running. Actually, there are many reasons, beginning with the fact that it has continu- ously improved each year since 2000 in all measurable areas of performance. In fscal year 2013, the university: >> graduated 197,470 students: 52,700 classroom learners and 144,770 dis- tance learners; >> provided 7.9 million hours of training; >> provided 12.3 million hours of formal and informal learning; >> increased continuous learning mod- ule completions to a record of more than 681,000; >> provided 735 total mission assistance eforts, totaling 110,000 hours — all working with customers in their workplaces; and >> reached its 160,000th Acquisition Community Connection member with 45 million page views. "DAU's increases in capacity and throughput did not come at the expense of learner satisfaction," says Dr. Chris Hardy, director of Strategic Planning, Ofce of the President. "Te university's customers consistently give top ratings to DAU's learning assets and to the out- standing faculty who deliver them. More than 2,100 course oferings per year are delivered in a classroom setting at DAU's fve regional campuses and more than a dozen satellite locations. Courses are also taught at customer sites. At the end of each course, DAU surveys students on several aspects of the course, including course content, coursework, faculty, and job applicability." Last fscal year, DAU received an average rating of 6.4 (92 percent) on the seven-point Likert Scale from people who took courses. Tis exceeded DAU's target of 80 percent by 12 percent, and it's 7 percent above the "Metrics that Matter" corporate benchmark of 85 percent. DAU has grown over the years, from a narrowly focused "career preparation and formal learning" organization to a multi- faceted corporate university that empha- sizes workplace performance support and drives "better business outcomes." ALL THIS DESPITE BUDGET CUTS Even before the Department of Defense's (DoD's) furloughs and a Congressional government shutdown last year, the Sec- retary of Defense had directed targeted savings across all department compo- nents and agencies. "Tis new era will require a diferent mindset for both government and indus- try managers," notes Hardy. In response, DAU was challenged to play a critical role with fve strategic challenges: 1 Demonstrating teamwork and com- munication to the leadership team by aligning with its priorities, especially the efciencies initiative that the leadership team used DAU's Web portal to commu- nicate and manage, and proving its ability to deliver results. 2 Remaining competitive with other leading corporate universities through innovations in classroom tech- nology, simulations and informal learn- ing techniques. 3 Engaging with major Department of Defense acquisition programs to en- hance acquisition outcomes. 4 Helping acquisition feld organizations improve their acquisition outcomes by adding organization team training to DAU's current individual training assets. 5 Efectively employing the Defense Acquisition Workforce Development Fund to increase faculty and support re- sources to expand existing training pro- grams and develop new learning assets. "Tis drove the realization of our vision of enabling the Defense Acquisition workforce to achieve the right acquisition (business) outcomes," says Hardy. Finally, Undersecretary of Defense Frank Kendall showed strong clear support for valuing DAU, protecting its budget, and promoting a learning culture when he said publicly: "Te Defense Acquisition Uni- versity was ruled exempt from this round of targeted savings to ensure we are fully invested in the training and education of our most valuable resource: the acquisition workforce, the very people we depend on to fnd savings and efciencies in our acquisi- tion programs every day. However, you should still strive to achieve more capability within your resources and, as such, 'tooth- to-tail' cost-avoidance proposals may be submitted and are strongly encouraged. You can reinvest such cost avoidances into more capability within DAU." In the end, DAU's elite place among the Learning! 100 comes down to people. "It is the quality of our people that matters the most," Hardy concludes. "As such, we will focus on further improv- ing the capability of our workforce and provide them with the tools and skill sets they need to do their job of obtaining the best possible value for the government." DAU is a four-time Learning! 100 hon- oree. AREA OF EXCELLENCE PERFORMANCE In the end, DAU's elite place comes down to people.

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