In the landscape of web development, working and learning are converging. I think about this quite a bit at Acquia as we keep tuning our courses and training program.
We often focus on the technical benefits of adopting Drupal. However, it occurred to me the other day, there are potential auxiliary benefits in terms of empowering staff by using Drupal. Drupal has the potential to increase job satisfaction and motivation by posing a fundamental shift in how individuals and organization work.
Despite that, there are still risks. I started to visualize the impact of training on this convergence of work and learning. Because the outcomes of this convergence aren't always going to be positive, if someone is met with yet another learning opportunity when they just need to get the job done.
The Drupal adoption process benefits from an initial investment to build skills and knowledge through training and mentoring.
When you learn Drupal, you need to learn more than a set of procedures, you also need to learn how to learn and keep on top of rapid developments. The trade off is that staff can experience increased control and creativity by the removal of frustrating barriers that in turn, helps them is more effective in their jobs. Two examples come to mind.
Drupal-enabled marketing teams and content managers can make direct changes to layout and content that they didn't have access to before. Previously, they'd write a request for a change that a busy developer would undertake. Now, that same staff person can add fields to a view, changing the content displayed, or use Panels to reconfigure a layout.
Drupal-enabled developers can effect change on their software on an as-needed basis. Previously, those developers would have to request changes in the proprietary software, and cross their fingers that it would make it into the product roadmap. Now, those same developers can define their own product roadmap and respond to shifting demands.
Staff who feel more effective, in control, who can demonstrate achievement, and who aren't hampered by daily hassles are much more satisfied in their work. (Read "Drive" by Daniel Pink.) Drupal can help, and providing Drupal training up front can help them master the tools.
Invest in working smarter to start
There's no question that informal learning on the job, in the context of a real-life project is effective. Though for some teams, finding the time out from schedules to experiment, play and learn together can be a difficult. Ambitious schedules emphasize getting something done- even if not the right way. For these reasons the return on investment in training at the start of a project is very high.
Our training events are designed to be relevant to the learner's actual work and projects. We spark discussion, encourage team problem solving and emphasize applying the learners' new knowledge to novel situations. We cover all the bases of key procedures and terminology as well as practical case studies. The training we offer is chock-full of challenges to stimulate thinking and review activities to help participants self-assess what they've learned.
Tailored for your team
For private training we draw on broad catalog of courses from which we can tailor a specific training package for your team. We choose from among our experienced training partners to provide you the mentor and trainer your team needs. You can see the courses and typical packages here: http://training.acquia.com/courses
Contact us today, and we can assess your team's learning needs, and prioritize a learning plan to get the most out of Drupal.