Discover talented people with skills to grow your Product Management capability.

Since 2019, Academy Xi has been a Digital Jobs training provider, working with the Victorian Government. We are currently delivering the Product Management course for their Digital Jobs participants.

Digital Jobs connects businesses with talented, mid-career workers with up-to-date skills to build your business’s digital capability.

Through this $63.8 million Victorian Government program, businesses can select from this unique talent pool and receive a $5,000 wage subsidy for each 12-week work placement or entry level job offered to program participants.

Most participants are over 30 years of age, and more than half are women. They come from diverse backgrounds and bring experience from a wide range of sectors – and they’re ready to help your business thrive.

With the Product Management course, participants complete a 12-week industry recognised course delivered by Academy Xi.

Anthea Corrigan and Digital Jobs graduate John Austin at Ltd.

“The people we’ve had through the program so far have brought their maturity, life skills, previous work experiences and a real passion to learn and to grow their career in a digital space. They’ve also been able to contribute to our business in ways we didn’t expect. It means they’re able to jump into a project and be a part of the team from day one.”
– Anthea Corrigan, General Manager of People Partnering at Ltd.

Learn how your business can benefit from the Victorian Government’s Digital Jobs program at the next business information session on Wednesday, 8 February, 10-11am.

Participants of Academy Xi’s Product Management course benefit from:

  • Premium material built in-house, with inputs from industry experts working at MYOB, PwC and Deloitte
  • Practical experience that they can immediately use in their job
  • 60-80 hours of course content and activities over 12 weeks
  • Complete hands-on activities in each module
  • Build product backlog in Jira, create user stories and complete a simulated Agile sprint challenge
  • Understand what customers really want, and ship better designed and higher performing products
  • Dual focus on both product strategy and day-to-day product management skills
  • Gain the leadership and persuasion skills expected of today’s Product Managers
  • Hear real battle stories, case studies and tips from practising Product Managers

Learn more about our Product Management for Organisations training programs.

Ready to future-proof your career?

Have more questions? Speak with an advisor

Academy Xi Blog

Why the traditional corporate training model is broken (and three powerful fixes)

By Academy Xi

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It is well documented that investing in quality corporate training solutions can offer numerous benefits to organisations. Many offerings promise to support closing the digital skills gap, increasing staff retention, and boosting innovation and overall productivity. Unfortunately, the reality of many corporate training models is that while the participants might be ‘achieving’ new skills, often these new learnings aren’t translating into solid outcomes back at headquarters.

What’s the reason behind this disconnect?

At Academy Xi, we believe that the value of corporate training exists in the practical application of skills within the learning environment. Often, corporate training events offer single-dimensional products which focus on skills achievement, as opposed to the application of them while learning. While achievement might look good on paper, hands-on based training is what will result in a true return on investment and deliver the real-life outcomes needed for individuals and consequently organisations to thrive.

How to ensure the learning is integrated into your workplace post training? We have established three powerful fixes.

#1 Measure what matters

When it comes to learning and development, it is commonplace that senior management want to understand the following metrics:
  • Training cost per employee
  • Completion rates
  • Return on investment (ROI)
CEO’s want to know that the training is in alignment with organisational needs and supports the overall business strategy. However, when it comes to ROI, research shows that a large portion of organisations don’t evaluate the true outcomes of corporate training programs and therefore don’t gain an accurate insight, if any at all. This is often due to the evaluation not being prioritised – it consumes more time and resources that are already scarce within the business, yet it can ultimately result in wasted time and training budget. If you want to drive meaningful impact in training your workforce, it’s essential to be measuring and evaluating continually, with hard business metrics such as quantitative business-performance indicators, to honestly understand what is needed to elevate organisational performance. Which workforce trends do you need to engage to drive your organisation’s competitive edge and therefore what style and content of training will support this? The more detail you can gain from evaluating training outcomes, the clearer you will be on what is helping to deliver organisational success, or not. At Academy Xi, we focus on metrics that matter. We help your organisation to identify skills gaps and then tailor and design engaging, practical, hands-on training that truly aligns with critical business priorities.

Traditional training metrics (like ease of access to content and course completion rates) were meant to remove hurdles for employees. These should now be seen as table stakes.

Linda Cai. Vice President of Talent Development, LinkedIn

#2 Never go full generic

Sourcing quality hands-on training for teams will empower your people to be proactively engaged, which increases the level of information being retained. Individuals who get to apply their learning as they go within a setting that is closely designed to their workplace scenarios, will walk away with more confidence in their ability to apply their new knowledge meaningfully when they return to the work environment. Recent research revealed that people going into tech roles who invested in ‘traditional’ training approaches were less productive than those who participated in hands-on training in internship roles. In-training skills application also provides opportunities for learners to get immediate support and feedback from the industry experts leading the learning – which further aids the anchoring of new concepts. Ensuring that the training you invest in is run by industry practitioners is important, so you can be assured that you’re receiving proven practices, frameworks, and toolkits. Experiential training is by far the most effective approach to learning and development. Whichever training provider you select, do your research to discover as much as possible about their training approach so you can reap the benefits of hands-on learning for your workforce. Actively investing in employees with relevant training that boosts their digital skills is also vital in the current recruitment climate. Ensuring teams receive practical learning experiences will assist with retention of your staff.

#3 Application over achievement

Off the shelf training courses are all about skills achievement. While this might initially seem to be what your workforce needs, think again. If a learning experience is presented within a real-world context, you are setting your people up for success.

What is a real-world context?

Ultimately, ‘real world context’ is when training is created so that learners can carry out tasks and activities in a way that represents problem solving in their real world. Students are encouraged and supported to connect new learning within a frame of reference that reflects their workplace.

If content is king, then context is god!

Gary Vaynerchuk, Entrepreneur and CEO of VaynerMedia

While this quote originated from a marketing angle, it also carries weight when viewed through the training lens. If learners are actively participating in a training context that is very similar to the environment they need to apply it to in the real world the outcome of their performance, or application of the new learning, will be exponentially better.

If you want your workforce to do new things, give them an environment to learn and practice the new thing.

We worked closely with the Academy Xi team as our strategic design partner to co-design a customer-centric ‘Way Of Working’ framework, set of supporting capabilities and a guidebook containing tools and templates. Academy Xi contributed hugely to our program’s success

Carmelina Senese, Director of Customer Experience, EDConnect, Department of Education

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The bottom line

Skills application based training is the most effective learning and development approach organisations can invest in for genuine return on investment. By engaging with a training provider who focuses on metrics that matter to design learning experiences that reflect what your organisation truly needs to thrive, you will ensure your L&D budget does not go to waste.

Ready to transform your workforce from within?

Get in touch with the team at Academy Xi to discuss how we can support your workforce by designing bespoke training solutions that will meaningfully engage your people and impact your business bottom line. We can transform your workforce through the delivery of highly contextualised programs to suit individuals, teams, and organisational needs, all guided by world class experts.

Academy Xi – trusted to help solve critical organisational challenges

Professional Development Budget academy xi

Academy Xi Blog

5 ways to make the most of your professional development budget

By Academy Xi

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Professional Development Budget academy xi

It’s that time again where we are nearing the end of the financial year and for many organisations there is unused learning and development budget tucked away.

This isn’t simply a case of ‘use it or lose it’, but a golden opportunity to seriously consider where your workforce can truly benefit from upskilling and personal development training.

There’s also the reality that the ‘great resignation’ has hit Australian shores. Perceived to be spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, rates of people quitting their jobs in the U.S hit a 20-year high at the end of 2021, with a lack of opportunities for advancement being stated as one of the main reasons for leaving roles. On local turf, recent findings from PwC Australia show that 38 percent of employees want to find a new job in the next year.

With all of this in mind, how can you meaningfully make the most of professional development budgets in the current climate? 

We’ve rounded up the following five ways to consider.

  1. Reflect on where you and your people want to go
  2. Select an in-demand skill
  3. Choose hands-on training
  4. Gain insights from mentors and managers
  5. Find training that serves professionally and personally

#1: Reflect on where you and your people want to go

For individuals, it’s important to consider which direction you see yourself moving in professionally. Take the time to clarify your short- and long-term goals in your current job, or the role you are aiming for in the future. Are there any skills that you need to learn to meet these goals, or at least work towards them? This process of reflection can help you to identify areas for further research.

For individuals and teams, digital skill gaps are always worth addressing and can help to future proof any role. There are upskilling courses for teams and individual employee development opportunities on the market, depending on the skills needed.

#2: Select an in-demand skill

Understanding the current skills that are in-demand in your industry can be a great way of identifying which areas you might like to focus on for your professional development training. Be open to the idea that a skillset worth gaining might not be something you have considered before. Digital skills, for instance, are in great demand across all industries and not only needed by I.T professionals. If you can harness the power of using company data effectively and learn how to visualise it, you will be an asset to any organisation. For those in learning and development management, empowering your people with data skills is one of the most strategic training decisions you can make right now.

#3: Choose hands-on training

Wherever possible, you want to invest your time and budget in training that gives you practical opportunities to practice your newfound skills as you are learning. This experiential approach will enable you to better retain new information and apply what you learn much more efficiently and effectively in your workplace environment. Better still, try to find training that supports you to use real life projects or scenarios from your current position as the basis for your learning.

Effective hands-on training doesn’t need to be face to face either. The last few years have seen a rapid increase in industry leading institutions migrating their offerings online. This enables flexibility for people to fit their training into their existing lifestyles and commitments. The key: search for best-in-class training where student success is prioritised.

#4: Gain insights from mentors and managers

Working with a mentor or manager can be a helpful approach to clarify any skills that could be beneficial for your career growth. Having an outside perspective from someone who is aware of the broader direction of the company or industry can give you insights into which direction to investigate, which can then influence learning and development opportunities.

It is also worth noting any positions within the company that you are interested in and discovering if it is possible for you to be seconded to that department or if some form of mentorship could be established to support you in learning more about that business function.

#5: Find training that serves professionally and personally

Perhaps there is an opportunity for you to upskill in a way that can support business needs and at the same time benefit your own personal interests. Is there a freelance business you would like to establish in addition to your in-house role that could gain traction from a new skill?

The Wrap Up

The importance of upskilling employees is vital to increase retention, motivation, and innovation and to ultimately equip your people for the future needs of the organisation.

Don’t let your own personal professional development budget go to waste, nor the learning and development budget of your teams. The benefits of upskilling for employees are well documented, with digital upskilling courses increasing in importance and popularity as many businesses recognise the digital skills gap within their ranks.

Need support in how to upskill your employees?

At Academy Xi, we understand how complex digital transformation can be. We help people thrive by training and supporting teams with the skills they need to stay ahead with genuine confidence, instead of being left behind. Our learning designers are experienced industry professionals and create customised programs that offer real, long-lasting change for individuals and teams.

Our training is offered at every level of experience, from introductory through to advanced and we ensure that our outcomes are highly practical so your teams can apply their new knowledge as quickly as possible back at HQ.

Don’t let your unused training budget go to waste

We’d love to discuss your organisation strategy for supporting upskilling and professional development. Get in touch with our team today and discover how we can design and deliver training to keep you thriving.

Academy Xi Blog

3 reasons your company needs digital leaders

By Academy Xi

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While digital transformation and disruption are not new concepts, the pandemic accelerated the need for any aspects of company processes that weren’t working optimally to be addressed. In many cases the issues were impossible to ignore. And we aren’t just talking about the technology sector – every industry is impacted by digital transformation and the pandemic has amplified it.

As companies require more sophisticated approaches to business to remain competitive, and technology continues to advance, the need for our workforce to be equipped to handle digitally based tasks is paramount and organisations are struggling to keep up.

Thankfully there is a solution that can be driven by senior leadership, which will provide crucial benefits to your company and people for the longer term.

Digital Leaders

If you want your business to thrive rather than simply survive through a digital transformation and you want to retain your people and see them empowered and engaged, then championing digital leaders within your company is vital.

In this article we’ll explore digital leadership and three reasons why your business needs to promote and support digital leaders:

  • What is a Digital Leader
  • Reason #1: Bridge the digital skills gap
  • Reason #2: Save Resources & Increase Productivity
  • Reason #3: Drive Engagement & Innovation

What is a Digital Leader?

It is important to keep in mind that the most impressive tech on the market won’t make a meaningful impact on the bottom line of your business or company culture, but the humans driving it will. In order for digital transformation to truly ‘stick’ in your company, there needs to be commitment from the very top of the organisation and they need to be 100% behind the digital leaders.

Empathetic, patient and forever learning and exploring opportunities to embrace new and emerging technology that can elevate your operation, digital leaders are entrepreneurs at heart. But the role is much more than scoping out new tech.

With a customer-centric focus, a digital leader will join the dots between strategy, culture, structure and technology and using data driven insights, create a vision for your organisation. They inspire individuals and teams by demonstrating the benefits of new ways of working and lead with a focus on desired outcomes.

Recent research completed by McKinsey reveals that digital leaders “appear to keep up a drumbeat in their businesses that can be four times faster, and twice as powerful, as those of their peers.”

Now is the time to begin identifying who would make great digital leaders in your company and here are the top three reasons your organisation needs them.

Reason #1: Bridge the Skills Gap

With 87% of jobs now requiring digital literacy skills, the capability gap is a very real concern for Australia’s workforce and the national government is supporting a range of initiatives to try and remedy the acute situation.

While the challenge of finding strong digital talent continues to be a struggle for HR teams and external recruiters alike, championing digital leaders within your organisation is a proactive step you can take to help transition your workforce and rise to meet the latest digital demands.

One of many workforce trends in 2021 was less of a focus on job roles and more on specific skills needed to give organisations a competitive edge. This trend will certainly continue into 2022 and beyond as company’s address skills shortages and disrupted business models. McKinsey’s quarterly research also supports this, with 53% of executives seeing reskilling their existing workforce as the most useful action to close capability gaps.

  • What is the digital leader’s role in this process?

Aligned with a data driven vision that reflects the needs of the customer and business strategy, digital leaders empower others by sharing their knowledge and skills and identifying and arranging appropriate training needs to increase capability across the company. 

Bolstered with new skills and awareness and understanding of the longer term strategy and where they fit, people are more open to embracing new ideas and change. This results in less trepidation, more confidence and can lead to higher rates of engagement and retention. 

  • Make digital maturity your aim 

Ideally, you want your company to reach digital maturity as a benchmark. This means you are able to respond and adapt to tech challenges and trends effectively as an entire business, and not deflect them to the I.T department. 

With technology continually developing, digital maturity is an ongoing process. While it isn’t something to tick off your hit list, you can still aim for a shared digital growth mindset across the organisation. Individuals across all teams in any industry have digital skill requirements and having the mindset to match is important. 

Digital leaders will support your teams to embrace this mindset and help your company get well on the way to digital maturity.

Reason #2: Save Resources & Increase Productivity

Digital transformation can improve efficiency in organisations by automating what were previously routine tasks. A study by the Hackett Group in the U.S found that administrative and functional labour costs were being reduced by the ‘digital world class’ by 29%.

Your digital leaders can drive transformation in your company to create such savings and reinvest them into tech and training for your existing teams. The outcomes can drive more impact, increase productivity and reduce budgets spent on recruiting consultants or contracting external partners. 

Time is also saved with digital leaders steering projects backed by data. Senior leadership recognise that data driven insights are clear indicators of which direction to take and this ultimately results in faster strategic decision making. This often means getting ideas through the gate and to market at pace.

Reason #3: Drive Engagement & Innovation

The main concepts of digital leadership need to be adopted at the top of an organisation for engagement and innovation to be able to trickle down through the entire business. 

Lead by example. An oldie, but a goodie. 

A report in the PwC Australia Rebooted series clearly emphasises that digital transformation isn’t about investing a large sum into new technology and thinking the job is done. The overarching culture and mindset of your organisation needs to be one of innovation, so that digital transformation exists at the core of your strategy and runs through the veins of what you do, as opposed to being a range of digital side projects.

Digital leadership is about overriding ‘Business As Usual’ thinking. It requires a high level of curiosity and asking a lot of questions of team members because when it comes to innovation, no one has all of the answers. As a result, this encourages engagement, with everyone’s experience and ideas contributing to forming new and creative approaches to old and expired ways of working.

Individuals and teams are enthusiastically encouraged by digital leaders to be fearless, step out of their comfort zones, to say yes to challenges and to seek out opportunities. 

When senior leadership empower digital leaders in their organisations to truly embrace their role, it can change the culture and outcomes of your company and ultimately put you ahead of the competition.

The Bottom Line

It isn’t a question of ‘if’ you should have digital leaders, but when. And the time is now.

Championing digital leaders to drive digital transformation and bridge the skills gap requires your business-model to be reinvented to enable all teams, departments and functions to work together in new ways. This can only occur with commitment from the top of your organisation. 

Taking a proactive role in addressing the digital skills gap in your business will empower individuals and ultimately benefit all stakeholders across your operation and positively impact your bottom line. Encouraging digital leadership within your ranks is a wise move in future proofing your company and keeping it ahead of the competition.

Ready to Put Your Company Ahead of the Digital Curve?

At Academy Xi, our mission is to optimise your organisation’s culture and performance through concise, actionable training in:

  • human-centred design
  • digital business
  • emerging technology.

Help your people thrive in new digital environments, instead of being left behind with training solutions for all staff levels, customised to meet the unique needs of your industry and organisation.

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