Toshiba gains from project skills

IT staff at Toshiba Information Systems (TIS) have been given training in project management and encouraged to generate new ideas...

IT staff at Toshiba Information Systems (TIS) have been given training in project management and encouraged to generate new ideas for the business as part of a training programme at the UK arm of the electronics company.

IT staff on the company-wide career development programme have helped generate £10m in reduced costs and new revenues, since the initiative was launched three years ago, according to TIS estimates.

All TIS IT staff have received training in project management and one in three have been involved special projects, working alongside senior management and marketing staff across the business.

IT staff who had been through the training programme helped to reduce the company's telecom costs after a statistical analysis of call use and the development of a web-based sales platform.

TIS said the project management training would also enhance the CVs of staff by giving them solid business skills that could be used across departments and industry sectors.

The training is based around a methodology known as Six-Sigma, a structured approach to problem solving involving statistical analysis.

Staff are taught how to solve problems that arise during projects and how to prioritise tasks.

"The innovation programme is a framework for encouraging employees to take the initiative and come up with ideas for improving processes for project management and contribute directly to the needs of IT and the business," said Sandra Smith, head of IS at TIS. Her department provides support to 800 staff across the company.

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