STEM Learning Excellence: A Geelong Tech School Success Story

STEM Learning Geelong Tech School The Gordon TAFE

Geelong Tech School takes a Strategic Approach to Delivering STEM Learning Excellence

The Geelong Tech School is a ‘technology hub’ that facilitates STEM Learning programs, emphasising the vital science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills needed for the 21st Century. Geelong Tech School compliments the education delivered by partner secondary schools through providing access to the latest technologies, state-of-the-art facilities and innovative learning programs. Programs are developed in partnership with local industry, community and schools. Geelong Tech School programs equip students with the skills and knowledge to pursue pathways to training/education and future careers.

Skefto has proudly been supporting The Geelong Tech School since 2021 by providing solutions that align business strategy with operational activities, providing a basis for effective staff development, and streamlined reporting to internal and external stakeholder groups such as The Gordon and the Department of Education.

This success story provides an insight into some of the challenges and opportunities faced by The Geelong Tech School, the actions taken, and the eventual benefits realised.

Opportunity 1: Reporting Efficiencies

The situation…

At Geelong Tech School we were finding the process of reporting progress on strategic, and operations plans to various stakeholder groups inefficient and repetitious. Information gathering by top management was very manual, not streamlined or readily available. Progress was being recorded on spreadsheets which was cumbersome, lacked the right level of detail, and inconsistent. It was problematic for our stakeholders as they did not get an understanding of how the school was going, and therefore a great deal of time was spent on reporting and explaining the status of objectives to our stakeholders. 

What actions did we take?

We worked with the team at Skefto to deliver a central repository for storing strategic and operations plans. Each initiative and action with these plans were set with a due date, a staff member responsible, and a review scheduled so that timely progress updated can be provided.

We also designed professionally formatted reports that are able to be generated within seconds, in one click, for progress reporting to a number of stakeholder groups including schools, committees, industry partners, The Gordon, and the Department of Education.

The outcomes we realised…

  • Outcome 1: Skefto has avoided double handing of information and has streamlined the reporting process. The platform has created process efficiencies and sped up data collection. With the “Click a button” we can now produce the required reports in an instant.
  • Outcome 2: Skefto has provided real time information and reporting to managers on initiatives and tasks. Managers only contact a team member if they have a query, rather than having to continually follow up on updates.
  • Outcome 3: Skefto has allowed staff to get on with their jobs, providing them with the autonomy and empowerment to make decisions and document them in a central repository which can be reviewed by managers and team members.

Skefto has become an Information sharing Highway for the Geelong Tech School. The school’s Plans are very transparent to all Stakeholders within and outside the School.

Paul D’OrioDirector at Geelong Tech School

Opportunity 2: Employee Empowerment & Development

The situation…

Prior to implementing Skefto generating professional development plans was a manual process carried out on a series or word documents. Staff lacked the important tools required to be autonomous, track their priorities, and professional development goals.

What actions did we take?

Skefto was delivered to support an iterative process for professional development planning. It provides structure and the tools required to track each staff member’s priorities and professional development goals. It also supports a scheduled process for staff and managers to collaboratively run mid-year and end-of-year reviews documenting “what worked well”, and where there might be “opportunities for improvement”.

The outcomes we realised…

  • Outcome 1: The creation of Personal Development Plans and the linking of these Plans to the Organisational plans has been very useful as staff can see their contribution to the Organisational Objectives. It has allowed Individuals to take ownership, giving them clarity on direction, expectations and requirements, and ultimately providing them with autonomy and empowerment to succeed.
  • Outcome 2: By creating improved alignment between strategic goals and professional development goals we have also seen an increase in staff engagement. Because staff are empowered with control over their goals, they feel they have full ownership and as a result strive to ensure their goals are completed as per agreed timelines and expectations. 
  • Outcome 3: Skefto allows managers and staff to meet and collaborative run professional development reviews which are meaningful, productive and very engaging. Skefto has allowed us to establish the basis and process for continuous staff development.

Opportunity 3: Strategic Alignment and Execution

The situation…

In the past, strategic and operational plans at the Geelong Tech School were set and then forgotten. Plans were a collection of Microsoft Word documents that gathered dust and were referred to only a few times a year. In addition, strategic and operational plans were only loosely aligned to staff activities leading to poor execution and inefficiencies as management continuously had to chase progress updates.

What actions did we take?

Staff were trained in Skefto and now use the platform on a regular basis to record activities regarding objectives, actions and KPI’s, and provide regular updates on the items they are working on. Our staff have embraced and quickly adopted the system as it is simple to use and very intuitive.

Skefto is so flexible that it was able to be configured to meet all of our expectations from strategic planning through to staff development planning. We continue to work with the Skefto team to expand our use of the system and ensure all of our staff and stakeholders are on the same page.  

The outcomes we realised…

  • Outcome 1: Skefto has allowed us to create alignment across strategic, operational and staff development plans. By linking plans, we have been able to set a clear direction and ensure staff understand the positive impact their actions are having on the organisation achieving its objectives. Skefto assisted to align staff with the culture encouraged by the tech School.
  • Outcome 2: Skefto has allowed staff to effectively collaborate and provide meaningful real time updates on the progress of initiatives. This has been achieved by using Skefto to establish a cadence for reviews, recording results for agreed performance metrics and ensuring staff always understand their assigned responsibilities. We have also seen increased efficiency and more timely responses as staff receive automatic reminders for their assignments as they approach or become overdue.  
  • Outcome 3: Skefto has made it simple and quick to report to the Gordon and the Department of Education on the status of our strategic and operational plans throughout the year. It has been easy to navigate through the system and report on items which are of high priority and importance.

Skefto streamlines reporting, enables effective staff development, and creates strategic alignment and execution

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