Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 - The year ahead

The year ahead starts with some reflection on the year just past.
Having moved to a new position, I was once again reminded of the two most important items for an RTO:
1 People
2 Data management.
I was lucky and had the luxury of being able to take my time to get to know my new team, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and build a trust relationship. In any business, it's the people who make or break anything you try to do.
Even if you have the best team in the world, data management is the other thing that can make or break you. Having your team understand data management is critical to an RTO's success.
Part of that understanding is having some concept of how a data system should work, not just how it looks or presents reports, but how it links data, how it establishes rules, how a data record is built and how many different parts of the business `touch' on or access the system, and what the needs of those parts of the business are.
The combination of this understanding and of the strong trust relationship with your people, allows your team to extend their capabilities, learn each others roles to create a better business capability and innovate, as they understand the whole flow of information within a business.
So what next for 2011? In Victoria we have a new Minister for Higher Education, Peter Hall. Will the new Victorian state government actually add value to the VET system or will they spend all their time looking for ways to shaft the Fed's and put a spoke in the wheel of VET reform?
The implementation of the Victorian Student Number has been delayed until June 2011, (after having created massive stress as RTO's and Student Data Management System providers struggled to prepare for it's introduction). I wonder whether Federal Government with it's focus on building the Schools reporting websites, is actually a step ahead of the Victorian government and already has the capacity to introduce the national student numbering system that has been proposed? What will it mean to Victorian RTO's when the National system is introduced as well as the Victorian system? 2011 is shaping up to be another year of change and challenge for RTO's as they keep pace with the demands of a regulated system.