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December 15, 2021

Potential of digital transformation: Corporate Competencies Models get new settings

Roman Baskin, Director of the Corporate University of Russian Railways, told the newspaper "Gudok" about the University's experience in training personnel for the digital transformation of JSC "Russian Railways" as well as about the University's digital programmes and their importance for the strategic development of the Holding:

The task of the Corporate University is to provide educational support to the strategic development of the company, including, definitely, digital transformation. The main thing is to maintain the balance of the creative approach to management and relevant requirements for railway transport - safety, reliability, continuity, being at the forefront of innovation, and being aware of and sometimes anticipating new trends. This is the logic of training managers at our University. Naturally, it also applies to the digitalization programmes.

Together with the Company's HR and IT units, the University develops managers in accordance with the JSC "Russian Railways" Corporate Competencies Model. Our view on the matter is the following: the management principles date back thousands of years, but with the advent of new technological order they need to be reconfigured. We are sure that today every corporate competency should be enhanced by digital applications. For example, within the competency "Development and care for employees", the manager should create an environment for effective interaction and support of employees in the digital space, ensure digital security of personal data, understand and use the features of the culture of interaction through digital channels, saving time and motivating employees. To embody the "Innovativeness" competency, it is necessary to be open to new digital solutions, to form an environment for their implementation in the technological process. This applies to each managerial competency.
The University has developed a set of programmes for different managerial levels and various tasks in the field of digital transformation. We strive to ensure that our students don't just follow a common hype, but see the specific effects of the digitalization when making decisions and implementing project tasks. About 3 thousand managers have completed full-time training this year, studying digital trends and tools of managerial work in the digital space.

At the top management programmes, we focus on various strategies of the company's digital transformation, the surrounding business ecosystem, and new opportunities for the Holding. For the learners who directly manage processes, there are programmes with an emphasis on digital projects of the company's scale: learning programmes for the talent pool, "Functional Management of the IT Unit", "Leaders of Digital Transformation" and many others. Next year they will be supplemented by the course "Digital Transformation: Projects for Business".

Application programmes have been developed for the heads of departments. For example, the course "Design of Digital Initiatives" is created for digital transformation teams of different verticals and at the enterprises. This year, 400 managers have completed it, 120 of them studied at our Far Eastern branch on Russky Island. Learners of the programme "Analysis and Decision-making Based on Big Data" study modern programming tools, even with the use of the Python language, learning to apply it in management analytics.

Open education is very popular today because of its availability to every employee of the Company. In October, the University's e-learning course "Digital Technologies" was launched in the Distance Learning System of JSC "Russian Railways", 11 modules of which simply and clearly present principles of the Company's digital transformation and modern digital technologies: artificial intelligence, robotics, predictive analytics, speech technologies, mixed reality and many others.

But the greatest asset of corporate learning is the integration of theory with the railway practice. Our learners are our main assistants. Their great practical experience, enthusiasm and involvement allow us to create interesting, unusual and bright project ideas, which, no doubt, will be our educational contribution to digital transformation.

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