Esri Learning Plans: Simple Tools or Powerful Enablers?

Blog Post created by sboden-esristaff Employee on Nov 8, 2019

How do organizations achieve the promise of GIS technology? A simple question, but one that may inspire a multitude of answers.


From saving money by eliminating inefficient workflows to enabling smarter, data-driven decisions, the business benefits of GIS are huge—enormous when the technology is deployed at enterprise scale.


While GIS apps have become much easier to use in recent years, a learning curve remains, especially for those with no previous exposure. This is to be expected since GIS provides numerous and powerful capabilities. One doesn't develop the skills and stamina to summit Mount Everest in a day, but the view is magnificent when you get there. (Don't take this metaphor to mean that producing impactful results from GIS requires years of training—it doesn't. It's just a metaphor.)


A simple answer to the simple question is that achieving technology's promise requires skilled humans. And this explains why so many organizations using ArcGIS software have embraced Esri learning plans.


The learning plan concept is simple too.


For us, it started with listening to our customers to understand how they use our products (for what workflows? to support what business objectives?). Then drive collaboration between product and educational experts to define the skills and knowledge needed to efficiently perform those workflows. Build training content that provides context and guidance through the best practices to perform the workflows and produce valid results.


Here's the really simple part. Take multiple pieces of content, in various formats, all related to the same focused topic, all contributing toward defined learning goals, group them into a learning plan, and make the plan easily available from the web.


This is the essence of what we're doing in Esri Training, but there's more. Learning plans are a tool for individuals to build skills and advance their professional goals, and they are also a tool for organizations to build geospatial capabilities and manage workforce development.


We've built tools that allow managers to create learning plans tailored to their specific workforce training needs, assign learning plans to one or many individuals (and set due dates if desired), track progress through learning plans, and easily see when learning plans are completed.


Esri learning plans and the tools to manage them are completely free to anyone. Some plans may include instructor-led courses (which have a cost), but many contain only e-Learning options. All customers with a current maintenance subscription enjoy unlimited access to all e-Learning on the Training site. With hundreds of e-Learning options, all developed by Esri experts, this is an amazing benefit we want all customers to take advantage of.


When organizations encourage a culture of learning and align GIS skills acquisition with GIS-enabled business objectives, technology delivers big time. Esri learning plans are here to help.


Want More on This Topic?
Read Learning Plans 101 for details on how to create and manage Esri learning plans.