Raytheon Professional Services iOptimas Winner-i for Global Outlook

The global provider of learning services adapts its array of training tools for new overseas markets as clients pursue international expansion.

December 11, 2009
Raytheon Professional Services, a division of technology and defense leader Raytheon Co., is a top provider of training services to large clients in the automotive industry and, more recently, for pharmaceutical companies and foreign governments.

It has always been an international organization, with its roots in Europe. Today, more than ever, international expansion is key to the company’s continued success. Serendipitously, some of Raytheon Professional Services’ largest clients, original-equipment manufacturers in the auto industry, find that international expansion is crucial to their success too.

In 2007, the entire industry experienced growth of just 2 percent in North America and Europe, compared with double-digit growth in the BRIC countries—Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Raytheon Professional Services had to address the training needs of this new and rapidly expanding international client base—training needs that included automotive clients’ dealerships and their associated car repair and maintenance facilities.

Raytheon Professional Services already had a broad and deep array of training tools, processes and technologies that had served it well. Abandoning those resources and starting over again was neither feasible nor cost-effective. Instead, the company chose to globalize and localize its training resources, adapting them to the expanding international market.

“First, we addressed global standards and processes,” says Greg Luckock, director of global technology and development strategies. “We had teams in other countries that had developed their own standards and processes. We’d be crazy to think that what works in the United States works in India. We had to bring those local standards and processes into a more global environment.”

Relying on Raytheon Six Sigma for common terminology, global teams spent months working together. Instead of trying to find common content, the teams focused on identifying common business requirements. “What you learn is to distinguish between local custom and a true local business requirement,” says Yvon Dalat, global account manager. “That lets [teams] design a common framework around common business objectives. This is where you find a common curriculum.”

Once the global standards for translation and location processes were finished and templates for training delivery had been finalized, the next step was establishing a common courseware design and development process.

Raytheon Professional Services created standardized templates, formats, procedures and methods for courses that would be delivered on the Web, in person, in virtual classrooms, in topic-specific modular courses or through blended learning.

“The blended solution is figuring out the best way to convey knowledge regarding the client’s business case,” says David Letts, Raytheon Professional Services’ general manager and vice president. “We look at alternative solutions. E-rooms, Web portals, learning by PDA, synchronous, asynchronous training—it’s a whole tool kit.” Then the learning content itself had to be built, in all those formats. Although that was a major task, translating the content into multiple languages was even more challenging.

The solution was innovative. “We write a course master once in our learning content management system, which is quickly translated and localized into multiple languages,” Luckock says. Translators use common vocabularies and other standard tools, and local experts review the content to ensure it fits its market.

“The metrics customers use to measure us by, such as customer satisfaction and whether or not a vehicle is fixed right the first time, have shown significant changes among those we’ve trained versus those we haven’t,” Letts says. “A comparison between two dealerships, one where we’ve trained the personnel and one where we haven’t, shows a 20 percent to 40 percent improvement for the personnel we trained.”

For leveraging its extensive learning content to meet its clients’ global cultural and linguistic training needs, Raytheon Professional Services wins the 2009 Optimas Award for Global Outlook.

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