Accurx Design University
Accurx recognised the importance of continuous learning and skill advancement within their design team. Before the Design University, the design team held sporadic sessions where team members could individually choose topics to present back to the team. These sessions, while well-intentioned, were inconsistent and did not directly contribute to the progression of the team. A more structured approach was needed to ensure skill development and to create an environment where every team member could both teach and learn.
Identifying the problem
Inconsistent knowledge-sharing was failing to support skill progression
To come up the Design University, I took a good look at our past sessions to see what worked and what didn't. I also checked what other departments were doing and did some research online. I found three big problems: our sessions were inconsistent, upskilling was limited to junior folks with little learning opportunities for more senior people, and often the training didn't directly help people move up in their careers. These issues inspired me to come up with the two key concepts for our University.
Boosting the team skills while fostering collaboration
Focus on the Design Progression Framework
The program was designed to align with Accurx's Design Progression Framework, ensuring that it directly contributed to the career development of each team member.
Everyone's a Teacher, everyone's a Learner
Emphasising that everyone can teach and everyone can learn, Design University aimed to encourage a culture where team members could learn from each other, regardless of seniority.
A structured and goal-oriented approach
The Design University sessions occur monthly. Each session covers one topic from the progression framework. The goal is to offer concrete examples of how to master every skill in the framework through different formats:
A hands-on approach to understanding a skill, with practical exercises.
We present how we applied the skill in our product work.
Ways of working
How the design processes, team collaboration, or cross-team communication can be improved.
Anyone can request a skill enhancement session based on our Progression Framework, stating their preferred learning style. When another team member picks up their request, they pair up to prepare and conduct a session on the chosen topic for the entire team. This collaborative approach not only supports one person's skill development but also provides a learning opportunity for the entire team.
Promoting teamwork and shared sense of growth
Accurx Design University provided a structured, inclusive, and goal-oriented approach to continuous learning and professional growth. By encouraging teamwork and a shared sense of growth, it has not only elevated individual skills but also enhanced the team's overall dynamics.