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                     DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE 2002

                           by Mario Maniewicz, Head, HRD Division, ITU-B DT

ITU‟s    Telecommunication      Development            1     Extracts from the     Arab           and
Bureau (BDT) is currently organizing the 3rd                 European RPM Issue Papers:
edition of the World Telecommunication
Development Conference (WTDC), which will                       Enhancing Capacity Building:
take place early next year. This process
includes the implementation of a series of             Human Resources Development Challenges in a
Regional Preparatory Meetings (one per                   Telecommunication Environment Changing
region), aimed at identifying the key inputs                      Towards Competition
from each region that would be considered
during the global conference.                          Background: Organizational transformation
                                                       of telecommunication organizations.
During the Regional Preparatory Meetings
(RPMs) topics considered key for the                   The telecommunications environment, by its
concerned regions are discussed, in order to           very nature evolving all the time, is currently
define priorities and identify possible                undergoing a particularly radical change due
strategies to better address these issues              to well-known factors such as restructuring of
during the coming BDT planning cycle (2003-            the telecommunication sector and the
2006). Two RPMs were organized during the              transition towards competition, liberalization
past year – for the Arab Region and Europe –           and globalization.
and three more are foreseen for the current
year: Asia-Pacific, Americas and Africa                As     a consequence of          this   trend,
regions.                                               telecommunication organizations have been
                                                       facing intense modernization processes in
                                                       order to improve their productivity, quality of
Human      Resources         Management     and
                                                       service and customer satisfaction so as to
Development has been considered a key
                                                       prepare themselves to better face the
topic to be addressed during RPMs in all
                                                       challenges of liberalization and competition.
regions. But which are the main HRM/D
                                                       Although national and sector contexts may
challenges for this coming cycle? Which
                                                       present some differences from country to
were the priorities and strategies for
                                                       country,     a     growing      portion      of
enhancing capacity building identified at each
                                                       telecommunication organizations worldwide
RPM? We invite you to review the issue
                                                       are introducing programs to change their
papers discussed during these meetings as
                                                       traditional management styles in order to be
well as the main conclusions and
                                                       able to cope with the new demands of the
recommendations emanated from them, in a
                                                       telecommunication market.
series of articles that will cover the 5 RPMs to
be held prior to the WTDC-2002.                        The extent of the transformation process of
                                                       the telecommunication organizations is
This first article of the series will cover the        considerable: nearly everything in the
Arab and Europe RPMs, which were                       organization should be re-thought, including
chronologically the first ones to be held, both        its       strategy,   management          style,
of them having taken place during 2000.                organizational structure, working procedures,
Extracts of the relevant Issue Papers as well          organizational culture, performance and
as the main priorities identified during both          institutional image as well as its human
meetings are presented below:                          resources management and development
                                                       policies and systems, in order to put them in-
                                                       line with the new organizational objectives.

The above transformation is not a challenge             telecommunication environment.              Policy
to be faced exclusively by the operators and            makers and regulators at the governmental /
service providers. The policy-making and                regulatory level, as well as senior corporate
regulatory functions are also facing similar            executives       and     managers        at    the
challenges, having to restructure themselves            operation/service provision level, become the
in order to be able to respond adequately to a          priority target population for training and HRD
growingly demanding sector, where rules and             efforts to assure that a high level of expertise
regulations should be defined and enforced in           is available in key aspects such as:
order to set the basis for fair competition and         telecommunication         policy,      regulation,
to assure that customer rights are protected            business management and advanced
from possible abuses by the various market              telecommunication technology.
                                                        In order to play an active and useful role in
                                                        this transformation process, several major
Impact    on the organization’s Human                   challenges for the Human Resources
Factor                                                  Management       and    Human     Resources
                                                        Development functions are to be considered:
The transformation process described above
produces changes at all levels in the                        To contribute to the definition of the
organization but most particularly in its                     organization‟s strategy and to advise on
organizational structure and its working                      the expected feasibility concerning the
methods and procedures, which have to be                      specific evolution of the staffing
assimilated by the staff within relatively short              schedule in each branch of the
time frames. People in the organization must:                 organization.
                                                             To elaborate an appropriate Human
-     Acquire new skills.                                     Resources Master Plan in agreement
-     Absorb more information.                                with the overall Business Plan
                                                              requirements and including realistic
-     Perform new tasks.                                      implementation scenarios.
-     Improve    their      knowledge       and              To offer a larger and better range of
      performance.                                            training products, which should be:
-     Modify their attitudes as to how things
      should be done.                                         -     Specifically suited for the intended
                                                                    target population (in terms of its
-     Change their values and attitudes.                            contents,       duration,     delivery
                                                                    method, telecommunication sector
The human dimension is fundamental in any                           specificity, etc.);
organizational change. People have to                         -     In     accordance         with     the
understand the change, be willing to change                         organization‟s new context and
and be able to implement the changes. So,                           objectives;
alongside organizational changes, people too                  -     Fully in-line with the objectives of
must change. In particular, a shift in the                          the transformation process;
attitude of the staff towards self-development
becomes fundamental to fully achieve the                      -     Delivered in a timely manner with
desired transformation.                                             respect to the transformation plan.

                                                        Additionally, it becomes necessary to
HRM/D main challenges                                   harmonize the organizational changes
                                                        introduced as a result of the transformation
The availability of highly qualified staff at key       process with the staff being available for their
levels in the telecommunication organizations           implementation (human factor). These
has become a particularly critical factor for a         changes produce alterations in staff
smooth        transition    to      the      new        requirements that are twofold:

     -     Changes in the quantity of staff                Improve the cost/benefit ratio of the
           required;                                        training activities;
     -     Changes in the quality of the staff             Contribute to the self-sustainability of
           required (i.e. new abilities,                    the Training Center.
           knowledge and attitudes required
           to carry out the new working                With its concern to encourage the extensive
           methods and procedures).                    use of information technologies in training
                                                       and educational activities, the ITU/BDT has
                                                       been      promoting    the      creation   and
Therefore, the main challenge for the HRM              development of Virtual Training Centers
function is to be able to rapidly transform            (VTCs) in developing countries. The VTC is
itself in order to build a truly integrated            a conceptual model that integrates all
system that encompasses HR Planning, Staff             applications     that    utilize    information
Redeployment,        Training   and     Human          technologies for training, making them
Resource Development functions, in order to            available to the users through the data
allow for a continuous adaptation of the               networks. In other words, it is an e-learning
organization‟s human profile in accordance             training center.
with its changing needs. Only then, will the
HRM system be able to fulfill its highest              It is important to highlight that this strategy
objective: to ensure that the organization has         does not seek the elimination of traditional
the required staff numbers, with the right             face-to-face training; it is a remarkable
profile and at the right time.                         complement, which also makes it possible to:

                                                       -    Offer training to a virtually unlimited
How Information Technologies may help                       number of people at marginal costs;
A very important tool to assist in facing some         -    Incorporate in the training resources the
of the above-mentioned challenges is the use                most important field results which
of the Information Technologies for training                characterize recognized best practices,
and HRM/D activities within the organization.               success stories and also significant
The main challenge in arriving at an                        failures;
extensive use of this revolutionary tool is to         -    Prepare the staff to fully profit from the
succeed in promoting a cultural change in the               fast-growing resources offered by the
organization towards the utilization of                     Intranet-based Information Systems.
information technologies combined with the
existing telecommunication facilities in order
to work, to interact and to learn at distance.         A further challenge: Adequacy of the
Information technologies become essential              training offer
for training and HRD systems as a key factor
                                                       The training/development offer (especially
    Reach a larger target population at a             when dealing with high-level managerial
     lower cost;                                       courses) should be adequate not only in
                                                       terms of its timing and delivery mechanisms,
    Facilitate the participation of high level        but also – and most importantly – in terms of
     staff (asynchronous type of training);            its subject specificity and telecommunication
    Deliver training at the actual work place;        field orientation. One of the most common
                                                       challenges that the training manager faces is
    Provide the best available training               to be able to offer to the intended target
     quality;                                          population a wide selection of good quality
    Promote self-development         attitudes        truly telecommunication-oriented managerial
     among the staff;                                  training programs.

    Provide    practical     schemes       for        In order to help enhance and improve the
     continuous training and re-training;              range of available products for specific
                                                       telecommunication training/education whilst

always giving priority to the distance learning         The main purpose of each so-called Center
approach, the ITU/BDT has promoted two                  of Excellence (which in fact tends to be a
global initiatives that are briefly described in        „virtual center of excellence‟ or more
the following section of this document: The             accurately a „network of excellence‟) is to
Center of Excellence project and the Global             establish a regional mechanism aimed at
Telecommunication University / Global                   strengthening the capacity, within a given
Telecommunication Training Institute project.           region, to develop high-level know-how and
                                                        expertise in priority subjects such as
                                                        telecommunication policy, regulatory matters,
The GTU/GTTI and            the    Center    of         business management and advanced
Excellence projects                                     telecommunications technology, to better
                                                        meet the most pressing HRD and training
The idea behind both projects is the creation           needs of the telecommunication sector.
of networks of training and education-related
institutions that would be able to work out             These cooperative-type projects promoted by
partnership      agreements      with     other         the ITU/BDT require the active participation
telecommunication-related        organizations          and true commitment of the various partners
(equipment providers, operators, funding                involved. Only through their genuine
agencies, governmental/regulatory bodies,               agreement and combined inputs/resources
etc.) so as to combine resources (financial,            will it be possible to achieve the necessary
human and infrastructure-related, amongst               synergy to attain the objectives of such
others) aimed at strengthening the capacity             projects, for the benefit of the participating
of a given region to develop know-how and               institutions themselves and as well as for the
expertise to address the priority training and          telecommunication community in their
HRD needs of its telecommunication sector.              respective regions.

In the case of the Global Telecommunication
Training Institute, the idea is to establish a          2    Priorities for the Arab Region
global network by pooling available resources                identified during the Arab RPM:
from the existing training centers around the
world that are interested in delivering
                                                            Enhancing          information         and
telecommunication training at distance. This
                                                             communication        technology     (ICT)
virtual entity would implement distance-
                                                             facilities and usage in order to facilitate
learning courses to train technicians and
supervisors       from      telecommunication                interconnection among training centers
                                                             in the region, as well as to enable
organizations in technical and managerial
                                                             delivery of distance-learning courses.
                                                            Establishment     of    complementary
The Global Telecommunication University is                   programs of training, human resources
a similar concept but applied to professionals               development and cultural change in
and higher levels. This “virtual university”                 telecommunication organizations to
would deliver continuous education programs                  better meet the challenges         of
in       telecommunication         technology,               modernization.
management techniques and regulatory
aspects. Graduate and post-graduate                         Assistance to training centers in
telecommunication-related programs would                     adapting their products and services to
also be organized through a mix of distance                  the    changing     needs     of    the
learning and on-campus activities organized                  telecommunication organizations.
by the universities/training centers that                   Identification of the main needs in the
participate in the GTU.                                      region, in order to define the key
                                                             programs to be developed and
The Center of Excellence project aims at                     delivered in a timely manner.
setting up networks of excellence (on a
regional basis) that could, in the future, be               Seeking    and   updating      existing
linked into a “global network of excellence”.                resources and expertise in the various

     countries of the region in order to                  It was noted that the above-mentioned
     identify potential contributors to training          transformation affects not only organizations
     content development and delivery in the              such as telecom operators and service
     different subjects.                                  providers, but also policy making and
                                                          regulatory related institutions. The HRM/D
Regarding the implementation of the Arab                  function must play a key role in the various
Center of Excellence, the following points                telecommunication organizations in order to
should be addressed immediately:                          contribute to      the success      of this
                                                          transformation process as well as to help the
                                                          human resources of governments, regulators
-    Terms of reference for the organization              and operators to cope with the new demands
     of the Arab Center of Excellence,                    of the telecommunication market.
     drawing on the experience of similar
     projects in other regions, which could               The following factors are crucial for the
     serve as guidelines for agreement - at               telecom organizations and therefore need to
     the regional level - on the most                     be considered as priorities for the HRM/D
     appropriate structure for the Arab                   function:
     Center of Excellence.
                                                          -    Availability of highly qualified staff at
-    Identification of priority training areas for
     the region, and the development of                        key levels in the organization.
     appropriate programs to address the                  -    High level of expertise in key aspects of
     key needs in the identified areas.                        telecommunications.
-    A scheme for coordinating and                        -    Adequate offer of training products
     managing the Center of Excellence                         specifically suited to the intended target
     network linking the various nodes.                        population.
-    Regional meetings in order to define the             -    Timeliness of the training delivery with
     structure and operational scheme of the                   respect to the transformation process.
     Center of Excellence, and to appoint its
                                                          -    Continuous harmonization of           the
     steering committee and identify the
                                                               Human Resources profile of            the
     main strategies to be followed for
     enhancing capacity building in the
                                                          Furthermore, the HRM/D function should
                                                          contribute to the definition of the
                                                          organization's strategy and elaborate an
3     Priorities for the Europe Region                    appropriate Human Resources Master Plan
      identified during the European RPM:                 in agreement with the overall Business Plan
                                                          requirements    and     including   realistic
                                                          implementation scenarios.
The rapid changes occurring in the
telecommunication        sector    and      the           With a view to improving the offer in terms of
consequent        transformation     of      its          training, regional initiatives for Europe and
telecommunication organizations is impacting              the CIS countries were identified that are
highly on the human resources laboring in the             aimed at enhancing the availability of a wider
sector, which have to adapt to radical                    telecommunication specific training offer:
changes at all levels in their organizations in
relatively short time-frames. People must                 a.   Establishment in Malta of a node of
continuously acquire new skills, absorb more                   ITU's GTU/GTTI network:
information, perform new tasks, improve their
knowledge and performance, modify their
                                                          The Malta node of the GTU/GTTI network, to
attitudes and adjust their values, in order to
                                                          be set up at the Maltacom College
be able to help meet the new organizational
                                                          International* , will deliver training courses,
                                                          with an emphasis on distance-learning

methods,         for      participants     from                      c)      Regional Training Center for the
telecommunication          companies         and                             Balkans:
institutions in Malta's neighboring regions.
                                                                     Taking into consideration the similarities
b)    Distance-learning System for the CIS                           among the countries in the Balkans, Bulgaria
      countries:                                                     proposed the creation of a Regional Training
                                                                     Center or Telecommunication Academy in
At the initiative of the RCC (Regional                               the Balkans, which would count with the
Commonwealth          in     the       Field   of                    support of the BDT, in order to promote
                                                                     universal      and    Balkan-specific     unified
Communications) and with the support of the
ITU/BDT,      Technical     Universities     and                     approaches         in    training,     planning,
operators from CIS countries and the private                         development          and      monitoring       of
sector in general, a networking process has                          telecommunication activities. It was stressed
been established in order to produce and                             by the participants that the above-mentioned
deliver distance-learning courses on priority                        initiatives, as well as the global projects that
subjects for the telecommunication sector of                         are currently under implementation by the
the CIS countries. These courses take into                           BDT, should look for an overall synergy in
                                                                     terms of complementing and widening the
consideration the need for local contents and
language, as well as the necessary                                   overall training offer for the benefit of the
adaptation of the training facilities.                               telecommunication community in developing
CIS countries stressed the importance of
providing continuous support to this project of
vital importance for their telecommunication

*      Agreement signed the 20 March 2001, see article in the May ITU News: “Spreading the e-learning Culture"

**     After the first phase for the establishment of a network and the implementation of the pilot courses (followed by more than a
       1,000 participants), a second phase has been put in place directed towards establishing complete programmes with 6
       different themes: Principles of Global Information Infrastructure creation; Information of security of Networks and
       Communication systems; Common Channel Signalling System No 7; Business Planning in Telecommunications; Marketing at
       the Communication Enterprises and Management of non-state owned companies in a market environment.



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