In this post, I turn my attention to another ISA strategic goal, content. This is my fifth and final blog on ISA’s five strategic goals, as I’ve previously examined advocacy, cybersecurity, data, and coolest delivery.
I hope that I’ve helped you better understand ISA’s goals, realize their importance to the Society, and recognize the progress we’re making to achieve them. After all, these are goals of our association as a whole. Attaining them will require collective commitment and effort.
In working toward its content goal, ISA is dedicated to “deliver timely, relevant content on important topics to meet the career enhancement and professional needs of the automation community.”
Of course, providing timely, relevant technical content to our members and customers is nothing new at ISA. Our knowledge and expertise in the automation and control field drive virtually everything we do. They deliver the core value of membership; contribute directly to our standards development efforts; and comprise the basis of our training and educational initiatives, publishing offerings, conferences, and division symposia.
To be sure, we’re approaching this goal from a position of long-standing strength and leadership.
Within the content goal, ISA has three objectives. At the Spring Leaders Meeting held in June, Dalton Wilson, the Society’s Director of Education Services, and Charley Robinson, ISA’s Director of Standards & Technology, who are the staff leads on ISA’s content initiative, outlined progress in 2015 toward achieving these three objectives.
- Objective #1, Develop relevant and timely content in the form of standards, training, publications, conferences, and more, is 50 percent complete.
- Objective #2, Address and anticipate market needs for ISA products and services, is 50 percent complete.
- Objective #3, Identify the technology transfer and career development needs of automation professionals, is 40 percent complete.
Since the summer, additional progress in the content area has been made. For instance,
- Under Objective #1, ISA has developed a detailed matrix-schedule of ISA standards, books, training courses, and other content in development to better plan coordinated and timely content development and launches across all related ISA content formats.
- Under Objective #2, ISA has developed a life cycle model and related analysis tool for better assessing the need to update, replace, or withdraw existing ISA products and services.
- Under Objectives #1, #2, and #3, ISA has established a Technology Search Committee to seek and analyze new ideas and topics for ISA content, including a new firstname.lastname@example.org inbox by which any automation professional may easily submit ideas.
In addition, common to all three objectives is the need to identify skills gaps across the automation profession. ISA is developing a skills assessment test/survey to be completed by automation professionals. Results of this test/survey will help ISA pinpoint the specific type and degree of skills held by automation professionals, and develop new and relevant content to address their needs.
Creating pipelines for new ideas and offerings
All of these successes to date point to the fact that ISA is establishing formal processes for evaluating the usefulness of new and existing content, and creating pipelines for generating new ideas and developing new content offerings.
Across its product and service offerings, ISA is working to meet the content needs, preferences, and expectations of its members, customers, and partners in a more efficient, skillful, and targeted manner.
In my next post, I will provide an update on the Fall Leaders Meeting—highlighting the key topics discussed and actions announced, and sharing with you the latest reports on our progress.
Rick Roop has been a member of ISA since 1983 and established the Society’s Evansville, Ind. and Terre Haute, Ind. Sections. Rick has held a variety of ISA leadership positions including district vice president and chairman of the Council of District Vice Presidents, Power Industry Division board member, and he has also served as chairman of the Finance Committee and chairman of the Investment Committee. Rick worked as a senior instrumentation engineer at Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (now Vectren). He then joined Hoosier Energy, REC, first as an instrument and electrical engineer, and later as general manager at the company’s Frank E. Ratts Generating Station. Since 2012, Rick has held the position of vice president, senior portfolio manager and owner of Donaldson Capital Management, an Evansville, Ind.-based SEC-registered investment advisory firm with $1 billion in assets under management. Rick earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering technology from Murray State University and a master of business administration degree with an emphasis in finance from Indiana State University.
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A version of this article also has been published in ISA Insights.