The paper aims to describe the innovative learning culture, practices and processes at ThoughtWorks India (TWI), a software application development company in India. These practices support continual learning and development at the level of employees, project teams and the entire organization.
The paper draws upon the unique case of TWI. It describes the need for continual learning at TWI. It then describes how the organization has promoted a culture of continual learning on an individual, team and organizational level. It explains how the learning practices and processes aligns to the project level and organizational goals.
Because of the complex and difficult nature of software development projects that TWI takes up regularly, it needs its employees to be at the cutting edge of technological skills and know-how. If this was to be attempted through formal training programs, it would turn out to be extremely expensive and inefficient way of learning for TWI. Instead, TWI relies on on-the-job-learning. It does so through a variety of innovative work practices that are described in the paper. It also achieves its learning goals through a culture that supports continual learning and development of employees.
The learning related practices, processes and mechanisms used at TWI can be emulated by companies in the software development industry. This will ensure that employees learn and develop their skill-sets all the time and remain at the cutting edge of technological developments. This will help organizations pitch for and successfully deliver difficult and complex software development projects that add very high value to their clients.
The social implications of the approach followed by TWI are positive. Employees are motivated to improve themselves every day. They understand the need for doing so. Also, they appreciate the fact that TWI supports continual learning and development. Knowledge sharing among employees is encouraged through the practices followed almost daily in projects.
The paper considers a unique set of learning and development practices, processes and mechanisms in TWI, a software development company in India.
Pathak, A.A. (2017), "Enabling lifelong learning: the key to agility at ThoughtWorks India", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 4-6. https://doi.org/10.1108/HRMID-07-2016-0108Download as .RIS
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