Posted by Joan Phaup
As we approach our first early-bird registration deadline for the Questionmark 2013 Users Conference, I’m checking in with people who will be presenting various sessions during our three days together in Baltimore March 3 – 6.
It was great to talk the other day with Accenture Certification Manager Abdulquader Kinariwala, who will deliver a case study presentation with his colleague John Kessler, about the use of coaching reports not only to help people succeed in certification exams but also to improve their overall work performance.
Could you briefly describe the role of Questionmark assessments in Accenture’s certification program?
Assessment are very important part of our evaluation mechanism. When people claim that they are certified – – whether it’s a professional certification or a technology certification — they must have a credential to prove their qualifications. And to be credentialed, he or she must participate in an assessment. Assessments are an integral part of our certification process.
I understand you will be zeroing in on the use of coaching reports in your conference presentation. Why are coaching reports important to you?
When we are talking about certifications or learning in general, our assessment framework emphasizes the value of how we coach people to be successful. If we have an employee who is not successful in a certain assessment in a certification program, we share with them the coaching report of their previous performance in an assessments, and we have a discussion about it. With the employee’s permission, we will share the report with his or her career counselor, who will work with the person before they take the assessment again.
Coaching reports are often regarded as a peripheral mechanism for improving performance in an assessment, but we see coaching as a core element of learning. We use coaching reports not only for failed outcomes but also for partial successes. Someone may have passed an assessment, but there might be a section or two where they could have done better. Our coaching reports provide details about individual topics, so we can pinpoint specific areas where there is room for improvement.
What makes Accenture’s use of coaching reports unique?
We have a customized version of the Questionmark Coaching Report – which we worked on with Questionmark consulting — which allows us to download an Excel extract of the assessment repository. We put that file into one of our custom communication tools which we have created in-house. This tool creates an email that highlights to the person their scores in particular sections and calls out areas where they can improve.
What do you hope people will gain from attending your case study presentation?
We’d like them to get an understanding of how we are using coaching reports,– even for successful candidates — and gain some insights on the custom solution we worked on with Questionmark. We will also have a discussion about how other people are currently using coaching reports, so everyone should have an opportunity to learn from one another.
You’ve attended several Questionmark Users Conference. What do you find most valuable about them?
The ability to network and interact with the Questionmark teams: especially product development, consulting and customer services. I also get a lot out of the keynotes as well as a lot of customer presentations. I like to hear people who have been using Questionmark and consider how to adapt their ideas to our own situation.