STEM newsletter

Training for success with confidence

30 July 2003

We have over ten years’ experience training clients around the world, including incumbent and competitive operators and equipment vendors. Key to a successful STEM implementation is the involvement of both management and intended modellers in a detailed training programme. We have a two-phase approach, consisting of two days’ basic training, followed by a more in-depth workshop, usually a week or two after the basic training, allowing time for consolidation.

Developing a working understanding of the tool

We have a very well-structured basic training course which uses a series of presentations and an exercise book to lead the novice user through both the basic STEM methodology and the most important software techniques. This course is deliberately written around a fictional modelling scenario – in order to focus on the concepts – whereas the subsequent workshop focuses on specific modelling issues of current interest to the client. The basic course covers:

  • Creating Market Segments
  • Creating Services
  • Creating Resources
  • Comparing time-series types
  • Defining requirements for Resources
  • Understanding when to use Functions
  • Reviewing installed units and installed capacity results
  • Auditing results
  • Defining a currency unit
  • Defining Service tariffs
  • Defining Resource unit costs
  • Creating Cost Indices and cost trends
  • Understanding calibration periods
  • Defining global and per-element cost trends, plus age factors
  • Creating Collections
  • Accessing online help

Day One: illustrative programme

 
  • Drag-and-drop editing and the link menu
  • Using copy and paste
  • Managing detail with multiple views for icons and results
  • Creating and running scenarios
  • Creating Locations and selecting a distribution for deployment
  • Using a churn proportion for equipment
  • Removing redundant units
  • Combining years, quarters and months
  • Defining user data and user-defined formulae
  • Understanding Transformation inputs and basis
  • Using expression Transformations and cost allocation
  • Working with template replication
  • Creating custom interfaces with the STEM add-in for Excel
  • Linking interpolated series data and element defaults
  • Understanding working capital and other financial data
  • Creating new graph definitions

Day Two: illustrative programme

…and then consolidating these new skills in application to a pressing issue

The format of the following workshop is much more flexible, but usually involves a series of intensive ‘whiteboard’ sessions where a problem is first analysed and characterised, and then translated into an equivalent STEM model. The trainer’s role is to coach the trainees through all steps of this iterative process. A framework of objectives is usually agreed at the start of the workshop, and the training concludes with a summary presentation of the model elements developed during the workshop.

We strongly encourage the maximum attendance at the basic training, to increase the dissemination of skills and thus value delivered, and for the right teams of people to be in place to participate in the workshop. Workshops we have run in the past were successful precisely because we involved network engineers, financial analysts and service product managers. The STEM framework provides a common language for constructive discussion of all network investment modelling issues.

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