Elevating Cloud Infrastructure Management Through Accreditation and Mentorship


In an era where cloud-based infrastructure management is pivotal, seamlessly transitioning theoretical knowledge into practical application is a critical competency. The client, a global leader in cloud services with a presence in 178 countries, acknowledged the necessity for a robust accreditation framework to bolster its workforce’s skills and deployment readiness. This case study delves into the collaboration between the client and Yaksha, aimed at developing a distinctive mentor-led accreditation initiative. Through this program, the employees secured certification and showcased their adeptness in real-world scenarios, considerably narrowing the skill gap and elevating project success rates. Highlighting a commitment to excellence across global operations, this initiative also underscored the client’s ability to prepare employees for significant projects.


Overcoming Skill Gaps in Cloud Infrastructure: The Accreditation Challenge

The client is a global leader in cloud services with a presence in 178 countries. The competitive landscape of cloud-based services demands technical excellence as well as the ability to tailor solutions to specific customer needs. The client was facing a challenge with their workforce regarding practical application of theoretical knowledge. Despite being well-versed in their areas of expertise, their employees struggled to apply this knowledge in live project environments, leading to a significant skills gap. They tried to solve this with traditional training methodologies, but it was not helping. These trainings did not adequately prepare employees for the complexities of real-world project execution. This led to a high rejection rate during customer interviews, highlighting a lack of readiness among employees to meet customer-specific requirements. It hurt project success and resulted in a loss of business for them.

Traditional Training Inadequacies

The client’s existing training programs primarily focused on imparting theoretical knowledge through classroom-based learning and online courses. While these methods are good for understanding concepts, they fall short in simulating the unpredictability and complexity of real-time projects. This traditional approach to training did not provide employees with adequate opportunities to practise and refine their skills in a controlled yet realistic setting.

Skill Application Gap

A significant disconnect was observed between what employees learned in training sessions and their ability to apply this knowledge effectively in client projects. This gap was not just a matter of technical proficiency but also included critical thinking, problem-solving, and adaptability to unforeseen challenges. The inability to apply theoretical knowledge to practical scenarios resulted in suboptimal project outcomes and diminished client satisfaction.

Client Expectations and Interview Rejections

The client noticed a troubling trend of more than 30% rejection rates during customer interviews, indicating a misalignment between their workforce’s skills and customers’ expectations. This misalignment suggested that employees lacked the practical experience and problem-solving capabilities required to convince clients of their readiness to handle complex projects. Recognising these challenges, the client acknowledged that overcoming this problem required a shift from traditional training methods. The new training approach needed to address the technical skills gap and enhance critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to navigate complex project environments effectively.

Yaksha’s Accreditation Solution

Yaksha introduced an accreditation program through its Make-My-Labs (MML) platform, a software-as-a-service solution.  The solution adopted a two-fold approach:
  1. Practical, project-based learning
  2. Robust mentorship model 
  The program’s structure and evaluation parameters were meticulously co-developed with the client, ensuring they were aligned with their strategic objectives and specific demands of the cloud infrastructure management field. This collaboration ensured that the accreditation process was rigorous, relevant, and reflective of real-life project requirements.  As part of the solution, the learners would get assignments through MML and a 3 to 5 weeks timeframe to complete them. The assignments were carefully designed to put the learners in a controlled yet project-like environment. And then, the real differentiation was created by introducing Yaksha’s mentors into this process of solving these assignments. Through this process, the employees were accredited by Yaksha which was given a lot of weightage as the employees were able to handle any challenge the faced. Over 1.5 years, this solution enabled more than 2,600 of the clients’ employees to engage in practical, hands-on learning, tailored to their skill levels.

Selection and Training of Mentors

Key to the success of the mentorship model was the rigorous selection process for mentors. Yaksha selected mentors based on a combination of expertise in relevant domains and proven skills in teaching and mentorship. These mentors were not just subject matter experts but also skilled educators who understood how to facilitate learning in a way that encouraged independence and critical thinking. Once selected, the mentors underwent specialised training designed by Yaksha, to enhance their mentoring capabilities.  This training equipped them with strategies to:
  • Encourage mentees to explore solutions independently rather than providing direct answers.
  • Ask probing questions to guide them to think critically about the problems.
  • Identify and leverage teachable moments to reinforce learning.
  • Foster a supportive and inclusive learning environment to encourage experimentation and learning from failure.

Active Guidance Without Direct Solutions

A cornerstone of the mentorship model was the principle of active guidance without providing direct solutions. Mentors were trained to guide mentees through problem-solving, offering insights and suggesting resources without taking over the task. This approach aimed to develop the mentees’ independent problem-solving skills, ensuring they could tackle similar challenges in the future without reliance on external help. Mentors focused on helping mentees develop a mindset of exploration and persistence, essential for navigating the complexities of real-world projects.

Continuous Assessment and Feedback

The solution also included a continuous assessment and feedback loop, allowing mentors to track mentees’ progress and adapt their teaching strategies as needed. Assessments were based on a variety of criteria, including:
  • The application of theoretical knowledge to practical tasks.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities.
  • Collaboration and communication skills within the project team.
Feedback was provided in a constructive manner, highlighting strengths, identifying areas for improvement, and setting clear goals for further development. This ongoing evaluation process ensured that mentees received the support they needed to improve and gain confidence in their abilities continuously.

Closing the gap between theory and practice, with 30% RoI!

This highlighted the program’s effectiveness in enhancing employee skills and bringing overall economic value to the client’s organisation. The program effectively narrowed the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, significantly improving project execution efficiency. Post-program assessments showed a marked improvement in the ability of the client’s employees to tackle real-world challenges. Shift towards an active learning culture The program profoundly impacted the learning culture in the client’s organisation, shifting it towards a more active, engaged, and self-directed approach. Mentees learned to value the process of finding solutions through exploration and critical thinking. The employees were more engaged in identifying and addressing their skill gaps. The program fostered a proactive approach to skill development, with many participants revisiting and reinforcing their learning independently. This shift enhanced their immediate learning outcomes and prepared them for lifelong learning and adaptation in an ever-evolving technological landscape.


Accreditation as a Confidence and Competence Marker

Successfully completing the program served as a certification of the employees’ skills and significantly boosted their confidence in handling complex projects. This, in turn, reassured their customers of the team’s capabilities, enhancing the client’s market reputation.

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