Skip to main content

Information Technology Strategy Team

Strategy - Continuous Improvement and Learning

The following actions apply for the 1st quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year (April 2020 to June 2020).

Alignment with ESDC IT Strategy

This Strategy aligns with the ESDC IT Strategy approach and provides the means to enable the following 2 Strategy Map capabilities:

  1. Learning Culture
  2. Continuous Improvement

Guiding Policy

IITB teams should use up to 20% of the team’s time to improve and learn

Expected Outcomes

The expected outcomes of this quarterly strategy are:

  • Reduction of technical debt
  • Increased innovation
  • Faster response to needs of citizens
  • Faster response to operational issues (e.g.: new vulnerabilities)
  • Reduced frequency of incidents and errors
  • Increased ability to comply with regulations
  • Increased job satisfaction and retention (incl. student)
  • Culture resistant to potential disruptions via automation
  • Culture that benefits from automation opportunities

Set of actions

To operationalize this strategy, the following set of actions will be undertaken been taken:

  1. (completed) Creation of a new CATS code for teams to record their times (14644) in addition to existing ones
  2. (completed) Creation of a Learning Resource Directory to help employees find recommended avenues for learning
  3. (completed) Provide examples of improvements and learning activities
  4. (in progress) Creation of an intuitive tool for staff to share anecdotal success & failure stories to share knowledge
  5. (do do) Creation of a Tool for crowd sourcing learning

Please note that #4 and #5 are not necessarily to operationalize this strategy, but will facilitate its success.

Measuring this strategy

IITB teams are asked to report on the strategy as they implement it in the two following ways:

IITB employees can ensure that time that they spend on continuous improvement or learning activities is recorded in CATS using any of the following:

  • CATS codes for Continuous Improvement activities:
    • Continuous improvement: 14644
    • Grassroots innovation: 13671
    • IM Clean-up: 10165
    • Improving developer productivity: 13863
  • CATS codes for Learning activities:
    • Career development: 10600
    • IT Security training for IITB: 10608
    • Accessibility training and awareness: 13403
    • Official language training: 11500
    • General training: task component code 330 or task component code 100
    • Task specific training: task component code 160


IITB employees/teams can share success/failure stories with the IT Strategy team and this anecdotal evidence will be recorded and shared.

The results of employee/team reporting will be shared via a Report (link is internal to ESDC).

This strategy will be reviewed and updated quarterly based on effectiveness and current progress towards the Medium Term IT Picture - 2025 as well as following the Strategy Map (layering on the strategies).

Appendix A - Examples of activities

Examples of ‘Improve’ activities

  • Understand teams performance levels and set realistic goals
  • Identify ways to improve daily work performance and prioritize
  • Measure current processing times of units of work your team processes
  • Reduce amount of time it takes to complete work items
  • Review existing processes and governance structure which lengthen process times
  • Identify issues and raise them to your manager or as Grassroots initiatives (CATS code: 13671) or proofs of concept
  • Automate repetitive manual tasks where possible, at the team and individual level
  • Reduce technical debt

Examples of ‘Learn’ activities

  • Stay up to date on trends and technologies inside and outside the GC - Digital Government
  • Teach yourself basic programming (e.g. .Net Core, Java, Python, JavaScript)
  • Experiment with cloud technologies - Play with Docker
  • Take online courses - edX, Cousera, Udemy, or search on MOOC List (
  • Study for certificates from certified Cloud Service Providers (e.g. AWS, Azure)
  • Read books, articles or documentation - See our References
  • Attend events or conferences
  • Contact teams within the value stream of your team to better understand the processes you interface with
  • Request Micro Missions with groups throughout ESDC or the Government of Canada at large on GCconnex
  • Attend IITB showcase, Dev CoP, dojos or other learning opportunities within IITB and ESDC
  • Participate in “Innovation” at ESDC and Innovation Lab design sessions
  • Explore data science opportunities with ESDC Chief Data Office (CDO)
  • Setup a recurring time to share knowledge with colleagues within your team (small, 5-10 people)
  • Find/become a mentor/coach
  • Join groups and participate in discussions on GCconnex and GCcollab, as well as external communities
  • Take part in Service Canada staff training
  • Register for training/events offered by ESDC and through GCcampus
  • Start/attend meetups regarding technologies relevant to your work
  • Learn more methodologies - Many free audiobook samples can be found on ITRevolution’s SoundCloud
  • Reach out to your Security Champion network to learn about security
  • Collaborate with ESDC’s Development Community (Dev CoP) on development recommendations and best practices within the department.

Appendix B - Additional References

For more books, reports and articles supporting this strategy, you can consult our References.

View this page on GitHub