2 April 2011

VISTA semi finals: Latin America

This week 19 teams from all over South America will be in Curitiba, Brazil, taking part in the Latin American VISTA semi final. Already VISTA 2011 has been a huge success in the region, with record high participation rates. By Tuesday, we’ll learn which two teams will represent the continent at the world final.

“It will be an exciting few days, and great to have so many employees from all over Latin America together in one place,” says Letícia Watanabe, Competence Development for Latin America. “Everyone has worked hard to make VISTA 2011 a success, so we’re looking forward to a great semi final.”

Of the 19 teams that are in Curitiba this week, 12 are from Brazil, with the other seven coming from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. The two spots to the world final will go to the best performing Brazilian team, and the best of the other seven.

In addition to the 19 teams from Latin America, the semi final will also host two teams from Prevost (one from EUA and one from Mexico), who will also be competing against each other for a place in the world final.

VISTA 2011 has been the most successful competition yet in Latin America, with the number of participants rapidly rising, and the dropout rate almost being reduced to zero. “We set ourselves the target of increasing participants by 10%,” says Letícia. But with 1875 participants, forming 486 teams, they’ve actually increased participation by an incredible 21%. They’ve also expanded the competition to include Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela, who are taking part in VISTA for the first time.

In VISTA 2009, the drop out rate was a high 13% with teams became demotivated and disinterested as the competition wore on. However this time around, a lot of effort has been made to keep teams involved throughout the whole competition. “We have been working with VISTA leaders to promote and encourage enrolment, and build a sense of team spirit. We’ve put a lot of effort into identifying competence gaps, as well as providing technical support and training,” says Leticia. “In the past trainers have competed as team members, and they’re role had not been fully explored. For VISTA 2011, trainers have acted as coaches instead, which has helped motivate teams and increase their confidence.”

Initially organisers set themselves the ambitious target of keeping the drop out rate between Rounds One and Three to less than 5%. But once again, they’ve far exceeded their target. The drop out rate after Round One is a minuscule 0.05% with only one team failing to complete all three rounds.
“These statistics are very satisfying, and VISTA has come a long way in Latin America,” says Leticia. “Our level of competence has grown too, and the semi final will be a great opportunity to show off the skills of our technicians.”