Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2016 - (Page 9)

- MARC RAMOS GUEST EDITOR Three Strategies To Ensure Your Training Has Tensile STRENGTH Do you know when your onboarding, sales training or customer service curriculum will break, and why? Whether it's external forces pushing your curriculum strategy to meet new business demands or internal forces pulling you apart due to lack of resources, you need to understand the effects of a brittle learning strategy. According to Wikipedia, "Ultimate tensile strength is measured by the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking." In our ideal world, maximum stress will be addressed via rigorous analysis, motivated subject matter experts' feedback, and plenty of time for prototyping. This isn't our reality though. As any battle-hardened training manager knows, there's always some level of design guesswork, assumption, and too many cooks in our L&D kitchen. Knowing, planning for and mitigating risk are perhaps the top, yet most underrated competencies for any learning leader. It's one thing to build for scale and engagement; it's another to ensure program and team sustainability. Here are three methods to consider when trying to predict or gauge a breaking point. 1|CONTENT PERISHABILITY Does your content have an expiration date? All content has life. Some with vigor, vitality and lasting value. Some with a shorter lifespan, becoming inanimate with little learning value. How you determine and map your content perishability strategy will greatly inform your team, clients and planning. For example, product content tends to have a shorter shelf life as new features are introduced or the interface changes. As we consider resource planning, we know that highly perishable product training content will require more engagement with management, and more production hours for upkeep. This isn't a science of course, yet by tagging your content based on perishability you will have a clear and predictable understanding of what is brittle, and what will eventually break. 2|SPEED TRUMPS EFFICACY The sooner you can release a new program, the sooner you'll know when and how it will break. For many teams, the goal is perfection upon release, yet this often requires more time to get it right. Most importantly, your learners know best - not the business, subject experts or even your learning designers. For most course formats, not everything needs to work (functionality), or be tidy (content) or be perfectly in sync (structure) at first release. It's more important that the core intent is clearly stated and embedded, and students know what to expect. By gaining learners' feedback as soon as possible, you'll have a more accurate, valid and rapid set of instructions for updating the next version. Once the program is formally deployed, allocate as much planning and effort on intentional iteration. This is a dedicated effort to carefully review feedback and metrics, re-engage with stakeholders and rapidly retire if necessary. Time for iterations should be prized just as high T R A I N I N G I N DUSTR Y MA GAZ INE - SUMMER201 6 I WWW.TRAI NINGINDU S T RY . C OM/ MAGAZ I NE UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS OF A BRITTLE LEARNING STRATEGY. as new program development. When considering efficacy, time and speed become your greatest resource. 3|PRE-MORTEMS Conducting a post-deployment meeting or post-mortem is a highly informative way to identify what went right or wrong after deploying a project. A pre-mortem is not the same. The goal of a pre-mortem is to identify what can or will possibly go wrong during planning or pre-design. As Dave Grey highlights in Gamestorming: "Unlike a more formal risk analysis, the pre-mortem asks team members to directly tap into their experience and intuition." Participants are encouraged to call out any elephant in the room or any sacred cow that hinders collaboration and attainment of goals. These sessions should be fun with a bit of gloom and doom, a focus on worse case scenarios and creatively identifying "disasters." Similar to launch early and iterate, conducting a pre-mortem will give you early insights to unforeseen problems and potential breaking points. By documenting and ranking any potential negative outcomes such as increased costs and waste, you'll also gain credibility with sponsors and showcase the tensile strength of your team and practices. Marc Ramos leads Google Fiber Education and is a member of Training Industry Magazine's Editorial Board. Email Marc. 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2016

Table of Contents
Three Strategies to Ensure Your Training Has Tensile Strength
Experience, Exposure and Education
Beyond the Classroom Paradigm
Applying the Buddy System
Purpose-Driven Professional & Organization Success
Making It Personal: The Four Pillars of High-Impact Mentoring
Blowing Your Millennial Mindset
Hidden Forces: Unconscious Bias in Learning
Memory: The Critical Bottleneck to Learning
Gender Barriers & Solutions to Leadership
Cognititive Collaboration: Utilizing Diverse Thinking & Behavioral Preferences
Get Into the Act: Accelerating Collaborative Teamwork
Dispelling the Five Myths of Microlearning
Quicken Loans: Culture Driven
Developing Global Leaders: On-the-Job Leadership Development
From Where I Sit
Why Do We Wait to Train Our Managers?
Is Knowledge Overrated?
Is Your Business Acument Showing?
Avnet Expands Services with ExitCertified Acquisition
Company News
What's Online
Training Talk

Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2016