Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2016 - (Page 9)
- MARC RAMOS
To Ensure Your
Training Has Tensile
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.
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
EFFECTS OF A BRITTLE
as new program development. When
considering efficacy, time and speed
become your greatest resource.
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.
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
Training Industry Magazine - Summer 2016