Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April's Big Question

April's Big QuestionIn a nutshell, this month's Big Question is, do you ever get stuck getting new solutions or ideas accepted and implemented by your organization or client?
In most organizations, especially large ones, one must get a lot of buy-in and this usually involves making a business case, predicting cost savings, efficiencies, potential return on investment, etc., etc., etc., Oh, case studies and benchmarking from other organizations help too. And during these processes remember you are not just the person delivering training, but you must be the training consultant and instructional designer. Identifying training needs, offering the most effective solutions and in some cases identifying human performance issues and strategies to resolve them.


But when I am stuck I have found that creating a prototype helps a lot. Something they can see and try for themselves helps create a lot more buy-in. And if you make the prototype available to an audience of potential users, it can stir up excitement, you may even have a grassroots campaign on your hands. Plus, with a prototype no absolute commitment has been made (you still have time to back out), if there are any expenditures they are much lower, and it gives others a chance to "get on-board," contribute to the design, and rally to the cause.


So, I say "If you get stuck, build a prototype and apologize later."




  1. Good stuff and good technique. But what if after you spend all the time building a prototype, they still don't want to go for it? For instance, I had a client who wanted me to reproduce a training which I felt was non-engaging, boring and stiff. I created a mock-up of a training which presented a humorous scenario at the beginning. However, they felt it was too humorous and wanted it to be more corporate. Translation: Linear, non-engaging, boring. How do you deal with this?

  2. Robert,

    That is the risk of building a prototype...that it may not be used. If the e-learning is to occur, but not as the prototype is designed I sometimes find some of the prototype can be salvaged (e.g. graphics, some of the design, content, etc.).

    If I am not willing to risk the time and $ in developing a prototype, then I may produce storyboards. But storyboards are not going to have the impact that a prototype will have.

    Hope this helps,


  3. All the red tape!
    Prototyping seems like a great idea! If it doesn't fly now, someone may always pick it up later. Or it can be an addition to your portfolio.

  4. [...] respondents to this month’s Big Question had some interesting ideas, like Jeff Goldman’s favorite getting unstuck technique, making a prototype. The Quinnovator brings the question back to [...]


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