Monday, May 16, 2011

An On-Demand Scenario #LCBQ

Big Question #LCBQ In my prior post, The Other Stakeholder Wants It Now Too, I had focused on the learners' need for "on-demand" learning. This month's Big Question at Learning Circuits is "How do we need to change in what we do in order to address learning/performance needs that are on-demand?"

At this moment I happen to be in a situation where a major software system upgrade is going to occur in a matter of weeks. Staff do not have the luxury of waiting for me to design, develop and implement a thorough set of learning events. Here is one real life example of what is done in an "on demand" situation.

  • An immediate sit down with the SMEs to identify the audience and the changes to the system (luckily, I have worked with this audience and system before) and to gain access to the new system.

  • Use the new system myself to further identify learning needs and challenges the audience may encounter, while grabbing screenshots and creating job aids for the tasks the audience will need to learn in the upgraded system. If you are a fan of the ADDIE model, this would be like trying one's best to lump the analysis, design and development phases together into a very, very short period of time... It is not pretty, but it is what happens in an "on-demand" situation.

  • Get a blog on the Intranet where I can provide ongoing support, additional learning materials, tips and tricks and a place for staff to share their knowledge of using the new system.

  • Communicate details about the upgrade including its features, benefits and motivate learners to master the new system. Oh yeah, get them the job aids they need.

  • If time allows, I will build some impromptu simulations in addition to the job aids.


None of this is pretty, but this is what I have had to scratch together to address on-demand learning needs in this particular situation. Luckily, job aids and on-going support via the blog should get the learners up to speed for this upgrade... Wish me luck.

FYI: This post may not directly address the question of how we need to change but rather be an example of what is done in one particular "on-demand" scenario. I will say we cannot completely skip analysis and design phases, but need to be able to think on our feet and do our best to conduct very quick, informal analyses and design on the fly in these situations.

3 comments:

  1. The blog is a great idea. This scenario happens more often than not, on large projects rather than small ones, at my company. Posting a blog as you go with design and development can provide a place for the background and the "why," important pieces that are missing for the associates when things are implemented quickly.

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  2. Great tips, Jeff! I think this is a great model for developing truly rapid solutions while adapting to dynamic circumstances.

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  3. Marty and Kelly,

    Thanks for the comments. This does happen more and more often. I probably should have included that I read the Riot Act to the stakeholders/SMEs in these situations, but sometimes even they don't get proper lead time either.

    Jeff

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