Thursday, October 11, 2012

Trends and Gaps

In preparation for my conversation with the SWAT team leader - I put together one of those text-heavy PowerPoints, if only to sort out my findings to date and give me some points of conversation.

Here's the PowerPoint.  

I didn't have to inflict the whole thing on him for him to see some angles of attack for a Learning Environment redesign.

1) Map the process this fits into.

I have been approaching the Learning Environment based on MY needs.  Yes, I should know better.  Don't judge.

The SWAT team leader's recommendation (done somewhat obliquely through his demonstration of ASU's fantastic Research Administration help site) was to look at the process the problem fits into.

As I thought about it - the training I do fits into the Employee life-cycle. This needs more concrete definition, but right off the top of my head, this is what I came up with:
  • Onboarding
  • The march from beginner to expert
  • Compliance issues and requirements during employment
  • Career development
  • Termination (and here I am including retirement, voluntary departure, firing)
The issues our training groups face embed within this life-cycle. 
  • Finding help - both information and people (experts)
  • Reporting (what did people take? When? Did they take all necessary mandatory training?  Nevermind the more advanced stuff that includes business analytics.)
  • How best to determine appropriate curricula for each level of employee.
2) Think about a development roadmap based on that process and the pain points within the process.

This idea has popped up a couple of times over the past month.  I've had one in my head.  I'm not sure if one actually exists for our training program elsewhere.  If not - it is definitely time to put one together.

3) Once the process (as it currently stands) and the roadmap for improvement are defined, choose 2 or 3 things to focus on over the next year.

I kept staring at my strange little PowerPoint and two things jumped out at me:
  • Compliance.  Almost every request I have received from outside the IT department over the past year has been centered around Compliance.  The pain points (gaps) I had identified in our process have at least one compliance element in them.  From terrible instructional design, to awkward approval processes, to manual reporting. 

  • Reporting. From what I can tell (and maybe it's because I am a trainer), training is a critical element of Compliance.  More grant and regulatory agencies are wanting evidence of "training" in their pet topic.  In conversations around the organization, I've been repeatedly told that being able to provide this evidence is key.  (Nevermind actually reducing the number of compliance cases and/or reducing the average size of the reward).
(Of course, this begs the question as to WHY compliance has become the thing we focus on vs. performance improvement / innovation / whether or not our training actually did something useful etc.  Probably best I don't go there....)

I then thought about my recent conversations with the Data Whisperer, the SWAT Team Leader, Syd and Sally...

What if we could use Compliance Reporting as the base?  That is an immediate need.  It would serve as a driver to help us get our baseline L&D reporting in line before we start adding non-traditional inputs (such as business data). And it could help each of member of the project reach their strategic objectives - which right now seem to center around analytics.

Makes sense right now as I type this.  I may also be jumping to conclusions to quickly.....

David Jones has a couple of recent posts that provide food for thought on this.

Compliance Cultures and Transforming the Quality of eLearning
The Core Problem with Learning Analytics

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