Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Manic Ramblings from a Vendor Conference

I have a confession....

I didn't blog the SkillSoft Perspectives 2012 conference.

Reason: I just got final "notification" that I can no longer "evolve" my practice.
Time to blow stuff up.
Like 8+ years of stuff.
Can you say "freaked"

I figured the most useful way to demonstrate what I was thinking is to share the "manic rambling" document I sent to my bosses after the SkillPort 8 demo.  I wrote this on May 2nd.

Names have been changed to protect my future victims teammates.  Only one of whom is aware he is part of my evil plan project.  I also added a couple of updates.  Otherwise - this is pretty much what I wrote.

Good thing my boss didn't record the phone conversation that occurred right BEFORE I wrote this.
Imagine - sitting on a curb outside of a conference hotel.  Phone in one hand.  Head in the other. 
Mouth vomiting the unedited impressions of the caffeinated rabid squirrels in my head into the phone.
I suspect the audio file would have been classic

SkillPort 8 release date - Q4 2012
We ought to plan for - Q1-Q2 2012  (note - we are going to move this back to Q3 or Q4 2013)

Strategic advantages
- Anytime, anywhere, any device.  Completely new and built for mobility.  Tablet priority.

- Social and community features built in.  Exclusive to community of users. Not outside GWU SkillPort user community

Implementation considerations
- Home page will require active administration - need to determine who decides on content / governance procedure
 + What’s new
 + Featured materials

- Determine whether we can restructure groups and permissions so there are manager run reports
 + will be determined by what I can suss out of the administrative functions (not much info yet)

- Need governance and guidance on menu structure and alternate views

- Need governance and guidance on feature topics
 + Decisions on above will determine tagging for the custom content

- Who will create development plans and what audience

- Will probably need to do inventory, analysis and cleanup of ALL existing custom content in SkillPort.  We will need to have groups pay for content slots or come up with some other governance process for the custom content cleanup and import moving forward.

- Will need to involve the following IT resources: Mobility Guru, LDAP Whisperer

Operational considerations
- Tagging for custom content (new search - custom content now seamless in new library structure)

- Group structure administration
 + Reporting
 + Communities
 + Content and Development plan assignments

- Administration of upcoming events
 + Can we move this to training coordinators in the various groups?
 + Can we link this to the Google events calendars (technical)

- Custom content - need to re-develop process (see eLearning strategy)

- Curriculum - need to re-develop process and governance

Training considerations
- Brand new search (unified library + custom content built right in.  No more separated custom content)

- Brand new interface

- Using the community features
 + Making your expertise searchable (need to determine best practice tagging)
 + Recommendations

- Downloading to mobile

- Creating a personal plan

- Personal reports

- Will need to do marketing of new interface (like SkillPort 7) + post-implementation workshops for quarter following.

eLearning Strategic considerations

eLearning tutorial development / porting into SkillPort 8 for reporting

Environmental changes / triggers
- Adobe is far behind on HTML 5 conversion for Adobe Captivate (short answer - this tool doesn’t work very well as it currently stands)

- More demand for mobile training from the other training groups (Academic Departments, Compliance teams) - Adobe Captivate does not do this very well and does not appear poised to address this issue very effectively

- SkillPort 8 looks like it may not accept the files as we are currently constructing them.  Or if they do - they won’t work very well.

Possible solutions / things to explore
- SkillStudio (do not own) / Dialog Live (own) - being redesigned so one developed tutorial goes across all ports without major conversion effort

- Adobe Edge appears to be Adobe’s HTML5 solution
  + Will need to check for ease of use
  + Will need to check for Captivate conversion capabilities to help (did some further research - not an appropriate tool)

Requirements for whatever tool (as currently known - will need to talk to current collection of developers)
- Must publish in HTML 5
- Must be able to convert PowerPoint
- Must be able to convert created Captivate tutorials (.swf formats)
- Must be capable of SCORM reporting without manual reprogramming of code
- Analyze for ease of use (conversion)
- Analyze for ease of use (development)
- Analyze for interactivity capabilities
- Analyze for branching

Content for SkillPort 8
- We want to look at the SkillSoft solutions.  They are incorporating LOTS of video into both our existing libraries and new libraries.
  + WIll check for info on the Google Suite and when that will be available

- Ideally - we really want to go with SkillSoft content BEFORE going out to purchase separate content (thinking
 + Check how much extra the content will be in our SkillSoft contract vs. Lydia contract
  + Add cost of time and effort spent to do the integration (my salary + any fees possibly charged by SkillSoft + any content slots that may need to be used)

- Need to look at the mobile training solutions for our main enterprise systems
 + Banner coming out with a mobile piece - what are they doing for training
 + Kronos
 + EAS
 + How implementable is this

- Security and other purchased training - we need to start encouraging people to really take a close look at the SkillSoft content libraries first
 + Again - ease of integration and cost of that integration
 + Cost of the outside tutorial licenses.....
 + Accuracy of reporting.  FInding that outside tutorials requiring a significant amount of time to reprogram and test. (please see SANS)

Funding for SkillPort and content
- We need to seriously re-structure how SkillPort and its content + conversion services are being funded.
 + Compliance library is becoming a distinctively apparent need that goes across the university, including grant needs, compliance needs, etc.  Plus the quality of what is being produced in-house is very low - particularly for the amount of IT effort required.

 + Huge demand for Books 24x7 - always paused when we get to the funding piece

 + Demand for Business and Leadership channel - again, paused by the funding piece.


Judy Unrein said...

Wendy, I have to confess that I'm really confused by this post. You can no longer evolve your practice... did you get fired? What's happening? :)

HTML5 resources/tools... I've started curating a page of stuff on that topic specifically for learning/development people. Here it is:

Hope that helps!

Wendy said...

See - told you it was manic ramblings!!! I am still in the same position - my job has changed to be more "strategic" (whatever that means).

I've been looking at your HTML5 resources page, and just learned about Captivate 6. At the time I wrote that - I was looking at changing tools (ones I've used for 8 years) and basic design assumptions re: how to deliver applications training and what it should look like in the first place.

Wendy said...

...hit publish too soon

Plus I am now in a position where I have to show others how to do what I do. What I've been doing for the past 10-some-odd-years has stopped scaling.

I'm not as freaked now (or at least at the moment of this writing) as I was when I wrote that piece.

Going on the assumption that "nothing is sacred anymore" has proven to be quite liberating.