OUT NOW! 20 Questions L&D should ask before talking about training!

Yes! It’s finally October 20, 2020. I just could not resist all the 20’s in this date. 😉

My book 20 Questions L&D should ask before talking about training! is now available as a free download for everyone.

I don’t know about you but I’m excited! I’ve been using my 20 questions for several years now and with great success. I’ve blogged about them, been interviewed in a podcast and have been invited to conferences to speak about them. Heck, I heard my 20 questions where called out by an audience member at Learning Technologies 2020 during the opening session (Wish I had been there). And now there’s a book!

The feedback I have been getting is that these questions and how I use them are a super pragmatic way to have a professional conversation with business stakeholders and clients before jumping into learning objectives.

My many years in Learning and Development have taught me a lot. Looking back it’s easy to see where projects went off track because we didn’t have specific information or resources available. These 20 questions represent my collected wisdom 😁 and truly are my gateway to successful projects.

And they can be yours too! 

Since consistently using my 20 questions I can see 40% of requests don’t become actual projects. Can you imagine having that kind of time extra for projects that actually deliver on their promise?

Head over to 20-questions.com and get your free digital copy today, including a convenient Word template with all questions you can use to get started immediately!

Online Educa Berlin 2019

Reading time: 10 minutes

It’s November 30, 2019. I’m on my way back home from Berlin where I participated in the 25th edition of Online Educa, one of the best L&D events in Europe.

Overall reflections

This year I was able to attend the pre-conference SpeexxExchange event turning my OEB experience into a packed 3-day event.

My main reflection is that L&D is maturing topic wise. 10 years ago every event seemed focused on the next big thing. The past years I see a constant of topics. Workplace learning, 70:20:10, Blended learning, Performance support, Artificial intelligence, Brain-science and Learning analytics are the core topics. These topics all greatly connect to the larger theme of value-adding learning and development and we are focusing more on the evidence of learning methods and solutions. The cool thing about this ‘maturity’ is that we are seeing more and more success stories. Business cases that prove the value of learning models and frameworks. The shift beyond formal training remains strong and the proven effectiveness shows in all the amazing business cases presented at OEB.

I noted that next to seasoned L&D professionals there is also a big group of L&D professionals that are relatively new to a lot of these things. Something we ‘veterans’ should not forget. Every L&D professional and the organizations we work for have different maturity levels. It can be easy to frown upon certain sessions or ideas and think, I’ve heard this before but that surely does not go for all of us. I am always humbled to see people fairly new to the field share their successes and how they are moving forward. We are all in this business to have a positive impact in our field and in our organizations. Our starting points might differ, but our goals are the same. I warms my heart to see all this positive intent in the actions of my L&D peers.


The SpeexxExchange was an awesome pre-conference day. They had a nice variety of speakers on various topics. Basically, it’s a mini-conference all in itself. I won’t go into all speakers and topics just highlight the main reflections.

Two of the first session where on Virtual Reality in learning. It painted a nice contrast of VR being used by a Humanitarian organisation vs Commercial application. The work both had done was impressive but the question that arose in my mind was about context. The commercial organisation had created a VR game for leadership training. I had the opportunity to do a quick test-run in between sessions and liked how they had designed the whole journey with pre- and post-briefings and how they paired up two people (one in VR and one in the real world). In the VR game you were controlling a vehicle travelling over the Mars surface and you were having issues with your vehicle. Together with your teammate back on Earth, you needed to solve the problems. This way you were practising communication and problem-solving. It was fun to do and although I only played for a few minutes I feel unsure if practising these skills so far out of the context of my job will actually help me apply what I’ve learned (if anything at all) in real life. The Humanitarian organisation’s approach, on the other hand, was connected to real-life situations and felt more valuable because of it. I’m pretty new to the VR for learning game so I need to dig up some research to see if context has an actual impact here. My thinking would be that it is.

Another thing that stood out at the humanitarian organisation is that they experimented with many different formats for different situations, always looking at the existing evidence of effectiveness before starting their experiments. They talked about predictive learning, offering learning solution suggestions before known events. This is something we could apply in the corporate world as well around typical annual events such as appraisal chats, recruitment talks etc.

Jane Delay from Towards Maturity showed us the latest data about the role of AI in high performing learning cultures (HPLC) and talked about transactional versus transformational L&D. She described transformational L&D as L&D with more intent, looking at organisational pain points, improvements and always acting evidence-based. She spoke about how HPLC are eco-centric and focus on the future of work. I asked what kind of skills we as L&D professionals need to have if we evolve from transactional to transformational L&D. The wordcloud activity with did with the group strongly showed skills you would see in performance consulting. Laura Overton pointed us towards the report “Who moved my skills” (check link at the bottom of this post). I’ll definitely keep an eye out for Towards maturity final report on this topic. A very inspiring discussion!

As I said there where many other interesting speakers but I’ll leave it at this for now.

…On to OEB19!

Discovering learning – Julian Stodd

“If it’s not evidence-based then what are we doing?” This is one of the main statements I walked away with. Sounds obvious? Too obvious maybe? It should be, but reality paints a different picture. Organisations and L&D professionals often bypass the question “What does the research tell us?”. I know I do it too from time to time. I’m pretty comfortable in the things I think I know or that I believe I have seen work. Reading (all) the research is a different thing. What would happen if you would add ‘Check the research’ to your to-do list next time you are coming up with a solution? In the two days after OEB I already saw two great examples from L&D professionals about using net promotor scoring to measure learning (via Arun Pradan) and the impact of video-based learning (by Donald Clark) that gave some good insights in what the research says what works and what doesn’t.

The session went much deeper than that. I love how Julian’s mind works, his line of thinking and the philosophical parts always hit home. If he’s not on your radar, he should be!

Beyond neuroscience

 After the opening session on the 2nd day, I was in doubt what session to visit. If you’ve been to OEB before you know there are a dozen sessions running at the same time and I often find 4 potential topics I’d really like to follow. I ended up in a session called Beyond neuroscience. I was a bit sceptical as I feel the learning industry is abusing the whole neuro thing just as they did the micro thing a couple of years ago. This session, however, was a breath of fresh air. Run by the ‘Brainladies’ we looked at how our are brains set up, the S.C.A.R.F. model and hopped around the room displaying brainwave activity. A ton of fun and with some really good insights. Again, check the evidence before jumping on the Neuro-bandwagon. Be deliberate on how you apply ‘brain-science’ to your learning solutions to make sure they add to the performance outcome you are looking for. You can check out a link to their whitepaper below.

Value-based L&D

70:20:10 is a well-established learning framework by now and during this session Jos Arets from the 702010 Institute shared how the thinking around it is maturing into true and proven value-based L&D practices that help us shift from the traditional order taker model, that basically sets up L&D to be seen as a cost to the organization, into a model of a performance enabler and thus value creator. Jos has been working the past 3 years on 2 new books that will be coming out and researching, practising and refining the working methods in organizations with great success. This was all supported by case studies from AkzoNobel and Leo Pharma which really show the difference you can make as Learning and development when applying their model.

As mentioned earlier, you can check out a link to their whitepaper below. Oh, and be sure to check out the Rummler model!

Blended learning for engagement and impact

This year I was asked to chair one of the panel discussions at OEB. This is a great way to participate and meet new people. In this session Manuela, Robert, Eckart and Manuel shared some of their challenges and successes. It is so cool to see such a mix of organizations, ranging from coast guards and border patrol to language training institutes to manufacturers of speciality products, deal with similar challenges and finding ways to add value by looking at the root cause of a problem and trying out new ways to address it. 

The key takeaway from these talks is that you need to look at the actual problem (the pain) you find in your organisation and analyze what would help solve that pain. A one-off classroom or e-learning event won’t be the solution. Find the things that will impact the desired outcomes and these together will be your (blended) solution. Make it relevant and appealing to maximize engagement and impact. We spent over half an hour taking questions from the participants and could have gone on had we not run out of time :).

Adaptive learning and learning analytics

After a good intro about the basics you need to know about getting started with learning analytics by the first panellist, Donald Clark took to the stage sharing his work on adaptive learning and AI. I was quite impressed with the work he shared and the idea that AI could support people navigate their learning journeys and present adaptive paths. A call-out to drop the ancient SCORM standard and embrace xAPI struck a chord and make me realize that I too need to go back to my organization and see where we are regarding xAPI possibilities as this opens up our ability to gather and use proper data. Data that we can use to enhance user experience in the future. I loved the statement from one of the panel members that learning analytics is not just for dashboards but best used to create adaptive learning experiences. First thing I did when I was back in the office to check in the with our solution architects to ask about the status of xAPI capability in our LMS!

What’s next?

OEB is always a lot. Many things that you could jump on but what to focus on? Reflecting on the train ride home and talking with my colleague Lizanne I’ve decided to focus on the following. First, there are a couple of whitepapers I’ll be diving into that are freely available:

Secondly, I’ll be revisiting some books that I’ve read a while ago or that are on the ‘to-read’ pile I have at home.

Thirdly, to see how I can apply these things in my daily work as much as possible, connect with peers that are doing this today and see how I can share and influence my own organisation to be better!

Thank you!

Next to all of that OEB is a great place to meet peers from the industry. I love how an event like this draws in so many professionals and I am happy to connect with new friends and meet old ones. I want to specifically thank (in random order) Lizanne van Zyl, Channa van der Brug, Donald Taylor, Laura Overton, Charles Jennings, Armin Hopp, Julian Stodd, Ola Söderlin, Nikolina Talijan Hinic, Binnaz Cubukcu, Miriam Neelen, Joe Pokropski, Tony White, Jos Arets, Carin de Weme, Helena Bargiel, Ria van Dinteren, Stella Collins, Katelijn Nijsmans, and many others for the conversations we had, some short, others longer. You all gave this event that little bit of extra that always makes me realize how lucky I am to work in this field and has me longing for the next time we meet!

Jeff’s Top 10 List Learning Tools 2019

Reading time: approx 10m

Another year, another top 10 list of learning tools survey by Jane Hart. It’s funny how these lists slowly adapt, yet stay the same. This year I notice some new tools creeping into my list only to realize they are just the next step or replacement from a tool or way of working I had before.

Let’s get started!


The newest addition to the list and one I felt should be on top. I’ve always been a ‘social learner’, pulling knowledge from a wide range of (online) sources. When I started out over a decade ago I found most of my information on Twitter. I used Tweetdeck as my content curation tool to help me bring information to me, following people, hashtags etc. I committed time every day to browse through tweetdeck and discover valuable things. Somewhere along the line, my findings in Tweetdeck took more time and the fine balance was lost. I had identified various valuable sources and just started to visit those regularly. The past couple of years ‘my manual system’ sank away to the background and although I still tried to find the information it was much more unstructured. In comes Feedly. I had heard about Feedly before but had never taken the time to figure out how to set it up and start using it. This year I met Mike Taylor at Learningtechday in Gent and he shared his curation process using Feedly. I had heard many podcasts and seen several webinars where Mike shared his process but seeing it in real life and talking to him about it made me realize I was missing out on ‘a system’ to collect content in a single place, making it easy to keep learning without the effort of ‘going out’ to find stuff.

After the conference I setup up Feedly and am now curating some great resources getting back in the daily learning habit.

LinkedIn, Twitter, 

As mentioned before I get a lot of valuable information from social sources. LinkedIn and Twitter are two great resources for finding peers and forward-thinking folks. It is also the place where I share my own curated content. Those articles, tools, webinars, podcasts etc that helped me grow. It’s also the place where I share my own original content with the world. Yes, I’ve got a personal WordPress blog but when writing I always post on LinkedIn first and then to my own blog. LinkedIn has matured a lot and it is a great platform to share expertise and insight in a professional setting.


I love YouTube. I have had my own channel for ages and love creating how-to videos to help others but also as a job-aid to myself. If there is a thing I don’t do to often that requires a lot of steps you can hope that resource explaining how to do something remains online and findable the next time you need it or you can simply create your own support resource. I love how YouTube democratizes learning and that you can find almost anything you would want to learn. Right now I am learning about prototyping in Invision, how to use Glideapps and for my entertainment watching Playstation Access.


Finding and creating valuable content is one thing but sharing effectively is another. Several years ago I found Buffer and it has enabled me to efficiently share any content I found or created. When you, like me, plan time in your day to read up on your social content sharing these findings in a way other people might find them easily can be tricky. Sharing all my finds in a matter of minutes after each other chances are maybe one or two items shared get noticed. Buffer helps me by creating a list of items that get published on my LinkedIn and Twitter feed at set intervals. This way there is not a single moment in the day I am publishing my finds but push out content 3-4 times a day. Buffer truly is one of my favorite apps to share!

Loom (screencasting)

Back in the day, there was this screencast revolution in the elearning community. So many people were recording how-to’s of their work in their favorite elearning authoring tools. When Screenr (the tool we used in the Articulate community) stopped there was a massive gap. About a year and a half ago I found Loom. It is an amazing web-based screen recorder that just shines in ease-of-use and, very important, stability. Now when I need to explain something within my own team at work I quickly record a video and share it via Loom. When I’m creating content for my YouTube channel I use Loom as well and download the video from Loom and upload it to YouTube. I just love the simplicity and basic editing capabilities of Loom (note: I rarely edit my videos. I usually record in one or two takes and decide it is good enough). If you haven’t tried Loom yet you should definately give it a go.

Google suite / Office 365

Content creation requires certain tools. Whether you are using the Google suite or Microsoft office writing, collecting and structuring content usually gets done in Word or Docs, PowerPoint or Slides and I couldn’t do without. PowerPoint especially has been my multimedia design tool of choice over the years. It is so versatile. I can create basic icons and other design elements. I used it for wireframing and mockups and is so shareable and editable by all. You’ve probably guessed it but this post started out as an outline in Google docs as well.

Invision Studio: Wireframing/Prototyping

As I just mentioned I am using Powerpoint to do a lot of basic wireframing and prototyping. As a learning designer, I feel my role is shifting more and more into learning and performance solution concepts, not developing them per se. Being able to create good wireframes and prototypes are becoming more and more important and not something I always want to outsource to suppliers. There is a lot I can do myself and I am currently trying to expand into more professional tools like Adobe XD and Invision Studio. Right now I am focusing on Invision Studio and building my capabilities in prototyping hopefully coming to a level where I can take that up to the next level.

Articulate 360 suite

Ah! The ultimate suite of elearning authoring tools, if you ask me. The 360 suite contains market-leading authoring tool Articulate Storyline for your slide-based elearning projects which is the strongest in the market today. If you can think of it, you can probably develop it in Storyline. The suite also contains Articulate Rise, the web-based responsive authoring tool, which is just one of the best and easiest tools I know that will create responsive elearning that will work on any device. For those into screencasting there is also Articulate Replay and Peek, a desktop and a web-based screen recorder. Replay is great as it adds a level of editing in its basic two-track video editor that is intuitive and effective. Last but not least there is Articulate Studio which ‘plugs in’ to PowerPoint and comes with a quiz builder and interaction tool that merge into each other when publish your elearning package. It often gets overlooked but it is the tool I started out with 15 years ago and still is one of the most hands-on and pragmatic authoring tools on the market. 

Communities of practice

Not a real software tool but a tool in my mind nonetheless. Sharing is caring and a lot of sharing goes on in communities of practice. I’ve learned so much by the generosity of people in communities and I must admit I would not be where I am today if I had not invested in them the way I did. I started out in the best community in the world for elearning designers and developers, the Articulate community, and can recommend it to anyone in the field of online learning. There are more communities though. Some open like Twitter chats and Linkedin groups which can hold a certain value (although I am yet to find an actual active LinkedIn Group in my area of interest). Taking time to be present in communities takes planning and commitment and like much of my social learning I’ve yet to find a way to leverage the new communities I am looking into and committing to a larger contribution. Any tips are welcome :).

Webinars & podcasts

I feel like I am cheating a little bit with this last entry but as mentioned I’m learning a lot from these informal ‘specialist’ talks in our field. I am still exploring which podcasts are worth connecting with and when is the best time to take time to listen in. For webinars I tend to sign up to stuff, even if I know I’m not going to make the time. Getting the recording is often even better as it allows me to scrub through it at a higher speed when I need and, obviously, watch when it is most convenient.

Getting started with Virtual Classrooms (Podcasts)

Earlier this year I did a podcast with Jo Cook from Lightbulb Moments. I shared my insights on getting started with virtual classrooms. We had a great chat and actually created two podcasts of around 25 minutes of that conversation. At the end of the podcasts, Jo and Mike from Lightbulb Moments share their key takeaways from the podcast.

You can check out both podcasts below. If you have any questions and thoughts just add them in the comments below.

Getting started with virtual classrooms – Part 1

Getting started with virtual classrooms – Part 2

How to set-up a reflection question in Articulate Rise

Think and reflect! A very powerful learning interaction and one I use often in my online learning solutions.

In this quick example video, I show you how I use them in Articulate Rise and how you can set them up.

Like this example? Got any ideas on how to do it in a different way? Let me know in the comments below!

Is your corporate academy still relevant for your employees?

Reading time: 4 minutes

I’ve been thinking about corporate learning and with that, corporate academies (or universities) a lot the past couple of years. Last year when I got invited to speak at the 8th annual Corporate learning and Corporate Academies event in Berlin I even raised the question: “Should a Corporate Academy still exist?”. That question came from my own experience looking at all the Corporate Academies and Universities I have seen over the years. Most struggle to go beyond the first maturity level and create a massive budget consuming behemoth, which does little more than manage a training catalog, do some basic vendor management, implements and maintains an expensive old-school Learning Management System and hosts and tracks a myriad of face-2-face and e-learning training solutions. All this is a lot of work but is it the right work? Does it help your employees and your organization?

Every time I see survey results or industry research about Corporate Academies, I read how they fail to be relevant and accessible for the organizations employees. Often such surveys and research follow up with improvement plans which seem to shoot for the stars yet find little success.

We need to start talking to what it is our employees need. What helps them to be better at their job? What do they need to prepare for their next job? We need to take a close look at what relevant and accessible means to them, not to the corporate HQ! If you fail to do, and prove that your Corporate Academy will always be seen as a cost and not as the critical value-adding enabler it can and needs to be.

What does relevant mean?

I love the obvious questions “Does it help me to be better at my job?” and “Does it prepare me for my next job?”. I truly believe that if the answer to these questions is ‘Yes’ then you are providing, facilitating and/or developing the right solutions. Mind you, the people answering these questions should be your employees, not stakeholders, not subject matter experts… your employees. They know what they need. They know what they will use and what they will ignore. Just look at your LMS reports :).

This means we need to get a whole lot better at doing a business needs analysis.

  • We need to know what changes and problems there are that need addressing.
  • We need to know what success looks like and how we can measure it.
  • We need to know the reality of our target audience.
  • We need to stop making excuses! If there is no clear business case then we should stop projects before they start.

This does not have to be rocket science. Context is king. Without context we’re just creating and maintaining content that has yet to prove its relevance.

We need to embrace the 70:20:10 framework and the 5 Moments of Need model as proven models for value based Learning and development. Only this way can we offer solutions that embed in our employee’s workflow and truly support them at being better at their jobs! Only then can we setup Corporate Academies that are truly relevant.

What does accessible mean?

Accessibility is key. It does not mean making it available via your LMS and expecting people to magically find it. In most organizations a small percentage uses the LMS on a regular basis to look at the offer and actively engages with it. Another group might visit the LMS during development talk time however finding what they need might prove to be an issue thus leaving the LMS behind the next time. There is also that other, fairly large group that haven’t even heard of your LMS or have but have forgotten about it completely.

Accessibility is having your solutions available when and where you’re employees need it. The 5 Moments of need model refers to ‘two clicks, 10 seconds’. For me this translates in ‘as easy and as fast as possible’. If you have to go find a computer somewhere and search for a link to the LMS, figure out your login details, start searching the course catalog, making sense of the search results trying to launch the solution, perhaps going through an approval workflow… you see where this is going right?

How can we make solutions available where employees are without them having to jump through a dozen burning hoops? For many employees finding the right content in their moment of need is like solving a rubics cube. It takes too much time and is too complex to hang on to ‘get it’.

Making the right content available in the right context in the right format is the essence of accessibility.

When taking people out of their work for formal training make sure you train them in where to find and how to use any training and support resources you’ve developed to support them outside the training. Do this right and people will use it and you will see the positive effect in your organization. Targets that will actually be met, changes will be embedded.

Articulate Gebruikersdagen 2018

Vandaag sprak ik op de 8e Articulate gebruikersdagen in Utrecht. In mijn sessie besprak ik de 20 vragen de je moet stellen om tot een goede business case te komen voor een training en support oplossing. Ik geloof dat dit een cruciale stap is die genomen moet worden voordat je gaat beginnen met een leerdoelen analyse. Een training hoeft immers niet de oplossing te zijn voor het probleem dat je klant heeft.

Het was de eerste keer dat ik deze vragen in een soort van ‘inspiratiesessie’ deelde en de feedback die ik kreeg was erg goed. Het is altijd mooi om te zien dat het klikt bij de deelnemers van een sessie.

Hieronder vind je mijn slides en daarmee alle vragen. Succes!

20 questions to ask before talking about learning objectives!

Reading time: 2,5 minutes
This post appeared first on LinkedIn.

I’ve been in Learning and Development for over 12 years now. It has been quite the learning journey for me, as I went from starting out in the role to being, well…, more experienced. One of the things that have continuously evolved over the years are the questions I’m asking my clients. Asking the right questions makes all the difference.

When I started out as an e-learning specialist my questions were focused on building the best possible e-learning module. Over the years I’ve learned that even though my job title might constrict me to ‘learning and development’, focusing on the product of a training request isn’t the best way to help my clients nor my organization.

I should be asking questions about the problem or change that we are trying to address and that address the desired outcome. I should not be jumping into learning objectives and solutions from the go. …and neither should you!

So what are the right questions to ask?

Good question! As I mentioned, my list of questions is an ever-evolving one.

The questions below have helped me, and my clients tremendously in painting a clear picture of where we are, where we want to be and how to prove what we are doing is actually working!

I am sharing these with you because we, as Learning and Development professionals need to better. We need to stop being a course factory and start building learning and performance solutions that actually work in the long term.

These questions, rooted in performance consulting, might just help you get started!

20 Questions to ask before talking about learning objectives!

  1. What is the problem/challenge you are trying to address?
  2. What is the business reason for this request?
  3. Do you have an idea for a solution in mind already?
  4. Who are the stakeholders and what are their roles (RACI)? What is their stake in this?
  5. Have you done a root cause analysis for the problem/challenge? What is the result?
  6. What will happen if we do nothing? What is the impact to the organization?
  7. What changes will we see in the organization when we implement this solution (What does success look like)?
  8. How can we measure the impact of the solution (with existing means)?
  9. Are there existing/immediate issues and/or behaviors that need addressing?
  10. What areas affect the desired outcome (Ability, Motivation, Organisational barriers …)?
  11. What are risks/challenges we need to consider?
  12. What is the desired timeline? Why this timeline?
  13. Is there a budget (range) known?
  14. What does the Target audience look like? How many people? Different roles? New starters? Existing? Access to digital? Mandatory? Language requirements? When will they take this training? Where would they look for information/support? …?
  15. Which others are affected by this problem/challenge?
  16. Which employees (5) can we talk to that experience/are impacted by the problem/challenge?
  17. What materials are available already and where? Is it being used? What works, what does not (proven)? Reusable? Scalable?
  18. Which technical requirements and limitations do we need to take into account?
  19. Which means are available for implementation?
  20. Is there anything relevant to this project I should know that I haven’t asked about?

So what are your thoughts? Questions, remarks? Drop me a comment below!

My favorite Learning & Development books!

Reading time: 2.5 minutes
This post appeared first on LinkedIn.

I often get asked what my favorite learning and development books are. I love books, especially those written by thought leaders in our industry. There’s such a wealth of information in them and they can be a great resource on the go. Here are a few books (in random order) I’d recommend to any L&D/HRD Professional.

702010 towards 100% performance [link]

This book really helped me understand the 702010 framework. It is an amazingly well-designed book that is very thorough. Jos, Charles and Vivian describe how the three pieces of the puzzle come together via a distinct set of roles that should exist within a modern L&D department.

Innovative Performance Support: Strategies and Practices for Learning in the Workflow [link]

This is probably the oldest book on my list as I had the honor to proofread it some years ago. Any organization that is moving from the traditional ‘training mindset’ to a modern ‘performance mindset’ will find this book extremely useful as it focuses on Performance Support in the workplace. To me, this methodology is the most pragmatic way to start the 702010 journey.

Learning in the Modern Workplace [link]

Honestly, I love Jane Hart and everything she does for our industry. Her book(s) and blog should be mandatory for anyone that is involved in an L&D or HRD role. Jane’s book is absolutely one of my favorites. An absolute must-have!

Show your work [link]

Jane Bozarth put together a great book that truly shows the value of ‘working out loud’. By showing your work you support productivity, improve performance, encourage reflective practice, and so much more.

Revolutionize Learning & Development: Performance and Innovation Strategy for the Information Age [link]

Okay, I’ve only read a GetAbstract book summary but I still want to put this one on this list. I think Clark Quinn really sends a clear message with his book and understands the need and urgency for L&D to change like no other! I’ll add this book to my bookshelf as soon as I’ve completed the books on my nightstand.

Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days [link]

I’ve only recently come across Design thinking and Sprints for learning but I find it an amazing process that really helps you step away from the solution and helps you find out what really works before spending a lot of time and money on a solution that won’t get the results you’re looking for. There’s also a great explanatory video playlist right [here].

Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations [link]

Training and workplace supporting materials are often slide-based. Nancy Duarte is the queen of presentations and her book is a great addition to anyone that creates learning materials.

All Articulate e-books [link]

As an Articulate Super Hero, it might be obvious to add this to the list. The team at Articulate has really put together a great set of compact e-learning design related e-books that will help any starting professional creating better e-learning.

Steal like an Artist [link]

I love this little book! Austin Kleon tells a great story. Get inspired by him and by the work of others to get better yourself. I’ve learned so much from other people’s work, deconstructing, recreating examples with the tools I have at my disposal.

These books are currently on my nightstand

I truly believe these books will help you grow as a professional and in turn, you will help grow our profession from course factory to strategic business partner!

Thoughts, insights? Any books you would like to recommend? Leave me a note in the comments below. And if you like this post please share it with your network.

Van Idee tot Realiteit: Performance Support in de Fabriek!

Leestijd: 3,5 minuten
Deze post verscheen als eerst op LinkedIn.

Joost Smilde is een L&D Specialist en Learning Developer bij FrieslandCampina. Onlangs sprak ik hem en hij vertelde over hoe hij succesvol een performance support oplossing heeft geïmplementeerd in een fabrieksomgeving. Dit gebeurt nu via een tablet met een app die de operators ondersteunt in het oplossen van verstoringen tijdens het productieproces.

Joost, wat was de vraag die je kreeg uit de organisatie?

De vraag die ik kreeg uit de organisatie was om onze mensen in de fabriek in Borculo, waar o.a. kindervoeding wordt geproduceerd, te trainen om verstoringen aan de productielijn op te lossen. Zo’n verstoring komt tenminste eenmaal per week voor en kost de organisatie zo’n € 42.000 per week. Een kwart van deze verstoringen werd veroorzaakt door foutief handelen van de operators. Daar was dus enorme winst te behalen.

Hoe ben je tot deze oplossing gekomen?

Bij FrieslandCampina moeten we meetbare impact realiseren van onze oplossingen. We hebben daarom bewust gekozen om niet direct naar standaard leeroplossingen, zoals klassikale training of e-learning, te grijpen. Om van analyse tot ontwikkeling te komen gebruiken ik een voor ons gestandaardiseerde workflow (zie afb.1) die ons in staat stelt, in een iteratief proces, op zoek te gaan naar de juiste oplossingen voor het probleem.

Je bent niet de drogist die een medicijn aanbied maar de arts die de diagnose stelt en de juiste behandeling start.

Samen met het projectteam dat uiteindelijk bestond uit zes personen, een paar operators en quality assurance medewerkers en ikzelf, zijn we aan de slag gegaan. Op de werkvloer dus!

Om te beginnen nam ik ze mee in de mindset change, van een standaard training naar een bredere performance oplossing. Ik begeleidde ze met het analyseren, ontwerpen en ontwikkelen van wat later de app zou worden die nu in de fabriek gebruikt wordt. Je kunt dit zien als een agile, design thinking proces dat ik faciliteerde.

Wat zijn de uitdagingen waar je tegenaan bent gelopen en hoe heb je ze aangepakt?

Het is makkelijk terug te grijpen naar oplossingen die ‘je al in de kast hebt staan’. Leeroplossingen die gisteren goed werkte zijn geen garantie voor succes vandaag. Door het standaard trainingsidee los te laten konden we met een schone lei beginnen.

Na een brainstormsessie bedachten we een interactieve PowerPoint module waarin we alle bekende verstoringen en hoe ze op te lossen plaatsten. Deze PowerPoint konden we op een tablet draaien waardoor operators op de werkvloer gebruik zouden kunnen maken van de actuele informatie waarmee zij de verstoringen stapsgewijs kunnen oplossen. Toen we op ruim 90% van de ontwikkeling waren kwamen we tot de conclusie dat we een enorm content monster aan het creëren waren. Het onderhouden en aanvullen hiervan was gedoemd te mislukken omdat het niet in het moment zelf kon. Terug naar het tekenbord dus. Na middag zoeken op internet kwamen we op het idee om zelf een echte app te bouwen die gekoppeld was aan een database. Het moest ook echt zelf want het budget en de resources waren minimaal.

Durf wat je al hebt bedacht weg te gooien!

De volgende uitdaging was ICT. Je weet dat als je werkplekondersteuning beschikbaar wil hebben op de werkvloer en daarbij real-time onderhoudbaar wil maken, je digitaal moet gaan. In dit geval wilde we een app gaan bouwen. Dat hadden we nog niet eerder gedaan. Als je dit soort nieuwe wegen inslaat ga je meestal voorbij aan de bestaande standaarden. Hierbij helpt het de juiste mensen te kennen binnen de organisatie, die je willen helpen en vertrouwen hebben in de business case. Je moet echt een duidelijk ‘what’s in it for you’ verhaal aan de man brengen.

Hierdoor zat ik, boven verwachting, al snel samen met ICT en Microsoft om tafel om te kijken hoe we met Office365 de gewenste app konden gaan bouwen.

Kun je iets vertellen over het resultaat, de impact op de organisatie?

Deze oplossing met een budget van €1000,- , 6 mensen die 1x per week samen kwamen, in een doorlooptijd van 12 weken, op één locatie levert de organisatie een besparing van ruim €200.000,- nog voor het einde van het jaar. En dat gaat volgend jaar natuurlijk gewoon door.

Wat ik nog mooier vind is de impact op de mensen. De operators geven aan niet meer onzeker te zijn als er een verstoring plaats vindt. Ze weten precies welke stappen ze moeten nemen en wanneer ze de Technische dienst er bij moeten halen. De app ondersteunt ze bij het oplossen van de verstoring en geeft ze de mogelijkheid nieuwe verstoringen te analyseren en vast te leggen.

Zijn er dingen die je de volgende keer anders zou doen?

Zeker! Ik zou nog sneller dingen laten vallen, kleinere prototypes maken. Als ik dat gedaan had hadden we misschien in de vierde week al aan het bouwen van de app begonnen!

Nieuwschierig naar meer details? Joost deelde zijn werkwijze en ervaringen op 26 september tijdens een lunchsessie bij Bright Alley. Lees hier het verslag van deze sessie.