A little while ago I had a chat with Donald H. Taylor for the Speexx Exchange podcast. We talked about my process when having that first conversation with a customer. We spoke about my 20 questions and getting to the root of the issue to ensure you meet your learning goals.
It turned into a great conversation which you can check out below.
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.
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.
As part of the ongoing Articulate e-Learning Heroes challenges David Anderson asked to record a Podcast or Vodcast explaining how we we get things done. He provided a nice list of interview questions and the result of my very first Vodcast (video podcast) can be seen below.
What’s your job title? What title do you think really captures your roles and responsibilities?
What software tools do you love?
What’s your workspace setup like?
What is your creative or design philosophy?
How do you stay fresh and keep building your skills?
How do you avoid burnout?
How do you save time and boost your efficiency day-to-day?
How do you manage your workflow? Do you have a project management tool you love?
What kinds of tasks do you love to do? What gets you excited to sit down at your desk?
How to increase the traffic to my personal blog? That was the question that had me going for quite some time. I was struggling really, after starting a blog in 2013, with too little time to write for it (or at least I felt so) while I was also sharing information in other places like the Articulate Community, Twitter and LinkedIn. Since only some of the articles I wrote got some feedback I felt maybe a personal blog wasn’t the way to go.
With that in mind I started to focus more on the other areas I mentioned. Twitter has always been a favorite of mine so I looked into social media tools that would help me bring the most out of my tweets and got better at it. Unfortunately there is only so much you can say in 140 characters and sometimes you just want to give a bit more back story. Plus Twitter in itself only allows us to reach a select group.
After some thought, I decided to use the Articulate community to write my posts and share those on twitter. They had just launched their brand new e-learning heroes site and after getting a little used to the new look and feel I started adding my articles there, as I mostly write about Articulate related stuff. Again, while doing so I got better at writing the short stories and improved the way I made my demo’s and source files accessible and how using strong visuals would draw people into my posts. Cool! The only thing with the community site was that there where so many people in the discussion forums that I felt my post were gone down the massive stream of other requests, articles and so on, never to be seen again. I was getting some positive feedback though, so I was happy.
I was now tweeting, and posting in the community in a more unified way but I also wanted to let my professional network know what I was up to. So I turned to LinkedIn. Now that is a different animal completely (at least to me). With dozens of groups that ‘could’ be interesting but seemed less alive I wasn’t sure how to use LinkedIn to its full potential. So I started out using it the exact same way I use twitter, posting short status updates to my own content and that of others that I deemed worthwhile. Now that seemed to work ok. Clearly there is a difference in how people deal with the status updates on LinkedIn compared to Twitter. I check my twitter stream multiple times a day but when it comes to LinkedIn I tend to sit down and scroll through the updates at least once every two days… I got some additional comments and likes doing this so it seemed to be working.
…so what to do about my personal blog? Should I leave it there because of the posts I had written earlier? If people clicked a link in the Articulate community, on Twitter or LinkedIn and it wasn’t there anymore how would that look? Besides that, I still thought those posts were good. I did not want to lose them… Maybe I should try picking it up again? Do I have the energy for it if no one notices it?
At about that time LinkedIn presented a new feature… writing blog posts. At first it took me a little while to figure out where to find it (Did you spot that little pen icon in your status update box? I didn’t) but then I started writing my first couple of articles… and they were being noticed… and liked… and commented upon! Wow!
Since I had no clue what my actual traffic was on my personal blog, the Articulate community posts and my twitter posts I felt I had found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This was just the boost I needed to actually keep going. But it did present me with a new challenge. With all these different places to create content… I was getting confused and felt I had less time than before since I had to post content in so many places. And what about those that follow me? How confusing will it be for them to find all these same articles in different spots? I felt lost…
After a little while the answer was staring me right in the face. Start a personal blog. And instead of reposting all the same content everywhere write a short summary or teaser to pull them into my blog.
I took a day off from work, replaced my old website with a fresh instance of WordPress, figured out how to redirect all traffic from my old blog url to the main site, purchased a theme I really liked and worked the entire day to migrate content from all over the web into my new blog and learning about WordPress, plugins and theme options as I went along. I wrote a new post sharing a free Articulate Storyline interaction, prepared a short teaser for the Articulate Community and LinkedIn blog post and aligned my Twitter and LinkedIn status update using BufferApp, selected some additional LinkedIn groups that I wanted to post to as well and went for it.
The results, to me, where staggering. Google analytics, which I had used on my main site for two years now, reported a massive traffic boost of 442%. The stats plugins on my personal blog where giving me some awesome numbers of the amount of unique visitors and where they were coming from and I was ecstatic! People where commenting and sharing everywhere and I felt that all the work in figuring out what works (for me) paid off. I’m super happy with my new blog, have found a way to put what I do and think out in the broader learning community and can’t wait to write my next blog post! In a central spot where everyone can find it.
Feel free to check out the rest of the Blog, subscribe if you like or just follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. You’ll know when something new is out!
* I’m still adding ‘older’ posts to the blog from the sites mentioned above, so feel free to look around and check out what I’ve shared in the past!
Last week I did my first podcast. It was one of the weekly Articulate community challenges hosted by David Anderson. The mission, should we choose to accept it, was to record answers to interview questions and post them online. Now I do regular screencasts, which I enjoy a lot and most are done in one or two takes. So I figured doing a podcast would be easy-peasy.
…but it wasn’t. It took me hours to do and what feels like a gazillion takes! So why was this so different from doing a screencast? It’s just answering questions and you’re not even recording your actions on screen together with your yourself on the webcam. By all accounts this should be simpler. This was the main thing on my mind after all those hours I spend trying, and failing, to create the podcast.
It was when I looked at my process it all became very clear to me. When I do a screencast I prepare some basic things, visuals for what I’m going to show, when recording myself I prepare the environment (remove the laundry hanging behind me and pushing all those boxes outside camera range) and that’s about it. I start recording and voila, the magic just happens. Now for the podcast I prepared my answers to the questions and I figured that was it. Record it and done… not so. For some reason ‘scripting’ myself is very unnatural. When I screencast I just start talking about what I’m doing and why without any kind of script. So working with a script made me over analyze… well everything really. Am I talking at a good tempo, how is my pronunciation, am I talking at a constant volume, am I keeping to my script, how’s the background noise, does it feel natural. All these question were going through my mind when I was recording… that and remembering to breathe!
I hadn’t guessed I could talk so much in a single breath, however after a little while it becomes increasingly difficult. #$%^!@ since when do I need to think to breathe??? Stop all this thinking!
So I sat back and stared at my laptop for a while and did nothing, trying to clear my mind and, when the frustration subsided, I tried again. I told myself no need to keep to the script exactly it was just preparation, you know the answers to these questions. Relax! It doesn’t need to be perfect.
As an instructional developer, elearning designer, or whatever you call what you do when you create online training, you run in a lot of cool tools that will make your life easier and make you into that super amazing elearning guru that your are… Collect them and create your very own Superhero-eLearning-Utility-Belt.
In this post I’ll share some of my favorite free tools with you!
http://office.live.com The new free online version of Microsoft office. So much better than Google docs. I mostly use Word as I’ve got a paid version of MS office 2010 but it the ease of use of the new online office, connected to my Microsoft OneDrive really makes it easy to create, edit, store, print and share my documents when and wherever I need.
What can I say, my professional life is in my dropbox. My software, my administration, source files. It’s all safely tucked away in my dropbox. My computer can crash a gazillion times (as windows machines do) all I need to do is install my dropbox client, leave on my pc for the night and I’m good to go!
Social media/marketing tool that allows me to buffer my tweets, linkedin and other social media posts in a way that I can go online post and retweet whatever I deem valuable and it automatically spreads the messages at optimal time intervals over the various media. Brilliant!
Design inspiration finder… Just type in some keywords that relate to your course topic and the most beautiful images, infographics etc. will appear.
Need a new font for your project. Find it at DaFont. Be sure to keep things simple and clean. Don’t go overboard on all the mad fonts that you can find. The advanced search feature let’s you filter for license free fonts.
Even better then DaFont, is google web fonts. I just love these clean fonts and so should you. They’re free and easy to use.
Super easy Photoshoplike online image editor. When I’m not using powerpoint to edit images and don’t have photoshop handy this is where I go.
How can we miss this one… The tutorials, the forums, the blogs, the downloads, the freebees from fellow Articulators… I would not be where I am today without this amazing community.
“Have you ever tried explaining what you do to your friends or parents? Anyone? Chances are you were met with a blank or quizzical look. While most jobs can be tough to explain to people outside your industry, e-learning design has to be one of the most challenging jobs to explain. The industry is relatively new and requires designers to juggle a variety of skills from writing to design to project management to counselling.”.
In this week’s Articulate e-Learning challenge we’re asked to create an explanation of what we do using the “What people think I do/What I really do” concept.
What my friends think I do
Honestly, I don’t think they have the slightest idea… I guess they’re just a little less clueless then my mom. The first thing that came to mind was “computer nerd”. So I googled it and found this great picture that reminded me of the best Southpark episode ever, the World of Warcraft episode, which as a retired WoW junkie seemed scarily familiar.
What my mom thinks I do
My mother, pretty much like most mom’s I’m guessing, never got beyond the “My son does something with computers” explanation and always telling a neighbor I could help fix their computer… (sound familiar?), when in reality the times that I actually unscrewed the cover of my PC to add some additional memory or change the video card, 8 out of 10 times I broke it. So no, I cannot and will not fix your computer. 🙂
What my boss thinks I do
This depends on the boss of the moment really, our company is going through a lot of changes and since most people from the management and leadership teams I’ve worked with over the past years no longer work here, most understanding of my actual job role and contribution to the company seems to have disappeared with them. Since the term “e-learning” is in my job title and they know we’re using Articulate software it must mean I develop e-learning in PowerPoint all day long, right? 😉
What my colleagues think I do
With today’s e-learning authoring tools you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to develop meaningful and motivational e-learning. With the pressure no longer on development, coming up with an effective, beautifully designed learning solution has never been easier. The speed in which we can deliver these powerful solutions might seem like rocket science to many.
What I think I do
I actually played around with this one a bit. My first thought was of MacGuyver, the guy that could do (really) anything with just his Swiss army knife, a potato, some duct-tape and a paperclip. With the ongoing financial crisis and constant company restructuring, we more and more often have to make due with scarce resources under an enormous workload. Since I couldn’t find a decent McG picture I went for the second best thing… The hamster wheel. 🙂
What I actually do
I love my job, as it places me at the frontline of nearly every strategic corporate program the company is launching and tries to embed in the organization. Everything, from Health and Safety to Personal development and Compliance, from Management programs to Sustainability, Diversity and Employee Engagement, I’m there; designing, consulting, project managing, facilitating, implementing and measuring the effectiveness the online learning programs to move the company forward and making it a better place to work.