Training’s Essence: Remember The Learner

I think that as human  being’s we like to complicate things.  There is a very good reason why countless books on time management and organization software exist. Project Managers were born out of the chaos of scope creep and an unending tide of enhancements, feedback and evolution.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with making things better!  I’m a technophile.  I love bigger, better, growth and the constant evolution to the impossible perfection. (I think there’s a blog post on that!)

Most times, projects, initiatives or programs come from a root of purity.  A problem that needed to be solved, inefficiency that needed to be streamlined or people who needed help with a task.

When a learning program is first conceived, it would come from an intrinsic need like an identified skill gap or personal interest in growing or an extrinsic motivation such as a deployment, missed objective or larger vision for direction.  It’s exciting to be involved in the birth of these types of programs.  Passion and motivation is high and out of box thinking is common.

As we progress though, the weight of several elements eventually start to bear down.  Competing initiatives and projects, a need for consistency in processes, technology enhancements, budgets, integrations and my personal favourite (and the death of potential), politics.

It’s vital to in the early stages, when ideas are flowing and everyone is focused, to capture the essence of what you are trying to achieve.

I don’t mean timelines or scope or anything so mundane as that.  I mean “Why are you doing this?”.  What’s the point?

If you are putting a program in place because your team needs to learn how to ensure customers really love the experience when they call.  That’s your essence.  Everyone gets that tattoo, everyone says it at the start of every meeting, there’s a cake every friday with pink glowing letters.

Don’t worry, the Devil Wears Project Management will ensure your gantt chart pushes you to the timeline.  The budget can still be managed.  But if you get to a point where you call any single person on the team at 3am, and when asked, they can’t immediately tell you “This project was put in place so that our learners walked away being able to kick ass when rolling widgets”….

…you will get to a point when someday you will have an integrated, expensive, on-time, complicated program… and your learners won’t be rolling anything.


About Andrew Ambrose
I am passionate about the learning longtail for formal and informal learning solutions, leveraging social media and networking technology for learning projects, innovation through mLearning, collaborative learning and applying solutions that fit within the learners personal learning environment.

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