You’re ready to take the leap. The new XYZ learning technology is going to “Wow” your learners and you carefully aligned it with business outcomes. Your pilot group responded well to the new technology and it’s time to launch it company-wide. You know that the learning content is instructionally sound and employees will probably even enjoy themselves a bit once they give the new program a chance.
Still, you can’t shake the fear in your gut. What if this all goes wrong? What if it turns out to be a colossal waste of money? What if it all blows up in your face?
Design and Technology is Just the Beginning
We work with organizations all the time who are rolling a new learning technology. Whether it’s a custom app we developed as part of a blended learning curriculum or a series of games created with our Knowledge Guru platform, it is often our job to help our clients evangelize a new approach to learning within their organizations. Change isn’t easy for any of us. For large companies, it can be like trying to make a sharp left turn with an ocean liner.
What sets successful learning technology implementations apart from the rest is usually not the new technology itself, though that should obviously be good and suitable for the target learner. The real difference-maker is implementation.
Seven lessons from Successful Organizations
In a webinar we gave through Training Magazine Network, we discussed the approaches four different organizations used when introducing a serious game to their learners. These organizations come from three very different industries (technology, health care and financial services) and the initiatives targeted very different functional areas (sales reps versus call center reps versus HR associates), yet their approaches to implementation were remarkably similar. Some of these organizations even won awards for their approaches.
I looked for the commonalities shared between these four case studies and turned them into seven implementation tips that I think apply to many different learning technology implementations.
If You Build It, Will They Come?
Since the four case studies I looked at all dealt with a serious game implementation, I made that the specific focus of the webinar and corresponding white paper. The session is called Serious Games + Smart Implementation = Win! and the white paper is called 7 Steps to a Successful Serious Game or Gamification Implementation.
And while some of the content is specific to serious games, such as the adoption rate of organizations currently using games for learning and their plans for using internal vs external resources, most of my suggestions are fairly universal. Here are just a few:
1. Require it (at least at first): If you are rolling out a brand new learning technology, don’t just assume people will flock to it. Make it a part of the required training that people currently take. Requiring usage, even if just during an initial roll-out, ensures learners will at least give your new approach a chance. The organizations I have seen take this approach have had the most success with uptake.
2. Analyze it: Smart organizations use every opportunity they can get to assess the effectiveness of their learning technology implementations. Knowledge Guru customers use the analytics the platform provides, for example. Whether your new tool provides analytics or not, I highly recommend surveying learners after they have used it. You might be surprised at what you learn.
3. Promote it: This one may sound counter-intuitive after I just told you to require people to use your new learning technology, but promoting your initiative internally is critical. You have to think like a marketer and find ways to consistently encourage people to interact with your new tool or platform.
Get the Tips and Hear the Case Studies
You can view the recording from my Training Magazine webinar and download the white paper with implementation tips below.