I’m a big fan of Apple Inc.. Their products look good and work well. What’s most impressive, however, is that they’ve figured out a technique to ensure their clients always have the latest and greatest version of their software. What if training professionals could apply these approaches to ensure their clients always had access to the most important learning solutions?
The Apple Way
Apple ensures their customers always have the most recent version of their software by delivering frequent iterative updates to their products. If you have an iPhone, Mac, or Apple Watch, it can feel as though you’re getting a new software update almost every week. Contrast this with the method used by most learning teams to design and deliver their training programs.
How Training Departments Do It
The process begins when the training team receives a request from one of their internal stakeholders. The learning professionals then undertake a needs analysis. The results of the needs analysis requires approval before work can continue. Once gained, the design phase begins. The output of this phase is a design document that also requires approval. After the stakeholders approve the design document, the training team begins the process of developing the learning content. This learning content also requires approval, and thus, the review and approval process repeats itself.
The Bad News…
The back-and-forth review and approval process can take months and frequently requires a lot of rework. This is bad news for learning organizations.
How This Impacts The Learning Team
Research suggests that rework is a major source of pain for training professionals. It elongates the time required to get learning content to the audience that needs it. And, it decreases the quality of the training while increasing its cost.
The Good News…
The good news is that training professionals can apply many of the techniques used by Apple to develop its products to the develop their learning solutions.
The Better News…
The better news is that this isn’t a theory. It’s been done, and the results are documented.
What Are the results?
One training organization used these methods to reduce the time required to develop and deliver training solutions from close to a year, down to less than two weeks. These techniques also resulted in the training unit creating solutions that received world class satisfaction scores. Perhaps most impressive is that this group avoided layoffs during a company downsizing because their training and development process was so cost effective.
Want to Learn How They Did It?
Detailing everything that this team did to achieve these results is too much information to detail in a blog, but, if you want to know how training professionals can apply the same techniques that Apple uses to deliver superior software to build learning solutions, put your name and e-mail address in the form below, and I send you a copy of a case study that details how this company got Agile and applied the techniques used by Apple to develop fast, good, and cheap learning solutions.