Implementing a new software application in a global organization is not an easy job. For one, there’s always the possibility of employees resisting its implementation. Another worrying thing is training (provided employees are convinced of the new tool’s utility) the global workforce on the newly-implemented software, without boring the living daylights out of them.
Something similar was on the cards for a fast growing global pharmaceutical company, with strong brand equity in multiple therapeutics, when it implemented a new software application – a resource planning tool. Although there was no sign of resistance from the workforce to the software implementation, there was still the task of making sure they were trained the right way, i.e., without boring them with software manuals.
The company, aware of CommLab India’s years of rapid eLearning experience, sought our expertise to develop their end-user training on the software application. Let’s see how the team completed the project successfully, within a short time span.
Who were the end-users of the tool and what were the challenges they faced?
The resource planning tool was to be used by every employee in the organization, scattered around different parts of the world. The challenge, as you might have guessed, was training all these employees, located worldwide. As classroom training was not feasible in this scenario, the company opted for e-learning as the ideal solution to their challenge, and approached us to develop a curriculum of 50 e-learning modules, targeting employees at different levels. These modules were to run on both desktops and mobile devices (for a mobile workforce). The biggest challenge, however, was to develop these 50 e-learning modules within JUST 3 weeks.
How were the inputs provided?
The company wanted us to develop the curriculum based on existing software manuals, which were inundated with text, flowcharts, process diagrams, and tables. We did not have access to their ‘resource tool’, the software. So, our team asked the client to demonstrate how the software works – going through each task carefully – and recorded the screens. These screen recordings would go on to stand as the only inputs provided throughout the project.
What was the instructional design strategy adopted for this project?
The company sought to ensure that learners retain information easily without too much effort, and only through small chunks of information. As a result, our design experts proposed a bite-sized, simulation-based learning as the instructional strategy for all the 50 eLearning modules. The reasoning behind opting for a bite-sized, simulation-based e-learning was to ensure maximum learner engagement and knowledge retention through minimum cognitive effort. Besides, each module was no more than 2-3 minutes long and dealt with FAQs (see the table below) from end-users, so it turned out to be a good strategy to represent the content.
|How do I register?|
|How do I create a new password?|
|How do I login?|
|How do I retrieve my password?|
How did the development team manage to successfully complete the project within the allotted time?
In order to save time and speed up the process, our expert developers used the screen recording feature of the rapid authoring tool Articulate Storyline, to record the steps involved in executing each task. We developed the simulations in the same tool. These courses were published to Flash and HTML5, to ensure they would be compatible with both desktops and mobile devices for modern, multi-device users.
Our team of learning & design experts followed the Agile process, wherein the client was involved at every step of the project. By keeping them in the loop throughout, the client knew what exactly was being done to their content and was always there to provide appropriate feedback.
As a result, the team was able to complete the project within the stipulated time i.e., 3 weeks, hitting 100% customer satisfaction. The company later reported that “the training was a big success with our globally dispersed employees and [that] the quick turnaround time saved us developmental costs and (more importantly) time, which would have otherwise taken months if we’d chosen traditional ways of eLearning development”.
While it is not only difficult to visualize the appropriate strategy for the content, it’s equally difficult to develop them. However, rapid authoring tools like Articulate Storyline with their in-built capabilities for recording simulations, ready-made templates for animations, and interactivities, make rapid eLearning development possible.