I was watching Animal Planet the other day and saw a nail-biting documentary in which a lioness very cleverly targeted a buffalo out of a huge, scary herd. The way that lioness separated the buffalo from the rest of the herd was truly a lesson in strategy. The entire chase and going in for the kill was planned and executed with perfection. And needless to say, delivered the required results. That made me wonder about eLearning execution strategy in general (Nothing to do with the lioness of course! But being neck-deep in planning an eLearning execution strategy for one of our existing customers, the parallel came naturally).
When planning an enterprise–wide eLearning solution, sometimes our discussions can endlessly revolve around the angle of planning for the technological requirements. Not difficult to understand considering the initial expenses on IT when implementing eLearning for the first time. However, to be able to succeed, we need to come up with a sound execution strategy and plan that considers many aspects.
Here are a few quick tips before going in for the kill!
Plan who will be your first target: You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of rolling out an eLearning initiative for every employee all at once (remember the lioness and its careful target selection!). You need to narrow down on potential candidates and select your pilot audience carefully. A representative of the target audience works best. Their bouquets and brickbats can serve as an invaluable tool to help you refine your future strategy for content development and deployment.
Plan for the kind of course you will rollout: You need to consider the learning requirements of the target audience. It would make no sense to ask learners to evaluate a course that is far removed from their learning context or reality. In fact by doing so, you run the risk of getting skewed results when evaluating the success of your pilot, because employees who are not engaged in the learning are more likely to give poor feedback.
Planning for phasing it out: Any sound execution plan will include a strategy for phase-by-phase execution. This will help us stay on course regardless of the initial success or failure of the pilot. For planning a phase-by-phase execution, it is also important that you nail down the proposed curriculum, rather than tackling bits and pieces and then making them fit into the overall curriculum.
Plan for evaluation: Evaluate your pilot eLearning venture after 3 months, do a detailed analysis and consolidate findings into a report to be shared with all stakeholders. This is critical to the future long-term success of your eLearning solution. If you don’t have the bandwidth to accommodate this, you may want to consider engaging an eLearning enabled learning management company to handle all this for you.