Not very long ago I met Mr. Steve R, who worked as a global education and training manager in a multinational FMCG organization. As his designation suggests, he was in charge of training worldwide. Last year his organization decided to use the online procurement software called ‘Ariba‘ for a better procurement process. This new change brought about his biggest training challenge ever! As soon as the new tool was launched, there was utter chaos in the procurement process. This was due to the lack of training and knowledge about this new tool.
Steve quickly jumped into action and set up numerous classroom trainings with Ariba experts. Just when he thought he was done, he faced yet another major obstacle! His training budget failed to meet the total cost of paying the classroom instructors worldwide. So Steve took a step back and tried a new route; he hired a few Ariba experts and created a step-by-step user guide of the tool, translated it, and distributed it as a PDF, word document and PowerPoint presentation to all the procurement employees.
A month later he noticed that there was little or no change in the way Ariba was being used. He inquired from various sources and understood that employees were simply hesitant or were too busy to go through the user guide.
With the tool launched six months ago, there were complaints from the top management that the tool wasn’t being used to its full extent. He was given a deadline of 3 months to launch a new training program that addresses how to use Ariba and this had to be done simultaneously across 120 countries.
After a lot of deliberation, Steve decided to give e-learning a shot. He researched on
e-learning to find out if it fits his requirements. Let’s see the how Steve made smart decisions that helped meeting the training deadlines on time.
Q1. Does E-learning meet my training need?
Steve needed a global-level training on a single platform that cut across the barriers of space and time to deliver training to his global audiences. E-learning was the perfect medium for him to do so. All he needed to do was create a single course, upload it on the organizations learning management system. Then hundreds of employees would have access to the course at the same time!
Once it was finalized that e-learning was the next training initiative, Steve had another question.
Q2. What type of course do I need?
Steve knew that just selecting e-learning wasn’t enough. He wanted to know further about the type of course that would best suit a training course on Ariba. He checked online and was a surprised to find numerous types of trainings, from product to compliance, to safety to onboard, and the list was never ending! So Steve did his homework and understood that Ariba was a software platform for the procurement process. So his course was categorized under software/process training.
Now all he needed to know was as to how he could create an e-learning course…
Q3. How Do I Develop an E-learning Course?
Steve was all charged up and ready to go; little did he realize that creating an e-learning course was not a one-man job and certainly not easy as it seemed. On further research, he found out that there were many people and different roles involved in creating online courses. So he sought to create a specialized team to create the course by enquiring with human resources and taking time to consider that an internal team could meet the deadline.
Steve was apprehensive about hiring new talents, as he was on a three month deadline. So he decided to look for someone who specialized in creating custom e-learning courses.
Q4. Can I Outsource E-learning?
After coming to the conclusion that an in-house team is not the best option, Steve wondered if he could hire someone to create the course. During this ground work, Steve found out that outsourcing organizations tended to outperform internal teams. So he explored a little more and found a sea of custom e-learning companies who could do the job for him. But that wasn’t good enough for him. He searched a little more and found a company that has been in the business of e-learning for more than 15 years and joined hands with them in creating the course.
Now he had a new dilemma…
Q5. Is Translation Necessary? Will it Come at an Extra Cost?
Given the global reach the course was going to have, Steve wondered if translating the course would be a good idea. He knew that his global learners would be pleased to find a course in their local language; he also found out that organizations achieved a higher level of effectiveness with localization by translating e-learning courses, not to mention the high return on investment it yields. So to keep his global audience happy, Steve sought to translate the course in 20 different languages.
And the project was on a start mode!
Three months down the line, the global procurement, e-learning course on ‘Ariba’ was launched in multiple languages, which was highly appreciated by employees and managers alike. With the right amount of research and a resourceful vendor, Steve was able to achieve what was thought to be impossible. E-learning was his solution when all the other alternatives had failed. E-learning not only solved his training requirement, but also made him a training champion in his organization.
Does Steve’s story resonate with you? How did you use e-learning in your organization? We’d love to know.