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CETS 2012, Jim Wallace & Kris Felstehausen, slides for Using Enterprise Social Networking in Training: 2 Case Studies
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CETS 2012, Jim Wallace & Kris Felstehausen, slides for Using Enterprise Social Networking in Training: 2 Case Studies



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  • Jim Wallace, instructional designer, project manager, consultant manager for Hudson’s Learning and Performance practice. My partner in this presentation, Kris Felstehausen, will introduce herself a little later in the presentation. We’re going to go over two projects that our consultants did using enterprise social media. One was for Hewlett-Packard Corp. It was run out of our Boston office. The other was for a company that we are not going to name, but it is a benefits administration firm based in the north suburbs of Chicago. That project was run out of our Chicago office. We’ll refer to it as “Company B.” After the case studies, we’ll try to draw some conclusions about what we learned, and if all goes according to plan, there should be ample time for discussion at the end.
  • First, we’ll take a look at the Hewlett-Packard project.
  • First, some organizational characteristics. Significant number of younger employees who have grown up with social media, particularly within the sales organization, which as we’ll see in a minute was the primary audience for this project.
  • Here we see two goals, one an overall business goal and the other a goal the business delegated to L&D. The business goal was the provide … The objective they gave to Learning and Development was to speed … … and they set what they thought were some pretty aggressive targets.
  • The problem was that they had 75,000 globally dispersed sales people, plus marketing, that they needed to get to adopt the HP Connections platform and use it to increase productivity, but the vendor-provided training quite naturally focused on …
  • Model business processes using social media/collaboration tools Since the entire program is based on the adoption of a social business platform (HP Connections) for collaboration, our first order of business was to change our own behavior and work within the platform itself. We evaluated the level of change, both in attitude and behavior, required to successfully meet the aggressive goals for adoption. We aligned those concerns to the business goals and looked for the best opportunity to positively impact the process with blended, learner-centric experiential training elements. This approach laid a foundation for social and collaborative learning, establishing an authentic context for the learning with the student squarely at the design center. We wanted to allay resistance and fear by establishing trust and having empathy for their situation. Learn2Connect combines both online training, finger-tip knowledge, and coaching by real people. This high-tech/high-touch approach enhances the learners’ ability to see fast results for themselves, their teams, and the organization, while minimizing time out of the field. We designed a program based on the philosophy to communicate, collaborate and emulate through multiple learning formats including self-paced modules, online job aids, personal trainers and formal classes. Our individual offerings are mobile-accessible and in many cases translated into seven languages.
  • The outcome of that three-pillar approach was a collaboration space within HP Connections named “Learn2Connect.” It is the second most frequently visited space in HP Connections. It currently contains 12 job aids 9 online training modules 40 reference documents 100 unique discussions That’s a lot of material. You might ask “is using the platform really that complicated?” Well, no. Most of these are extremely short and to the point, like setting up your user profile. Some of the online modules are only 2-3 minutes long.
  • One of the most important pieces of the whole approach was the concept of “personal trainer” The last point is really key. One of the L&D goals was that no one should ever feel stuck. PTs are available in Outlook and Office Communicator for realtime responses.
  • Another key element of the program was leadership involvement. Trained 400 Account General Managers as early adopters. Some recorded brief videos with tips based on their experiences. Others blogged about their experiences. Executive leadership also blogged about their experiences and the benefits of the platform. There was momentum for adoption from the top down.
  • After completion of the Learn2Connect project, L&D started gradually incorporating social media use into other classes. Developed special TTT Key is to mirror the social media/collaboration experience that learners encounter in their jobs.
  • The whole thing was not without challenges that had to be overcome.
  • … So overall, the project seems to have worked out pretty well for them.
  • Turn over to Kris
  • Needs to be a business reason for using social media. (Not just “that would be cool” or “I think learners would enjoy it.”) It has to fill an unmet need. To accomplish the second bullet, you have to know what that daily workflow is. It needs to be well-defined. and designed to include social media.
  • At this point, we’d like to open it up and ask if any of you have experiences using social media in training that you’d like to share. Do they confirm or contradict what we saw in these two projects?


  • 1. Using EnterpriseSocial Networkingin Training:Two Case StudiesJim WallaceKris Felstehausen
  • 2. Introduction• Introductions• Case Studies – Hewlett-Packard Corporation – “Company B” (a large benefits administration company in northern suburbs)• Lessons Learned• Q&A
  • 3. Hewlett-Packard Case Study
  • 4. Company Profile• Large geographically dispersed organization• Heavy dependence on technology• Large number of virtual employees• Large number of tech-savvy employees• Significant number of younger employees who have grown up with social media
  • 5. Goal• Provide social business media (Jive software branded as “HP Connections”) to aid sales teams in finding information, locating experts to assist with their sales challenges, collaborating within their teams, and learning from the experiences of others.• Speed adoption of enterprise social media for workplace collaboration – Month 1: 400 users – Month 4: 6,600 users – Month 6: 13,000 users – First year: 25,000 users
  • 6. Problem• 75,000 globally dispersed sales people, plus marketing and sales enablement• Vendor-provided (Jive) training focused on capabilities and functionality of the tool, not on how to use it in your job
  • 7. Approach• Engage business social media and collaboration expert to model processes• Change L&D behavior and work within the platform itself• Adopt a three-pillar design
  • 8. Approach• Learn2Connect collaboration space:• xxx
  • 9. Approach• Personal trainers – Highly consultative – Experts in the tool itself and learners’ business context – Assist with formal training – Create job aids and blog posts based on learners’ questions – Respond to requests for assistance
  • 10. Approach• Leadership involvement
  • 11. Approach• Ongoing – Gradually incorporating social media use into other classes – TTT on teaching in a social media environment
  • 12. Challenges• Learn2Connect – Marketing primarily interested in replicating their SharePoint folder structure in HP Connections – “Hey, it works for us”• Ongoing – Teacher-centered training vs. student-centered training – “Sage on the stage” vs. “guide on the side” – Instructor fear of being asked questions about technology they don’t understand
  • 13. Results• After 1 year, there are 60,000 users (goal was 25,000)• Learners have incorporated HP Connections as part of their daily operations to share documents, account plans, and sales strategies. They are responding to customers faster and more accurately as they are now connected with peers and subject matter experts.• Over and over, learners expressed how they appreciated the way the program modeled the behavior. Because we were standing beside them sharing their experience they quickly grew confident in using HP Connections.
  • 14. Results• Users are more active than industry standard Passive Users Active Heavy Contributors Contributors Industry 90% 9% 1% HP 80% 16% 4%• ASTD Excellence in Practice award• Submitted for Brandon Hall Group award (Best Use of Social/Collaborative Learning)
  • 15. “Company B” Case Study
  • 16. Company Profile• Large, global company• Heavy dependence on technology• Large numbers of virtual employees• Large numbers of tech-savvy employees• Significant numbers of younger employees who have grown up with social media• Uses matrixed team structure
  • 17. Social Media Background• Company B has two main divisions: one large (~80% of total business); one small (remaining 20%)• The social media tool (Jive branded as “Spark”) was implemented by the smaller division of the company without involvement by, or consultation with, the larger division• Spark tool appeared on company intranet without announcement, communication, or training within the larger division• Management within the larger division was not informed of the purpose or use of Spark; no requirements for use were mandated or suggested
  • 18. Overview of Project to Incorporate Social Media• A large curriculum (~4 weeks long) was being revised to enhance its effectiveness• Audience for this curriculum was exempt, technical, younger, college graduates who needed to learn to test and configure a complex in-house system• Audience was global (mostly US and India) and widely dispersed; many worked, and needed to attend training, virtually• Our directive was to incorporate the use of the Spark social media site into this curriculum as we revised it
  • 19. Goals for Using Social Media• The directive to incorporate social media into this new curriculum came from the local Program Manager who hired Hudson to revise the curriculum (a grassroots effort)• There was no higher management directive or support for this effort within either the L&D area or from the business sponsors of this training• The Program Manager saw a natural fit between the use of social media in training and this particular curriculum and audience
  • 20. Anticipated Benefits of Using Social MediaBecause the audience was attending training virtually, and becausemany of the people hired into this job were more intellectual andintroverted by nature, the following assumptions were made:•Audience members would appreciate the ability to respond toconceptual or problem-solving questions via discussion posts on Sparkrather than trying to verbally share their answers over the phone•Discussions questions on Spark would encourage the class to engagein conceptual and problem-solving discussions that were not currentlyoccurring because teachers lacked the skill to generate these types ofdiscussion over the phone (they just lectured and demonstrated – theyrarely asked questions or checked understanding)
  • 21. How We Incorporated Social Media• We planted conceptual and problem-solving questions within system/tool exercises, directing learners to post their answers to the questions on the social media site• Students were encouraged to read each others’ answers and reply• While debriefing exercises, teachers were directed to go onto the site and verbally review discussion posts with the class• Example Question: – While you were configuring the selection logic for this new transaction, there were several ways you could have constructed the formula. Post the formula you used and list some of the pros and cons of using this particular formula.
  • 22. Company B Results: Signs of Failure• First sign of failure was when presenting the social media strategy to business sponsors and lead SMEs during development kick-off – We had to sell the idea HARD; there was no enthusiasm or buy-off from business sponsors or SMEs• Second was when working with SMEs to develop the training; SMEs continued to express concern with the strategy and showed no enthusiasm• Third was during the train-the-trainer for the pilot; teachers expressed doubts about the use of Spark and showed no interest or enthusiasm• Final outcome: the use of social media during the pilot was not successful and we were directed to remove the program from the curriculum during pilot changes
  • 23. Why Did It Fail?• No company-wide business purpose for the social media site; in fact, today it is hardly even used• No management buy-in or support for using the site in training• No mandate or encouragement for teachers to use the site during training• No technical support for using the site: – Teachers had to set up their own group on the site and administer the group themselves – There was no technical support for people using the site – There was no ability to make changes to the site to accommodate training needs
  • 24. Summary
  • 25. Lessons Learned• Business objectives (e.g. increased sales productivity and effectiveness) are essential for success.• The use of social media collaboration in training should model the use of social media collaboration in daily workflow.• Expertise in modeling processes and interactions is essential.• Leadership support and involvement are vital.• Instructor buy-in appears to be a widespread problem.• Personal Trainers are a key factor for success.
  • 26. Q&A• Do you have any experiences using social media in training that you are willing to share?• What questions do you have about these two case studies?