Developing Customized Training - Change Agent Brown Bag - Feb 2005


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Developed for Change Agent Network meeting at Allstate. This presentation is aimed at IT professionals tasked with developing systems training.

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Developing Customized Training - Change Agent Brown Bag - Feb 2005

  1. 1. Developing Customized TrainingBrown Bag PresentationAllstate Change Agent Network (CAN)Feb. 2005Patricia S. Lewis
  2. 2. Change Agent Network Brown Bag BreakfastDeveloping Customized Training Presented by Patty Lewis Billing Applications Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 2
  3. 3. Outline Best Practices  How to develop & deliver training  How we’re supposed to do it  “Blended” learning  How we’ve been doing it  How should training be delivered? Where to begin?  Who should deliver the training?  Evaluate the need for training  Know your audience  Training sponsor  Developing new modules  Getting buy-in  Taking notes during presentation  Comments about costs  Updating training modules & plan  Whos gonna own it?  Keeping records Now what?  Evaluating your training program  “Quick hit” or pilot module  Handouts, References, Resources  Planning & needs assessment  Function / process inventory  Collect existing materials & map them to processes  Gap assessment / priorities Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 3
  4. 4. Training Best PracticesSource: “Best Training Practices Within the Software Engineering Industry” (CMU/SEI-96-TR-034) Characteristics  Defined training process (e.g., Level 3 KPA – see next slide)  Formal needs analysis activity  Availability of wide variety of courses from different sources  Training by a local, respected organization Enablers  Continuous improvement of training process / quality  Management involvement and support  Employee involvement  Delivery timing (“Just-In-Time”)  Availability / accessibility of training Entry Criteria  Management support (policies)  Assignment of resources  Consensus on scope  Results of needs analysisFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 4
  5. 5. …or, How we’re supposed to do it Formal Training Program – CMM Level 3 KPA  Goals: 1. Training activities are planned. 2. Training is provided. 3. People get the training they need to perform their roles.  Activities: 1. Develop and maintain a training plan specifying the organization’s training needs. 2. Training plan is developed and revised according to a documented procedure. 3. Training is performed according to the plan. 4. Training material is developed and maintained according to organization standards. 5. Waiver procedure to excuse people from required training. 6. Records of training are maintained.Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 5
  6. 6. How we’ve been doing it Billing’s training program has been driven by:  Increasing complexity of system and organization  Need to establish common, consistent understanding of basic system functions  Need to be able to move people around, have “agile” response to new processes, increases in workload, etc.  Corporate direction away from use of contingent workers  Need to transfer knowledge quickly and efficiently  Need to get new people “up to speed” quickly Result: We hyper-focus on content and flexibility  We need it now  We need to make changes quickly and frequently  Each module is reviewed / updated before being presented  We deliver our 13-session training series twice a year  Vanilla format, no bells and whistles [see next slide…]Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 6
  7. 7. Pure vanilla… better than nothin’!Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 7
  8. 8. Where to begin?
  9. 9. Evaluate the need for training“ Training is not always the answer tobusiness and performance problems. If anemployee does not perform the way we wouldlike them to, we frequently conclude that theydont know how. That is not necessarily thecase. Employees may be prevented fromoptimal performance because of outdated orinefficient business practices, policies, orstandards. ” From “Training Not Always the Answer to Every Business Problem.” Dana Skiff, Corporate Training Consultants, Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 9
  10. 10. Evaluate the need for training Before jumping to conclusions about the need for training, ask the following types of questions:  Could employees really do "X" if their lives depended on it? Do they really know how to do "X" but choose not to do so for some reason?  Could using a job aid solve the problem?  Do individuals have the appropriate resources such as work stations, work space, software, supplies, etc.?  Is the problem the result of an existing policy or procedure?  Are existing standards reasonable?  Would improved communications and/or coordination solve the problem?  Are the right people in the right jobs? Dumb question: Is training already available?Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 10
  11. 11. Training sponsor Recruit a sponsor for your training program It should be AT LEAST one manager who:  Is respected / influential within the organization  Helps you get cooperation from other managers and SMEs  Can push back when something (e.g., change in management) threatens to derail the training program  Has historical perspective and long-range vision  Has experience supporting or driving a training and / or mentoring program; can tell you what’s been tried before, what’s worked, what hasn’t, etc.  Willing to support the program for at least two years, or until it becomes “institutionalized” and part of the cultureFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 11
  12. 12. Getting buy-in Work with your sponsor to strategize the next steps to get buy-in  Determine stakeholders (who to get buy-in from)  Are they already convinced, or is more research needed?  Do you need to write a proposal or a business case?  Do you need to create and present a “pilot” module? Anticipate and prepare for discussions about who will be responsible for creating, updating, reviewing, approving, managing, and controlling the training plan Be prepared to answer questions or address concerns about time commitment, costs, etc. See next slide…Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 12
  13. 13. Comments about costs Direct costs:  IBM algorithm: 50 hours of development time per hour of presentation by course developer  Computer-aided training may add up to 50% additional effort; complex media requires 100-200 hours of development per hour of material  Instructors’ time, facilities costs, etc. Source: “Training Guidelines: Creating a Training Plan for a Software Organization” (CMU/SEI-95-TR-007)  Typical Billing training module developed in <6 hours  1-2 hours with SME  2-4 additional hours of my time on follow-up, diagrams… Indirect costs probably greater than direct costs  Time trainees and SMEs spend away from other duties Costs should be offset by benefitsFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 13
  14. 14. Who’s gonna own it? There is a difference between “owning” the content…  Content might be owned by a team (e.g., Billing Update Team owns “Update: Premium” and “Update: Cash”)  SMEs might be responsible for specific modules … and driving the updates, delivery, and development of new training materials A successful training plan requires centralized ownership of the training plan and materials Ideally owned by a process-oriented team, function, or person; e.g., your area’s…  CMM/SQC/SQA team, Technical Writer, Process Analyst, Documentation Manager, Education Coordinator, etc.Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 14
  15. 15. You’ve got a need, a sponsor, anda mandate… now what?
  16. 16. Do a “quick hit” or pilot module Quick hit training – a.k.a. “low-hanging fruit”  Critical function or process that needs to be trained  Functional or area overview can be a good place to start  Walk-through of teams and what they do “Sit & Spew” module development technique  A SME sits in my cube and “spews” about a business process or system function while I input info to slides  Best to start with outline developed prior to meeting, then use meeting time to flesh out content Trouble getting access to a SME?  Ask how many times in the last two years they’ve had to deliver the same lecture to a new employeeFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 16
  17. 17. Planning & needs assessment Start outlining a formal training plan  See references at end of this presentation Leverage discussions during buy-in and planning process to start developing list of training needs  Perform survey or schedule discussion / brainstorming “Requirements gathering” process may also reveal opportunities for further “quick hits”Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 17
  18. 18. Function / process inventory Create inventory of what your area does  Refer to your functional / area / teams overview  Brainstorm with managers & SMEs  Use spreadsheet so you can sort and filter results Business process or system function inventory  Business process… team organization is often based on relationships between business processes  System functions that support the business processes See next slide…Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 18
  19. 19. Example: Business process inventoryFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 19
  20. 20. Example: System function inventoryFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 20
  21. 21. Collect & map existing materials Functional overviews, diagrams, or other material that team members might have put together for another area, a new manager, participants on a big project, etc. Manuals or handbooks of business rules or procedures System documentation – copybooks, module inventories, system diagrams, table and field descriptions, etc., make great handouts Map existing materials to your business process or system function inventory See next slide…Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 21
  22. 22. Example: Mapping materials to processes Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 22
  23. 23. Gap assessment / training priorities Assess team members’ knowledge  Could be done informally by team managers  Develop assessment / rating criteria  Use business process inventory, system function inventory or both  Leverage work you’re doing for Competency Model (i.e., make terminology consistent, etc.)  Drill down to detail that Competency Model can’t provide Rank results according to highest incidence of gaps, business criticality (refer to your area’s Business Resumption Plan), or other criteria Goal is to determine:  Training priorities for the area as a whole  Who needs what trainingFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 23
  24. 24. How do we develop and deliverthe training?
  25. 25. “Blended” learning Mix of training types and delivery methods  See SkillSoft white paper: “Blended Learning Strategies: Selecting the Best Instructional Method”  Unfortunately, there’s no “best method” when you need to do frequent updates, your content is highly detailed and complex, and you don’t have the resources to maintain a web site, the time to go through the LRN process, or the budget to outsource all your training to a vendor  Examples  Group learning in classroom setting  Job shadowing and mentoring  ”Floating” (trainee “floats around,” attending meetings, absorbing info “by osmosis,” bringing questions to mentor)  Routine tasks and simple projects  Self-directed learning (studying training materials – written or on-line [LRN] – and system documentation)  Creating system documentation (define this bunch of codes)Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 25
  26. 26. How should training be delivered? Evaluate the knowledge to be presented  Is it best presented in a group situation, or one-on-one?  Does it focus on business processes, system functions, or both? (e.g., business rules, transactions, cause-and- effect relationships, interdependencies, feedback loops)  Is it best communicated by using “pictures” (a diagram or a process flow)?  Is it a task or procedure (a 1-2-3 series of steps)?  Does it call for a training module, a job aid, or a checklist?  Should it be demonstrated? …So, would you prefer PowerPoint, or PowerPoint?Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 26
  27. 27. Who should deliver the training? SMEs  Pros: Most in-depth knowledge of the subject  Cons: Lack of time, inclination, buy-in, presentation skills Non-SMEs  Pros: Development opportunity for up-and-comers; relieves SMEs of demands on their time  Cons: May have difficulty answering questions or clarifying material; may need to do some research to develop comfort level and familiarity with subject; must be willing to do whatever it takes to “own” the material Talented generalist  Pros: Same as non-SMEs, plus potentially unique perspective; may be able to relate to non-specialists  Cons: Same as non-SMEs; may end up “parroting,” or relying too much on slides and not on own knowledgeFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 27
  28. 28. Who is the audience? What are their roles?  Will there be a mix of Developers and non-Developers?  What common knowledge will they have?  More variety of background/experience = less detail.  Consider preparing “Overview” and “Drill-down” modules. How many people will there be?  More people = less detail. What are their needs? How will they use the information you provide?  Will they be working directly with the system or function you are explaining, or do they just need to understand what people mean when they refer to your topic? What level of technical detail is appropriate? See next slide…Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 28
  29. 29. Know your audience “too technical for “The material was “Right amount of detail majority of audience” presented without for an intro to the subject“Fuzzies” getting into the nuts & of accounting, GL, and “too technical” bolts … which allows billing interconnections.” us non-programmers to “Much of it was useful, understand [it].” “Not too much accounting however a lot of it was detail, or other detail the far too technical. “Didn’t get bogged audience did not need.” Should have been more down in details” business oriented.” “Easy to understand. Nothing technical.” “too high level, your “I thought it would “I need clearly worded audience are technical provide more detailed definitions, data layouts people therefore they information. But I w/highlighted key-fields,“Techies” would benefit from a guess time is limited.” clearly worded business more technical rules, system limitations presentation.” “we need to know and requirements in more about the association with named “I would like to see the technical interfac[es]; batch and online diagrams a little more table definitions could processes.” technical.” have been included.” “We need … more “Could be more detail of specific logic extensive. I don’t think of components.” all the info is there.” Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 29
  30. 30. Developing new modules  Where does your module idea “fit” in relation to other modules that exist or are in development?  Gather documentation, references, notes, specs, etc.; ask managers and other SMEs for input.  How does your material relate to the existing materials? Are you expanding? Drilling down? What’s the scope?  Determine organizational scheme. Hints:  Chronological (following policy life cycle; transaction flow)  Spatial (outside to inside) or hierarchical (whole to parts)  Start outlining. Hints:  Make a list of business rules and then fill in what the system does in response to business events / triggers  “Walk through” a diagram or process flow, noting each step, including interfaces / hand-offs, etc.  Work from documents such as module inventories or code printouts to create system process descriptions  Fill in details and iteratively refine.Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 30
  31. 31. Take notes during the presentation Have an observer (not a learner, not the trainer) take notes on:  Who presented, who attended, start / end times, other milestone times, time spent on Q&A  Content issues  Corrections and follow-ups to be communicated later  Presentation issues  Organization and detail level of the material  Where digressions happened, and whether they were useful or not; did questions need to be taken off-line, etc.  Awkward transitions (directionals needed? reorganize?)  Develop a diagram, move details to a hand-out, etc. Save notes to use during training module updatesFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 31
  32. 32. Updating training modules & plan Update individual modules before each scheduled presentation  E.g., during weekly series, update each module during the week prior to its presentation  Update handouts, integrate new content, etc.  Make note of improvements for future releases, ideas for new modules, etc. Update training plan on pre-determined schedule  E.g., semi-annually or annually to coincide with AMP update, or prior to planned series of training sessions  Determine need for new modules – to address high-level gaps or to provide more detail / drill-down  Determine need to reorganize / redistribute content  Determine need to change order in which presentedFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 32
  33. 33. Keeping records Area level (part of / addendum to training plan):  Who needs, who receives, and who requests training  Enrollment (meeting acceptance) vs. course completion (actual attendance)  Waivers for required training Module level:  Who presented the module  Who attended presentation  Start and end times, times at other milestones, average total time for presentation, time per slide, etc.  Keep Revision History in “Notes” field on title slide  Track versioning, releases, SMEs, etc.  Record the dates module was presented See next slide…Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 33
  34. 34. Phase: APT Best Practices SeriesModule No.: 01Module Title: Developing Customized TrainingVersion: 1.0Date Developed: Feb. 25, 2005Last Updated: Feb. 25, 2005Date Released: Feb. 25, 2005SMEs: Patty Lewis Allstate Insurance Company Billing Applications | Div. 2424 Training Module Fri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 34
  35. 35. Evaluating your training program Results can be difficult to measure  Has performance of specific job tasks improved?  If so, is that improvement attributable to the training? Objective measures  Most common: pre-tests and post-tests Subjective measures  Interviews  Informal surveys / one-on-one feedback Employee satisfaction / morale  Employees appreciate having the training available to them even if they don’t always take advantage of it  SMEs like having something to hand to new employeesFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 35
  36. 36. References & Resources SEI references:  CMM Practices, Level 3 KPA: Training Program  CMU/SEI-93-TR-25 |  Training Guidelines: Creating a Training Plan  CMU/SEI-95-TR-007 |  Best Training Practices Within the Software Engineering Industry  CMU/SEI-96-TR-034 | Other resources:  SkillSoft white papers index:   Blended Learning Strategies: Selecting the Best Instructional Method   Eight Key Steps of Blended Learning  EightSteps_Paper.pdfFri., Feb. 25, 2005 Change Agent Network Brown Bag 36
  37. 37. End