A Year in the Life of an Instructional Designer:   Managing and Prioritizing Custom Content Eddie Alford Pinnacle Financia...
Pitfalls of Managing and Prioritizing Custom Content <ul><li>Lack of Leadership’s Support </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpected Nee...
Objectives <ul><li>Gaining Leadership  Buy-in/Support </li></ul><ul><li>Developing Achievable Schedules </li></ul><ul><li>...
Content Cycle <ul><li>“ My custom content development cycle is a yearly cycle which begins  </li></ul><ul><li>the 4 th  Qu...
Gaining Leadership’s Buy-in <ul><li>3 – Step Process </li></ul><ul><li>Outsource Course Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>...
Creating an  Achievable  Schedule Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked “ How long does it take to develop a 1-hour E-learn...
<ul><li>Understand the timelines for the types of courses  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4-6 weeks for repurpos e </li></ul></ul><...
Build Trust-  Tell It and Track It! <ul><li>Develop a course notification system that works for your firm. </li></ul><ul><...
Build Organizational Trust-  Tell It and Track It! <ul><li>Get Leadership’s Schedule Approval First </li></ul><ul><li>Deve...
Designing Impactful Content Quickly <ul><li>Avoiding “New Tool Excitement” </li></ul><ul><li>Let the Learning Objectives D...
Designing Content Quickly- Template The “This and That Dance
Designing Content Quickly- Errors The “This and That Dance
Questions Eddie Alford [email_address]
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A year in the life of an instructional designer pinnacle financial partners

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Align 2010, Client Conference
Eddie Alford on managing, prioritizing and designing custom content

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  • Can I get a volunteer? Can you juggle this 1 ball for me? Can you now juggle these 2 balls for me? Can you now juggle these 3 balls for me? What is causing the problem? Too many balls, don’t know how to juggle? The ball doesn’t go where I need it to go? In many cases managing your custom content program can be like juggling you have an idea of what needs to be done, you may know how to do it, but you still have to execute it and all you need is for on program /ball to get out of synch and it can throw your whole program off track. So my goal today is to discuss how you can manage an prioritize your custom content to keep your programs on track. Specifically by looking at some of the tools I use that have assist me with this process.
  • What are some of the pitfalls you see in managing and prioritizing your custom content? Those are some great examples and we will discuss how some of these can be alleviated with the tools that I use, but here are 3 areas that I have struggled with at some point. Our objectives: Lack of Leadership’s Support Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked The This and That Dance. (PrimeTrust Career Development Program)
  • First, I want to discuss my content cycle because this is a primary tool that I use now to help plan my year. Typically, by January 1, I know what my year will look like from a development standpoint and this helps me not avoid Unexpected Needs of the firm but it does help me better manage those needs.
  • Now, Let’s Address a “Lack of Leadership’s Support”. What is the most effective way to gain Leadership’s Buy-in? This is what I have found to be the most effective way to gain Leadership’s Buy-in: Hypnotize them! Seriously, what we have to do in a sense is to hypnotize them by providing them information in such a way that it appeals to their sense of how things should work. Being that I work for a Bank my firm loves numbers, deadlines, and accountability. As a part of this process we have to set clear expectations of what will be developed, what’s required, when it’s required, and when it must be completed. So How do I get their buy-in? Discuss 3 step process. Course Outsourcing – Compliance, Committees, and Project teams, are queried to determine the anticipated needs in addition to our standard courses that are revised each year. Discuss Handout (Annual Online Course Assignments). Schedule is approved prior to course development so everyone has had their input on the schedule prior to production.
  • Now, let’s discuss some tools to help manage unexpected needs. To accomplish this, you have to create achievable schedules and step 1 in this process is understanding how long it takes you to develop your courses. Now, you do need to be thinking about these timeframes when planning your yearly courses to space courses appropriately. Ask question on screen. 90 hours = a little over two weeks 365 hours = 9 weeks.
  • What’s critical is to only use this information as a guide and adjust all this information to your organization’s specific needs. (Talk about my timelines.) Something that I use that really helps me is my Personal Development Schedule let’s you know where you are and if you have any extra time for Unexpected Projects. Saying you can’t and/or when you can accomplish something, helps you build organizational trust. (Share the Hugh Stress that he was your direct supervisor Flood Training Example). Stress the following: Everyone does not understand how long it takes to develop courses. Plans were not mine but the focus of the organization – If we need to deviate then we may need to re-evaluate the overall plan Tool helped me show &amp; prove my timelines.
  • One of the best way’s I have uncovered of increasing leadership’s support of our content programs is to develop strong organizational trust in your team we have accomplished that in many ways through our notification reporting mechanisms. I would encourage you to: Develop a course notification system. Handout (Yearly Requirement Email and New associate email).
  • Now, on the other side of the equation you have to show what you have accomplished. Develop SLAs - Ours includes 100% On-time completion Quarterly Now to accomplish this I need the team leaders and various leaders throughout the firm to follow-up with their associates, so our goal is to provide them with value added reports that make it is for them to follow-up with their teams and to also foster a little productive competition. I mean, would you want your team to be the last one in the organization to complete their training?? Measuring Stick – Office 2007 Conversion Converted entire firm to Office 2007 over a weekend. We wanted to make this a non-event to prevent any significant client impact, so this course as a part of a structure program to provided them with the general knowledge of how to use office 2007 and the basic changes they could expect. Results: We had about 30 -50 calls the Monday of the conversion and by Wednesday, the software was a non-event.
  • 1. New Tool Excitement – Can’t wait to use what I’ve learned even if it doesn’t fit well. Came first align conference and learned about Captivate, thought of several ways it could be used in my online courses and had a few misses because I tried to put it in courses and or in places where it was really just overkill. 2. How do you Battle New Tool Excitement, Let Learning Objectives determine the tool. Make Tool Fit Your Organization; – Take the recipe and adjust it to your specifications - Don’t always try to readjust your organization, sometimes you can just tweak the tool. (Show CE Design Document for SMEs). I attended an ASTD session where a similar doc was presented and thought it was a great way to avoid, “The this is not what I wanted syndrome”, didn’t work in my organization because leadership did not want such a formal tool plus it took too much time.
  • Use a template for consistency.
  • Show Testing Team Email – Always include my SME or Project lead on the Testing Team, included a cross-section of end users for the course, as well as a couple of members of the L&amp; D Team for grammatical errors.
  • A year in the life of an instructional designer pinnacle financial partners

    1. 1. A Year in the Life of an Instructional Designer: Managing and Prioritizing Custom Content Eddie Alford Pinnacle Financial Partners Nashville, Tennessee
    2. 2. Pitfalls of Managing and Prioritizing Custom Content <ul><li>Lack of Leadership’s Support </li></ul><ul><li>Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked </li></ul><ul><li>“ This and That Dance” </li></ul><ul><li>( I wanted this , you gave me that / I wanted that , you gave me this ) </li></ul>
    3. 3. Objectives <ul><li>Gaining Leadership Buy-in/Support </li></ul><ul><li>Developing Achievable Schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating and Tracking to Build Organizational Trust </li></ul><ul><li>Designing Impactful Content Quickly </li></ul>
    4. 4. Content Cycle <ul><li>“ My custom content development cycle is a yearly cycle which begins </li></ul><ul><li>the 4 th Quarter </li></ul><ul><li>of the previous year.” </li></ul>Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked
    5. 5. Gaining Leadership’s Buy-in <ul><li>3 – Step Process </li></ul><ul><li>Outsource Course Recommendations </li></ul><ul><li>Prepare Online Compliance Annual Course Assignments Document </li></ul><ul><li>Submit Online Compliance Course Assignment Document to Leadership Team for Approval </li></ul>Lack of Leadership’s Support “ What is the most effective way to gain Leadership’s Buy-in?”
    6. 6. Creating an Achievable Schedule Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked “ How long does it take to develop a 1-hour E-learning session?” Image Source: http://www.astd.org/LC/2009/0809_kapp.htm Depending upon various factors, you will see numbers ranging anywhere from 2 – 12 weeks.
    7. 7. <ul><li>Understand the timelines for the types of courses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>4-6 weeks for repurpos e </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6-8 weeks for newly created courses </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Create a Schedule </li></ul><ul><li>If you can’t, Say you can’t </li></ul><ul><li>( show why you can’t and when you can ) </li></ul>Creating an Achievable Schedule Unexpected Needs Keep Me Sidetracked
    8. 8. Build Trust- Tell It and Track It! <ul><li>Develop a course notification system that works for your firm. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Yearly Requirements Schedule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New Associate E-mails with Due Date Extensions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content Place Holders in the LMS. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Builds Credibility and Accountability </li></ul>Lack of Leadership’s Support The “This and That Dance”
    9. 9. Build Organizational Trust- Tell It and Track It! <ul><li>Get Leadership’s Schedule Approval First </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Realistic Schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Track Results to Prove Your Value </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop Service Level Agreements – 100% On-time Completion Quarterly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find a measuring stick for specific courses. </li></ul></ul>Lack of Leadership’s Support
    10. 10. Designing Impactful Content Quickly <ul><li>Avoiding “New Tool Excitement” </li></ul><ul><li>Let the Learning Objectives Determine the Tool </li></ul><ul><li>Make New Tools Fit Your Organization </li></ul>The “This and That Dance
    11. 11. Designing Content Quickly- Template The “This and That Dance
    12. 12. Designing Content Quickly- Errors The “This and That Dance
    13. 13. Questions Eddie Alford [email_address]

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