"If it's a good idea, go ahead and do it. It is much easier to apologize than it is to get permission."
ADMIRAL GRACE HOPPER
Make sure your pre-work is done.
Attack your goals.
Stand up to the naysayers.
Start working on the
The time has come to see if you can deliver what you've
That freedom from scrutiny is officially over. With buy-in and a budget secured, you had better be ready to
You need big home runs right away. You need your courses to be scintillating, exciting, and easy to use. Don't make the mistake of
Technology fails you only when you really need it, so be prepared for glitches. You'll encounter them, but have a plan in place to solve them and solve them quickly. The support of a great technology person on staff is most critical at this phase of the project. During our initial rollout, things went wrong at Rockwell Collins. Not everything, of course, but enough problems occurred for us to need Steve Junion's help. He managed technical glitches speedily so that those problems were minimized.
Once you launch the first phase of your project, things will start to move quickly and you'll have little time for planning or research, so be ready. Have your processes and procedures in place so that you can show impressive results while the company is still excited about what you've
Before you reach this stage, before you get the budget and are free to implement, you should have already completed several front-end
Know who your
At Rockwell Collins, our team spent weeks reviewing vendors and tools before we completed our strategy because we knew how important it would be to have those relationships in place when we were ready to go live. Before securing buy-in, we
You may not have the bravado or budget to make such a bold move, but you need to be ready. Before you make your final presentations to management, meet with and make decisions about which vendors you intend to use. Even if you can't buy the tools and technology for six months because of fiscal issues, establish a verbal contract with these companies. Tell them what you will want and set some
Define your "
The decision to develop courses in house should be made only because doing so adds the most value to the project. If you do it because you feel guilty or incapable of
In companies that have existing instructional-design staffs, the right decision may be to build everything in house. For others, such as Rockwell Collins, the best choice is to outsource the bulk of the content development. Most companies will fall somewhere in between. The point is that you need to know how you will decide which courses are developed internally and which ones are outsourced.
This is not a decision that can be made simply to keep a staff of designers busy. It's a strategic process that should be defined based on the needs of the company ”not the needs of people in the training department. What to do with your existing team is a separate decision from whether you make or buy content.
When you approach this decision, consider your team's level of expertise compared with your strategic needs, the financial implications of your choice, and the political
At Rockwell Collins we were adamant about outsourcing content development because doing so made sound business sense, but we were fortunate enough not to have a team of instructional designers on staff who would be affected by that decision. Our people were used to working with outside experts to provide training, so the decision to buy content from vendors was a natural transition that required no immediate layoffs.
It's important to recognize that in today's economy, having a "standing army" of designers waiting to design and develop curriculum is a luxury most companies cannot afford. Numerous vendors have the expertise to provide quality development
If you do have a training department with a number of instructional designers already on staff and you decide to retain them to build programs in house, you probably can't continue with "business as usual." The single biggest complaint The Performance Engineering Group (PEG) hears from client firms is how disconnected the developers are from the business itself. If your instructional designers are accustomed to going off and designing a program with little or no input from the intended audience, you will need to create new rules for these
Define high-level roles and responsibilities.
At Rockwell Collins, we
Define your timelines.
Your work-breakdown structure has to be complete at this point. Before you go live, you should have a detailed schedule of events that map out your goals and how you intend to achieve them, from the first day of the launch through at least the succeeding twelve months. Ours laid out every task and event we intended to accomplish over thirty-six months. You may change your timeline or add to it during the implementation process, but you need an initial structure in place with which to go forward. Without a timeline you will falter, losing track of events,
Map all of your work processes.
We can't overemphasize the importance of early successes. Everything you do has to work well in order for you to hit those high-profile home runs. Mapping your work processes is an integral part of the front-end approach that will structure your curriculum offerings and guarantee that the learning opportunities you do offer are
At Rockwell Collins, we mapped everything, from the mandatory needs analysis to the make-or-buy decision process, before investing in any technology. When Project Oasis went live, all of the processes were clearly defined and available to our learning consultants and the rest of the company so that there was complete clarity about when, where, and how training would happen. Every training choice our team made was grounded in these processes, and this