Some tips for learning technology success are:
- Partner with others – but be smart about it. You can benefit by piggy-backing on the experience of others – learning technology developers, consultants and users – but be aware that many service providers have their own agendas. Make sure that every contribution you receive aids you strategy – not theirs. The most helpful partners understand their business but help you implement your strategy.
- Don’t underestimate the quality of the learning content – since this content is the agent of change within your organisation. This means that it is vitally important where and how the learners interface with the learning materials.
- Be wary of generic learning content. It’s difficult for this sort of content to include ‘life-changing’ learning materials. If you’re serious about learning, you can’t buy it by the metre.
- Deliver something – even if it’s only incremental change. You can’t go from ‘zero to hero’ – and deliver enterprise-wide, fundamental change overnight. If you try to do so, you may spend more time defending the learning initiative than delivering it.
Unlock the benefits of learning by ‘following through’. You’re likely to spend 80 per cent of your learning budget before the ‘go live’ day – and most of that expenditure will be on the technology to deliver the learning. Many people believe that reaching ‘go live’ day is an achievement but, really, it’s only the beginning. You will only have achieved some 20 per cent of the potential benefits of the project at this point. It’s what happens after this – in the learning, not the technical domain – that’s vital for the success of learning within your organisation and, indeed, the success of the organisation itself. In order for learning to keep delivering on its promises, you have to keep working – changing the emphasis from technology to learning issues. Only then will you be able to deliver the other 80 per cent of the benefits of technology-delivered learning.
Although technology is only a system for delivering learning, it can cause problems because people confuse the ‘why’ with the ‘how’ – the function and the form. However, if the fundamentals of any learning technology project are wrong, they can never be put right – which is why it’s vital to ensure that you’ve developed the correct learning strategy.