My last project of 2016 is to review and re-design the learning strategy for a legacy systems training program. As we start looking at historical data on the program and to identify key improvement areas, our suggestions seem to organically reflect the 70:20:10 principles, namely:
- 70% of learning is experiential. It happens through daily tasks, challenges and practice.
- 20% of learning is social. It happens with and through other people, like coworkers.
- 10% of learning is formal. It happens through structured training courses and programs.
Following is a brief overview of what the legacy program looked like, how we propose to update it using 70:20:10 as a guide, and the changes and challenges we face while updating the program.
What did the previous training program look like?
- About 80% of our training was formal, designed as mandatory virtual or classroom trainings.
- Our initial formal training process was very long- a minimum of 5 hours and a maximum of 10 hours of training was delivered upfront before the end-user could get access to the system.
- There were some opportunities for social learning, but it was not integrated into the training strategy. Enterprising end-users identified their own go-to experts, formed small discussion groups, etc. This created for more than one source of truth and uneven levels of expertise.
- There was little to no experiential learning. Existing training covered how best to use the system and its features, but did not provide the business perspective & benefits. We also did not follow the end-user’s journey nor did we customize the training for the more than 10 roles that used the system.
- We did not provide any performance support for beginner level users
- We did not provide remedial training/ performance support for the 5 moments of learning
- We did not evaluate the benefits of the training program
What changes are we proposing for the new training program?
- Design an end-to-end learning experience instead of just a stand-alone training strategy, ie, integrate initial learning, performance support, and systems support into a seamless experience for the user.
- Reduce the amount of formal learning- reduce minimum from 5 hours to 2 hours and maximum from 10 hours to 4 hours.
- Design opportunities for experiential learning: micro learning nuggets based on role-specific scenarios, case studies based on previous experience for practice, game-based quizzes (both mandatory and optional), etc.
- Design opportunities for social learning. This is proposed to be achieved with three initiatives: monthly walk-in sessions with Champions at various global locations, user generated content via blog, and a peer reviewed and curated knowledge database driven by issues submitted via support tickets
- Don’t stop training with initial offerings, but continue to provide performance support throughout the end-user’s systems use. We propose to achieve this by embedding performance support (help, hints, simulations, videos) within the system itself.
- Create a robust evaluation framework to measure the benefits of the program- if possible run a pilot group and a control group to measure differences, if any.
What effect does 70:20:10 have on the resourcing of a training program?
- As we have started adopting the 70:20:10 framework, we find that we need to make operational changes in how we work and who we resource into designing the learning program:
- We are using qualitative (survey responses) and quantitative (support tickets) feedback to drive updates to training strategy and content.
- We are creating more and more role and location based content.
- Content updates have gone from being reactionary (only updated when there is a change to the system) to anticipatory.
- We are updating content faster than before, and therefore, need a strong element of change management built into the training program.
- We are giving more power to the end-user- a lot of the content for social learning is user generated.
- We are having to assign more resources to manage face to face logistics.
- We are having to investigate and use new learning design tools.
- As we have included elements of social learning, we find that side by side with SMEs and instructional designers, we need a new role in the team: that of a content curator. This is sort of a cross between an SME and an ID- someone with subject matter expertise who can also arrange and tag content in a meaningful way.
What challenges are we facing with the use of the 70:20:10 model?
- We are not sure if we are designing experiential, social, and formal learning in the exact prescribed ratio of 70:20:10, though this is not a concern for us.
- The reduction in formal training is a huge mindset shift for an industry driven by compliance and as such we need to perform a lot of change management for relevant stakeholders.
- While the various learning modalities are moderately easy to implement for internal users, there are technical challenges in implementing them for external partner companies.
I am a Learning and Performance Consultant from India currently based in Zürich, Switzerland. Over the last 13 years, I have consulted for clients in the retail, technology, manufacturing, banking, shipping, BPO, and healthcare industries. For more details, please visit my Bio page by clicking on the Menu.