Tuesday, November 25, 2008

If only we could “download” the knowledge of our Subject Matter Experts…

“Subject Matter Expert (SME): An individual who, by virtue of position, education, training, or experience, is expected to have greater-than-normal expertise or insight relative to a particular technical or operational discipline, system, or process, and who has been selected or appointed to participate in development, verification, validation, accreditation, or use of a model or simulation.”

In today’s world of complex applications in the workplace and the need to quickly and effectively train new users, wouldn’t it be nice if we could download our SME’s knowledge and pass it around? I’m curious what and how you’re using today’s technology to deploy SME knowledge…

What methods or tools do you use to capture and author your eLearning courses?
What advantages or disadvantages do you see with each?
What would you like to see in an authoring tool?

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Daniel Higbee, Vice President Business Development

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

“eLearning” you say, how will that help me?

I read an interesting article this morning in Chief Learning Officer magazine (if you don’t subscribe… you should). According to the article, eLearning investments will increase by 79% in the next 12 – 24 months. This comes as no surprise, as we all realize that primary focus of any organization in today’s economy is to “Get the most out of what I’ve already got…” as one customer told us.

How can we as software vendors, trainers, system integrators, project managers, and learning professionals really help our customers to get the MOST out of what they’ve got? After 16 years in Workforce Management Software (WMS) deployments, I have learned that what “they” have is generally sufficient.

The question is… are they fully utilizing the features of the product they have? These are some of the questions that we generally tell our clients to ask themselves:
  • Are we getting the full benefit of (insert product name), do my management, my supervisors and employees really know how to get the most out of it?
    ......I think we all know the answer to this one.
  • Would there be a savings to our organization by simply increasing efficiency in data entry and reducing the errors currently being fixed by the “back office?
    ......Most likely an overworked, under compensated, Admin. Assistant named “Beverly” who’s seen it all… and is counting the days to Florida.
  • How can I quickly get people familiar with additional features of our current products without another huge investment in time and training?
    .......They’re saying to themselves, “I can’t get them to use the basics and you think I can get them to use additional features…?”

These three are obviously the basics but they are crucial to understanding how to assist our customers and provide the most value for their investment in our products or services.

eLearning or Workforce Performance Systems (WPS) are the future and they can offer another level of support “At the moment of need”. There are some impressive products on the market today including SHO (Scripted Human Operator) Guide® which offers step by step guidance in the live application and what are commonly referred to as “simulation tools” like Captivate® or Camptasia®.

Find the authoring tools that work for you, incorporate them into your products, deployments and consulting agreements. If we give our clients what they want and do it in a professional and courteous manner, they will become a client for life.

Daniel Higbee – Vice President, Business Development