Over the past few years we've uncovered five key steps to creating learning circuits within your organization. Use them to successfully launch and administer your virtual classrooms.
What is learning circuitry? It's the way in which each group within your company or organization works together to help your training initiative succeed--through connective operations, financials models, sales and marketing, and quality training and delivery.
STEP 1: START WITH A CORE TEAM
Find the right people, who share your vision, and put 'em to work. These might be people like an instructional designer, marketing coordinator, operations manager, instructor or business leader. Have each of these people responsible on a single purpose. For example, your instructional designer's goal may be to figure out how to take existing training products and turn them into a virtual classroom format. Remember that small teams can move fast, so don't make it too big too fast.
STEP 2: THINK BIG AND ACT SMALL
Create a vision of where you want your learning circuitry to go and then break down your vision into small, manageable pieces. Don't feel like to have to do everything at once. Stick to a phased approach and be patient. Take some time to learn and develop your skills and abilities, and before you know it, your vision will be reality.
STEP 3: FIND EXECUTIVE CHAMPIONS
Finding executive sponsors for your project is most often a key indicator of success in building the right circuitry. They can help clear the path when needed and should be willing to act as your champion.
STEP 4: BUILD IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME
Do the hard work up from. Make sure you've done your research, looked at the competition, and identified holes in your approach, then build your program according to your vision. You'll be able to make modifications along the way, but do your best to lay the right circuitry up front. We learned this the hard way when we started to build our own virtual classroom system from the ground up. We finally relented and found existing software that provided us with 60% of what we needed and then customized it from there. We won't make that mistake again.
STEP 5: MEASURE YOUR PROGRESS AND TELL EVERYONE ABOUT IT
Make sure to track your forward momentum so that when the time comes to report on your status, you have data. Benchmark your results against the industry to show how far you've come! Finally, be sure to watch your key indicators such as the number of people you have trained, costs saved, and attendee feedback scores on course content and facilitator skills. When you have great results to share, shout your successes!
Building your learning circuitry is not going to be quick or easy. But the time you take to create learning circuitry within your organization will not only help you move your corporate learning online, but also help you gain more credibility and prominence in your organization.