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How to Use 'Lean' to Select Learning Technologies
Learning technologies have the potential to add tremendous value to the organization. But if implemented carelessly, the medium can also create ineffective waste.
Learning technologies are all the rage these days. The choices, platforms, features and options can make any CLO’s head spin.But before rushing to invest money, time and resources in new technology, it pays — literally — to be sure that the shiny new toys will actually deliver better employee performance and business results. "Lean" knowledge transfer (Lean KT), which seeks to eliminate learning waste and add value, is one framework learning leaders should consider. Lean KT defines waste as anything that doesn't directly help a learner perform better on the job. There are eight types of training waste: over teaching, delay, inventory, transportation, extra steps, motion, defects and unused talent.Learning technologies are most often purchased to eliminate the transportation and delay of periodic learning events — like classroom training and seminars. Companies save money on travel and facilities, and learners access the knowledge they need when they need it. But that same technology can also create new waste that upends the effort. Consider a hypothetical company facing a brain drain from retiring experts. First, it tried mentoring by flying learners in to work with their experts for a week, only to realize they’d never reach their audience of learners fast enough. As a result, the firm replaced mentoring with a thousand-hour video library of those same experts talking about their areas of expertise.The effort failed. Why? In moving the inventory of knowledge from their experts’ heads into video format, the company did eliminate transportation and delay — but it also created new waste.• Motion and extra steps: Learners who needed to find two minutes of information now had to search for it somewhere in hours of video, instead of simply asking the expert.• Over teaching: Learners experienced over teaching — and more delay — as they watched and fast-forwarded through content looking for the nugget they really needed.• Defects: Many learners eventually gave up and tried their own solutions, resulting in defects as they made mistakes and generated product returns.
The Next Generation of HR: What’s Wrong? What’s Right?
May 23rd 1:00pm - 2:00pm CT
2013 CLO Breakfast Club, Boston
September 12th - 12th, 2013The Westin Copley Place
Fall 2013 CLO Symposium
September 30th - October 2nd, 2013Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa
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