KM Initiatives Require a Training Strategy

Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

May 30, 2019

Education is required when introducing a new KM initiative, during roll out across your organization, and as a key part of ongoing implementation. Knowledge management proven practices indicate you must continue to offer training in a variety of ways; one channel and one time is never sufficient.

Develop a training plan that considers all of the following:

Classroom courses are the best way to get students’ undivided attention, but it is often difficult to get funds allocated for expenses, or to free up students’ time for attendance. Webinars and self-paced courses may offer the most realistic method of delivering training.

Webinars are virtual training courses conducted using some combination of the following elements.

  • Conference call: Participants dial in by phone to listen to the instructor and to ask questions.
  • Web conferencing: Participants log in to a virtual meeting room where they can view presentations, demonstrations, and interactive white boards and chat with other participants.
  • Multimedia: Webcasts that broadcast video, audio, and slides and allow questions to be typed into a web form. Flash web pages, audio, and video are used to present content dynamically.
  • Team space: Collaborative workspace where presentations can be accessed and followed while listening on a conference call.
  • Real-time navigation to web pages: Participants visit web pages as instructed on a conference call to view systems and applications.
  • Recording: A live event is recorded and can be replayed later at the convenience of the participants. Audio is recorded and the participant listens (by phone or by audio file) and follows along by visiting the team space or specified web pages. Alternatively, the virtual meeting room presentation or webcast is recorded as a multimedia file.

Self-paced courses are automated, interactive presentations that can incorporate the following elements.

  • Web pages: Students read web pages and follow along sequentially.
  • Interactive questions: Students are asked questions as they take the course, and receive immediate feedback.
  • Dynamic branching: Students can choose paths based on their interests or their answers to questions.
  • Bookmarks: Students can start and stop at any time, and when they return, they can resume where they left off.
  • Flexible delivery method: Consider how you will present the course to students. Options include:
    1. Web-based — delivered entirely through a web browser, either on the intranet or Internet
    2. Client-based — delivered as a downloaded application run on the PC client
    3. Portable media-based — delivered as a CD, DVD, or flash memory plug-in

The training plan should include the following elements for each course:

1. Content: subjects to be covered

  • Introduction: a high-level overview of the KM initiative and its components
  • Survey: a thorough overview including details on the most important components
  • Deep dive: (e.g., one of the 50 KM components outlined in Chapter 9, a particular process or tool, or a method or technique)

2. Delivery method: how the course will be presented

  • Classroom
  • Webinars (live and recorded)
  • Self-paced

3. Schedule: when the course will be presented

  • One-time date(s)
  • Recurring dates
  • Available on demand

4. Duration: how long the course will last

  • Classroom and webinar: actual time
  • Self-paced: expected time

5. Audience:

  • KM team: for KM leads, project leads, and knowledge assistants
  • Users: for users who are not members of the KM team
  • Managers: targeted at managers

6. Developer: who will create the course content

  • In-house training: the learning and professional development staff
  • In-house KM team: KM lead, project lead, or knowledge assistant
  • Training firm: external company that specializes in course development
  • Consultant: KM expert
  • Commercially available: off-the-shelf courses available for purchase

7. Instructor: who will deliver the course

  • In-house training: the learning and professional development staff
  • In-house KM team: KM lead, project lead, or knowledge assistant
  • Training firm: external company that specializes in course delivery
  • Consultant: KM expert
  • Commercially available: off-the-shelf courses available for purchase

8. Compliance: who needs to take the course, and how is successful completion determined

  • Voluntary: no requirement to attend
  • Mandatory: participation is required and checked, but no test results are collected
  • Mastery: successful completion is tested for, and the course must be repeated until the participant passes

9. Context: linkage of the course to other events

  • Standalone: not part of any other event
  • New hire: part of standard on-boarding process
  • Specialty events: part of other training or conferences
  • Kickoff meetings: part of initial or annual full-organization events
  • Staff meetings: part of regular meetings

10. Publicity and enrollment: how the course will be promoted and enrollment details

  • Course catalogs: documents that list available training
  • Websites: websites that list available training and link to the enrollment system
  • Internal blogs, newsletters, and podcasts: communications vehicles for promoting availability, schedules, and websites for training
  • Email messages: targeted messages announcing training, providing the details of what is expected and required, and reminding about schedules
  • Training logistics system: tool used to enroll students, record classes taken, and report on compliance
Stan Garfield

Stan Garfield

Check out my book, Proven Practices for Promoting a Knowledge Management Program published by Lucidea Press. The above is an excerpt from Chapter 4, “Educate”. Please also read my posts offering advice and insights drawn from many years as a KM practitioner, observing knowledge management best practices.

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