Background and Business Need

“Based on our instructor-led training, how will you develop digital courses that address our business need?” This is the first question our client, a renowned training company in North America, asked us in our first meeting.

The client has expertise and experience in providing instructor-led training (ILT) to mid-level management professionals in information technology (IT) companies, but it was encountering critical issues. Its customers, IT companies, were finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the costs of multiple days of instructor-led training. These costs included travel and logistics as well as the loss of productive employee time. Our client was seeking a sustainable solution that would maintain interest in its IT management certification training programs. The company wanted a shorter duration for every training session, to enroll more employees across geographies simultaneously, and a consistent training experience.

The company also wanted every course to address diverse learning styles and leverage new technologies. Most importantly, the goal was to enable learners to understand the benefits of IT management for improved quality, higher speed, and a reduction in costs for their respective employers by meeting a progressive set of outcomes.

After understanding our client’s requirements, we worked closely with the company and offered a scalable, replicable, consistent, and holistic solution to address the business need.

Using our proprietary LEAD+ approach, we helped transform the company’s business offering by conceptualizing and developing responsive, accessible, modern, shorter digital courses to meet the expectations of its existing clients and reach out to new ones in diverse geographies. Lastly, to achieve the stated goal, we employed an effective content development approach to innovate digital courses.

Challenges

The source content comprised factual, conceptual, and procedural PowerPoint presentations used in instructor-led training, suitable for providing learners a strong theoretical foundation. Based on our analysis, we determined that real-world applications were required to improve on the existing material.

The company’s learners belong to a certain age cohort that expects training to be delivered in a traditional, instructor-led format. However, the business need dictated digital courses, so the design had to be simple and user friendly in a traditional way.

Solution

Overall Approach

We worked closely with the client to deliver business value by providing strategic consulting, custom learning, technology, and support services. The consulting process started with asking probing questions to help the client achieve its business goals. To address the unique challenges, we conceptualized a custom solution and developed the user interface, technical framework, and visual elements, along with the content—creating a scalable, replicable, consistent, responsive, accessible, and modern solution. It is also simple and user friendly.

Content Development Approach

To ensure that the self-paced course keeps the learners engaged and helps them understand the benefits of IT management comprehensively, our learning strategy employed some of the key principles of adult learning.

As a part of our adult learning approach, the courses first help learners gain knowledge about the significance of a specific IT management practice. Then learners are asked to take an IT management maturity assessment to determine the level of advancement in their organizations. The results of this assessment help learners comprehend the degree of organizational change and involvement required to implement and sustain IT management concepts and best practices.

Finally, our approach teaches how IT management can help organizations improve quality, increase speed, and reduce costs. To make this possible, the content focuses not only on concepts and theories but also on application via scenarios and problem solving in real-life situations.

Intermittent self-assessments and knowledge checks also ensure that learners are equipped with the required knowledge and skills for an IT management certification exam granted by a third-party service provider.

Solution Highlights

After analyzing the nature of the content, learning needs, audience, technical requirements, and training delivery, we developed a technical framework for developing a series of courses that could be delivered to learners spread across diverse geographies at the same time.

We also ensured that learning is comprehensive; that is, it caters to the learning styles of diverse learners, via the use of content, media, interactive screens, and activities. We employed new technology to address the business need. Since the self-paced course is for adult learners, our objectives were to limit the one-way flow of information from the system and to prevent cognitive overload with too much on-screen information. So we developed screens that conveyed information progressively and allowed learners to interact with the system.

Further, we developed problem-solving activities to help learners apply the newly-acquired knowledge to real-life situations and think critically. To stimulate recall memory, engage the learners in the environment, and promote reflective thinking, knowledge checks were added intermittently. Most importantly, the questions ensure that learners are equipped with the required knowledge and skills for the certification exam granted by the third-party service provider.

The course can be accessed on multiple devices by learners, including those with special needs. The embrace of new technology gives learners control to be trained at any time, on any device, and at any pace or comfort level.

Outcomes

The most significant benefit that our client experienced is cost saving; and per client feedback, the long-term cost of learning delivery has decreased significantly. This allows the company to price its offering competitively, allowing its customers to save on training costs.

The feedback received from the learners has been overwhelmingly positive. Learners across geographies have been able to enroll in training courses at the same time, and they have benefitted from a consistent training experience.

The feedback also shows the client has achieved higher training efficiency. Learners can complete the training in less time and with less disruption to their productivity, as the digital courses are 33% shorter than the ILTs. The post-training results show that the total number of learners who have obtained certification has remained consistent.

Above all, learners have enjoyed the new learning experience. The content has helped them understand the benefits of IT management to enable improved quality, higher speed, and a reduction in costs. Learners can apply this knowledge to solve real-life problems mirrored in the courses. The maturity assessment has helped them determine what they need to achieve in their organization.

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