Imagine… You launch a new virtual training program in your organization. It’s an interactive new hire employee orientation. Your instructional design team has pulled together a video of key executives in the company speaking about the organization’s values and philosophy. During the program, the participants will engage in activities built around these videos.
You’ve tested the course and it has worked well for the local learning group. But when you conduct your global pilot, you run into a snag. Not everyone in the organization has sufficient network bandwidth to stream video effectively. Now, a big chunk of your curriculum, and probably your budget too, is at risk. We’re missing a critical link. This issue could have been identified and potentially resolved if the company’s IT group had been a key part of the development and testing phase.
Not many of us in the virtual training for talent management world think of ourselves as geeks or technology experts. As learning leaders, our focus is usually on the training outcomes we need to achieve and the curriculum design to support them. IT is typically not our first stop when developing our plans. They seem to only show up after the fact when you are pushing the limits of the organization’s network.
Successful virtual training programs need to include the other stakeholders in the deployment process, especially IT. Building a partnership with IT can help you leverage your virtual training environment to it’s fullest potential. Consider reviewing these questions with IT before starting to develop a virtual training program:
- What will impact the use of technologies you want to apply to the program? Video? QR Codes? Applications?
- Will there be mobile capability? Are there limitations on devices that can connect to the network?
- Do employees across the entire network have the right computing capability? Laptops? High-speed network? Speakers? (Yes, this can be a challenge!)
- What are the bandwidth constraints in the organization’s network? Is it possible to allocate more network bandwidth to training systems?
- How well does your approach fit with IT’s requirements? Security issues? Integration throughout the organization’s global network?
The success of your virtual programs depends on trouble free deployment in your organization’s network. By aligning with IT, you can improve your chances of success when launching virtual training. You may also get the added benefit of influencing how learning technology is integrated in your organization.
My advice? Educate yourself on the critical technology you want to leverage.
Get a little geeky!