Well, alright. We have the rationale behind creating a strategy, we know what to avoid, and we understand what can happen when you fall of the tracks. What’s next you ask? It seems that it’s time to get started on the creation of the strategy!
Creating the team
As with any project, you’re going to need to assemble a team of experts that can assist you in the creation of the end product. In this case, the team needs to be dedicated, focused, and ready truly contribute. You don’t need experts in mobile, but you will need people with domain expertise in a wide variety of disciplines. Depending on your organization size and overall goals a typical team like this will be headed up by people from the following areas of your company:
learning and development (this may be you, but I recommend getting a backup)
branding/marketing (ideally someone with a bit of UI/UX experience)
legal/compliance (find someone looking to make a name for themselves)
technology (pick a progressive, solution-oriented person with buying authority)
Each one of these individuals may have a number of people working under them to assist with surveying, research, and resource or information gathering. That said, I would recommend not having any more than this core group of individuals at any single group status meeting. Plan for a recurring status meeting during the course of this project, with you leading the meeting and providing the agenda to the core team.
If follow-up or “off-line” discussion needs to be done with sub groups later in the week, that’s great, but always keep those meetings focused and make sure that the agendas are always hashed out in advance. You don’t want drive-by meetings or sightseers popping in to these meetings. Everyone there needs to have a purpose.
If there are “to-dos” from any of these meetings, you will also be ultimately responsible for sending the recap of the meeting along with the results or findings from any previously resolved content.
With your team in place, the first conversations should be centered around framing what a successful effort looks like when completed. How will you, your team, and their managers know when you have hit the target? Each group is going to have distinct priorities and your major responsibility will be weighing these and prioritizing them in overall big picture. Make sure these goals are largely quantifiable and can be distilled into talking points when you are called on to report on your progress.
You can’t create a strategy in a vacuum. You and your team will likely need to survey and *gasp* talk to people in order to learn more about where you need to go to achieve your goals. When framing up these discussions keep a few things in mind:
1. People are usually terrible at articulating the best solution, but are great at identifying their problems. Get people to talk about how certain aspects of their job are painful and you’re destined to find some great nuggets you can build on.
2. Keep implementation details off the table. People will inevitably start to say things like “We need an app for this,” or “How will IT get that information to us?”, but your job must be one of constant redirection.
3. Keep things positive. If you can’t keep people from referencing a botched attempt that everyone remembers the last time your company tried something like this, you may need to preface the conversation or survey with a bit of a change management effort first. Remember, here, you are the dreamer of dreams and the makers of music… Not the harbingers of doom and gloom.
4. Always use your bigger picture goals as a foundation for the survey. People’s time is valuable, don’t waste their time or your time on a lot of “What-ifs” that are never going to happen. Remember from our prevous post that this strategy MUST BE IMPLEMENTABLE. If it’s not realistic that your IT department procure 1,500 iPhones for your entire company, don’t hinge your strategy on that. If you have no competency internally in Android development and have no intentions to train or hire your developers to build apps, then don’t propose that.
Off to the races
Here we are! Ready to get started? You have a solid team, have outlined your goals, and created a lot of great research, now it’s time to distill that information and make your pitch. You’ll need to find a way to weigh the pros and cons of what you’ve found and then turn it into something you can use. Don’t get hung up analyzing which “measuring stick” is the best, just line up some options, talk it over with your team, and then choose one and stick with it as you firm up for your results. Approach this step with confidence in knowing you’ve done your best work and always keep an eye towards establishing ROI and you’re bound to make a mark for yourself.
It’s a big step, but you can do it! If you are looking for more information on how to build a mobile learning strategy, continue to read our posts at Floatlearning.com. We’re posting regularly on topics like this.
In closing, a note of thanks to the fine folks at Learning Circuits. It’s been great working with you over last few weeks.
The LC Blog is a community feature that Learning Circuits launched in 2002. The main feature of the LC Blog is its Question of the Month, which hones in on a priority topic facing learning professionals. Anyone--and everyone--can contribute to the LC Blog.
ASTD launched Learning Circuits in January 2000. Its goal was to promote and aid the use of e-learning, creating a body of knowledge about how to use technology efficiently and effectively for learning. There are nearly 800 articles currently on the website.
ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) is the world’s largest association dedicated to workplace learning and performance professionals. ASTD is dedicated to providing resources to practitioners working the field of e-learning. ASTD delivers the free webzine Learning Circuits, the ASTD TechKnowledge Conference & Exposition; two educational certificate programs on e-learning design; and numerous books and Infolines.