The Anatomy of a Failed eLearning Project

I put together a poster that distills all the key causes and symptoms of a failed eLearning project. Here you go…

Poster that depicts symptoms and causes for a failed eLearning project.

Symptoms and Causes that point to a failed eLearning project.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in eLearning

Lessons for Training Departments from the German Soccer Team

Context is still the king and after yesterday’s FIFA World Cup finals, this post was inevitable! With some inspiration from this article, I came up with my version!

So what we can the Enterprise Training Department learn from the German Soccer team?

2014 German Soccer Team Holding the FIFA World Cup

1. Never give up. The Germans never quit. They fight until the very last second of the match and never give up. They never quit, they fight one battle after another, one match after another. The thought of losing doesn’t even exist in their minds.

The biggest challenge training departments face is being the first one on the chopping block when the management team decides to downsize. There is a perennial battle to gain attention and budgets. Training departments should themselves be convinced about the importance of training in meeting business objectives and carry this message of conviction to the management team. Gather hard data on the impact of training on business and never stop projecting your story.

2. Learn from the competition. In 1998, France became soccer world champions by beating Brazil with 2-0. Both goals were scored by Zinedine Zidane, an Algerian immigrant and one of the best soccer players in history. Germany fielded a multicultural team in the 2002 World Cup that included players from Poland, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Africa. They reached the final. Germany learned from the competition the value of players with a foreign background.

Look at how marketing departments project their contribution to the business. Obviously they have an inherent advantage in the fact that they have “marketing” skills. Training departments need marketing skills backed by an ability to bring out data on business impact from training. Packaging training programs and its impact on business is a must. Ever considered hiring people with marketing background for the training department? Customer Education teams are starting to get better at this game.

3. Be flexible. Prior to the start of the World Cup the German media called Joachim Löw “undetermined” and “lost” because he changed the playing formation of his squad countless times before picking the final 23 players who went with him to Brazil. He kept changing the tactics and adjusting the starting eleven. He moved from one formation to another during the World Cup. His approach beat Brazil with 7-1.

Sometimes, we are comfortable doing what we know best. But this strategy can backfire. Flexibility is a key requirement for the training department as well. Employees are changing (look at the generational shift), how employees and customers access information and knowledge are changing, newer tools are flooding the market. Need I say more?

4. Never let go of the goal. In the German soccer federation building hangs a photo of the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro where the final match will take place next Sunday. The players, managers and staff at the federation all know exactly where they are heading and what their goal is. They kept visualizing how they would get there, and nowhere else.

Training departments should know what business challenge they are trying to address before they organize a training program. Measuring ROI should be a mandatory process  (yes, even for compliance training). The training department should have the final outcome in mind – say, reduction in support calls, faster deal closure, increased productivity, to name a few, and explore all options to get the job done.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Learning, Training

Gamification is dead, long live Gamification!

Reports about the death of gamification have been greatly exaggerated (I am sorry Mark Twain)!

I recently stumbled on an article from Fortune titled “Looks like that whole gamification thing is over“. But very quickly, I realized that the title is misleading as the article talks about several successful implementations of gamification in addition to failures.

A good content marketing strategy starts with an attention grabbing headline. But this may cause collateral damage especially when coming from a reputed source. Our short attention spans means that most of us don’t bother to read the article and jump to conclusions based on the headlines!

Like any project, gamification projects should be grounded on measurable objectives and not because it is cool to implement. Some questions to ask before plunging into a gamification project includes:

1. Get your objectives ironed out up front. Know what battle you want to fight and then choose the right weapons. Is gamification even the right approach to meet your objectives?

2. Gamification is the right objective only if it helps the participants meet their individual objectives or tasks in addition to meeting strategic organization objectives. Otherwise, it’s a burden and something that needs to be “enforced”.

3. Clearly articulate what the end result will look like and what are the way points that will tell you if you are moving in the right direction with your gamification project.

4. Do you have the strategy in place to engage different types of participants? You need cheerleaders, early adopters, and experts. You will also have to convince skeptics and laggards to come on board.

5. Do you have the money needed to implement offline and online gamification platforms? An awareness about the various approaches to implementing gamification and the various tools available in the marketplace to get the job done is critical.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Game based Learning, Gamification

How Google Glass Can Impact Education

If you are wondering if Google Glass can ever make the jump from the “nerd” tag into the mass market, here is an inspirational infographic.

Infographic on Google Glass' impact on education.Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Education

Mobile Learning Project Needs Analysis

If you are stuck at the starting gates of a mobile learning initiative, here is a document that is designed to get you off the ground.

Contents of this document includes questionnaire for:

  1. Business & Learning Objectives
  2. Audience Profile
  3. Mobile Device & Usage
  4. Integration & Analytics

Needs Analysis DownLoad Link

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Mobile Learning, Smartphones

Tablets Invade the Enterprise

I know the title of this post is cliched but sometimes it is important to reinforce the obvious several times over to bring down pockets of resistance! So, if you haven’t figured out a strategy for using mobile devices for delivering learning and performance support, it’s never too late!

Here is the latest industry-wise share of tablet activation data from Good Mobility Index Report Q1 2014.



Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Mobile Learning

Apple iOS 8 – New Possibilities for Mobile Learning!

Last week, I was watching the Apple Worldwide Developer Conference live, online. I was hoping Tim Cook would say, “one more thing…” and was disappointed that there was nothing more than what was already presented :) As we adjust to life without Jobs, it is important to take a look at iOS 8 and the possibilities of leveraging this platform to deliver cutting edge mobile learning experiences.

Here are some preliminary thoughts on this topic.

1. According to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering Craig Federighi, “98 percent of Fortune 500 companies are already using iOS.” I am sure this is news to L&D departments as well. So if there are any lingering doubts about how mobile learning can be deployed, your L&D department needs to probably look at what other departments are already doing to deliver information to mobile devices.

2. IT Departments will be mighty pleased. Here are some new features that will help you sell the idea of mobile learning to your field force that might be using their personal Apple devices. Ability to remain connected to the company’s VPN (as opposed to connecting on need basis), imposing content filtering to block access to inappropriate content, certificate based single-sign on for enterprise applications (navigate between different systems easily. Example: your LMS and your intranet applications).

3. One more advantage for IT departments is that their ability to control Apple devices remotely is now complete. Users cannot override Mobile Device Management policies that the IT Department chooses to implement.

4. PDFs and eBooks can be directly pushed to Apple devices using MDM tools as opposed to letting users download content when it is available. All your training job aids and documents can be updated on every user’s devices seamlessly.

5. There will be big productivity gains if your target users are on Mac and Apple mobile devices. Calls and messages can be accessed from any device. Example: I can take a call or receive a message sent to my phone through my Mac. That’s cool indeed. There are plenty of other nifty productivity improvements built into iOS8.

6. iOS 8 is supposed to be compatible with all Apple devices that are running iOS 6 and iOS 7. We will know more about this only when we get our hands on iOS 8. I am very curious to see how Safari will treat HTML5 content.

One more thing..

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in eLearning, HTML5, Mobile Learning

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 618 other followers

%d bloggers like this: