A Framework to Manage Learning: A Good Fit for SMB Manufacturers

For some business leaders, the changing world is generating unsettling down time. Many are embracing conditions to spawn quality think time. To these energized thinkers, it’s a clean slate event; an opportunity to re-think, re-position, re-deploy, and re-execute.

Leverage your current think-time to position your company for the forthcoming upswing.

This post inspires thinking about SMB, B2B, manufacturing and its approach to learning and development.

Three elements create a robust learning management framework for manufacturers.

1. People

People are your employees. Your mission is to keep your people current with the know-how essential for the work they do.

2. Roles

Roles describe, and categorize, the types of work your people do. Example roles are drill press operator, quality inspector, and shipping coordinator. Job titles are a good starting point to identify roles at your place. You may decide that some job titles may be grouped into coarser roles. For example, “Line 1 Inspector”, “Line 3 Inspector”, and “Finished Goods Inspector” may share a common role – “Inspector”.

3. Topics

Topics are essential subject matter that impact the way work is done. Topics may be presented in myriad ways; online tutorials, instructor led events in a classroom setting, and on-the-job, hands-on, training.

These elements are connected to make the framework continuously work for the organization.

1. People are connected with roles.

2. Roles are connected with relevant topics.

Connections are easy to make. They make the app easy to manage; with simple new employee onboarding and a means to make adjustments along the way.

Here’s a use case for the framework . . .

1. “Alice Taylor” (person) is connected to the “Inspector” (role).

2. The “Inspector” (role) is connected to several topics . . .

“Course 1.5.1-000 All Employee Safety” (topic)
“Course 2.5.1-101 Shop Floor Cleanup” (topic)
“Course 2.5.1-410 Inspection Data Entry” (topic)

When Alice is initially onboarded, and connected to the “Inspector” role, a training status inquiry will show that she needs training in the topics associated with “Inspector”.

Employees w. Roles and Training Status

Alice remains deficient in these topics until she participates in applicable training.

While the framework is simple, robust, and effective, training nuances must be supported.

    • Training can expire.
    • Training gets upgraded, making earlier training obsolete.
    • People change jobs within your organization.
    • New hires need to be brought up to speed quickly.
    • People sometimes need to be cross-trained.
    • Some people have special training requirements.
    • Evaluating training success, and identifying training impact, can be an elusive challenge.

Over the years, we’ve continually tweaked refinements that address industrial training situations. (These pesky nuances.)

We provide novel, flexible, and comprehensive ways to record employee participation in training events.

Training must have impact if it’s to be worth its resource investment – time, money, and employee intervention (interruption). We’ll show you ways to build impact, in both delivery and evaluation, into every training intervention.

We offer no-charge assistance with setup and a quick-start, with your data, to get your business underway.

Our low-cost tools can equip a startup manufacturer to achieve enterprise-sized impact on a shoestring budget.

Why would you manage learning . . .

any . . .

other . . .

way?

Adopt our approach to “learning management”.  Experience ways to stay on top of this sometimes-elusive challenge.  Simple.  Targeted.  Impactful.

    • Simplify the learning function.
    • Pare down related management systems.
    • Lower related costs.
    • Reduce employee learning interventions (interruptions).
    • Sharpen focus on learning with verifiable impact.

Team with Twin Lakes Consulting. We’ll equip you with targeted tools to ensure that employees stay current with essential know-how for them to do their work.

achieve learning impact

Get to know ways you can implement simpler learning management tools, with fewest employee distractions and greatest organizational impact.

A quick call to Twin Lakes Consulting will show how accommodating our versatile app can be for your specific situation.

Call Twin Lakes Consulting today.

724.330.7030

only one call away

Learning Management – Provide What’s Essential While Eliminating Waste

learning pyramid

Business leaders live in a state of deep thought, as they gear up to do business in a changed world. For some, it’s a clean slate event; an opportunity to re-think, re-position, re-deploy, and re-execute.

This post inspires thinking about SMB, B2B, manufacturing and its approach to learning and development.

Learning” pervades industrial vernacular . . .

  • Chief Learning Officer
  • Learning Management Systems
  • e-Learning Systems
  • Learning Organizations

When an organization achieves success with learning, it’s not necessarily gained impact commensurate with the associated expense.  Learning is only “Level-2” of a four-level L&D framework made famous by Don Kirkpatrick.1

1 The web is replete with discussion about Don Kirkpatrick and a four-level model for training development and evaluation.  This timeless and useful framework can inspire your thinking as you design and deliver learning interventions.  Doug Hagy, of Twin Lakes Consulting, gained insights about this framework through personal correspondence with Don Kirkpatrick.

learning pyramid

Level 4: Impact . . .
(Results) – Does the organization realize impact from new on-the-job behaviors practiced by its learners?

Level 3: Behavior . . .
Do learners practice new on-the-job behaviors; inspired by what they’ve learned from training events?

Level 2: Learning . . .
Do learners gain practical takeaways and new knowledge?

Level 1: Reaction . . .
Are learners satisfied with their learning interventions?  Well presented?  Good venue?  Relevant?

The only learning that’s valuable, is learning that spawns behavior; vital behavior essential to getting the work done – well.

Furthermore, the only behaviors that are worth producing are behaviors that generate business impact.

Learning that doesn’t produce behaviors, or produces non-essential behaviors, can be reasonably characterized as waste.  The software, the staff, the related learning interventions – all generating waste.

The way to training success is aiming for Level-4 success from the get-go and addressing requisite requirements of the lower levels along the way.

learning blind spot

Impact (Level 4) is an occasional L&D ‘blind spot’.  Achieve Level 4 success by making impact the up-front driver for every learning intervention.  Twin Lakes Consulting, can show you how to do just that – for every learning intervention.

From an article by David Maister (highly regarded consultant and author) . . .

“No manager should ever be given a training budget until they show which business metric that training will impact – they should set a goal for that impact and review performance against that goal before allocating more training budget to that manager.” 2

2 https://davidmaister.com/articles/why-most-training-is-useless

flood organization with learning

Thinking about flooding your organization with “Learning Interventions”?

Becoming a “Learning” organization?

Listen to this show – “Attention Please”.   Learn about the challenges of communicating “in the age of infinite distractions”.

For all the ways our attention is routinely drawn away, and the numerous interruptions we encounter each day, you’re lucky to get any message through. Limit learning interventions, of any type, to bare essentials.

discard unnecessary learning

If you’ve not yet invested in complex systems to support learning, you may have less to discard as you re-think efficiently equipping employees with vital know-how.

hooked on LMS

If you’ve already bought in to the Learning Management System (“LMS”) allure, we can help you migrate to our simpler, targeted, cloud-based solution.

✓ Nurture and manage everything that achieves Level 4 success.

✓ Discard everything else.

Chances are that you’ll shrink the pool of topics you share with your employees dramatically.

    • Simplify the learning function.
    • Pare down related management systems.
    • Lower related costs.
    • Reduce employee learning interventions (interruptions).
    • Sharpen focus on learning with verifiable impact.

Team with Twin Lakes Consulting. We’ll equip you with targeted tools to ensure that employees stay current with relevant know-how for them to do their work.

Transform “learning management” into a manageable, complimentary, role for your EHS, Quality, or HR Manager.

achieve learning impact

Call Twin Lakes Consulting today.

Get to know ways you can implement simpler learning management tools, with fewest employee distractions and greatest organizational impact.

724.330.7030

only one call away