Which teams do you work most closely with on a daily basis?
On a daily basis I work with the Product, Customer Success, and Customer Support teams. It is my view that instructional designers are merely facilitators of institutional knowledge. My intervention is the framing, packing, and presentation of knowledge that is sourced from multiple teams into a digestible learning narrative. To achieve this, our team has created a subject matter expert (SME) program where a member or members of every team self-selects their area of expertise. As such, these individuals become the point of contact for courses related to their chosen subject(s). All three teams I collaborate with have SMEs on the various elements of our product line and are organized on an internal Trello board.
How do you collaborate with these teams?
Using the Trello board as a guide to the sources of deep knowledge on a particular subject, I gather the appropriate individuals from across the teams whenever a course is slated for production. For example, if a course is slated for production around our in-app reporting functionality, I can go to our Trello board to quickly see all of our Reports SMEs and gather them together for a kick-off meeting. In the meeting, we can collectively talk to the Product team about the feature, raise anticipated concerns, and think about the feature’s greater impact on the customer. I also record team-specific information from the respective SME (i.e. What strategies should Customer Success Managers be cognizant of to facilitate communications with customers? What are some technical issues you imagine arising that a Customer Support Specialist should anticipate?)
I create the course using this SME knowledge. Once completed, the SMEs from all three teams become the beta students for the course. The SMEs take the course and provide any feedback. I use this feedback to edit the course and then publish widely.
How are you driving students to your training program?
As of now, our training program is internal only. We have a Trello board that provides visibility into our process including what is in line for production. There is an area where students can request courses. Working with managers to set expectations, students are required to take courses as part of their continued education in hard and soft skills. Moreover, a big driver to our training program is our philosophy regarding democratized education. While we provide training to meet our organization’s goals, this is not a purely top-down pedagogy. We give our students the chance to participate in their own training through the SME program or through our channels of communication where students can recommend courses in areas of study where they would like a more comprehensive education. There is greater buy-in when students know their recommendations are taken seriously and can eventually become integrated into our training platform.
In our Training Tips series, we asked Training, Marketing, and Customer Success Managers what some of their best practices are to get the most out of a customer training program. Stay tuned for new Q&As each month!