Quick and agile learning projects really are possible - Here’s how to get started well

If you want your learning project to be smooth and effective, involve an LX (learning experience) designer as early as possible

They can guide you through all the necessary design stages to make sure that you get the behaviour changes from your learners that you want to see, using your learning project team’s precious time in the most efficient way.

The common misconception when creating learning projects today is that an expert of some kind should create some learning content to give to an LX designer, who will then turn it into a learning programme.

Unfortunately, this approach always then involves a lot of reviewing of the content as well as long-winded discussions about whether there is enough or too much content, whether the content is correctly worded or not or, sometimes, whether certain terms should be capitalised or not.

During a review process of this kind, you can be almost 100% sure that everyone will lose sight of what really matters — i.e. the learners themselves and the impact we would like to create. We can call this a content-focused or content-first approach to learning design.

So, to avoid this, we believe that you – as a project owner — should involve an LX designer very early on in the project. In fact, once you have the bare minimum amount of readiness in place, the LX designer should come in.

That way, rather than being there to interpret the already prepared content, the LX designer can guide you and your team through the process needed to create both the learning programme and the content that will be used within it. This can be called a content-last approach and we know that it works much better in real life, giving you the best possible chance for a successful outcome in the shortest possible time.

As a project owner, you will get some significant benefits from this approach.
  1. A programme you create together with the LX designer will be right first time with no interpretation needed and far fewer review rounds needed
  2. Because there will be more focused content, the production time for any materials, videos or e-learning modules will be significantly reduced
  3. The overall time from start to finish will be reduced because time is used as efficiently as possible

So, what is the earliest time an LX designer could come in?

In order to start well, a good LX designer just needs to be able to get the answers to the following 3 questions:

  1. What change in behaviour would you and your company want to see?
  2. Who are the people who we’d like to see the change in behaviour from?
  3. What barriers currently exist that are preventing the people from making the change by themselves?

We can normally get these answers from a team of 3 people, namely the project owner, a target group representative and a subject matter expert. If you can find these people and answer the above questions clearly, you’re almost ready.

Then, you will need to get a solid time commitment from all the team members to make the project a priority during certain sprint periods, which can already be booked. The LX designer will need to be able to contact the right team members reliably during sprint periods and get quick answers.

And… that’s it. Once you have your team and your time commitment, you’re ready. Get the LX designer involved straight away.

Just to repeat, you absolutely don’t need to create any content or do any writing at all. After all, that is the LX designer’s job.

More in this series

In our second post, we will focus on finding out about your learners’ real-life work situation and motivators.

In the third post, we will be looking at how to really decide what your company wants from a learning programme.

In the fourth and final post, we will put everything together and decide on the specific skills and knowledge that your learners will need in order to make your learning programme a success.

Other related blogs

Stay tuned!