So I was sitting here thinking about organizational learning tools, and how much software’s been developed in recent years to make learning easier. I’m an avid reader of training newsletters and blogs, and am a daily writer for several blogs myself, one of which is a social dynamics in business blog. I often talk about organizational learning there, and have gone over some tools in the past.
However, I think given the increasing power of this software, that I should also reach out to other publishing outlets, and talk about organizational learning tools, the types needed, and possibly cite an example or two.
I can’t always cite a titular example in this list, but where I can, I will. These are all equally important tasks for organizational learning, so don’t pay any heed to the order they’re in. They had to be in some kind of order, meaningless or not.
First, you need good data collection tools. Data is the core of all leadership and learning, not only in data being presented to learners, but data on metrics within the training to monitor progress. If you lack these metrics, you have no real reigns on the training, and when something causes a paradigm shift, you won’t be ready to adjust. In fact, you’re likely not to form a lasting strategy.
These tools include checklists, surveying forms, and other tools for leaders to manage case studies and track abstract metrics. This is the first one on the list, and already I am bowing out of citing an example. There are tons out there, but without in depth research, I can’t recommend a tool in good conscience.
Analytical and organizational tools are also important. Sorting and processing the data that your collection tools obtain is important, because such data is going to be slow and difficult to interpret and understand manually. Therefore, a program must exist that can make sense of the data in a pertinent way. This is where these tools are very useful. Oracle offers a number of products in this line, along with Java SDKs to work with them.
Next, you need data dissemination tools. These file reports, distribute information and timed metrics, and publish information in accessible, readable ways to those with extended interests in the project.
MS Office has functionality to email reports from existing Access, Oracle, Excel and XML data formats, and automatically email out to those applicable, or to post ASP-powered reports automatically upon subscription.
Finally, we have application tools. These span into the actual trainee interaction as well. These are tools through which the students will learn, test and apply new learning initially. Through these tools, the data the acquisition program needs is also provided. This means your application tool must be compatible with general querying.
WalkMe, an online web-based tutorial system is very flexible and programmable to make this possible. With the right set of tools, every step of application and analysis of a training project can be done with perfect compatibility, power and ease.
Look around for applications in these niches, and see which combinations of organizational learning tools is best for you.