Just-In-Time Training: when is it just enough?

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just-in-time trainingLast week a friend was telling me about a trip they are due to make at the end of the month to America to provide some 1-2-1 training to a client on a software system.  Whilst the trip itself sounds pretty fun and will certainly be a change from the same old 4 office walls, having heard a bit about the project it did strike me as a fairly expensive, especially as it’s unlikely to be a particularly effective in the long run.

In the course of the conversation, I suggested that it may be more effective (in terms of both time and cost) to provide the client with a just-in-time (JIT) learning solution.

Just-in-time learning does exactly what it sounds like it does.  It provides an individual with just the right amount of knowledge that they need at the time that they need it in order to complete a task or piece of work.

It’s well documented that much of the learning undertaken in a classroom or e-learning setting is lost if it is not put into practice by the individual when they are back at their desk.  By not practicing it, they lose the opportunity to consolidate their learning and for it to become the way they work.

For knowledge and skills that are not core to an individuals role (i.e they will not be using them everyday) then it is worth considering a JIT learning solution rather than a one off learning event  Or, depending on the skills/knowledge, you may wish to have a face to face launch with a JIT solution available on an ongoing basis to ensure the task is carried out correctly on each occasion.

JIT solutions could include things like  workbooks, desk instructions, online help manuals, instruction videos etc.  The key is that the information is presented in an easy to understand way, that the information required is accurate and is easy to locate (learners don’t want to spend half an hour searching for the right part of a workbook before they discover how to complete the task) and vitally that it is broken down into small bit-sized chunks.  This allows people to access only the information that they need in order to complete the task and of course the more often they undertake a task the more familiar they will become with it so the less guidance they will need.

When would you choose to use a just-in-time solution versus a face-to-face training solution?

 

About

Founder of Zostera Ltd and The Trainers CPD Club. I've worked in L&D for over 16 years across both the public and private sectors.

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