What’s the flavor of your training?

This forum is a melting pot for those that are passionate about instructional design. Oftentimes learning can be bland, with the right spices you can cook up a more flavorful learning experience. We hope that by sharing our experiences, we are stirring the pot so that we can swap recipes for developing training solutions. We are providing basic ingredients from which you can select to make your own great learning recipe.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Cooking for a Dinner Party

You’ve been hired by a party planner to do some cooking for a dinner event. Being a great chef, you begin to ask those all important questions prior to preparing the menu:

  • Who am I cooking for/what do they want to eat?
  • Will I be meeting with the hostess prior to the party?
  • Will I be able to work with the hostess on the menu?
  • What is the theme?
  • How is the event being decorated?
  • How much time do I have for prep?
  • Will I be preparing all foods at the location?
  • Has the facility been inspected/does it meet food preparation code or do I need to make changes?

These are just some of the things that are running through your mind right now! The same is true with instructional design. In order to design training (cook for a dinner party), you have to:

  • Obtain the project and training plans
  • Work with the Subject Matter Expert
  • Write and design the content
  • Work with the developer
  • Correct any errors or quality issues

When cooking for a dinner party you get much of your administrative direction and guidance from the planner (i.e., the Project Manager), the Host provides the specific details (i.e., the Subject Matter Expert), the decorator (i.e., the Developer) adds the right ambience to go with the meal, and the Health Inspector (i.e., the Quality Assurance Specialist) ensures the standards are met so that the meal can be served.

Your awareness of how these team members aide your ability to prepare the menu and final meal (complete the instruction) is vital to the success of not only your work but the overall dinner party (project). I addition you, as the ID through your provision of role responsibilities and key information with each of the team members impacts the overall project outcome. The shared awareness of the menu (parameters of the project) helps keep the project fluid, organized, within the bounds of the original project description without scope creep.

If this is your first time cooking for a big event or if you want to improve the odds of the project’s success use the following table to help you prepare.
RoleWhat information you need to discuss/obtain
Project Manager (Party Planner)
  • Project plan (project requirements, timeline, method of communication, etc.)
  • Training plan (target audience, delivery method(s), style guide, etc.)
  • What are the budgeted hours (both for your role and for each respective team member that has responsibilities that impact your work)
  • SME contact information
  • Are all stakeholders (external and integral to the success of the project) on board?
Subject Matter Expert (Host)*
Multimedia Designer/Graphic Artist (Party Decorator)
  • Will special media be incorporated in training?
  • Will we be working with a template? (Does training need to take place on the template?)
  • Who and how will graphics be located?
  • Is this project media/graphics heavy, requiring additional time and/or resources?
  • Will testing be conducted?
QA Specialist (Health Inspector)
  • What are the QA requirements?
  • What is the turnaround time?
  • Is the QA team aware of your project/timeline/needs?

*Though a SME is the one who typically reviews content, at times, there will be additional reviewers. Keep in mind these reviewers will also impact the timeline. If you are not working as closely with these reviewers as you are with the SME, you may need to ensure that they have the same level of knowledge about the project and their responsibilities. Also make sure you are familiar with their review cycles and the communication methods that will be used for discussion purposes and for tracking changes.

1 comment:

jennifer said...

Hi Robin, I really enjoy your site! The way you incorporate cooking terms into Instructional Design is a fabulous way to keep people like me (short attention span..ha ha) interested in what I'm reading! The table you provide that explains the role of everyone involved in an ID project is so helpful, I will refer to it often, I'm sure. Thank you for making ID easy to understand by putting it into terms I can relate to! Keep up with the great work.