Stan Garfield

May 25, 2018

6 min read

Originally published on October 24, 2016

Sixth in a series of 50 Knowledge Management Components (Slide 13 in KM 102)

Training: classroom courses, self-paced courses, and recorded webinars which allow users to learn what is expected of them; the people, processes, and tools which are available to them; and how to use all of these in order to share, innovate, reuse, collaborate, and learn

Training is required when introducing a new KM initiative, as it is rolled out across your organization, and as a key part of ongoing implementation. You can never succeed in successfully educating everyone in your target audience, so you have to continue to offer training in a variety of ways. Develop a training plan that includes the following vehicles.

Classroom courses are the best way of getting the undivided attention of those to be trained, but it is often difficult to get funds allocated for expenses and student time freed up for attendance. Webinars and self-paced courses may offer the most realistic method of delivering training.

Webinars are virtual training courses conducted using some combination of the following elements.

  • Conference call: Participants dial in by phone to listen to the instructor and to ask questions.
  • Web conferencing: Participants log in to a virtual meeting room where they can view presentations, demonstrations, and interactive white boards and chat with other participants.
  • Multimedia: Webcasts which broadcast video, audio, and slides and allow questions to be typed into a web form.
  • Team space: Collaborative workspace where presentations can be accessed and followed while listening on a conference call.
  • Real-time navigation to web pages: Participants visit web pages as instructed on a conference call to view systems and applications.
  • Recording: A live event can be recorded and replayed later at the convenience of the participants. Audio is recorded and the participant listens (by phone or by audio file) and follows along by visiting the team space or specified web pages. Alternatively, the virtual meeting room presentation or webcast is recorded as a multimedia file.

Self-paced courses are automated, interactive presentations which can incorporate the following elements.

  • Web pages: Students read web pages and follow along sequentially.
  • Multimedia: Flash web pages, audio, and video are used to present content dynamically.
  • Interactive questions: Students are asked questions as they take the course, and receive immediate feedback.
  • Dynamic branching: Students can choose paths based on their interests or their answers to questions.
  • Bookmarks: Students can start and stop at any time, and when they return, they can resume from where they left off.
  • Delivery method: How the course is presented to the student. Options include:

The training plan should include the following elements for each course:

1. Content: what subjects will be covered

  • introduction: a high-level overview of the KM initiative and its components
  • survey: a more thorough overview including details on the most important components
  • in-depth topic (e.g., one of the 50 KM components, a particular process or tool, or a method or technique)

2. Delivery Method: how the course will be presented

  • classroom courses
  • webinars
  • self-paced courses

3. Schedule: when will the course be presented

  • one-time date(s)
  • recurring dates
  • available on demand

4. Duration: how long will the course last

  • classroom and webinar: actual time
  • self-paced: expected time

5. Audience: to whom is the course directed

  • KM team: for KM leads, project leads, and knowledge assistants
  • users: for users who are not members of the KM team
  • managers: targeted at managers

6. Developer: who will create the course content

  • in-house training: the learning & development function of your organization
  • in-house KM team: KM lead, project lead, or knowledge assistant
  • training firm: external company which specializes in course development
  • consultant: KM expert
  • commercially available: off-the-shelf courses available for purchase

7. Instructor: who will deliver the course

  • in-house training: the learning & development function of your organization
  • in-house KM team: KM lead, project lead, or knowledge assistant
  • training firm: external company which specializes in course delivery
  • consultant: KM expert
  • commercially available: off-the-shelf courses available for purchase

8. Compliance: who needs to take the course, and how is successful completion determined

  • voluntary: no requirement to attend
  • mandatory: participation is required and checked, but no test results are collected
  • mastery: successful completion is tested for, and the course must be repeated until the participant passes

9. Context: linkage of the course to other events

  • standalone: not part of any other event
  • new hire: part of standard on-boarding indoctrination
  • specialty events: part of other training or conferences
  • kickoff meetings: part of initial or annual full-organization events
  • staff meetings: part of regular meetings

10. Publicity and enrollment: how the course will be promoted and how students can enroll in it

  • course catalogs: document which list available training
  • web sites: web sites which list available training and link to enrollment system
  • internal blogs, newsletters, and podcasts: communications vehicles for promoting the availability, schedule, and web sites for training
  • email messages: targeted messages announcing training, providing the details of what is expected and required, and reminding about schedules
  • training logistics system: tool used to enroll students, record classes taken, and report on compliance

Here are examples of plans for three courses.

Example 1: KM Program Overview

  • web sites: promoted on KM home page and KM training page
  • newsletters: listed in the events section of the weekly newsletter sent to all employees
  • email messages: reminders sent to managers each month
  • training logistics system: used for enrollment and compliance reporting

Example 2: Knowledge Capture Process

  • course catalog: listed as part of new hire training
  • web site: described on the new hire training page
  • email messages: sent to new hires
  • training logistics system: used for enrollment

Example 3: How to Create a Team Space

  • web sites: linked to from the KM training page and from the team space creation page
  • blogs and podcasts: mention the availability of the course and provide the link to access it
  • training logistics system: used to record completion for use in employee development plans

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As you complete the training plan, review the 50 KM Components list and plan courses for all key elements of your KM program. You can combine components into courses wherever possible.

Take advantage of commercially-available self-paced courses as much as possible. This is an example of reuse.

Two KM conferences, APQC and KMWorld, are valuable for the development of KM professionals. They offer workshops prior to the conference in addition to the actual conference sessions.

APQC also offers training on:

  • Building and Sustaining Communities of Practice
  • Knowledge Management Strategies and Tactics
  • Knowledge Mapping
  • Managing Content and Knowledge
  • Measuring the Impact of Knowledge Management

Sources of KM Training

Also see: