What you need to know, when you need to know it …
The best analogy for Just-In-Time learning is to compare driving directions.
Let’s assume that you are driving to Matlock, in Derbyshire, UK. (If you already live in Matlock – swap that for Cirencester. 😉 )
The old school of training is the equivalent of someone reeling off a 5 minute spiel of “take the first on the right, then second on the left, then turn left again at the tree.”
Unless you are a memory genius, you’re lost very quickly.
Just-In-Time training is more like SatNav.
When you get to the junction, then it tells you to turn left.
It’s what you need to know, when you need to know it.
50% gone in one hour …
Here’s an interesting fact:
Neurological research shows that within one hour, people will have forgotten an average of 50 percent of the information learned in a course environment. Within 24 hours, they have forgotten an average of 70 percent of new information, and within a week, an average of 90 percent of it is gone like it never existed. (Source: Ebbinghaus)
There is some good news though.
What tends to remain (if it’s been properly described) is the overall picture of what is going on … the CONTEXT.
It’s the sequential EXECUTION that the brain doesn’t manage to store.
(Just in the same way as you can remember roughly what the route to Matlock looks like on a map of the UK, but remembering each specific turn and junction is less straightforward.)
A problem as old as the industrial revolution.
It could be argued that most training courses are designed for the convenience of the training provider, not the ideal learning pattern of the person being trained.
They are a derivation of the school system, whose primary aim in the beginning was to prepare a workforce for offices and factories. Turn up at 9 sharp, wear a uniform.
The prolonged data-burst method is convenient for the provider, but doesn’t serve the learner. If anything, it generates stress and a desire to disconnect with the process.
There are two other problems that afflict many traditional training courses.
The first is that there is often the tacit assumption that what you are learning is the only thing you are going to be doing.
It’s not always clear how to integrate these new moving parts into your already busy work-space.
The second is that you will often be delegating many of the tasks to other people who aren’t with you on the course.
And tasking people to do something you can barely remember yourself is as frustrating as it is ineffective.
The solution …
The ideal solution is to have contextual training at the start, and just-in-time execution guides for the “doing” bits.
The contextual picture allows you to understand the bigger picture, and the cost/benefit of doing the thing in the first place.
And in an ideal world, the “doing” bits will be clearly defined tasks you can schedule and prioritise along with everything else.
That way, they can also be assigned to other people, and the instructions for the task or activity are embedded in it.
Try Just-In-Time learning for yourself …
Here at AgileOS, we’re working hard to be at the forefront of this evolution in how learning actually translates into effective action.
Our project and task blueprints are built with CONTEXT and EXECUTION in mind.
Our blueprints cover a wide range of essential business projects and task, from designing innovative products and services to marketing them effectively, to managing and refining teams and operating processes.
Each blueprint gives you a context explainer – an overall picture of what you’re going to achieve, and the benefits you will get from it.
We divide what needs to be done into manageable execution blocks, (with attached instructions for each) which can then be scheduled and integrated with everything else you are doing.
(We’ve even created a drag-and-drop action management tool using the popular Trello engine so you can manage it all beautifully.)
You can try it yourself now at http://petercameronburnett.com.
You’ll get our action management system and a selection of blueprints so you can see it in action for yourself.