Problem – Opportunity

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One module left to teach then the system fails – this an opportunity!

Delivering SAP (software program for warehouse inventory) training to a group of warehouse employees has been progressing well during this three week training program. The pre go-live training is coming to a close after three weeks, we can all see the light at the end of the tunnel – there is only one more module to teach.

Today seemed to be the day for it all. Many challenges were faced during this particular session, however the one challenge that takes the cake would be the fact that the system failed to load the last module at all. The trainees could simply not access the required areas of the program. Now, Im not one to complain, in fact I am far from it. This has happened before during training and I simply pushed it off to the side and diverted training onto another module that needed to be covered. Not this time though, there were no new module to teach.

I could tell that the trainees were starting to get frustrated, and rightly so, they would be the ones using this system once it was launched. So I decided to tackle the issue head one, there was a problem and it needed to get resolved. I decided to have them solve the issue during the training. What an opportunity for learning I proclaimed!

Problems are everywhere during training, do you take advantage of them for a learning opportunity?

The group, now divided into two, started dissecting the issue and discussing the problem in detail. They digressed into testing, exploring, and presenting possible solutions to each other until eventually both groups came to some conclusions. They not only found what the problem was, but they explored until they discovered two separate work arounds.

This is a success story, an opportunity in training when we were all faced with an issue and resolved it together. The solutions found were all different, yet all correct. Ultimately the  this came from being agile and responsive in the face of adversity. Grappling with a problem presented during a session and using it to our advantage.

A problem faced is an opportunity discovered, use it to enable effective learning.

My key takeaways from today:
1. In training you can be prepared, but nothing will go as you expected it to
2. When a student asks ‘why did that happen?’ don’t shy away from an opportunity to explore it together

Happy learning,
Luke

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Training Delivery

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Date: 31/05/2013

What an amazing opportunity!

Lately I have been conducting training for warehouse employees about to embark on the use of SAP (Inventory management system) for their day-to-day use to record the goods coming in and goods going out. The changes this team have to undertake would be considered extreme to put it kindly. Systems, process, environment – you name it they are having it changed.

My reflection today is based on the awareness I have to advanced facilitation and the tools and techniques I am adopting into my facilitation. In particular the approach to delivery, pedagogy, for these adult learners.

This opportunity I wish to reflect on it the delivery of training over the three weeks before the change is ‘live’ and they must engage in it every day. The intention, as always, is to have the students competent enough to use the program so that they can still manage their key performance indexes (KPI) for stock coming in and stock going out.

I am determined to use my learning from the studies I am undertaking from RMIT to make this the best learning exercise for the staff involved. As you can see from the video I have aimed to incorporate problem based learning and behavioural exercises inside and out of the system to achieve the greatest impact. The determination of my chosen pedagogy from selected from a detailed training needs analysis and learning strategy.

Reflection on my facilitation would warrant to term ‘demanding’ as it takes allot of effort and input from myself as facilitator. However the excitement and results that this approach to facilitation achieves from the trainees demonstrates to me that I am approaching this learning correctly.

Happy learning,
Luke

Training Delivery

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Date: 30 May

The Challenge – corrupt data, system able to be used for training to be covered, inpatient trainees, limited time.

Overcoming the the challenge – use of cards to understand the over view of the system. Trainees to use cards to put the step into order. purchased time to get the system to be fixed before applying the steps.

Overall, was very effective using a card system and group discussion to workout the correct order to complete within the system.

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Training Delivery

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Date: 29/05/2013

Today I delivered/facilitated to a group effected by the implementation of SAP. I was during this training that I was faced with the difficult situation of corrupt data and missing information that was to be used during the systems training. Below I describe the problem I faced in my learning environment and how I overcame this with a reflection on my own study of Vocation Education.

It was the most pleasant start to training for SAP or any other computer program. Terminals were setup, the room was welcoming, student notes, and facilitator guides greeted those that entered. However, one quarter into the training the we discovered that the training exercises that were planned had corrupt data or some of the data was missing. This had a large impact, or so I thought, on myself and the students.

Training Delivery

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Date: 28 May 2013

Hi reader,

This reflective post is about the delivery of my training today to a group how are learning how to effectively use SAP (Telstra’s Spare Parts System). SAP is a computer program used to track inventory inside and outside of the warehouse. The groups where divided into two. One for the afternoon and one for the morning. There are differences within the groups as expected, and I must know as an advanced facilitator how to understand my audience and change my facilitation as and when needed.

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One example of a challenge faced during my facilitation was one student with low language, literacy and numeracy skills. They also had limited knowledge of computers and computer systems. Upon a discussion with the student I uncovered that they were not comfortable with using a laptop to learn on, and the pace of delivery was a little fast from them.

With this understanding I immediately changed the learning resource from a laptop to a desktop computer and applied more of a behavioural pedagogy with this student. While the rest of the group where about to carry out task assigned, including problem based learning, I felt it would be best to deliver training focused around steps and results.

The content I was facilitating was explained, then demonstrated and carried out with clear instructions along the way. An example would be: step 1 look for stock to be sent, step 2 process stock to be sent, step 3 package stock to be sent. This gave a process that could be repeated over and over and over until an understanding was achieved.

This change in learning pedagogy for the student had a positive impact and resulted in a greater understanding at the end of the training session.

Happy training,
Luke

Training Delivery

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Date: 27 May 2013

Today I delivered two training sessions for the implementation of SAP to warehouse employees involved in the day to day supply chain for Telstra’s inventory. It was the first in many facilitated session relating to the impending rollout of the system on the 17th July. Being the first facilitated session I was excited, nervous and anxious to get started and meet the group of individuals I would be working with.

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I could reflect on many aspects of the training event and the events lead up to it, including the learning strategy, assessment methods/tools and how I chunked the learning into modules. I have chosen today to reflect on my facilitation and the challenges I faced in this delivery. Of all the challenges I faced, the largest was that some of the members had low language, literacy and numeracy skills with limited computer use over the last year.

Since Telstra decided to implement the SAP system, it was clear that our warehouse employees would be affected and their LLN (Language, Literacy, and Numeracy) / computer skill would be visible very quickly. With this knowledge I started the session with a written questionnaire about the current knowledge of the SAP program. This was to test their LLN and establish their current knowledge base of SAP. From the questionnaire it become apparent that the delivery and content to be covered would need to be altered for my audience.

Although I already had an understanding of my students prior to the training event, I still needed to alter the delivery to overcame the challenge of low LLN. This was handled with a focus on the physical process and aligning it to the steps needed within the system. This proved to be useful due to the fact that the training became relatable to them and their role.

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Another method I used to assist in making the training relatable to my students was to incorporate another physical task, this time the task was a word map. Each student was given two cards representing a step in a process. Working together in a group of six they needed to order the cards (tasks) into the correct process. This exercise was ad-hoc and upon reflection its purpose was to assist in knowledge transfer from short-term memory, an idea that was generated from a discussion about cognitive pedagogy during my study of the Diploma of Vocational Education.

Summery: Although as a facilitator you may have a chosen favourite approach/pedagogy, your audience will ultimately determine your approach. What does success look like in learning & development, simply ask your audience.

Happy training,
Luke

Training Delivery

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Date: Tuesday 19 March

Program: Induction – Health, Safety & Environment

Todays training session was diverse to say the least. Upon reflection, it is because of this diversity that the session was effective. This training program is part of every new employees on-boarding process. This one refection is on the delivery of the Health, Safety and Environment aspect of the program.

The nature of the program is such that the attendees can come form all different parts of the business, including the warehouse, truck driver, business development, and accounting. It is due to this broad range of attendees that the delivery and more specifically the content must be altered each time. However, no matter the diversity of the audience, the goal still remains the same; “to give each attendee an understanding of the basic health, safety and environmental standards for our sites”.

During this particular session the audience consisted of:
– 2 participants from Business Development
– 10 participants from Warehousing
– 1 truck driver
– 1 executive

Upon reflection, I had a good understanding of where the audience worked, that much was clear. However, I also knew that each participant came from a different company and has had many and varied experiences around health and safety. It was with this understanding that I leveraged the experiences of the audiences into the training and received great results through their ability to share and learn from each other, rather than be told what to do.

With an objective of having the audience to find the information form them selves I ended up tasking them to find our hazard reporting system, and to go out into the work environment, find a hazard, do something to improve it, and report on it.

One of the biggest challenges faced in this delivery style I found is that it was very intensive for myself as the facilitator. This is because found that I was the effort involved in making that the conversations directed in the correct area and that they were confident to seek the information they were after. Another challenge I faced was the uncertainty that there was not enough time or information available for them to perform the task for hazard reporting in the work environment.

So, what would I do differently? not much. I have taken aspects of my studies in the Diploma of Vocational Education and incorporated them into the training. Perhaps I would ensure that the site I am conducting the induction has the correct support documentation and process in place, so that I am reassured when delivering the training. Or maybe I should/could use this in my training, that is if the site doesn’t have the correct documentation and processes.

Overall this reflective post reminds me that as an advanced facilitator, you must be agile and responsive.

Happy training,
Luke