5 Tips for Implementing a Just-In-Time Training Strategy
An effective just-in-time training strategy implemented in the right circumstances can transform learning and development in your organisation. How do you make sure just-in-time training is the right strategy, and how can you ensure you approach it correctly?
Just-in-time training has become more and more popular as the world has shifted to a just-in-time approach in a broad range of other areas. For example, we no longer have to wait for the news to come on the television or radio, as we can simply take our phones out of our pockets to check what is happening. In some situations, we can even get information on a major news event before it is reported by the main news gathering organisations.
The same can be said for getting information or answering a question, where we turn to Google, or choosing something to watch on television, where we open our favourite streaming app. The list of just-in-time options and technologies goes on. It means we are all very used to having information available at our fingertips.
At the same time, we also have very little spare time. Whether at work or outside work, it is increasingly difficult to find time for training or learning new skills.
Just-in-time training ticks a lot of boxes when all these factors are considered. Firstly, it is a training strategy that ensures there is continuous upskilling in your team. It also fits with the just-in-time model that we are all so used to now, and it doesn’t interrupt day-to-day schedules. Instead, learners complete the training when they need it most, i.e., when they are most motivated to learn.
What is a Just-In-Time Training Strategy?
A just-in-time training strategy involves making training materials available on certain topics in the form of a library. It is a different approach from providing a training course and setting a time or deadline for it to be completed. Instead of a deadline, it is up to the learner to decide when to undertake the course. In most cases, this will be whenever they need to know the information or use a new skill.
The training material you include in your just-in-time training library can be in different forms, but e-learning content is particularly suited to the just-in-time approach.
Tips for Implementing a Just-In-Time Training Strategy
Assess Your Training Requirements
Start by assessing whether just-in-time training is the right strategy for your organisation or requirements. You need to do this assessment based on the learners that will be involved, the resources you have available, and the nature of your organisation.
If you determine a just-in-time approach is right, start looking at what topic areas and training resources are suitable for just-in-time training. There will be some training courses that require a more traditional approach to training, while others will fit into the just-in-time model.
Finding out the views of managers and their staff is a good approach when making these decisions.
Develop a Learning Culture
Having a motivated workforce is an essential component of a just-in-time approach to training and development. One highly effective way to ensure motivation levels remain high is to adopt a learning culture in the organisation.
In a learning culture, developing new knowledge and skills is a continuous effort that is welcomed, encouraged, and active, i.e., where learners actively participate in all parts of their learning and development.
Assess Your Current Training Materials
There is usually no need to start from scratch when developing and implementing a just-in-time training strategy. A lot of the materials you already have, including e-learning courses, can be used or re-purposed to make them suitable for just-in-time training.
There needs to be a focus on quality, and there should be seamless transitions between old content and new content. However, it will save you time and money to make the best possible use of the content that currently exists.
Create Bite-Sized Content
Another crucial aspect of just-in-time training is that each individual training course or module can be completed quickly. One effective way of achieving this is to present the content as bite-sized chunks.
When creating bite-sized chunks, it is helpful to remove repetition unless repeating points is a key part of the training process. Removing unnecessary information is also beneficial, as it doesn’t waste time, instead allowing the learner to get directly to the point.
Ensure the Content is Easy to Find
Our final main tip for implementing a just-in-time training strategy is to make sure the content is easy to find. Learners will want to access the e-learning course or other forms of training content months and sometimes years after it has been initially developed. Therefore, there needs to be a good structure for where the content is stored.
Paying particular attention to how you categorise your just-in-time training content will help learners find the information they need, when they need it. Effective categorisation also helps you identify additional knowledge gaps and training opportunities that you can then put into your training content development plan.
Ongoing Training, Ongoing Strategy Implementation
Just-in-time training involves a mindset where training and development is a continuous process. We touched on this in the point above about developing a learning culture in your organisation.
A similar situation applies to the implementation of a just-in-time training strategy, as it shouldn’t be a one-off event. Instead, your just-in-time training strategy, and the training content that is available to learners, should be constantly reviewed and updated where needed. This will help ensure just-in-time training is a success in your organisation.