Monday, February 23, 2009

Society for Applied Learning Conference: New Learning Technologies Part II

Well...results are in from the SALT conference and I must say anecdotal evidence suggests Doug Harward from is correct in his assertion that the training and learning profession will experience a 10% downturn in 2009. A lower attendance rate, lower energy and reports from the people attending all but confirmed his hypothesis. But really this is no surprise is it?

During our very well attended talk at the SALT conference in Orlando, I emphasized to learning professionals that they will increasingly be asked to connect their projects directly to ROI and key performance indicators KPIs of the business. At risk of alienating potential clients...there were a lot of blank stares. That's pretty hard to believe but it's true.

Our recommendation (albeit self-serving) to them is that learning professionals increase their focus on efforts that impact day-to-day performance of employees. In essence they need to focus on performance support initiatives. Beyond just job preservation, there are a fair number of business reasons that support this change of mindset.

One of the statistics we presented related to the number of applications and systems that knowledge workers are expected to interact with as part of their jobs. Shockingly, on average a knowledge worker may have to work with upwards of 20 applications and systems as part of their job. This is true even for smaller companies.

Knowing when to access and what to do with them is a huge part of employees jobs. Making this easier, in the context of learning and performing one's job has potential.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Society for Applied Learning Conference: New Learning Technologies Part I

Greetings from Orlando. Here at the SALT New Technologies Conference. Delivering a presentation on Performance Support and the role learning professionals should play in these initiatives. The presentation takes place early afternoon. I'm very curious about the response.

Learning and training have always been areas of return on investment for Contextware, but not necessarily our primary focus. However, as learning grasps for new ways to capture and deliver content, make an impact on the business and cast itself as strategic to the organization...we figured we would try to help. Help from the perspective that learning as a profession needs a wake up call to move out of the classroom and move closer to impacting day to day performance of the people they support. If you in the middle of trying to do your job, you're not going to pause to take a 1 hour class online to figure out how to do what you're doing. But what if learning content were delivered in more digestible chunks and if you were able to access those chunks in the context of the task that was being performed. Well...that's Contextware in a nutshell.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2009 Forecasts and Predictions

We shy away from making our own predictions other than where we think our business is headed...but some of the following from third parties that relate to areas our technology addresses are interesting.

Top 10 Market Predictions for 2009: Are YOU ready for the New Training Industry?
by: Doug Harward

Among his other predictions, Doug sees a decline of 10% budget and 11% workforce in 2009...that's 65,000 people.

Our take: Better figure out a way to better connect learning and training initiatives to KPIs and ROI or Doug is way conservative with his numbers.

Nucleus Research Announces Annual Technology Predictions for 2009
by: Nucleus Research

Nucleus offers 10 predictions via the link below. One that stands out: "No Shiny Objects. No one is investing in the cutting edge this year, unless there is a clear and compelling business benefit. Vendors still pitching their bright and shiny technology took a hit in late 2008 and will continue to suffer in 2009."

Our take: We agree completely. Nifty technology without an obvious ROI is done.

12 Technology Predictions for 2009
Analysts weigh in on content management trends for the New Year.
by Tony Byrne and CMS Watch quotes 12 predictions from content management guy Tony Byrne, the founder of CMS Watch Here's number 12..."Buyers will not accept vendors' first offers," the CMS Watch report states. "Rather they will demand better pricing, more licenses, and better support levels."

Our take: No kidding? When has a good buyer not thought this way. We would have stopped at the 11th prediction.