Before it was known that light travels faster than sound, we assumed they took an equal amount of time to arrive anywhere. Similarly, we might think the time to productivity for our IT people is fixed. In fact, how you develop and train your team will put them at very different speeds of adding value to your organization.
In talking to several IIG Education alumni this week, we uncovered a few laws of what we’ll call “Education Physics,” all worth sharing. Follow these, and you’ll find extra time on your hands.
Law 1 – Learning Curves Can Be Accelerated
First, just as light waves slow down through certain materials like water, your newest hires or personnel transfers may be operating less efficiently when first placed in new environments. Targeting people freshly arriving to new roles and placing them in 2-day training can eliminate that sluggish start. As one student told us:
“My greatest time savings came from training. It sped up my learning curve for my new role. ”
Evaluate the common tasks and deliverables you’ll expect from your new hire. Before or during their transition, ensure they have formal training. Access to a specialist can rapidly whisk away technical questions and zip them up the new technology learning curve.
Law 2 – Knowledge Has a Ripple Effect
Second, the initial proficiency learned is only the beginning of speeding up IT development and application implementation time, as we heard from our students. While it will take a formal class up front to solidify technical fundamentals, likely a few days long, the benefits will ripple through the organization every work day.
As an xCP student shared:
“It wasn’t until I led a new project developing templates for five business units that I realized how my technical skill could make-or-break the organization’s success. If I couldn’t get others excited and knowledgeable about how to design and edit these templates, our project would never get off the ground. I had used the skills for myself, but seeing them impact the rest of my team was an added benefit I hadn’t thought about initially when I signed up for a class.”
As you think about investing a week or several days for a single team member, think about how those new ideas might reverberate across your teams. Will it spark new motivation? Will it enable you to take on projects you constantly kept on the back burner?
How you develop and train your team will put them at very different speeds of adding value to your organization
Law 3 – Unseen Forces Can Be Mitigated
Third, a person’s confidence might be tricky to measure, but it’s obvious when it’s lacking. Sometimes the hidden reason you don’t take on a new project, or your team’s hard work on a corporate initiative keeps stalling, can be tied back to a lack of confidence.
It might be as simple as learning a new feature that moves them past staying frozen in fear, to confidently performing their tasks. Cites one student:
“The use of Effective Date is one feature I have found to be a critical security blanket in dealing with the business unit.”
Note the word choice of “security blanket.” This says it all. Whether a new hire or a veteran, a team member’s comfort level with a technology will affect how quickly they attack and solve a problem.
Law 4 – Time Begets Time
This all leads to the universal question of what your teams will do with their new-found time! We asked students, and expected to hear comments like “play Minecraft” or “learn the guitar.” But in fact, as reflective of our highly intelligent and talented user base, a common answer was:
“The more I learn, the more I want to learn and use.”
While the speed of light will slow in water, it can still travel a staggering 100 million meters per second through the most dense of materials – a diamond. Once your teams have confidence in their tools and methodologies, they too will speed through any challenge in any organization. Just follow the laws of “IIG Education Physics,” and invest time in training to gain back time — again and again. Share the new IIG Course Catalog with your teams to get started.