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  • Dr. Sara Moore

Extend the Reach of a Team Stretched Thin

Updated: Jan 29, 2020

You've Got a Little L&D on Your...

Just a few months ago I was at a major L&D conference. In a particularly packed session the presenter surveyed the room for a show of hands. He asked, “Who works at an organization with less than 10 instructional designers?” My hand went up. Surprisingly so did over half of the room. My hand kept going up as the number got lower. I am one of two Instructional Designers serving over 1500 associates, and I’m also a trainer, and the LMS administrator too. Surprise, that last part was not in my job description. Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. Okay, I love most of it on most days, some days are a challenge.

How do I face big challenges on a small team? I have learned to see what I have rather than focus on what I don’t have. What I do have are people all over the place adding content to a beautiful LMS I recently redesigned. You might see this as problem, but I see it as an opportunity. They are motivated and interested in creating content. I see “Learning Leaders” in a decentralized learning and team model. The Darn Clever Design Collective and The Honeycomb Institute (2019) introduced me to the idea of a decentralized learning and design team model.

Now, instead of seeing two people in my department I see instructional designers, also facilitators who develop and guide others in the creation of learning experiences within specialized content areas. It parallels to my time as an instructional designer in higher ed. I sat with professors and taught them how to build and teach effective content on various platforms. They were the SMEs who needed to create, manage, and control content and delivery methods, but they needed me to teach them how to do it effectively.

Perhaps, like me, you have a little L&D on your Sales team, Marketing team, in IT and People and Culture. No worries, you got this and I’m going to share my tips and tricks to help you get your decentralized learning and design team moving in the same direction.

You just need some processes, lots of communication, stakeholder support, and some train the trainer all mixed up in a big L&D bowl.

Communicate your process to anyone who may be in the position to request or create training. It’s not asinine for someone to ask you to help them create an online course in 3 days if they have no idea how long it takes to create one.

Decentralized Learning Design Process Steps 4 of 7

Consider your resources, team strengths, and values, then feel free to let my process be an inspiration as you make and share your own. Download my full 7 step process here.

Check back for future shares on the intake process, measuring ROI for L&D, writing measurable course objectives to support ROI, and motivating associates to complete training.

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