has anyone got any suggestions on the best practice for being able to support technical skill training in a multisite environment, over 2,000 locations, ranging from 10 to 200 people in a location, to deliver not just bau support but also change programmes and competency administration ? 


Davis Staedtler's picture

Hey fiveway4,

There's certainly no short answer to this question. I do a lot of training/development with my current employer and we have experimented and been successful with multisite training through the building of Quicktime video based, interactive training modules. There's an app called Screen Flow that will record what you do on the computer.  It also includes a picture-in-picture to add live video commentary or other info.  HTML embedded Keynote (PowerPoint) links drive the interactive portions.

I hope that gives you a springboard.  The best thing is to put yourself in the passenger's seat and ask, "How would I enjoy learning all this stuff?"




Listening to and speaking about what matters the most in social media, the arts, technology and purposeful communities.

rilbrink's picture


I know it is tempting to jump into the training portion as this will be the most visible part of the whole journey.
How ever, I would suggest to do some investigation first. This is the way I would probably approach it.
Go back to your goals, you write about training for B.A.U. support and about change programs and building a competency administration.

To me these are 3 different things albeit closely linked.

Let's take the training portion first.
Start with describing, in observable activities, what it is what you want people to do after the training.
Investigate what their current level of skills, knowledge and behavior is.
Compare the two and you will have your performance gap. This way you will train just enough. When designing I tend to work backwards like: OK in order to be able to do this final thing (as described in the "by the end of this program you will be able to...." , they must master this before and that means they must know how to handle this and that before that, etc., etc.
Identify High Performers (i.e. staff who already perform at the desired level) and investigate what it is that they do that makes them successful.
Split your material into Knowledge, Skills and Behavior and ONLY then decide on the delivery platform (e.i. reading, podcast, video, serious games, intervision/supervision groups, synchronous elearning (e.g. webex, gotomeeting, etc.), classroom training courses, workshops and do not forget managements role in the behavior part.

Traditionally we tried to address Knowledge, Skills and Behavior in a classroom setting, but addressing the knowledge component separately and in advance of anything else makes sure that you have far less variation in the level of knowledge during the rest of the program.

Skills, especially in an IT environment, is something you could address with screen recordings (e.g. Camtasia or the free Camstudio) you could also use Adobe Captivate. With Captivate you can make simulations where staff will have to interact with the program in a simulated environment. Others possibilities are remote sessions (e.g. crossloop / VNC) or perhaps a test environment where users will get a dummy account and have to perform certain procedures where you can then check if it was done right.

Bahaviour in my view training can make people aware of issues, but a change in behavior often needs more than just some training. In my view this should be addressed by the managers/teamleaders. Your role would be to help the managers/teamleaders to get the right skills to lead/guide the employees in the weekly ono-on-one's on discussing and addressing behavioral issues.

Change programs.
HPI (Human Performance Improvement) is a method that I use which encompasses both a training and a change program portion. In my view Change programs require a lot of involvement with the staff at hand. Just anouncing a change program from the top down is a sure way to get resistance and to see your initiatives run aground. Go to a few places. See what actually happens on the floor. Do some root cause analysis your self but do NOT tell the employees what you think is wrong. "Slow is fast and fast is slow" is one of the many Horstman's Laws. Have the employees investigate these issues and have them work on solutions. In workshops and brainstorming sessions, you can sometimes steer the outcome, but if you want this to be supported by the staff, they have to be involved.

competency administration
I would start with defining the required set of competencies and then measure staff against it.

Warning, be careful with underdeveloped competencies. If an employee has trouble with getting up to par with one competency, find a solution where this competency is not crucial. I once saw a situation where an employee was slowely stripped of all (nice and good performing) tasks, "so she could concentrate on the underdeveloped skill". The result was devastating.


Robert Ilbrink

I could ramble for hours here. If you find this useful and would like to hear more or get some details explained (open or privately) let me know.
I am located in The Netherlands, so we're only 1 hour time difference apart.

P.s. Now that I saw that you're located in the UK, I should have used the British way of spelling, sorry...

rilbrink's picture

Sorry, next time I should take a little more time when responding because I tend to forget to mention things.

I totally forgot to mention one other (there will probably be many more that will pop-up in my mind later) critical thing.

The role of the manager/teamleader/supervisor.

When teamleaders discuss and prepare the training program with their employees PRIOR to the training, the employees are far better prepared, know what is expected of them and have often thought about the issues before actually going. The interactivity during, and results after, the training are often much better.

When teamleaders FAIL to follow-up (for weeks and sometimes months) after the training in their weekly meetings, most if not all employees will almost immediately fall back into their old habits and patterns. The role of the supervisor/manager/teamleader after the program is therefore vital when you want to make sure that the new way of working really gets nested into the organisation.

Especially when you want to combine the training with a change in the workflow/procedures to introduce a smarter way of working, the role of the manager is to prevent staff from falling back into old habits. Your role could be to support the managers and to help them investigate the reasons why staff tend to fall back into old habits.


Robert Ilbrink

Most of what I write online is in Dutch, but you could take a look at some sites:
Both blogs have a (mediocre) translation tool on the left hand side.

Business Improvement Blog: Performance Improvement, Training & Consulting Blog
Technology and Innovation Blog: Robert's Technologie & Innovatie blog

Linked-in: linkedin Robert P Ilbrink
V-Card: V-Card Robert Ilbrink

fchalif's picture
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Hi Robert,


Thank you for the very detailed post. These two posts combined with recent podcasts about change management (What's my vsual) have provided me with a lot of content to work with. I want to implement significant improvements in my organization and training will be an important component.

Thanks for sharing,


All  the best.


rilbrink's picture

You're welcome.

Don't hesitate to contact met if you have other questions.


Robert Ilbrink

Canon123's picture

There are two basic categories of web conferencing software that you can choose from. The first category is freeware, or software that you can find online that does not require payments of fees. These are simple programs that you can download and install on your computer. Make sure that these programs come with all the instructions you need to install it and use all its features. You may not have as many options with GoToMeeting freeware programs, but if only hold occasional meetings with a few people, this is a simple and convenient way to make contact. On the other hand, in respect to GoToMeeting vs Live Meeting, if you need a program with a lot of added features and capabilities you might consider going with professional web conferencing software. These higher-end programs will allow you to incorporate visual and audio presentations, share files between participants, track your projects, and use a white board program as you speak.