Photo from Algemeen Dagblad
If you are a car fanatic like me, you’ll probably know that the Carrera GT is one of the most legendary Porsche cars ever built. If you are curious, I invite you to check out their Wikipedia page. It was named by Sports Car International as number one on its list of Top Sports Cars of the 2000s and number eight on the Top Sports Cars of All Time list.
A week ago, I came across an article discussing how this model has been taken apart 78 times and counting. I was pretty amazed and continued to read on. It turns out that the real Carrera GT that is worth up to a million dollars is used for training technicians at the Porsche training center in Atlanta, USA. They see the value of hands-on training for technicians despite all the lectures, documentation, and videos they have made available. And besides, working on the “real” car and not simulations make the learning experience a lot more effective. Hence this model has been disassembled and reassembled continuously as part of their training.
The Knowing-Doing Gap
I have worked in the high-tech industry my entire career. I know how hard it is for IT professionals to keep up to date with the latest technologies. For them, learning is a priority, but time and work constraints can make it difficult to achieve. Today, we see companies are investing in learning and development, big time. But in many cases, the results have been disappointing.
According to Harvard Business Review, organizations spend more than $350 billion globally on training a year! However, the results are disappointing. 70% of the employees report that they don’t have mastery of the skills needed to do their jobs. Only 12% of employees said that they manage to apply new skills learned in L&D programs to their jobs.
Having spoken with many CIOs, who have shared how often they hear from their people that although they attended a training course with hours of reading and video tutorials, they still felt unprepared when tasked to deploy something new. Does this sound familiar to you? Is there a better way to tackle this problem here and now?
Learning-by-Doing Bridges the Skills and Knowledge Gap
So what’s better? The answer our clients have embraced successfully is hands-on learning. It helps your people master new skills and increases their confidence to apply their knowledge when you’ve armed them with the right tools:
– Learn in real technology and infrastructure
– Learn in context using real use cases in your company
– Learn by breaking things without fear of damaging your production stacks
Solve Real-World Problems with Real-World Learning
As you know, innovation doesn’t come with an instruction manual! Essentially, you want your IT teams to solve problems as they arise, and critical thinking skills make that possible. If your people cannot assess the pros and cons of every possible approach before getting started, you are likely to end up spending time fixing major and preventable problems at some point along the way. While there is the “learn fast, fail fast” mantra of DevOps if people cannot reflect on the situation and think critically, how can there be learnings?
Video Tutorials and GUI Clicking are not learning for IT People
You are probably aware that video tutorials have limitations when it comes to helping IT people learn. Even training platforms that offer interactive tutorials that function like GUI clicking is passive learning. And the passive form of learning has little influence on one’s ability to recall information actively as explained in the learning pyramid theory. You and your people are missing out when the learning platform does not challenge people to think and solve problems independently. Letting people solve challenges and develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills is the only way to learn genuinely.
CIOs, your tech stacks are unique to your company
New hires or new team members find it hard to navigate cross-application, cross-project, cross-technology, and cross-team dependencies. How do you get them up to speed with your specific technology implementations? Customized real-world learning is the future of learning.
What the leaders at Porsche training center in Atlanta implemented was the importance of actual hands-on learning for their technical teams. If you want to up your IT people’s skills and confidence just like the Porsche technicians. We invite you to take a closer look at Instruqt. an interactive, challenge-driven learning platform for IT professionals. Your employees will love learning in an environment that works exactly like a live production environment but are in no way jeopardizing it. We enable that on our Instruqt platform. All your teams will need is a browser and an open mind. Your employees can start learning by doing. With Instruqt, you can reduce the barrier to entry for learning your content to zero. That means they learn faster, smarter and your company sees real ROI from your tech investment.
My Question to IT Leaders: Do you want to quit wasting your learning budget in 2021? If yes, I encourage you to do so by
- Offering real-world learning customized to your tech stacks
- Helping them get hands-on experience in the real tools while they learn
- Allowing them to break things without worrying about impacting your production environment
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Baart recently served as Co-founder and CEO of XebiaLabs (acquired by TPG and now part of Digital.ai), He is a veteran of the software industry and has held senior leadership positions at several high growth software companies over an impressive 20-year career.
Based in Amsterdam, Baart will bring his sales, marketing, and product expertise to lead Instruqt’s continued growth in a rapidly expanding industry.