Agile Learning 101: From Basics To Business

Agile learning has become a hot topic over the past few years. Technology has changed the way we communicate, shop, and even look for love. The same is applied to the business world. Because the rate of change is increasing, organizations must become more adaptable and agile. 

In this blog, we’ll go through the definition of agile learning, reasons to use it, and tips to build an effective strategy.  

What is agile learning?

Agile learning is a method of developing training that emphasizes speed, flexibility, and collaboration.

Agility is defined as the ability to adapt and move quickly in the context of change. It’s about taking chances, putting things in place first, and then asking questions later. An agile team can function even when things are constantly changing.

The Agile methodology is a style of project management that divides a project into phases. The team will go through a cycle of planning, executing, and assessing once the job begins. Collaboration is essential among team members as well as project stakeholders.

The implementation of agile methods in the field of employee training is known as agile learning, which emphasizes speed, flexibility, and cooperation.  Initially, the agility framework was only used in the IT field. However, as business speeds up, other business functions have adopted agile techniques to help them pivot quickly in response to market changes. 

Preparation Checklist to Power your Digital Transformation

Wondering if you miss anything in your preparation to digitize your training? This is just what you need.

Reasons to incorporate agile learning into work

Because of the urgency of our workflow, we’re all immersed in them. Although employees gain their knowledge through working experiences, they do share some commonalities. We spend most of our time at work meeting deadlines, responding to emails, and attending meetings.

According to the 70:20:10 learning model, 90% of learning happens outside a traditional classroom, including experiential learning and social learning. This is when the idea of “learning in the flow of work” comes up and proves its benefits for the following reasons.

#1 Adaptability to change

L&D can struggle to pivot quickly enough in the face of unforeseen developments using current processes and standard training project management methodologies. Change can be costly when it comes to resource requirements.

Agile learning solutions, on the other hand, imply predictable prices and schedules. Every sprint you do has a set time limit. As a result, the price is known and predictable from the start. Furthermore, because agile learning involves so many iterations, estimating the cost of training programs and features will become much easier. 

#2 Drive Learner Engagement

It’s exasperating to spend weeks or months creating a learning experience only to have a low participation rate. And it isn’t the fault of L&D that this occurs.

Learner involvement and input into the design process are limited in traditional instructional design frameworks. So, if they only see the product once it’s finished, it’s understandable if there’s a discrepancy between what you’ve made and what the learners want.

Continuous learner testing of your course design is an important aspect of agile learning. It allows your learning team to iterate on course design much more quickly, and it ensures that the agile learning team’s actions are always shaped by the customer’s needs and wants.

As a result, you’ll have courses that are designed with the user in mind, with higher engagement rates, and more favorable feedback on your course design.

#3: Keep up with training demand

The digital age is driving the globe forward at a breakneck speed. Across all facets of society, daily life – and business – we’re more interconnected and interdependent than we’ve ever been.

With increasingly rapid developments comes the need for faster answers. Marketing departments, salespeople, software engineers, and operations are all learning to adjust to business changes and volatile market forces swiftly. And, thanks to agile learning technologies, learning and development can now keep up with the training demands that this environment generates.

Several approaches, best practices, and team structures are incorporated into agile learning solutions. It allows your L&D department to keep up with training demand by allowing you to:

  • Training courses with a faster time to market
  • Collaboration efforts have improved.
  • Develop an iterative method.

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Agile learning example

Speaking of agile principles, it is applied to the software development team first and foremost. Therefore, you can take a look at the below sample of how to write good user stories for an agile team. This helps the team to organize their work in a way that follows agile values and principles. 

Tips for building an effective agile learning strategy

#1: Identity your business priorities

The first tip to set up an efficient agile learning strategy is identifying your business priorities. Identify the most important business plans and initiatives that will need to be supported. They can be new business lines, new ways of working, mergers and acquisitions, market expansions, technology adoption, etc.

Then, engage with key stakeholders and company leaders to gain a deeper knowledge of their initiatives and evaluate the level of assistance needed and expected.

#2: Make a SWOT Analysis of your L&D Department

The second tip to build an agile learning strategy is making a SWOT analysis of your L&D Department. Using tests and surveys, document the strengths and weaknesses of your L&D team.

You also need to keep in touch with external forces to gain a better understanding of how to utilize new learning approaches and technology. Bear in mind the impact that laws and regulations may have on educational policies and procedures.

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#3: Secure your team’s sponsorship

The third tip to establish an agile learning strategy is securing your team’s sponsorship. The L&D department often has a sponsor who promotes the organization’s learning plan by working with top decision-makers.

This sponsor will present senior decision-makers with the L&D strategy and plans. After that, high-ranking decision-makers will update your team on business developments so you can adjust your strategy later. 

#4: Develop KPIs for your team

No matter what your team does, it always has to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, and business results.  The fourth tip to build an agile learning strategy is having KPIs developed and agreed upon. To track the KPIs of your team, design an actionable scorecard or measurement system.

#5: Enable execution of your plan 

The fifth tip to set up an agile learning strategy is enabling the execution of your plan.  Learning projects, program design, and delivery deadlines have all been depicted in a plan. To ensure that learning projects run smoothly, systems and processes will have to be put in place.

Also, the L&D team needs to be retrained to help with the implementation of the strategy.

#6: Measure your KPIs, communicate & adjust your strategy

The final tip to build an effective agile learning strategy is measuring your KPIs, communicating and adjusting your strategy. Keep key stakeholders informed about KPIs by discussing what, how, and when metrics are used. On a regular basis, learning costs need to be estimated and reviewed. 

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Agile learning traditionally is an excellent way to manage the entire process for performance support or on-the-job requirements. And in the New Normal, integrating Agile learning will shape L&D’s new way of working quickly and efficiently.

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Read more:  Setting L&D Goals: 4 Successful Tips and Tricks

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