What We Do
We create products and services that align teams of knowledge workers so they can get the job done rather than working at cross purposes. The key driver of success for knowledge workers is how well they work together. Scrum’s assertion of twice the work in half the time does not result from people working harder, faster, or even becoming more skilled at their craft. Rather, the benefits flow from how knowledge workers work together. A classic case study is the New Unified Motor Manufacturing Inc (Nummi) which you can find a synopsis here from the MIT Sloan Management Review.
What Is Different About Us
Most organizations seek alignment by adopting (or perhaps imposing) standard methodologies and operating procedures. Often organizations accomplish this by purchasing a standard methodology that is rich in excellent content and guidance. Unfortunately, this approach tends to ignore context and does not adapt well. Many of the standard methodologies commercially available are excellent information resources. Unfortunately, by representing this knowledge as a methodology, this approach is often perceived as prescriptive - despite the intentions of the methodology authors. The result is this so called “center of excellence” approach can effectively “bulldoze” a vibrant development eco-system. Steve Adolph explains how this can happen in this video.
Rather than seeking alignment using a defined software methodology, we have chosen to use a knowledge base of training content to create a shared common experience for participants. We further provide the tools for teams, and organizations to customize, construct, and adapt methodologies that meet their needs.
The DK Kit
Our product is the "DK Kit", that is all of the content and tools we use to create our publicly facing e-learning. This includes our power points, graphics, videos, comic libraries, quizzes, Learning Management System - everything you need to create your own localized knowledge base on how you get things done. We provide training for how to use our content in our style, and we can provide customize content development services. The intent is a team, a program, a division can customize the knowledge base and adapt it to their context. Furthermore, the knowledge base grows and adapts with your needs. The knowledge base is further supported by our experts such that it does not start tumbling down the slippery slope of "methodological convenience".
We provide hosted training for our clients using our standard micro courses.
We help our DK Kit clients create, customize, and adapt their content to their context.
While Development Knowledge does not directly provide consulting services, we work with a number of excellent consultants who use our content as part of their service delivery model.
The Secret Sauce
Training and training content is at the core of our product and services. But there are many other vendors offering "e-learning". What is different about the service we provide? Much. First, we draw on one of humanities oldest techniques for passing on knowledge - story telling. Our courses are built around the Adventures of DK man, and the long suffering characters at Wings Over the World. In our training content participants follow the characters through situations they themselves may be experiencing (e.g. pressure to deliver, resistance to adopting new practices). This provides a consistent thread to all our learning, and the learning created using the DK Kit.
Our course delivery model is also based on what we refer to as the "Flipped Mastery", "Micro-Courses", "learning paths", "Learning Management Systems (LMS)", and the Learning Context.This model not only reduces direct training cost, but also increases retention, and creates a far better training and learning experience for participants. We strongly believe the traditional corporate training model is suboptimal. The current training model forces participants into a 2 to 3 day course where they must all learn at the same speed and where an experienced expert is reduced to a talking head. This creates a poor experience for participants and a waste of an expert’s skills and value they could bring to their client. Worse, we believe this model of training serves as a massive impediment to developing the skills and knowledge of knowledge workers who need continuous training. The value of our model is participants learn at their pace, they retain more, they have greater flexibility managing their time when to take course units. While participants have greater flexibility to manage their learning, regular scheduled interaction with the instructor helps keep participants well paced.
The flipped mastery is a style of training that flips traditional teaching style. In traditional teaching, an instructor lectures a class to deliver content and then participants must apply content to a problem as “homework”. In the flipped mastery model participants use online media, such as video on demand, stories, white papers, interactive dialogs, games, and question and answer to first acquire the learning content. Then during their time with the instructor they collaboratively use their newly learned content to solve a problem. For in-house training, this means participant can use their new learning to solve problems that are relevant to them.
Micro courses are small units of coherent, self contained content, and can serve as a short stand alone learning unit or the building block for a much larger and comprehensive course when assembled into a learning path. A micro course consists of:
- One to 2 hours of self directed learning using, video on demand, interactive story telling, assessments and in some cases, reading.
- A supporting workbook for the participants
- One to 2 hours of Video Instructor Lead Learning (VILT) where students work online with the instructor to solve a specific problem.
- Optionally a unit may also include 1 hour of instructor “office hours” where participants can meet the instructor online if they need assistance understanding content.
In general, a micro course may be scheduled as follows:
- Week 1, participant works through micro course content.
- Week 2, participant joins colleagues and instructor for a 1 to 2 hour VILT session to collaborative solve a relevant problem and enhanced learning topics.
A learning path is a custom assembly of Micro courses intended to satisfy some learning objective. In plain language, it’s a customized course. Learning Paths are created in collaboration with our clients. Each registered participant receives a learning path “workbook” – exercises and quiz.
LMS Learning management system
which manages registration, progress, and evaluation of participants taking courses. Through the LMS participants can earn badges and certifications. While our training is not certification focused, participants can discover what micro-courses they need to take to complete a certification.
Training is much more than just skills delivery, it is also creating social bonds through the creation of a shared common experience for participants. Unique to our offering is how we exploit story telling and our characters from the Wings Over the World saga. Wings over the world is a comic series from which all our graphics are based that we use to create a shared common experience for all participants.