Ever stepped onto the platform just as the train pulls in? Or arrived at the bus stop at the exact second its doors pop open? Those ‘just in time’ moments feel great, and it’s really as simple as getting the timing right.
Well, what if we told you there was a way to replicate that warm glow when it comes to learning at work? That if you gave people the right knowledge at the moment they needed it most, it would have a whole host of benefits – for everyone!
What is just in time learning?
It’s exactly what the name suggests. It’s the learning or knowledge someone needs to complete a task, easily found in the moments they need it. It’s not sending them on a course months after they expressed a desire to learn something, but giving them the information to complete a task when it needs to be completed. As if you needed more learning acronyms, but you might see if referred to as JIT training as well.
As we’ll discuss shortly, the length and format of the content plays a big role in this too. A just-in-time learning resource should contain everything you need and nothing you don’t. Imagine you need to know how to add a customer onto your system correctly, the resource should talk you through that task in a short and sweet fashion. You don’t need to know about the terminology and tone we use when speaking to customers in those moments, for example.
How to create and deliver learning, just in time
Work out what you need
It seems pretty obvious but if you’re right at the start of this process, it’s probably time for an audit. It can be as simple as asking which pain points and problems your people encounter on a regular basis, taking a look at the resources they currently have available and working out where the gaps are.
Organise your content effectively
One of the biggest struggles for many businesses is scattered knowledge, so you really need to bring all of your content together in one place. People are used to finding things on-demand and at the end of a search, which is why we help people create one front door for all learning in HowNow. Pull together all your internal and external resources, and then organise those by topics, channels and the groups you assign them to.
What this means is that the resources someone might need are all organised in one place, just a search away, so that they can find it just in time.
Give people the power to create resources
Who better to talk someone through what they need to do in the moment than the people who’ve been there and done it in the moment? Internal subject matter experts are often one of the biggest untapped resources, especially when there’s nowhere or no way for them to share their experience or expertise.
In those cases you’re missing out on both contextual knowledge and the power of social learning. That’s why we created the Nugget, to empower people to share knowledge in moments, so that others can find it in the right moments.
It’s as simple as hitting create, adding in or attaching your advice and publishing it – really! Here’s how it works:
Make knowledge available in the flow of work
It’s all well and good taking the steps we’ve mentioned so far, but what happens if someone has to head over to a separate platform to find the right information? We’ve gone from just in time to hold on a minute, I’ll be right back!
That’s why it’s so important for your learning platform to talk with your other systems, to find tools that integrate with each other and make resources available where people already work.
If you’re spending most of your day somewhere like Slack or Teams, you shouldn’t have to leave that platform to find the knowledge you need. Think about connecting people to knowledge in the flow of their everyday work life.
Where this might influence the just in time approach is in customer-facing moments. If a sales rep is trying to answer a question for a lead or if a customer success executive needs to close an issue for a client, those are pressing situations where you really do need information just in time, in the flow of work. (Speaking of which…)
Why you should take these steps towards just in time content
If it takes people less time to find, understand and apply the knowledge in resources, that means they’re able to complete tasks faster and more efficiently. By giving them back time and streamlining processes, they’ve got greater capacity to do the things that matter most. Or the things that time might have been a barrier to in the past.
If you’re trying to do something from memory because you don’t know where the right guidance lives, that opens that door to inconsistency or inaccuracy. A lot of the time, people need just in time learning to refresh their memory on how to do something or get the most up to date information.
When learning moves from passive to active, you’re increasing the chances of retaining information (we’ve covered that in more detail here). Just in time learning ensures there’s not a disconnect between when you learn something and when you need to apply it.
Essentially, you’re applying the theory in front of you when you’re most motivated to learn it. Plus, you’ll revisit it at regular intervals, which helps you harness the power of spaced repetition to drive retention.
Make learning a habit
Normally when that disconnect between learning and application occurs, we lose the momentum and motivation that happens when we put it to work. But when you learn just in time and apply what you need, when you need it, you see the positive results instantly and that encourages you to do it again.
Once people do this several times with outcomes that put a smile on their face, they’re beginning to build a positive habit of learning.
We’ll happily show you how to apply just in time learning in HowNow! Right now, it’s just the time to fill out a demo form so we can arrange another time to show you around properly!