Two classes of formats dominate conventional workplace training. The instructor-led classroom format usually employs session durations of a half-day or more, face-to-face, addressing complex subject matter using a combination of readings, presentation, interaction, games, and experiential techniques. Online self-study formats usually involve shorter sessions, addressing technical material using readings and/or video recordings, coupled with multiple-choice proficiency examinations.
The two methodologies have dramatically different cost profiles. Not surprisingly, instructor-led classroom formats are more popular, and the online formats are lower in cost. [Schmidt 2007] A natural question arises. Is there a way to lower the cost of instructor-led formats while maintaining their effectiveness and popularity for the subject domains they address? Ten-minute training might suggest a path forward.
The ten-minute training format
The fundamental objective of the ten-minute training format is delivery of a small package of knowledge that attendees can apply in their jobs immediately. A knowledgeable instructor leads the session, which is conducted as an interactive videoconference, with all participants able to speak to the class, and all participants' images visible to each other. To encourage interaction, attendance is limited to 20 participants. Session duration is ten minutes, with five additional minutes for "Q&A". Typical programs consist of 10 or more sessions, related to each other, and designed to be delivered in a set order. In this way, the ten-minute training format can deliver bodies of knowledge comparable in scale to what conventional formats now deliver.
Advantages of the ten-minute training format
The principal advantage of the ten-minute training format is that it provides instructor-led education at low cost while avoiding the disruption of regular work that accompanies the longer sessions of conventional instructor-led education.
Ten-minute The fundamental objective of ten-minute
training: deliver a small package of
knowledge that attendees can use todaytraining achieves cost reduction compared to conventional instructor-led approaches because there is no need for travel. The instructor needn't travel to the work site, and participants needn't travel to the instruction site. Participants can attend from wherever they are in the enterprise.
Ten-minute training also avoids disrupting regular work because of its short session durations. Organizations can set aside a single time period each day or each week for ten-minute training sessions, and by scheduling around that time slot, regular work can proceed unimpeded.
Finally, because the program design emphasizes immediate application of the knowledge or skills imparted, learning continues after the session, enhancing the effectiveness of the method.
Why conventional instructor-led methods have the form they do
The economics of conventional instructor-led training are driven by costs of travel and lodging for either instruction staff or participants or both. To manage these costs, organizations lengthen training sessions to limit the cost of travel per hour of instruction. Session durations (pre-pandemic, and again now post-pandemic, presumably) might range from a half-day to a full week. This results in sessions that cover a large amount of material — more than most people can put into practice immediately upon returning to work. Much of it is therefore unavoidably forgotten.
Subjects suitable for Ten-Minute Training
The class of subjects most clearly suitable for ten-minute training includes those that have very little content. Sometimes, though, we can handle such items in an announcement. But if we expect the class attendees to have questions, ten-minute training can be a valuable approach.
Another class of suitable subjects includes those that can be sliced into small chunks. One example might be renaming the lanes of a Kanban board, or changing the exit criteria for those lanes. A larger subject, still suitable for ten-minute training, is Kanban itself.
Increasing complexity still more, we can use ten-minute training for a change management project that we've divided into stages. We can deal with each stage by further slicing into ten-minute chunks.
The ten-minute training approach provides a valuable combination of the low cost of videoconferencing with the interactivity that makes instructor-led classroom training so popular and effective. And scheduling is easier because there is no need for travel time, and the time slots required are so short. It's a valuable tool for subject matter that can be delivered in small chunks. Top Next Issue
Are your projects always (or almost always) late and over budget? Are your project teams plagued by turnover, burnout, and high defect rates? Turn your culture around. Read 52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented Organizations, filled with tips and techniques for organizational leaders. Order Now!
Your comments are welcomeWould you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenogMhuqCxAnbfLvzbner@ChacigAthhhYwzZDgxshoCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.
About Point Lookout
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed it and found it useful, and that you'll consider recommending it to a friend.
This article in its entirety was written by a human being. No machine intelligence was involved in any way.
Support Point Lookout by joining the Friends of Point Lookout, as an individual or as an organization.
Do you face a complex interpersonal situation? Send it in, anonymously if you like, and I'll give you my two cents.
More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- Selling Uphill: Before and After
- Whether you're a CEO appealing to your Board of Directors, your stockholders or regulators, or a project
champion appealing to a senior manager, you have to "sell uphill" from time to time. Persuading
decision makers who have some kind of power over us is a challenging task. How can we prepare the way
for success now and in the future?
- Changing the Subject: I
- Whether in small group discussions, large meetings, or chats between friends, changing the subject of
the conversation can be constructive, mischievous, frustrating, creative, tension relieving, necessary,
devious, or outright malicious. What techniques do we use to change the subject, and how can we cope
- The Ups and Downs of American Handshakes: II
- Where the handshake is a customary business greeting, it's possible to offend accidentally. Here's Part
II of a set of guidelines for handshakes in the USA.
- How to Reject Expert Opinion: II
- When groups of decision makers confront complex problems, and they receive opinions from recognized
experts, those opinions sometimes conflict with the group's own preferences. What tactics do groups
use to reject the opinions of people with relevant expertise?
- Disjoint Awareness: Analysis
- Breaking large problems into smaller parts can sometimes create a set of risks that make solving the
problem in pieces more difficult than solving it as a whole. But we can still profit from breaking the
problem into parts if we manage those risks.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming October 4: Self-Importance and Conversational Narcissism at Work: I
- Conversational narcissism is a set of behaviors that participants use to focus the exchange on their own self-interest rather than the shared objective. This post emphasizes the role of these behaviors in advancing a narcissist's sense of self-importance. Available here and by RSS on October 4.
- And on October 11: Self-Importance and Conversational Narcissism at Work: II
- Self-importance is one of four major themes of conversational narcissism. Knowing how to recognize the patterns of conversational narcissism is a fundamental skill needed for controlling it. Here are eight examples that emphasize self-importance. Available here and by RSS on October 11.
I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenogMhuqCxAnbfLvzbner@ChacigAthhhYwzZDgxshoCanyon.com or (650) 787-6475, or toll-free in the continental US at (866) 378-5470.
Get the ebook!
Past issues of Point Lookout are available in six ebooks:
- Get 2001-2 in Geese Don't Land on Twigs (PDF, )
- Get 2003-4 in Why Dogs Wag (PDF, )
- Get 2005-6 in Loopy Things We Do (PDF, )
- Get 2007-8 in Things We Believe That Maybe Aren't So True (PDF, )
- Get 2009-10 in The Questions Not Asked (PDF, )
- Get all of the first twelve years (2001-2012) in The Collected Issues of Point Lookout (PDF, )
Are you a writer, editor or publisher on deadline? Are you looking for an article that will get people talking and get compliments flying your way? You can have 500-1000 words in your inbox in one hour. License any article from this Web site. More info