Point Lookout: a free weekly publication of Chaco Canyon Consulting
Volume 23, Issue 21;   May 24, 2023: Ten-Minute Training

Ten-Minute Training

by

Despite decades of evolution of technology-assisted workplace learning, instructor-led classroom formats remain the most popular and effective. Now perhaps videoconferencing can help to achieve that effectiveness at lower cost.
A workplace training session

A workplace training session

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 today
training 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.

Last words

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. Go to top Top  Next issue: When Your Boss Leaves Before You Do  Next Issue

52 Tips for Leaders of Project-Oriented OrganizationsAre 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!

Footnotes

Comprehensive list of all citations from all editions of Point Lookout
[Schmidt 2007]
Steven W. Schmidt, "Relationship Between Satisfaction with Workplace Training and Overall Job Satisfaction," Human Resource Development Quarterly 18:4, (2007), pp.481-498. Available here. Retrieved 5 May 2023. Back

Your comments are welcome

Would you like to see your comments posted here? rbrenIyeJIiAfnGdKlUXrner@ChacsxirZwZlENmHUNHioCanyon.comSend me your comments by email, or by Web form.

About Point Lookout

This article in its entirety was written by a 
          human being. No machine intelligence was involved in any way.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.

Point Lookout is a free weekly email newsletter. Browse the archive of past issues. Subscribe for free.

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.

Related articles

More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:

Wooden shoesWhat Haven't I Told You?
When a project team hits a speed bump, it often learns that it had all the information it needed to avoid the problem, sometimes months in advance of uncovering it. Here's a technique for discovering this kind of knowledge more systematically.
The business end of a spark plugWacky Words of Wisdom: III
Adages are so elegantly stated that we have difficulty doubting them. Here's Part III of a collection of often-misapplied adages.
Melrose Diner, Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaThe Power and Hazards of Anecdotes: II
Anecdotes are powerful tools of persuasion, but with that power comes a risk that we might become persuaded of false positions. Here is Part II of a set of examples illustrating some hazards of anecdotes.
The Niagara River and cantilever bridgeBottlenecks: I
Some people take on so much work that they become "bottlenecks." The people around them repeatedly find themselves stuck, awaiting responses or decisions. Why does this happen and what are the costs?
A hospital patientCongruent Decision Making: II
Decision makers who rely on incomplete or biased information are more likely to make decisions that don't fit the reality of their organizations. Here's Part II of a framework for making decisions that fit.

See also Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness and Project Management for more related articles.

Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout

What most of us think of when we think of checklistsComing February 28: Checklists: Conventional or Auditable
Checklists help us remember the steps of complex procedures, and the order in which we must execute them. The simplest form is the conventional checklist. But when we need a record of what we've done, we need an auditable checklist. Available here and by RSS on February 28.
Adolf Hitler greets Neville Chamberlain at the beginning of the Bad Godesberg meeting on 24 September 1938And on March 6: Six More Insights About Workplace Bullying
Some of the lore about dealing with bullies at work isn't just wrong — it's harmful. It's harmful in the sense that applying it intensifies the bullying. Here are six insights that might help when devising strategies for dealing with bullies at work. Example: Letting yourself be bullied is not a thing. Available here and by RSS on March 6.

Coaching services

I offer email and telephone coaching at both corporate and individual rates. Contact Rick for details at rbrenIyeJIiAfnGdKlUXrner@ChacsxirZwZlENmHUNHioCanyon.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:

Reprinting this article

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

Follow Rick

Send email or subscribe to one of my newsletters Follow me at LinkedIn Follow me at X, or share a tweet Subscribe to RSS feeds Subscribe to RSS feeds
The message of Point Lookout is unique. Help get the message out. Please donate to help keep Point Lookout available for free to everyone.
Technical Debt for Policymakers BlogMy blog, Technical Debt for Policymakers, offers resources, insights, and conversations of interest to policymakers who are concerned with managing technical debt within their organizations. Get the millstone of technical debt off the neck of your organization!
Go For It: Sometimes It's Easier If You RunBad boss, long commute, troubling ethical questions, hateful colleague? Learn what we can do when we love the work but not the job.
303 Tips for Virtual and Global TeamsLearn how to make your virtual global team sing.
101 Tips for Managing ChangeAre you managing a change effort that faces rampant cynicism, passive non-cooperation, or maybe even outright revolt?
101 Tips for Effective MeetingsLearn how to make meetings more productive — and more rare.
Exchange your "personal trade secrets" — the tips, tricks and techniques that make you an ace — with other aces, anonymously. Visit the Library of Personal Trade Secrets.
If your teams don't yet consistently achieve state-of-the-art teamwork, check out this catalog. Help is just a few clicks/taps away!
Ebooks, booklets and tip books on project management, conflict, writing email, effective meetings and more.