I become my client
It’s been about three weeks since I wrote the first episode of this saga, and about a week since I posted it. In the intervening time, I’ve approached the as I would if I were a client. This may complicate the telling of the story.
If I were a client, this is how I would work with me:
- find out what my goals are, and what I want to accomplish in the project
- establish the key messages I want to get across and identify my priorities
- locate and structure the content to create those messages
- build up storyboards with content (episode 3)
- design the project for optimal visual impact (episode 4)
- build and test the project (episodes 5 and 6)
- launch the final, approved product (episode 6)
So there’s a lot to cover today. Of course, if I were a new client, there would be more I would want to know: sponsorship, communication, company culture, meeting the SMEs, doing a needs analysis, and so forth. But I think I know this client reasonably well.
My goals are two-fold: improve my skills with Storyline 2™, and create an online portfolio showcasing my skills and experience. The end product will be posted on my web site at www.memorable-learning.com.
Notice that nowhere did I use the term training? Once I recognized that I was creating a marketing piece rather than a training piece, the framework for the project began to appear.
As I put details on my goals, it became clear that I wanted the reader to get four things out of the project:
- Understand the services I offer: I am an instructional designer and elearning developer, with deep experience in collecting and structuring content, and in looking at the overall needs of an organization in change.
- Walk the path that got me to where I am today: the experience I have had in a variety of industries.
- Appreciate a well-crafted Storyline project that tells my stories.
- Learn about my background and how to contact me.
That sounds like a pretty firm structure. I am ready to move on to the content.
Over time, I have built a lot of resumes, each one either an update of a previous one, or a presentation of a specific set of skills. There was no master document with descriptions of each project I’ve done over the years. Well, there was one – I had started a CV (curriculum vitae, the resume of academe) when I was in grad school, and until a few years ago, I had dutifully added a bullet point about each new project as it was completed. It ran to 12 pages, and had not been updated since 2003.
Have you ever tried to remember everything of note you’ve done in the last 12 years?
Fortunately, I had kept copies of my timesheets for that period (no, I don’t know why I kept them, just never deleted them) so I could identify which projects were done when. I captured these in a small Word template and tried to fill in as much detail as possible. There were 27 projects.
So back to the structure. I had identified four services: instructional designer, content developer / editor, elearning developer, and change mThe four are interrelated, but there are some specific aspects of each that I wanted to talk about. Once I laid out these topics, my structure began to look like this:
Designing for best effect
Working with experts
Delivering and coaching
Public service experts
Repurposing to elearning
Teaming for success
And the same analysis for the experience in industries yielded this table:
|Life Sciences||Technology||Finance||Retail||Public Service|
|Training new processes
Distributing expert knowledge
Enabling public utilities
Training custom systems
|Enabling across divisions
Merging accounts payable
Training IM auditors
Training bank auditors
Implementing financial ERP
Cosmetics supply chain
Retail consultant training
Federal change managers
It’s still a lot of topics, and I had to write a short description of each of them. More on that next week.
Lesson learned: Never throw away anything. You might need it some day.