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Action Learning and Professional Development in Second Life. Global Forum 2008 Seoul, Korea - June 26 th 2008. An introduction to our Second Life “Island”. The partners in this experiment….

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action learning and professional development in second life

Action Learning and Professional Development in Second Life

Global Forum 2008

Seoul, Korea - June 26th 2008

an introduction to our second life island
An introduction to our Second Life “Island”

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

the partners in this experiment
The partners in this experiment…
  • Professional Development Environment team - Learning and Knowledge function, IBM Global Business Services
    • Owners of the challenge – to provide “game-changing” learning that drives individual and team performance at every organizational level
    • Serving the GBS line of business – which manages complex engagements for IBM’s clients, and depends on high levels of soft skills and expert thinking from Project Managers and other team members
  • Services Research – IBM Research Division
    • Sponsoring research into advanced tools and techniques to support IBM’s services businesses (as opposed to hardware/software businesses)
  • WTRI (Workplace Technologies Research Inc.)
    • A company combining cognitive science research with business and management best practices – Their OpSim™ is an accelerated immersive learning environment that provides strategic rehearsal, realistic business outcome simulations, and cognitive remodeling opportunities for individuals and teams.

| 3/10/2014

our view of professional development as game changing
Our view of professional development as “game-changing”

Partner (Executive)

Project Manager

Team member

Senior Executive

Creating client value

Contributing to IBM

Leading and influencing others

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

This represents the “new game” for a Project Manager to reach toward

| 3/10/2014

we had built a face to face opsim tm to focus on five key learning objectives
We had built a face-to-face OpSimTM to focus on five key learning objectives
  • Recognize situations in which the needs of the client have changed or even expanded
  • Re-scope a project plan to incorporate a change in direction that will contribute the client’s business success
  • Negotiate for scope changes/increases that are beneficial to the client while at the same time an opportunity for IBM
  • Manage a team through significant changes in direction on a project
  • Understand what it is to deliver value to the client’s mission critical strategic objectives

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

and then reality pushed us in this new virtual direction
And then “reality” pushed us in this new virtual direction
  • We already were struggling with a challenging mission:
    • The need to accelerate professional development
    • The demand for higher business/team performance
  • Resistance to face-to-face training was sharply increasing
    • not just the cost of travel and venues
    • time away from the business seemed an even greater barrier
  • Could technology provide an answer?
    • Previous attempts to conduct similar distance learning events had failed
    • But 3-D virtual environments were emerging and seemed to have potential

| 3/10/2014

the second life opsim simulated a real life client engagement experience
The Second Life OpSim simulated a real-life client engagement experience…
  • Participants experience the life-cycle of a client engagement at Warp Speed – one hour of participant time equated to one month of engagement time
  • Project participants work in teams of up to 10 people
  • The goal of the experience is to make the fictitious client, Lynchpin Industries, succeed in making its profit numbers by smoothly implementing a new supply chain ERP system
  • The work of the team includes:
    • Review the project as sold by the sales force
    • Meet with the CEO to discuss his objectives
    • Discuss the fit of the current proposal with the work the team believes should be delivered
    • Create and adhere to a Lynchpin project plan
    • Work on delivering the ERP solution, while the client is in production
    • Present outcomes to the CEO and to the Board

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

and the experience was completely virtual
… and the experience was completely virtual
  • Working with the others on a team
  • Meeting “on Island” to work through deliverables
  • Downloading or viewing materials in the Sharepoint site
  • Meeting for 4 sessions, 2-4 hours per session in SecondLife
  • Completing a Cognitive Agility Assessment tool (CAAT) twice – one at the beginning of the OpSim and one again at the end
  • Competing against a best possible outcome achieved by other teams of practitioners

Here are two of the facilitators to talk about why and how we set up the OpSim…

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

the team had to organize themselves and interact with lynchpin staff
The team had to organize themselves and interact with Lynchpin staff

Let’s listen in…

| 3/10/2014

the learning occurred as we planned
The learning occurred as we planned
  • As with most OP-Sims, the team failed to meet the target goals in the beginning of the exercise and “defaulted” to old ways of Project management (emphasizing the technical aspects of the project plan). This was an expected result.

Watch and listen as the team hears the bad news, and then gets coached

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

after seeing how they failed the team performed well on the next try
After seeing how they failed, the team performed well on the next try
  • As with most OP-Sims, team improved markedly in target areas near the end of the exercise (see charts). They began to truly deliver on the On Demand promise.
  • In addition:
    • Managed resources well
    • Managed stakeholder commitment well
    • Re-scoped the project in Value-added ways; increased scope and profits for IBM
    • Clients competitive strategy began to succeed in financial measurable ways due to the way they implemented

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

the learners could link business outcomes with their actions and decisions
The learners could link business outcomes with their actions and decisions

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

the learners could link business outcomes with their actions and decisions13
The learners could link business outcomes with their actions and decisions

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

we measured the team s performance by how they contributed to the success of the client s business
We measured the team’s performance by how they contributed to the success of the client’s business
  • Did the team see that the proposed ERP implementation would not work with the client’s business strategy
  • Did they consider “making the client successful” (the On Demand brand promise) more important than executing the project as originally sold?
  • Did they initiate a scope change/expansion and get the client to see the value
  • Assuming a scope change was made, was the ERP system implemented in a way that operationalized the client’s strategy for success? (Measured by the financial performance of the client during the exercise).
  • Did the team work with the stakeholder to maintain commitment
  • Did they organize as an effective team?

The results: Top performers at IBM learned to identify mission critical data from ‘noise’ and to act for the benefit of both the client and IBM

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

here is some of the feedback we received
Here is some of the feedback we received…
  • “…forced me to take on roles I was uncomfortable with.  The first week was harder.  During the second week I was willing to take more risk...I had fun.  Became braver.  Took me out of my shell…This required me to grow.”
  • “Virtual World is fine if you think of it as a time saver –But you have to commit to stay there. You have to trust that people will be there for you.  I knew which team members were going to show up and that I could trust them…It took a lot of multi tasking but that is what I do all day anyway.”

And here is what Anne Wargo, the IBM Learning & Knowledge project manager had to say…

| 3/10/2014

remaining challenges
Remaining Challenges
  • Team Formation
    • The team struggled with not knowing each other beforehand (had trouble forming a team; participants who chose to actively engage rather than observe (we called them curiosity seekers) did most of the work. Team formation was emergent – the team developed based on PM and Leadership skill set that previously existed.
  • Skill difference and experience between participants
    • Need to select team members according to skill and experience to get better balance
  • Team did not appreciate how much they learned
    • The frustration and failure of the first run is typical in Op-Sims, and happened here as expected. Teams need time to process what they are discovering. They need to have more time to get their expectations aligned with what they need to do to accomplish tasks.
  • Technical challenges lingered on the periphery
    • All participants became quite facile in the use of SecondLife and the manipulation of their Avatars. A few had continual crash problems.

Client Engagement 3D Rehearsal | IBM Internal Use Only | | 10-Mar-14

where might this all be going here is my view
Where might this all be going? Here is my view…
  • Assumptions about today and tomorrow
    • 3-D virtual environments are in many ways at least as effective as face-to-face learning events
    • In some ways they can be more effective (unique perceptual experiences, multi-level learner experiences)

| 3/10/2014

we are experimenting with opsims for intact teams that address multiple new games concurrently
We are experimenting with OpSims for intact teams that address multiple “new games” concurrently

Partner (Executive)

Project Manager

Team member

Senior Executive

Creating client value

Contributing to IBM

Leading and influencing others

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

Behaviors

| 3/10/2014

where might this all be going here is my view19
Where might this all be going? Here is my view…
  • Assumptions about today and tomorrow
    • 3-D virtual environments are in many ways at least as effective as face-to-face learning events
    • In some ways they can be more effective (unique perceptual experiences, multi-level learner experiences)
    • Pressures will continue to increase against delivery of large scale face-to-face learning programs
    • Younger learners (and leaders) will expect a virtual experience
  • Some scenarios for the next two years
    • Large organizations will develop a 3-D virtual delivery capability in-house
    • Consortiums of companies will form to offset the costs and risk of early adoption
    • New businesses will arise to provide a customizable virtual campus, with functionality to support learner administration and faculty management

| 3/10/2014

what is your view
What is your view?
  • How do you see this helping overcome some of your barriers?
  • What additional barriers might this present to your efforts?

| 3/10/2014

action learning and professional development in second life21

Action Learning and Professional Development in Second Life

Global Forum 2008

Seoul, Korea - June 26th 2008