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How to use e-learning as a key to success in your modularization project

A study by the German Institute for Media and Competence Research revealed that more than 55% of companies already use e-learning and another 13% plan to use e-learning as a tool for employee instruction to disseminate knowledge in a targeted and flexible way. These findings were confirmed by a Bitkom survey in the summer of this year. Read our article to find out how you can use e-learning successfully in your modularization projects to ensure efficient development of modular products.

Use e-learning to create transparency in the modularization project

90 percent of all projects fail because they lack a shared target vision. When starting a modularization project, it is therefore essential to work together with a pilot group in your company and external consultants to develop a target vision for the entire organization.

Informing all employees personally is expensive and time consuming. However, modularization only works if it is practiced by the entire organization, and complexity management is carried out at all management levels and across all functions. Transferred to an e-learning platform, you can spread the target vision across the entire company , with the degree of flexibility your employees need. Each individual is given the opportunity to deal with the objectives of the modularization project according to their schedule and at their own pace. E-learning content itself, presented for example in videos, can be viewed on all end devices. Travel times can thus be used effectively, for instance.

In addition to the target vision, it often makes sense to make the essential work steps and contexts of your modular strategy transparent for all employees and to make them available via an e-learning chapter. Transparency about the planned project course and contents help to reduce resistance and reluctance against a modular system in the organization.

Targeted preparation and follow-up through e-learning workshops

Employees can learn about the contents and goals of a workshop in advance, giving them a better understanding of what awaits them. Workshops are more efficient if all participants start with the same level of knowledge.

In workshops, your employees then learn about the principles of modular development and the procedures used in variant management. This knowledge is deepened and put into practice for the first time. The workshop attendants let everything sink overnight, come to the office the next morning and suddenly have a million questions. They would like to repeat what they have learnt in a familiar environment.

However, the workshop slides are not comprehensive enough to reconstruct the content and find answer to their questions. After all, workshop handouts are not primarily designed for self-study, but to support the lecture. 

Using e-learning chapters, the content and practices shown in the workshop can then be internalized and repeated – at the press of a button.

The e-learning tool can also be used after the workshop by the internal focal point, whose expertise has however not yet been sufficiently developed. Despite this, your employees are reluctant to put their questions to the external team of experts, as the hurdle seems to be too big for them. This creates a vacuum of knowledge that must be filled in order to minimize the risk of frustration that could lead to an outright rejection of the whole project.

Workshops can be a tool to establish support for such novel approaches early on. Read more about the reasons in our blog article "Modularization workshops – why there is almost never a positive effect in day-to-day business"

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Avoiding internal bottlenecks and delays in the modularization project

Usually at the beginning of the project you have appointed a person from your organization who is involved in all the workshops and is recognized as an expert by your colleagues during the course of the project. However, modularization expertise is not available at the touch of a button. Even an internal focal point must first mature to become an expert.

At MB Collaborations, we see again and again that employees ask for more and more expertise from the field of modularization in the course of concept development. Like the external experts, your internal expert cannot handle all issues at the same time, and the modularization project may come to a standstill.

Especially at the beginning, there is no substitute for personal dialogue with employees and colleagues. However, it is crucial to use the resources of your internal expert efficiently – his time is a scarce commodity. E-learning is a suitable and efficient tool, especially for simple questions and for refreshing jointly defined content. This applies in particular to tutorials on the use of your IT tools or an interim solution.

Active knowledge management for new employees in the modularization project

Do you know the problem? Ten people sit in a workshop and aren't able to progress because a new colleague has joined the group. He is not yet familiar with the working methods and has countless questions that hold up the workshop progress.

The development of a modular system is not completed overnight. It takes years to anchor a modular development. During this period, new employees will come on board who have not yet had any contact with the topic.

To avoid situations like the one described above, new colleagues can prepare by delving into the relevant chapters on the e-learning platform, depending on their level of experience. You do not have to show them the ropes one by one. If there are still have knowledge gaps, this can be clarified beforehand through internal or external support.

Conclusion

A customized e-learning concept supports the implementation of a modular system in your organization by communicating your target vision at the project outset and creating transparency about interrelationships in the modularization project.

During the course of the project, e-learning supports you with the targeted preparation and follow-up of workshops and reduces the workload of the in-house focal point in day-to-day business.

Once the modular system has been developed, you can ensure that the procedures and methods learned for the modular development can be continually refreshed and made available to new employees in a simple and flexible manner.

Read more about how modular assemblies work in general and how they can reduce development times while reducing costs.

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