How to Customize Your Courseware for DevOps Training
When it comes to DevOps training, customization of courseware is a cornerstone. This crucial step involves a detailed analysis and partnership between a training organization, an instructor, and a client. Neglecting this could lead to unaligned expectations and a compromised learning journey. Yet, with the right approach, tailored courseware and training enhance learners’ engagement and drive excellent outcomes for the client’s business.
In order to shed light on this topic, we’ve consulted experts specializing in DevOps courseware development, training delivery, and LMS management. Drawing from their expertise, we offer a step-by-step guide, enabling training organizations to competently modify DevOps courseware and optimize their training methodologies.
Step 1: Understand Client Needs
In customizing courseware for DevOps training, focus on the client’s specific needs is pivotal. Where to begin? A practical starting point involves collaborating with the Learning and Development department to do a training needs analysis. By knowing who are the participants, trainers can analyze their current proficiency, strengths, challenges, and team roles. This insight guides the training focus.
In the field of learning design, we analyze or discuss the entry and exit profiles of learners before designing a training. When analyzing the entry profile, we try to understand the current state of the learners before the training commences. What is their current knowledge and skill level? And then we look at their exit profile or the desired state they should achieve after completing the training. This helps us understand what we aim for the learners to achieve from the training. By analyzing their current state and desired outcomes, we gain clarity on what needs to be customized, what should remain standardized, and what should receive higher weightage during the training delivery.Pragya Sinha Chowdhury – Vice President of Talent Solutions at DASA
However, it’s not just about the learners themselves. Scanning of the organization’s goals for the training is equally essential. What drives their need for this training? What are their expectations from both an instructor and the overall learning experience? Engaging not just the L&D team but also the top management helps align training objectives with business objectives. This way, you can show your clients that you care about their business and are committed to delivering maximum value.
To foster a holistic DevOps transformation with training:
- Provide a course summary for key stakeholders in a brief session. This strategy can scale the training’s reach and ensure aligned expectations.
- If feasible, start the training at the management level. DevOps significantly influences future strategies and the way of working. Engaging management early helps them realize the impact of DevOps transformation.
Step 2: Adapt Training Content
Once you have grasped the needs and expectations of your clients, as well as evaluated the knowledge level of the learning cohort, it’s time to ensure the relevance of courseware. Here’s a roadmap for aligning the DASA DevOps courseware:
- Adjust Elements: Identify critical training objectives for the organization, adjust the weightage, time to be spent on exercises and interactions as per the needs of an organization. This strategy ensures a tailored experience without neglecting the course’s essence.
- Add Value to the Training: Leverage the existing knowledge of the learners and build upon it, add case studies from an industry or examples of organizations that have solved similar challenges.
- Personalize Training Delivery: Be flexible in training delivery by utilizing varied mediums, engaging learners through interactive discussions and hands-on exercises.
The DASA programs’ design approach emphasizes experiential learning, enabling individuals to actively participate and gain knowledge through hands-on experiences. Different exercises, interactions, and group discussions are integrated to cater to the specific needs of the attending cohort. Taking into account factors such as the participants’ current knowledge levels and the limited duration of the training, trainers possess the flexibility to choose suitable exercises that enhance the learning process.Pragya Sinha Chowdhury – Vice President of Talent Solutions at DASA
At DASA, we support instructors’ flexibility, encouraging delivery methods that resonate with their expertise and individual manner. This approach guarantees training is tailored to each client’s unique needs.
Step 3: Build an Integral Learning Journey
To remain competitive and enrich the learning experience, leveraging a Learning Management System (LMS) for both virtual and classroom sessions is essential. LMS doesn’t just help in organizing materials – it’s a powerful tool for customization. For example, on Talent Academy, DASA’s Continuous Learning Platform, we’ve incorporated many adaptable features to align with your teaching methods and practices.
You can effortlessly construct the course to match the desired learning experience. This grants you the flexibility to enhance the course by adding or reorganizing tracks or sections. With your own content library, you can integrate supplementary materials into the courses you develop. Laura Vasilov – Talent Academy Product Owner at DASA
To ensure that Talent Academy effectively supports the learning process, we’ve provided six content options to aid your customization strategy:
- Documents, external links, E-learning (SCORM), and videos: Whether it’s case studies, reading materials or articles, add supplementary materials to your courses in a preferred format.
- Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and assignments: Engaging learners actively and monitoring their progress are crucial aspects of effective training. Through Talent Academy, you can enhance your courses with MCQs and assignments.
A standout feature of the platform is the integration of exams. With this feature, DASA Talent Academy enables you to create an integral learning experience that encompasses courseware, sessions, and the final certification exam. Make use of this feature to offer learners a smooth journey from the kickoff of their training to certification.
With its tailor-made features and exam integration, DASA Talent Academy offers an all-around and user-friendly learning experience that helps your DevOps training courses stand out.
Step 4: Be Agile in Training Delivery
Plans, though scrupulously crafted, might need revisions as trainers gain insights during course delivery. Therefore, an agile approach is essential for successful training. Here are methods to maintain effective interaction with participants:
- Be a part of the learning cohort, not just a lecturer: Addressing a cohort as “we” instead of “you” makes a significant impact, as it emphasizes that the instructor is part of the group, ready to assist, guide, and coach. This approach creates a safe environment where participants are more likely to share their thoughts, provide feedback, and ask questions.
- Guide teams to take the lead in problem-solving: Encourage participants to identify and address issues themselves. To this end, Jan de Vries, DevOps Trainer and Coach, encourages utilizing a board divided into three sections: Backlog, Prerequisites, and Impediments. Through discussing real-world problems, teams can determine if they can independently resolve the issues or if there are prerequisites or impediments that require attention first. This approach reveals the team’s level of proactivity and highlights any internal issues within the organization. Having a broad view of this board, participants realize the main obstacles they face in DevOps adoption.
- Use examples to interpret complex concepts: Participants may struggle to understand the practical impact of specific methods or frameworks, explained only in theory. Incorporate real-case scenarios and examples from the same company, utilizing the current organizational structure and processes to demonstrate how the theory can be applied. By referencing real people who are part of the learning cohort, you make the knowledge more relatable.
I take an agile approach during training, so I can really say that every training that I deliver is actually different based on the intake, but also on the first experience that I have starting from people introducing themselves in the morning, continuing during the training. When I do more than one training in the same organization, I also take into account what I learned in previous groups. So all the information shows you quite soon what the organization needs and what the problems are.Jan de Vries – Independent DevOps Trainer, Coach and Consultant
Step 5: Continuous Improvement and Feedback Loop
Understanding the results of DevOps training and measuring its long-term value for an organization is complex. Many times, the challenges organizations face are due to internal hurdles, not necessarily flaws in the training. Such internal barriers can demotivate even the most enthusiastic and driven teams.
Teams would usually like to move in the proposed direction, but of course, they have a board, a budget, and a lot of constraints. That closes any big opportunities in the next half year. And hopefully, they could actually do that next year. It creates a so-called organizational swamp where they are navigating. Jan de Vries – Independent DevOps Trainer, Coach and Consultant
For a balanced assessment, go beyond just learner satisfaction. Instead, concentrate on factors that can influence further transformation processes:
- Acknowledgement of existing issues: Have participants’ viewpoints changed? Can they identify the barriers preventing them from implementing DevOps?
- Team Evolution: Assess how the team’s synergy and clarity of vision have improved post-training.
- Forward Thinking: Post-training, what plans have emerged? What’s the outcome of the discussions? How will they apply the knowledge gained, starting tomorrow?
As mentioned earlier, engaging in meaningful conversations with management is essential for the long-term success of the training. Jan de Vries notes that in the organizations where he delivered DevOps training, roughly 90% of challenges tie back to internal culture and structure. A change-driven training, without leadership direction towards digital transformation, will not bring results.
Customizing DevOps training surpasses simply adjusting content – it’s a strategic initiative fostering organizational transformation. By analyzing client needs, personalizing the course content, and harnessing technology, instructors can design experiences that resonate deeply with learners. That is the only way to motivate learners to become change agents, bridge theoretical knowledge with practical application, and drive digital transformation forward.
In a disruptive technological landscape where agility, collaboration, and innovation are paramount, having a relevant and up-to-date DevOps training portfolio enables your organization to meet demand and explore new markets. Grow your business by offering training programs that provide a holistic journey for nurturing high-performing digital organizations.
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Jan de Vries is a senior trainer, business IT consultant and public speaker in the fields of Business Information Management, DevOps, Scaled Agile and Antifragility….