!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-strict.dtd"> Streamline Training & Documentation: A Training Weblog at Lucent

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Training Weblog at Lucent

In May 2005 Michael Angeles of Bell Labs made an instructive presentation to the New Jersey chapter of the American Society for Information Science & Technology. His presentation centers on a case example spelling out how Lucent used a training blog as an integral part of a complex IT project.

The specific training need involved equipping Lucent engineers to effectively handle the second phase of Lucent's rollout of a new SAP enterprise system. The blog was designed to cover several bases:
  • Communication among interested parties

  • Sharing supplementary information, e.g., documents and announcements

  • Developing and refining knowledge

  • Archiving documents and the output of face-to-face training
The blog provided access to documents during training sessions, was used for asking questions during training, enabled administrators to push information — including answers to questions — out to the engineers, and enabled engineers to post comments, and raise issues.

Angeles emphasizes:
When it comes to fostering understanding, weblogs are viable because they’re conversational. The most successful weblogs we’ve seen have used story telling to promote understanding and allow readers to comment on whatever is written. It is this conversational tone that helps promote understanding. It’s not unlike the conversational tone in email discussion groups. ...

Weblogs encourage conversation and create connections between participants. This interaction leads to individual knowledge growth. [note to Slide 9, emphasis added]
For people interested in exploring how internal blogs can help their organizations, Angeles recommends first assessing the organization's "information ecology":
Are people blogging yet?

What are they using for software?

What type of support can you provide?

Can you provide software? If you are considering providing weblogging software, do you want to manage it centrally?

How will you support weblog authors once they get started?
Angeles points out that blogging "relies heavily on awareness of resources as much as it relies on publishing one’s own information."

Looking farther down the road, Angeles notes that an organization which introduces internal blogs needs to think about designing a means for aggregating, archiving and indexing blog output in a way that makes blog entries easy to find.


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