Part One of this two-part series introduced the CONA L&D initiative. The final article expands on Part One and shares the results of the initiative.
By laying out a multi-year strategy that included selecting a standardized toolset (the Assima Training Suite) and building a lean Coke One North America (CONA) learning and development (L&D) core team (supported by contract consultants from Assima’s Client Enablement services), the enterprise effectively supported the learning needs of each new CONA release (currently on release 4). The CONA L&D team could scale up and down as needed while keeping the core team lean and intact to support incremental training development needs and preserve institutional knowledge from one system release to another.
Following an extensive selection process, Doug Teachey and his bottling partner peers chose the Assima Training Suite (ATS) based on its ability to enable the project’s dynamic needs. ATS’ ability to “clone” CONA applications and rapidly generate diverse training deliverables – including PowerPoints, work instructions, simulations and quick reference guides – meant the CONA L&D team could create recordings earlier in the system development lifecycle and make edits within the ATS tool. This capability reduced rework while enabling rapid training development. These advantages were critical for success. The CONA instructional design team could add or move buttons, edit text, and more, all within the tool itself, without re-recording. Additionally, by editing one screen and republishing it, the tool could update all related training content simultaneously.
To further streamline the initiative, the CONA L&D team used Assima’s Collaborate knowledge management platform (branded “CONA Academy”) to place all learning assets within two clicks of its users. CONA Academy provides access to learning and performance support content across the broad network of CONA users, from office-based knowledge workers to mobile sales teams. There is a dedicated section for bottler training leads to review content and access tools that support planning and delivery of the content provided by the CONA L&D team. This dashboard simplifies end-user access to needed training and performance support materials in a uniform, shared, activity- and process-based curriculum. It provides a common approach rather than focusing on one bottler’s organizational structure or unique business processes.
As of the writing of this article, The Coca-Cola Company has transitioned approximately 35 percent of its North American bottling business over three years. By the end of 2017, the remaining 65 percent will transition to new or existing independent bottlers. To support this rapid acceleration, the CONA L&D team will leverage technology in new ways to enable an even more scalable and rapid deployment, including Assima’s electronic performance support tool, Assima Assist. This solution acts like a GPS, guiding users through system transactions and providing helpful information while interacting within the CONA solution to perform their duties.
As CONA adds new tablet- and smartphone-based applications, the Assima mobile app will provide rapid access to training and performance support tools to enable end users to improve the customer experience and increase sales. These performance support tools provide real-world solutions to common questions for a project of this magnitude, including, “How do we mobilize a large-scale, geographically dispersed workforce rapidly; manage performance impact; and support costs, all at the same time?”
Despite an ever-changing, multi-year deployment that included ambitious goals and timelines, the launch of at least four new bottlers, and a three-year acceleration, this partnership of people, process and technology has enabled what seemed like the impossible. In fact, the CONA L&D team of leaders and instructional designers were recognized with an internal “Mission Impossible” award two years in a row for their unprecedented work in enabling what many believed to be an insurmountable task. Without the support of a strategic partner like Assima and the many key stakeholders and teams across the North America Coca-Cola bottling network, this project would not have succeeded. With plans to multiply efforts threefold in the next year, Coca-Cola and the CONA L&D team will continue to evolve their learning and performance support strategy along with the support of its partners.