3 tips to help your team learn and grow with the Optimizely platform
Leading a team of highly motivated eCommerce digital strategists is an exciting challenge. From day one, one of my goals was to help the team learn and grow by staying up to date and ready to help our customers with their digital challenges. Working as consultants, one of our biggest challenges is time... how do we find time to learn, while delivering successful projects that mobilize most of the teams for months? Keep reading for some advice on how to get your team up to date on the Optimizely Platform and digital strategies.
#1. Use the power of the team to build a learning program
Not everyone has time to attend all conferences, watch webinars, read the latest blog post, attend product roadmaps presentation, etc. By using the power of your team, you can elevate all team members knowledge. One strategy is to define champions for every competency that your team wants to foster. These leaders will be responsible to monitor all learning activities (such as webinars, conferences, articles, blog posts, roadmap presentations, new features, etc.) and share the learning with the whole team in weekly or monthly knowledge sharing session. They will also be the refence if a new or an existing employee wants to get more knowledge on a specific competency.
There are many ways to divide the different competencies between your champions. For example, you may want to have champions for every Optimizely product that are relevant for your company, such as CMS, Commerce B2C, Commerce B2B, Personalization, Marketing Automation, A/B testing, etc, and have other champions focusing on broader competencies and expertise areas, such as Analytics, Reporting, Optimization, Loyalty, Payment, Web Accessibility, Privacy, etc.
You will want to review the competencies list every year to make sure it's still aligned with your company/department’s objectives and upcoming initiatives, as well as shuffle your champions once in a while to get everybody moving, learning and motivated.
#2. Lunch and learn
The idea is not new, but one of the most effective to share learning across the team. Lunch and learn are a great way to keep your team learning while making it fun. In our case, one team member is responsible to maintain an agenda of upcoming lunch and learn presentations and make sure that people are booked and prepared. The range of topics is very broad, but it tends to be in one of these categories: new features demo, product/project demo, summary of webinars/conferences, SME/Expert talk, lesson's learned, or innovations.
Here's a few tips to get your lunch and learn effectives:
- Planification is the key. Make sure there's a roadmap of topics coming ahead and shared with the team members.
- Keep them short but effective and focused. People may want to keep a few minutes to go out or leave their computer on the lunch time, so make sure not to use the full hour. People attention also tends to decrease after 20 minutes. Think Ted Talk!
- To keep them fun, try to order lunch for attendance (or have lunches delivered at home for those who still work from home), and make sure to keep a few minutes at the beginning for the typical informal conversations. Think team building!
- It can be a good idea to open lunch and learn to a broader audience inside your organization. This can help your team getting exposed to other teams and stakeholders, while enabling knowledge sharing across the whole company.
- Record the presentations and have them accessible for whoever was not able to attend. You can share those videos on your intranet or platforms such as Microsoft Streams or SharePoint. After only a few months, you will have built a great library where your people can go look for information and knowledge, filtered by topics and expertise.
#3. Weekly lesson's learned
One of the most powerful tools we have is extremely simple but so efficient. Since not all team members are working on the same projects/initiatives, we meet every week and, one after the other, we simply answer the following question: what's the one thing I’ve learn this week?
Surprisingly enough (or not), people always come, week after week, with one true lesson learned, and help the whole team beneficiate from this learning, may it be related to a feature, an option from the platform that they discovered last week, a soft skill or anything related to any competency. It's amazing to see how everyone in the team appreciate this moment where they can learn and often avoid the same errors or time lost as their colleagues experienced.
Working in digital and eCommerce is fun, and one part of this is because the technologies, customer needs and expectations are growing faster every year. To deliver the best services, we must stay up to date and continue to learn every day. By involving your team process, not only are you helping them to the path to success, but you are also building a sense of community and sharing within the team and across the company. With all the digital challenges coming up, this will be much needed and will be a differentiator for your team and your organization!
And now, I'd be very curious to hear from you - how do you stay up to date? How's your team and organization sharing their knowledge?
Bonus: some resources to learn
Here's a few resources to get started. This is just the beginning!
- Monitor and attend Optimizely webinars and events: https://www.optimizely.com/insights/events/
- Seek insights by reading Optimizely blog posts: https://www.optimizely.com/insights/blog/
- Find and read blog posts from the Optimizely community that are relevant to your competencies: https://world.optimizely.com/blogs/
- Watch Opticon conferences: https://www.optimizely.com/insights/opticon/
- Read latest UX articles from NNG : https://www.nngroup.com/articles/
- Read the latest eCommerce UX articles from Baymard institute: https://baymard.com/blog