Learning Center of Excellence (CoE)

The Enterprise Learning team at Capital One had the mandate of serving as a Center of Excellence in both learning operations and learning design. Meeting that bar was sometimes a truth and sometimes an aspirational goal. One area that was particularly challenging with a decentralized environment was communication and consistency in process and terms. While few love process, it was clear that the complexity of services and processes over to support teams had made interactions cumbersome.

Drink Your Own Champagne

We saw this as a perfect opportunity to apply user research to make decisions about how to support them. We started from a position of “what if…” What if there was one form to fill out and it automatically populated based on selections so that users didn’t even need to know the processes. That was an awesome goal, and the technology existed for it, but the business side of us knew that it would be unsustainable to maintain with all of the exceptions to our processes, and more importantly, frustrating to the user to click through all of the steps to get to what they needed, when most could get there quickly.

Where we landed was a more rudimentary but extremely well-organized portal site. We leveraged surveys and user interviews regularly throughout the build to gather feedback on templates, navigation, and content.

90 Services & Tools?!?

Yes, 90. No wonder it was complicated to work with us. As a center of excellence, we had responsibility for everything from the basics of design (What is ADDIE?) to solid analysis tools, examples of video content, how our systems worked, and how to get assistance on operational processes to support learning.  We tested a few different ways of organizing content with users and settled on a series of drop-down menus organized around the ADDIE life-cycle for design/development. Each page detailed a synopsis, a contact, a button to request service, related links to videos and job aids, items to consider that were unique to our environment, the process of what happens to create that particular resource, examples of well-designed content, a link to collaborate on the topic, and if relevant, links to reports on that topic. The noise about the complexity to interact with us almost completely dried up.

A Site Is Not Enough

While a portal to allow proactive communications was helpful, it doesn’t make a center of excellence. Though some of these efforts are no longer in play today due to competing priorities, from this point, a Learning Council was established for the leaders from each learning function. A Lunch & Learn was established monthly where the Enterprise team who was supposed to test new approaches (Flipped classroom for the Enterprise, fundamentals of curation, creating animations, social learning approaches, etc.) would share best practices. Additionally, a monthly forum was held were all learning professionals from across Capital One were invited to come and share the work their teams were doing.  As a capstone to all of this, we held a summit where over 200 folks from all LOBs flew in from around the country to participate in a 2-day conference style event, complete with national speakers as keynotes, breakouts, and networking sessions.