Peer Learning Framework is a set of best practices to create the culture of learning in your organization. This framework came out of our work on building Twitter University. There are six parts to this framework. We dive deeper into each of the steps individually in this series.
Step 1: Uncover the Pain
Identify the problems. What are the internal systems that everyone uses yet are poorly understood? This lack of understanding is costing your people productivity and morale.
At most organizations, there are systems that are at the core of your operations. They might be system libraries, services, or processes of how things work and you do your work. Lack of understanding is an impediment to your people doing their best work. Identify them.
Step 2: Create Heroes
Who is the expert that can address them? Once you identify the internal systems that are poorly understood, figure out who can do what to fix that. Start by approaching the manager of the team that owns the system.
The manager may not be the right person to explain how this system works. But the manager can nominate an expert on the team. Work to develop these experts into knowledge sharing heroes. Celebrate them along the way.
Step 3: Show & Tell
Great, you have identified a clear problem, and have an expert who can provide the solution. The challenge is to enable this expert to communicate the solution to their audience.
Your job now is to coach the expert to tell their story and though that change the behavior of their users. Sometimes the expert already has a knack for explaining concepts in an engaging way. But more likely, you need to hand-hold them through the process.
Expect to iterate with the expert a few times before the content is good. This is all part of coaching.
Step 4: Promote
Great, you have a solid event. Now, you need the right people to find out about it.
People are busy and email lists are broken. You have to get creative.
You can target the right audience if you focus on key users of the technology your talk helps with. You can also use some guerrilla marketing techniques.
Step 5: Measure
You need a way to measure how well your university is working. We pondered about this and set on two key metrics: volume and quality. The impact is (Volume x Quality): are you making a difference for people and how many of them.
You can only improve what you measure. Identifying right metrics and ways to get the data is hard but important.
Step 6: Rinse & Repeat
Success creates new problems. As you scale up, you can get to hundreds of courses and hundreds of presenters. You end up lopsided to HQ but remote offices want to feel like first-class citizens. Your people start asking about new formats, better documentation, and so on.