Don’t let limited resources and budget stop you from using technology smartly.  I’m joined by Jess Griffin, and Jody Dollisson from James Hardie APAC to discuss how they built their own mobile-enabled, automated solution with low resource on a low budget to solve a business challenge. Their context is manufacturing, and in particular the processes for assessing and managing the competency of production line operators.  Their DIY technology solution was efficient and also improved safety, productivity and quality in the business process. There are lessons that can be drawn for other contexts. If you are supporting frontline staff, customer service facing staff, and you’re looking for unobtrusive ways to support their learning and assessment, you may be able to adapt some aspects of this solution. More broadly, you can learn from the way that the James Hardie team went about understanding and solving this particular challenge. They worked very closely with their external provider Go1 who they mentioned several times in the conversation. The strong partnership between the organisational L&D team and their provider was well worth highlighting.


It’s also a great illustration of one of the themes from last year’s Learning Uncut, Emergent podcast series, which you may recall, explored how Learning and Development can emerge stronger from disruption. After sifting through all of the high-quality experience and advice provided by our 32 guests on that podcast series, and integrating that with evidence from a range of other sources, Laura Overton, Shannon Tipton and I have identified four lenses or ways of looking at business challenges which Learning and Development teams can adopt to be more effective and relevant than ever. Today’s podcast story nicely demonstrates all four of these lenses which are data community, experimentation and technology. If you’re an L&D leader who is curious about how you can use these lenses and are looking to be more relevant, effective and high impact than ever to create business value, please head over to the Emergent Masterclass website at for information.

Episode Highlights

– The fibre cement manufacturing process and environment.

–  Linking people, learning and business performances

– A common challenge: poor training and assessment records management using an inconsistent manual process, making it difficult to demonstrate compliance and make well-informed decisions about people’s development.  The importance of zero harm, and the wastage and business cost of sheep dip training.

– Pitching the business case for change and tailoring communication to a range of different stakeholders in order to secure investment and buy-in.

– Building a solution to be able to assess people quickly, safely and unobtrusively on the production floor. Trialling a manual approach, followed by testing of a range of online forms, then integrating mobile-enabled Google Forms to automate data flow to their LMS using Zapier.  Extracting data from the LMS to an Excel dashboard for near real-time visualisation of assessment status.

– The valuable input and flexible support from their learning platform provider, Go1.  How to work with a customer success manager to tap into the expertise of your provider.

– The value of immersing yourself in everything you can about learning technology.

– The importance of resourcefulness, persistence, trial and error, and ‘not taking no for an answer’ to create DIY technology solutions.

Episode Preview

Full Episode

Listen to the full episode and access transcript and additional resources on the podcast website or your favourite podcast platform.

What have you done with Technology?

While technology is not the saviour of learning it’s an important enabler.  This episode demonstrates that you don’t need a big budget or large L&D team to use technology effectively.  There are a lot of inexpensive tools available.  The secret sauce is your own resourcefulness to identify how technology can help you solve problems or bring solutions to life and test things out.

Please share your experiences in the conversation about this Learning Uncut episode on LinkedIn.  Search for the post using the hashtag #LearningUncut.

Get in touch if you have a story that may be worth sharing on the podcast.

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Learning Uncut has accounts on Twitter and Instagram. Find and follow them at @learninguncut.

A Global Podcast

We’ve picked up listeners in some new countries recently.  Learning Uncut has now been downloaded in 106 countries.  We’d love to reflect this diversity by showcasing guests from a wider range of continents.  One of the 2021 goals for Learning Uncut is to publish a story from every continent.  Let’s hear from more of our colleagues in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America. Please get in touch with with your suggestions for guests from all parts of the world.

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