A sample pattern

Pattern: Better professional research updates in less time.

Situation: Professional staff need to stay current with gushers of industry developments and research findings. The volume of information is too great for any individual to keep up with.

Solution: Select one or two respected individuals per discipline to do front-end research for everyone. Provide them time to scan the news and write up summaries and pointers. Encourage everyone in the community to provide these spotters with tips on new developments. Set high standards for accuracy and brevity of the reports to encourage on-going readership. Do not overwhelm the readers: three or four items/week is the upper limit.  The simpler a learning intervention fits into a person’s existing routines, the more likely it will take hold. In many organizations, this means sending news summaries to people’s email addresses.

Technology:  Using blogs to record the information creates an easily searchable archive as a by-product. Also, blogs automatically create RSS feeds that enable people to subscribe to the research that interests them. See Tools for Learning.

Savings:  Replace three hours per week with thirty minutes of reading and digging deeper into topics. For a staff of 100 professionals, that’s a savings of $600,000 per year. It’s also less likely important discoveries will be overlooked.

Example: CGI