Last week I was in Chicago teaching a Mobile Learning Certificate program for ATD (the Association for Talent Development). We talked about all the reasons why training teams and their organizations want to “go mobile.” One of them that we discussed was “because mobile is cool.”
I’ve heard this many times – the idea is that if our learning solutions are tech savvy people will think more highly of our team and our work. And in large corporate environments, there’s a lot to be said for how your team is perceived.
Unfortunately, “because it’s cool” is not a business driver. It won’t make your business more efficient or effective, and it certainly won’t help the organization to be more profitable. To go mobile “because it will make us look good” is more likely to cause you to lose credibility. You’ll create an app that no one uses, and everyone will assume you wasted a lot of time and money to build.
Instead, start with the use case. Ask yourself why employees of your organization would want to use an app – how will it help them do something … anything … better than they can without your app. And at the time when they would use that help, will they be at a computer, or will they be in a situation where they would naturally reach for their phone or tablet first? When you have a solid use case for something people need at a time when they would want it on their phone or tablet, then people will use your app and see it as a valuable resource.
If the app helps them to do something work-related, there will also be some value to the business … that the employee is doing that work task more effectively or efficiently. That will gain you the credibility you want – not only with those who use your app, but also with the decision-makers who see you making a difference to the bottom line.