At Intellum, we believe organizational education is a strategic business function. Education impacts your business objectives—for better or for worse. To succeed as a company, you need to assemble the right team to educate your customers, employees, and partners.
Most companies hire a generalist, a trainer, and/or an instructional designer. We’ve found that just isn’t enough.
An organizational education team must include the following seven roles:
- Program owner/strategic lead
- Curriculum developer
- Instructional designer/learning experience designer
- Education marketing specialist
- Graphic designer/media specialist
- Data analyst
Additionally, the quality of the people you hire to fill your team is critical to your success.
Hard skills are important, of course, but soft skills matter too (more than you might realize).
Read on for details about each role—including responsibilities and soft skills to look for when hiring to ensure a good job fit.
Your Best-In-Class Organizational Education Team
First, this is not an exhaustive list; it’s a list of the roles you need. Also, while some roles may be performed by the same individual, other roles might require you to hire multiple employees (e.g., two graphic designers). Consider this a guideline rather than a mandate.
Here are the seven roles you need on your organizational education team:
1. Program Owner/Strategic Lead
The Program Owner, or Strategic Lead, connects the dots between all focus areas—or strategic thrusts—that make up a successful education strategy.
Responsibilities of a Program Owner/Strategic Lead:
- Sets the end-to-end organizational education strategy
- Identifies KPIs to track and measures success
- Oversees the program to ensure initiatives move forward in alignment with the strategy
- Provides sign-off on significant project milestones
- Identifies and secures additional resources
What traits should you look for in a Program Owner/Strategic Lead? Ideal candidates must be assertive enough to ask for what they need, and should enjoy working with and through others. Additionally, while program owners won’t manage education team members, they do need leadership presence, effective communication skills, and the ability to manage conflict.
2. Curriculum Developer
When you have different employees creating courses and videos in the absence of one plan, the learner experience can become disjointed, leading to missed results. Curriculum Developers ensure that learning content is holistic—to achieve desired outcomes.
Responsibilities of a Curriculum Developer:
- Conducts a training needs analysis to identify skills gaps of a specific audience.
- Identifies learner goals and desired outcomes.
- Builds a content strategy to guide educational content creation.
- Creates “blueprints” for others to follow.
What traits should you look for in a Curriculum Developer? Ideal candidates must be analytical and process-driven. They should be comfortable making decisions autonomously based on data and facts. Finally, they should be detail-oriented to ensure accuracy.
3. Instructional Designer/Learning Experience Designer
One level down from the Curriculum Developer sits the Instructional Designer or Learning Experience Designer. This role takes the curriculum developer’s vision and brings it to life. This is a specialty skill that some teams outsource initially. Many teams end up with an in-house Instructional Designer and Learning Experience Designers.
Responsibilities of an Instructional Designer/Learning Experience Designer:
- Collaborates with the Curriculum Developer to design instructional material
- Conducts an internal needs assessment at a micro-level
- Creates educational content such as interactive courses and certifications
- Maintains a deep understanding of how instructional design ties to the overall learning strategy, learner engagement, and program goals
What traits should you look for in an Instructional Designer/Learning Experience Designer? Ideal candidates must be collaborative as they often need to work with others and interview subject matter experts to gather information needed to create content. They should also be content to carry out others’ plans rather than set the vision themselves.
4. Education Marketing Specialist
You can have great content, but your learners need to know about it—and specifically, how it will help them achieve their goals. This is where the Education Marketing Specialist comes in. They connect the right learner to the right content at the right time.
Responsibilities of an Education Marketing Specialist:
- Introduces learners to the Organizational Education Platform
- Helps develop the go-to-market strategy to facilitate platform adoption and learner engagement/re-engagement
- Manages the in-platform communication plan, including built-in notifications (e.g., “View our latest content”) and bumper emails (e.g., “Continue your learning”).
- Manages the off-platform communication plan, including marketing automation and in-product messaging, which occurs inside the customer’s product—not the learning environment.
What traits should you look for in an Education Marketing Specialist? Ideal candidates must be cooperative, empathetic, and people-oriented; understanding others is key to success.
5. Graphic Designer/Media Specialist
The Graphic Designer creates visual assets (think banners or graphics within courses), while the Media Specialist creates media that supports the learning strategy (think animated explainer videos or interactive videos). These are specialty skills that some teams outsource. You might need one or both roles.
Responsibilities of a Graphic Designer/Media Specialist:
- Designs graphics for modalities
- Designs badges and certificates of completion
- Creates interactive or other educational videos
- Maintains a deep understanding of how graphic design and media production ties to the overall learning strategy, learner engagement, and program goals
What traits should you look for in a Graphic Designer or Media Specialist? Ideal candidates must be creative but also detailed enough to work within defined brand guidelines.
The Facilitator instructs and trains learners. More than a "presenter," a skilled facilitator can impact the success of live or virtual educational sessions by engaging the audience and promoting collaborative learning.
Responsibilities of a Facilitator:
- Teach or train learners, in-person or virtually
- Gain and keep learner attention to drive engagement
- Assess learning efficacy to ensure participants achieve desired outcomes
What traits should you look for in a Facilitator? Ideal candidates must have exceptional public speaking skills and charisma. They must also be adaptable and confident enough to answer unexpected questions on the fly.
7. Data Analyst
This role is key in telling the story of the learning program’s impact. The Data Analyst tracks performance based on the goals set forth by others (for example, the Program Owner/Strategic Lead and the Curriculum Developer).
Responsibilities of a Data Analyst:
- Sets up tracking and dashboards
- Tracks, measures, and reports on performance on an ongoing basis
- Pulls reports from the Intellum platform
- Connects learning metrics with business metrics and reports on results and impact
- Data mapping across platforms
- Provides a visualization that shows successes and highlights opportunities
What traits should you look for in a Data Analyst? Ideal candidates must be (you guessed it) data-driven and analytical. Data Analysts will also work beside—and present to—leadership, so the ability to collaborate and communicate clearly is important.
Other Roles That Support Organizational Education
There are others who help bring your educational program to life including editors, software engineers, and business analysts (to name a few). Here’s a look at those supporting roles:
The Joint Steering Committee For Implementation
For successful implementation of your organizational education initiatives, form a joint “Steering Committee.” This helps to keep the focus on the desired business objectives and pushes stakeholders to act decisively.
When first building out your education team, you need a Program Owner and an Executive Sponsor. (Without a sponsor, it might be hard to get the resources you need.) Then, once you’re up and running, the Program Owner functions independently.
For program implementation, you'll need to engage with additional internal resources like IT, SMEs, or other key business owners.
We strongly recommend adopting an internal Project Manager during program implementation. This might be the Program Owner, or someone else.
This committee meets regularly to provide:
- Project success oversight
- Business priority direction
- Adequate and timely resource availability
- Escalated issue resolution
- Timeline and budget updates
- Change request decisions
We’re On Your Team, Too
When you partner with Intellum, we join your team to ensure a successful—and speedy—launch.
Contact us to learn more.