Introducing e-learning to SABMiller

by | Jun 18, 2009 | Articles

Over the past 20 years SABMiller has grown rapidly from its original South African base into a truly global player. Today the organisation is the world’s 2nd largest brewer, with brewing interests or major distribution agreements in over 60 countries spread across six continents.

Historically, learning approaches at SABMiller had been very traditional, with face to face workshops being the primary learning medium. With the increasing cost of running workshops in all corners of the globe, and the huge variation in the quality and consistency of output, SAB Miller chose to adopt e-learning as one of the ways of strengthening its world-class training and development operations.

Shortlisted in the e-learning awards for ‘Widespread Adoption’ in 2008, this case study demonstrates how to get it right first time – securing widespread adoption by engaging all the key stakeholders and overcoming resistance to new learning media.

This story highlights the steps that the SABMiller team took as part of their first company-wide e-learning implementation for the organisation.It cov ers their planning, partnerships  ( both within the business and with their provider) and engagement strategies as well as feedback and reactions to their approach. This quote sums up their successes to date:
“Previously I wasn’t convinced about e-learning as a medium, but because of what we have done on this project, I am now convinced and see it as engaging, informative and a very relevant learning medium for SABMiller”

They have overcome some of the classic obstacles in ‘getting started’ with e-learning and beginning the journey of meeting learning & development needs across a global organisation, in a more effective and efficient way.

Hot tips from SABMiller on making a great first impression

1. Make sure you have clear business objectives as well as media objectives when you are introducing new learning technologies.
2. Identify risks up front so that you can build proactive strategies to mitigate against them.
3. Don’t just identify the key stakeholders in the business that will make the solution a success, clarify what they need from the requirement as well.
4. Use a steering group to bring key stakeholders and providers together.
5. Build marketing and communication strategies into the plan up front, not in hindsight.
6. Use teaser campaigns to pique interest.
7. Branded headphones provided a dual role in building awareness and overcoming obstacles of open plan offices.
8. For global implementations, encourage local support via a champion network.
9. Use online conferencing to share good practice and provide ideas to support local champions.
10. Extend the reach of the programme by allowing individual resources to be used in ways that were not on the original plan.
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