6 Tips for Implementing myTrailhead
Last week, we explored how myTrailhead training has enabled our team to get up and running faster than ever. Now it’s time to take a peek behind the scenes and look at how we built our own content within this customizable platform.
From its very beginning, the CATLab has been all about creating bespoke solutions—so why should our training be any different? Salesforce, the world’s #1 tool for customer relationship management, offers a sprawling constellation of resources to help organizations of any size and sector. Within this constellation, the Trailhead training platform and its customizable version, myTrailhead, shine particularly bright.
Our director, Zak Landrum, has been a huge proponent of myTrailhead since the CATLab’s first foray into the platform last summer. In those first few months, Jordan, our developer and website designer, drafted some modules that explained the basics of how Salesforce is used at Westmont. Over the next year, Talia, another CATLab developer, spent several months fleshing out the curriculum. She found herself covering everything from the big picture of Salesforce at Westmont to the “nitty-gritty” of individual development practices.
Although myTrailhead is already popular in the business world as a way to train employees in the particular skills and procedures of individual companies, only one other higher ed institution is taking advantage of this great platform. Zak notes, “We are very early in our adoption of this as a training tool, but it will catch on.” When asked what his advice was for other institutions hoping to transfer some of their training to myTrailhead, he offered six tips:
1) Start small
CATLab started using myTrailhead in the summer of 2020 with only 15 licenses. We used that small investment to learn the platform and figure out how to create bite-sized modules. They weren't very good at the start, but a year of experimentation and a CRM-101 class in the spring semester allowed Westmont to lean into the use of myTrailhead to assign homework. By the time CATLab 2021 started, we had over 25 badges with other departments asking how to get in on the fun.
2) Get organized
The hardest part of implementing myTrailhead is creating an outline for your content and setting aside the time to write everything. Documentation is hard because it takes time (which none of us have) and takes place outside the myTrailhead platform. So before you go big with an announcement for your whole company, dedicate some real staff time to structuring your learning and writing.
3) Make sure badges correspond to skills
As you strategically organize your content, structuring modules can become overwhelming. It doesn't have to be. Simplify your structure by keeping the end in mind. Realistically, your staff are only going to go to myTrailhead in the moment they need to skill up for a specific task. When that happens, you want to be able to tell new staff, "go get this badge."
4) Know how to group modules in badges, trails, and trailmixes
A badge, which usually holds 2-7 modules, should represent a skill that can be learned or a concept that can be grasped. A trail strings together modules in an orderly way (note that all these modules have to be custom modules for your organization). A trailmix allows you to mix Salesforce content and your own organization's content. You can get pretty meta with trailmixes, blending links, files, trails, or modules together in custom learning paths.
5) Be aware of common speed bumps
A stumbling block for most new users is not understanding that the trailblazer profile is required for myTrailhead users. In some browsers, the cache can become a problem and prevent logins. We wrote a troubleshooting document that addresses the most common issues to speed up getting through those initial steps.
6) Remember that commitment is key
Writing content is a long process. Our senior developer Talia, who wrote most of the CATLab-related modules, admitted that “Writing the content took a lot longer than I thought.” She went on to explain that she often had to do a lot of research and fact-checking. Korbin Breeden, who has been working on trails for Admission Counselor onboarding, shared,
“It took way too long to write, but it was so satisfying to wrap it up and know that now counselors can be successful in their jobs and earn a badge while doing it!”
We recommend you set goals per quarter and make sure department managers are on board with the process. In the end, the many hours of work that Korbin and Talia poured into myTrailhead were well worth being able to create the onboarding experience they wished they’d had. When the going gets difficult and the journey feels long, just remember why you’re implementing myTrailhead in the first place—remember that those who come after you will be guided by the path you’re forging.
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