If you’ve been part of the Salesforce community for a while, you’ve certainly heard of Trailhead — the fun way to learn about all things Salesforce. You may have even earned some badges. Behind the scenes, there’s a Salesforce.org team that dreamed big and delivered on Trailhead to the tune of six-figure results. As we cross the milestone of having 1 million Trailhead badges earned, now is a great opportunity to reflect and share key takeaways on what our team learned through the process of designing and implementing a learning program on Trailhead.
Road-Tested Tips for Designing a Learning Program
In early 2018, a band of adventurers who came to be known as the Salesforce.org Trailhead Editorial Board set out to reach customers, partners, and pro bono volunteers with a comprehensive menu of skills-based training. The challenge was to meet the needs of multiple audiences. We envisioned six new solution line trails (trails are sets of related badges) to cover the signature Salesforce.org products at the time, Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and Higher Education Data Architecture (HEDA).
More on the results in a moment. First, some tips for your learning program based on our experience. Keep in mind that no matter how you’re delivering training and resources, thoughtful design is key to success.
- Map out your strategy: Literally, draw your map of content and audiences on paper or a slide. Our integrated learning map starts with content centered on beginner business users, and builds from there to advanced users, admins, and consultants.
- Get input: Ask your key stakeholders what’s working, what else they need, and how your learning map (here’s where that drawing comes in) would fill the gaps. We gathered input from customers, partners, and employees.
- Collaborate: What teams inside and outside of your organization will you enroll in your vision? We collaborate across teams and functions — this includes the Trailhead team that provides mentoring for our editors and writers, and all the support that makes the Trailhead magic happen. Special thanks to Chris Duarte, Chalon Emmons, and Kieren Jameson for getting us launched, and to Heather Conklin and Sarah Franklin for your executive support!
- Regroup and iterate: A core principle of design thinking is to adjust and refine based on experience. Improve your results by regrouping every 6-12 months to adjust what you offer and refine how it’s delivered. For example, after we’d produced the initial nonprofit trails, we reviewed the data on completions and added an additional “onramp” layer and refined our trail design.
The Results (So Far)
Initially, we envisioned six solution line trails: Fundraise with Nonprofit Cloud, Manage Programs with Nonprofit Cloud, Engage Constituents with Nonprofit Cloud, Achieve Advancement Goals with Education Cloud, Build a Connected Campus with Education Cloud, Enroll Best-Fit Students with Education Cloud. Fast forward to today, and you’ll find 22 Salesforce.org trails and 80+ badges that teach staff at nonprofit organizations and educational institutions how to use Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud; illuminate the Salesforce ecosystem about the value of Philanthropy Cloud, CumulusCI, and Impact Management; and support successful Salesforce pro bono projects.
A sampling of badge art from Salesforce.org Trailhead modules.
In addition to incredible growth across the number of Salesforce.org product-oriented trails and badges, some things beyond our wildest dreams have happened, too. Thanks to collaboration across the Salesforce ecosystem, we added badges that cover things like the Sustainable Development Goals, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and how to Inspire the Next Generation of Trailblazers.
And yet even after all of that unforeseen growth and depth to the Salesforce.org Trailhead experience, we are on the threshold of something even dreamier. The heroes of this story are the trailblazing customers, partners, employees, and volunteers who Salesforce.org celebrates during the inaugural Week of Learning from October 4-8. Thanks to all of you, this year we will celebrate the amazing milestone (drum roll, please) of over 1,000,000 Salesforce.org badges earned!
Michael Kolodner, one of our original Trailblazer champions, celebrates the 1,000,000 badges earned milestone.
Where We’re Headed Next, Together
Thank you to everyone who turns to Trailhead to learn. Thank you to the network of Salesforce.org partners who support our customers in meeting their missions of feeding hungry families, routing vaccines to remote communities, caring for children after school, advising first-generation college students…in other words, having monumental impact across the world.
What’s next? The next million badges earned — and the millions after that — for more impact. And more cool badge art for your collection, of course!
Join in by earning badges and spreading the news about free training on Trailhead:
- Learn: Head to Trailhead and earn your next Nonprofit Cloud, Education Cloud, or Philanthropy Cloud badge.
- Share: Suggest a badge to a colleague or a consulting client. Post about your favorite badges in the Trailblazer Community.
- Broadcast: Tell your network about nonprofit, education, philanthropy, and pro bono badges on social. Tag @SalesforceOrg to extend your reach.
Join us on our new quest for 2 million badges earned, and learn more about how you can attend our upcoming Week of Learning in October.
About the Author
Senior Manager, Partner Success, Salesforce.org Global Alliances and Channels
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