Let me ask you this: if you spoke to a developer in your community or a customer using your product and asked them to tell you the difference between your product and a competitor's product, do you think they could articulate it clearly?

Chef Pro Tip: Go ahead, ask them! I'll wait. You might hear something very enlightening.

If they can't, or they're missing something you think should be "obvious," what do you think it means when they talk about your product to someone else?

Adoption will suffer.

In my last message ("What are learning objectives?") you learned what learning objectives are (very meta) so let's talk about how they are structured – and how they help solve the above problem.

In instructional design, there's a framework called Bloom's Taxonomy. Here's what it looks like:

Credit: Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching

Bloom's Taxonomy helps you write learning objectives that are meaningful and explicit. The way to interpret the levels is that it is more effortful on the part of the learner to achieve the objectives near the top, and takes less effort to achieve the objectives at the bottom.

If you have a DevOps product, you will likely be creating education around CI/CD to help your potential customers overcome pain points. Examples of each level of learning objectives related to CI might be (You will be able to...):

  • Remember: Define what "CI" means for software delivery
  • Understand: Explain how CI and CD differ
  • Apply: Implement a build action on a Pull Request workflow
  • Analyze: Examine why a CI workflow is slow under certain conditions
  • Evaluate: Select the right CI solution for your team and technology stack
  • Create: Architect a CI solution for a monorepo

(Notice how that's like... 6 pieces of content right there!)

Organizing learning outcomes like this will let you look across your content mix and ask, "What are we teaching our developers and customers?" How effective is our mix of learning content?

The reason your customers or developers might not be able to articulate answers could be due to missing learning experiences that have objectives related to Evaluate and Analyze. If you keep getting support questions on how to use X with Y, then perhaps more content targeting Create will help. If nobody in your own org can explain a feature clearly, some Understand learning could be warranted.

Never thought creating learning objectives could help educate people on your value proposition, did you?

Have a lovely day,

Can people explain how your product is different?

Docs on the rocks?

Hi πŸ‘‹ I'm Kamran. I'm a developer educator who helps companies reduce friction in their docs, samples, and courses so they can accelerate developer adoption.
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