The North West Company

Using an agile approach to devise and roll out a new time and attendance system – deployed across a retailer serving some of the most geographically diverse markets on the planet.

A Unique Challenge

When your range of service encompasses some of the most geographically diverse markets on the planet, rolling out a new system for employees to learn isn’t as simple it might be for a regular company. With retail locations spanning across Canada’s provinces and up to the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Alaska, and beyond – Mindfield had encountered a fascinating and unique challenge when it began working with the North West Company.

Specializing in servicing remote and hard-to-reach locations, the company is no stranger to logistical roadblocks when attempting to roll out initiatives that, for many other organizations, might seem routine.

One such initiative was a change management challenge. The company’s time and attendance system was outdated, and it was increasingly obvious that a company-wide adoption of a new process would increase efficiency across the board. But delivering that new system was far from a simple task: training staff in over 400 stores across thousands of kilometers presented a unique set of challenges.

One-on-one consultations
Viewing the project requirements together with North West Company allowed both client and vendor to build an immediate blueprint for success.
Iterative Approach
Iterative releases of eLearning modules allowed for optimal collaboration between Mindfield and NWC, ensuring swift communication on both ends and resulting in a perfected final product.
Agile Delivery
If a project can’t move forward quickly, it’s not worth pursuing. Speed is paramount in Mindfield’s vision for rolling out new technologies.

Agile Approach, Agile Results.

Working with the North West Company’s subject matter experts to create the eLearning modules, Mindfield applied instructional design philosophies and techniques gleaned from years of experience in the sphere of eLearning.

Assembling two accessible and effective courses to be disseminated, the eLearning modules were delivered as physical copies on local USB disk drives to circumvent the company’s logistical challenges with internet load speeds.

With no need to fly staff members out to remote locations – and with no reliance on high-speed internet to train employees – the eLearning modules had an instant impact. Playing a critical role in rolling out North West Company’s new system, the eLearning system received outstanding feedback for its simplicity and efficiency.

Unusual questions call for original answers.

The company’s original method was taxing and had lowered morale: flying a team of staff to perform on-site training was both a time-consuming and costly endeavour. Trainers would have to set up complex processes and reset data repeatedly to test how many users were using their system.  To make matters worse, poor internet speeds slowed the project to a crawl.

After a rapid assessment of the project, Mindfield proposed a new tactic: rolling out a digital eLearning system that would require no new on-site personnel and that could function without the need for high-speed internet.

Due to Mindfield’s strong background in corporate eLearning design and development, Mindfield’s expertise proved critical for the success of the new eLearning training modules. An agile, iterative deployment approach allowed for swift feedback on both sides, resulting in a rapidly developed and optimized set of training tools.

Training store managers who have test-driven Mindfield's eLearning modules have all given them very glowing reviews. This will really help with training new and existing managers.
Shannon FergusonProject Enterprise Business Lead / Workforce Management
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