Courseware Ambassadors Session for ArchiMate and the TOGAF Standard

Last month we had a interactive Ambassadors brainstorm session on ArchiMate and the TOGAF Standard. Main purpose of this day was to measure the attitude of our Ambassadors on this Courseware and to against to improve it!

About the event

On November 8th, 2019, Van Haren Publishing hosted our first Courseware Ambassadors session for ArchiMate and The TOGAF Standard in s’ Hertogenbosch. Even though we’ve done similar things in the past for other subjects, this was the first time we invited a selection of trainers in ArchiMate and The TOGAF Standard for a session to hear their feedback. What followed was an interactive brainstorm session in which we were completely transparent with one another.

Why Van Haren Publishing actually got into the courseware business stems from a question a customer once asked. At an event in 2016, a customer asked why do they need to purchase TOGAF courseware from a 3rd party when Van Haren already publishes all the official publications. 

We at Van Haren Publishing would like to claim that it was our idea to get into the courseware business, but it was based on the wishes and needs of our immediate customers. So, with this vision in mind we have worked hard to create the best ArchiMate and The TOGAF Standard courseware available!

Over the past three years, there have been plenty of updates and revisions to the material. In our experience with so many different trainers in the market, it often means different ways of doing things. To achieve our vision to make the best courseware available we quickly realized that the best courseware should be accessible and easy to use for everyone.Our challenge was to make sure that every type of trainer would be comfortable working with our courseware. 

How to achieve this more efficiently was discussed extensively during this session and the feedback received far exceeded our expectations!  

Who was there?

Many of our global partners were in attendance at the event, some of whom even came from abroad. Naturally, our partners in the Netherlands were also strongly represented.

Amongst some of them who attended were: 

Daniël van Loon (employed by our partner Strategy Allianceis a frequent trainer for Vijfhartand was asked to represent them. Vijfhart is a prominent player in the Dutch ArchiMate and The TOGAF Standard market. 

A recent user of our courseware is Capgemini and representing them was Jan Willem de Vries, a very experienced trainer who brought with him years of experience training at Capgemini. He also brought with him the high expectations that Capgemini has for us - which we will definitely aim to meet!

Market leader in Norway was represented, wich we greatly appreciated regarding the effort too come over and sharing with us there views and extensive experience in the market. 

Other highly experienced trainers present were Rienk de Kok (Partner at The Unit), Rajiv Dhir(Mundo Cognito) and Patrick Derde (Partner at Envision & Lead Architect in BIAN). 

What did we do?

As we said, the focus was on generating honest feedback and initiating a brainstorm session to captivate what trainers need from us as a courseware provider. 

During the session, everyone was encouraged to be active and were allowed to provide honest and open feedback. Something like this is always challenging as it can sometimes make you feel very vulnerable. In the end, what was most important was the quality of the material that we came up with! Feedback and suggestions of the trainers were collected so that we could discuss how they could be added, and where. 

We then placed everything into a chart to see which idea could bring the most added value. Even though we had already done many iterations & improvements to the material in the past, surprisingly enough there were still improvements that we hadn’t thought of yet. 

Some were complicated improvements, but also some relatively simple items came up which can easily improve the quality of training for the trainers. 

What did we learn?

The session was very positive and we promised a follow-up on several of the points shortly. It was remarkable how, when putting a group of people together, answers and conclusions can become so clear - despite the depth and breadth of the discussion with a broad range of views and mindsets. 

Lastly, we also evaluated the general session. Fortunately for us, it showed only happy and satisfied TOGAF experts. The biggest takeaway point was the importance of organizing more sessions like this one. 

We will (humbly) take that as a compliment and would like to give special thanks to all the trainers involved! 

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