Gaining Executive Buy-in for VR Training

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly adopted across a variety of industries. With a constant stream of new use cases coming to light, many are interested in how virtual reality will fit into their blended learning solutions. Learning teams, in particular, may have great interest in the modality, but executive buy-in will be essential to bring these visions to life. 

How do we gain executive buy-in?

Decision-making is complex, and many executive teams need the right information to take the leap into new technology. Leading change is a challenge, especially when it comes to digital transformation. Executive teams may argue the hassle factor, where they struggle to convince one another that the investment is worth the effort. They may also be subject to groupthink and stick to the status quo. 

How do we help executive teams see the value in introducing virtual reality as a training modality? How do we create the case for change in our training programs? 

Solve a business problem

The first thing any organization looking to implement VR should do is understand the business problem they are trying to solve. Some organizations fall victim to “shiny object syndrome” where they focus on whatever is new and trendy, regardless of how much it will actually help the organization. Technology can then go to waste if it’s not being taken advantage of in the right way. Tying your VR project in with a business problem that needs to be solved will help show the value in the modality. 

Showcase the potential of VR training

Has your executive team ever been in a VR headset? Have they seen what different VR vendors can provide? Bring in demo videos or use cases to see the potential in VR training. Many individuals don’t realize how realistic and impactful VR can be until they put on a headset. Allow the executive team to recognize that VR isn’t only for playing games – it can be used to practice both hard and soft skills for enterprise.

Give executives the opportunity to try VR to support gaining executive buy-in
Give executives the opportunity to experience VR training for themselves.

Once you have your executive team excited, a pilot project is the next step to show how your use case could be translated into VR. A pilot program with Motive includes everything you need to try out a VR solution meaningfully. Depending on your budget and needs, this can consist of design services, environment creation, scenario authoring, and platform training. Once the pilot is complete, your VR project can easily scale as many of the assets created can be reused.

Define costs and benefits

Outline the resources required to implement VR training. Scope out the options you have regarding headsets, vendors, budget, and the people who will need to be involved. Having a clear vision of what is required to complete the project will help show you are serious about implementing the technology.

It’s also essential to showcase the benefits that will come with VR training. These may vary based on industry. Does your organization need to improve safety and reduce mistakes? How about increasing information retention on specific processes? Do you need a training program that scales over the long term? Writing out the benefits will help prove that the investment risk is worthwhile.

You can take these gains and costs and calculate your return on investment. The calculation is as follows: (Gain on Investment – Cost of Investment) ÷ (Cost of Investment). Gains on investment will include items such as savings from reduced travel costs, shorter training time, and fewer mistakes. Costs will include things such as headsets, software, and implementation.

Find a project champion

Many people are required to carry out a successful digital transformation project. These people may include a program manager, an executive sponsor, your VR vendor, IT, and a project champion. You need someone passionate about the project to ensure it succeeds. A project champion will help reduce the likelihood of failure. They are the one who will help lead the strategy on determining the correct use case, identifying what’s required, figuring out KPIs, and selecting a vendor. This person may be you, or it may be someone else who is keen on bringing the VR vision to light.

Gaining executive buy-in is essential whenever introducing any type of change. Many executives may have trouble implementing new technology if they don’t see any issues with the status quo and would like to avoid disruption. Others may not see the potential to be worse off if the implementation is postponed. Actions such as determining a clear business problem, showcasing the potential for VR, stating specific costs and benefits, and ensuring you have a project champion will help you in gaining executive approval and building the business case for VR training. Motive will be there to help you along the way to make sure success is achieved.

Want to learn more about VR training and how to get started?
Download our guide: VR Training Information and Decision Making Guide.

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Eliza Vagner

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