Line up Your Ducks
Replacing your existing learning platform can be a major initiative. If you have integrated with other company systems such as HR systems, external content providers, created detailed reports, you can have lots of work ahead.
It’s important to get as much feedback as possible about your existing learning platforms, list all the pain points based on input from the different audiences, and review any listed enhancement requests that you have.
Gather the troops:
This initial gathering needs involve the right team members so that you look at the project from all angles. System Administrators, instructors, managers, users, Executives all will play an important role to help balance what is really important for the company. All roles need a seat at the table when it comes to what is important for success.
Time to look over the fence:
By now you should have a clear understanding of what your company needs in a learning platform, based upon the direction your company is headed.
Explore what your top 3 competitors are doing when it comes to supporting learning activities. Explore what tools learning centric companies are utilizing, and why. Leverage reports from the leading learning research organizations and map these results back to what you are trying to accomplish.
Practice your mapping skills:
Up to this point, you’ve been focused on a learning point of view. Now, make sure that you tie in the business objectives to the learning objectives. This may cause you to shift your priorities but this is critical for overall success. The learning team needs to understand how their actions tie directly to the company’s goals. Leadership needs to understand how important the learning platform is to future success. You can’t move past this step until you are confident there is a tight integration between the learning strategy and the business goals.
Step back from the ledge:
Okay, before plunging towards a new learning platform, have you fully utilized your existing platform?
- Have you automated processes as much as possible?
- Have you reduced duplicate systems and processes?
- Have you cleaned up your existing data, the current learning materials?
- Have you reduced the confusing links on web sites?
- Have you retired your old and duplicate learning materials?
If your platform has been in place for some time, there may be upgrades or enhancements that may be much easier to explore upgrades first prior to considering replacements.
Consider bringing in a consultant that specializes in optimizing learning platforms, Often, a fresh pair of eyes can make a significant impact for low effort and low cost.
Still not happy?
You’ve completed your spring cleaning and you’ve explored how your existing applications and integrations could be fine-tuned, yet you may still feel the need for an alternative. Now is the time to push your providers one last time. Since you already have your key list of pain points and enhancement requests, conduct a meeting with your existing providers to let them know your new direction and needs.
Prepare to Meet Your providers
Don’t come to this meeting without being prepared. This is not a “show me what’s coming” meeting. This should be a very clear “issues and resolutions” meeting. You have clear requirements and can point directly to roadblocks or work arounds that you have been using. Your providers first need to understand your concerns and requests and they will need to either provide recommendations during the meeting or clearly explain when they will return with options.
At Raytheon Professional Services, our technology consultants can provide optimization workshops, guidance and solutions to address challenges related to making your learning platform match your business needs.