I was in Liverpool for the bank holiday weekend and was surprised at how the city has remade itself. The most interesting example of this is its Central library which was opened to the public again in May 2013. It now boasts of having i-pads, X-box 360 and a Bose system all of which are part of a digital makeover for the once stodgy library.
As consultants, we believe that organisations need to learn to change (see our blog on ‘Digital Training’) but how should you go about getting things done? Here is my checklist of what organisations need to look out for when implementing a learning management solution.

  1. Basic Functionality
  • Simple user interface for learner and system administrators
  • Support different learning interventions like online or classroom based trainings
  •  Multiple language support

2. Regulatory /Legal requirements

  • Solution’s ability for regulatory and compliance reporting – this is especially critical for financial institutions –Most global vendors now have fixed formats available for reporting to the regulators
  • Capability to ensure data retention and data privacy practices can be followed – these practices may differ from country to country and hence the solution needs to be flexible to allow for say ‘ethnicity’ in South Africa whereas keep it unavailable for the UK

3. Integration

  • Ability to interface with Core HR systems/external vendor sites or regulatory bodies- The data is almost always obtained from a Core HR database and either fed back into it to maintain a ‘single source of the truth’ or reporting can be  done from the Learning Management systems also
  • For most organisations Learning is fairly central to their Employee/Talent strategy – hence any learning system should also have the ability to capture /measure competencies, performance and development, link in to recruitment and induction system, promote Succession planning and if possible link in to  rewards and compensation solution as well.
  • Linkage to finance systems to allow for budgeting and cross charging across business units

4. Technology

  • The need for speed or rather the learner’s ability to control the pace of a course
  • Support of flash, video, sound and other modes of training delivery – keeping in mind the IT infrastructure of the firm
  • Ability to extend it to mobile learning

5 .Social Media related

  • Learning solution should allow for connection to wikis ,blogs, allow to set up online communities of practice, allow for trainees to rate and comment on courses, publish related material to keep the training channels open
  •  Allow the incorporation of Gamification techniques for Learning

Interestingly almost all existing ‘Software-As-a-service’ solutions offer some or most of the above functionalities.
If I were to look at this from the lens of a solution provider: Essentials that organisations need to have in place before they get ready for the ride are-

  • Fully functional operating model. Including having in place a support/ shared service model whether that be centralised or not
  • Clarity on the actual learning processes with document process maps and specifications and Updated learning curriculum across roles/grades
  • Up to date and accurate employee data
  • Global Learning policies for external learning, mandatory training and the like
  • Sound IT infrastructure – this is relevant for both hosted and SaaS solutions as SaaS providers have minimal desktop requirements to allow for their solutions to work

The change/implementation process is not always an easy task but we can take heart from the fact that if cities can aim to move forward steadily – organisations can too!