When an organisation chooses to implement a Learning Management System (LMS), there are lots of new tasks and processes that need to be introduced to the training role. These include more specialised reporting, systems testing before computer hardware/software (SOE) updates, maintenance of e-learning version control, keeper of quality control, helpdesk support, classroom curriculum updates and so on. Also, some additional strategic activity is usually required, such as managing a corporate curriculum, ROI reporting, change management and so on.
Implementing a LMS can shift strategic and training administration roles and responsibilities in an organisation from a decentralised model to a more centralised model. The shift to centralisation is commonly associated with efficiencies and more accurate reporting. However, there can be resistance to centralisation, and often for good reason.
Decentralised training functions have typically developed their own processes that are agile and have served them well. They have strong relationships with staff who have depended on the decentralised training function to provide personalised service. The effort required to achieve centralised systems and processes can be feared – disparate data & coding, disparate records etc. Additionally, poor experiences of past HRIS implementation can leave staff wondering whether a LMS is really going to deliver all that is being promised. And a question remains, when the LMS is implemented how much control will remain with the local level?
There is no simple recipe to managing the change from decentralised to centralised training functions. What is important, however, is to listen to what is working well on a local level and find ways to incorporate these in the new LMS features and functions. Always begin the search for a LMS solution by mapping your current or “As-Is” training processes and your desired or “To-Be” training processes. This will help you to identify consistencies and dissimilarities and enable you to have conversations about your organisation’s future practice. It will also enable you to go to LMS market with clear outcomes in mind. You will be able to have clearer conversations with the LMS providers you are talking with.