When transitioning to new a learning platform or even getting ready for a complete transformation of your learning program and embracing learning technology for the first time; there are a few different perspectives that should be considered to ensure the goals of your organisation are met and you’re getting real value out of this effort.
A learning system touches so many different facets of your business and understanding these areas and how they are interconnected will help guide you on not only selecting the best platform for your business, but also how to best implement it for your employees, contractors or learners. There are many areas that we could discuss, but there are three areas that we will touch on:
- The goals of the business – why change, why now?
- How do we work within the existing ecosystem?
- How do I know if the new platform will work for me?
The goals of the business – why change, why now?
You need to have a good understanding of why you are looking to make a change. It may sound obvious, but I’ve talked with many clients over the years and in many cases they were looking to make a change just for the sake of it or simply because they were frustrated with what they had and just wanted to try something different. The problem here is, unless you take the time to review and understand your current situation and what a change will actually accomplish, you could end up going through the entire process of change only to end up wasting money, wasting time, and having the same problems you started with – but with a new system to blame them on.
It’s important to talk with different business areas using the current system or process to learn about what they actually need and what will truly make their lives easier. Only after this can you be sure that when looking at a new platform, you are on the lookout for solutions that have the features the business actually needs and will be useful to them and not just something that ends up being a replacement with a list of features that can be found on the “Top Features in Learning” list.
How do we work within the existing ecosystem
Next ensure you have a good understanding of your business’ technological ecosystem. An ecosystem is made up of multiple platforms or systems that have some sort of relationship with each other and how they operate or connect. An example of this could be how a learning platform is typically connected to an HRIS system for the synchronisation of people or user data.
Learning platforms are no longer an island unto themselves and must be able to work within an existing ecosystem. Knowing what systems will need to communicate or interact with the new learning platform will help guide your evaluation to ensure you aren’t disrupting key technology that has already been invested in and relied upon by the business already. Be sure you’re on the lookout for a platform that will thrive in and even enhance the already existing business and technical ecosystem.
Take a look at this diagram of Birch Learning Platform that can help you look at our platform and help understand how you could align it with your business objectives and how it may fit within your ecosystem.
How do I know if the new platform will work for me?
Now that you have identified the goals of the business and have the knowledge of how the new platform is going to connect into your ecosystem, it’s time to evaluate your options and select the right platform for you and your business. Be sure you are looking for something that meets the needs of today but can also grow along with you as your business and learning programs grow.
Do yourself a favour and don’t just look at feature sheets or sales presentations. Talk with the vendors to be sure their goals and values align with the goals and objectives you uncovered earlier in this process. You’ve put all this work into finding a solution to a real business goal or problem, be sure you’re working with a vendor who can partner with you along this learning journey and not just sell you some software and services.
I encourage anyone reading this to reach out to talk through things together. I firmly believe in working with someone who you can align your goals and ambitions with and I am here to have that conversation and see if B Online Learning and Birch Learning Platform can be that for you. Please contact me directly firstname.lastname@example.org and we can talk through your situation and see how we can help!