Things To Consider in a New Learning Platform

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 I’m going to 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?

First off, 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 up is ensuring that 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 – and we can talk through your situation and see how we can help!

B Online @ ATD International Conference and Expo

San Diego, USA – It was a productive week spent in sunny San Diego taking in the ATD International Conference and Expo (May 6-9)! It is always great to spend time with the learning community while also taking in sessions headlined by fantastic speakers like former US President Barack Obama, and thought-leaders such as Marcus Buckingham and Connie Podesta. As we continue to partner with our clients on their learning journeys, it is continually positive to connect with so many other brilliant attendees to confirm that what we are working towards continues to push boundaries, support growth, and ensure efficiency wherever possible. Overall, it was an inspiring week, and I have a few quick stories to share about our time at ATD ICE 2018.

As I mentioned, US President Barack Obama was a speaker at this event, kickstarting the entire week as the opening keynote. I’ve been to quite a few ATD events in the past, but this was the first time I’ve ever seen a line as long as this leading up to the start of a talk. I showed up an hour before the start time, and still ended up behind approximately 15,000 people anxious to hear this man speak. After we all made it into the hall and took our seats, the lights dimmed, and the next hour just flew by! Obama offered sixty minutes of pure inspiration and down-to-earth advice; I think everyone in the room was able to take something away that they could either apply to their work, family, or even personal lives.

Following Obama’s talk, I was able to take in sessions around bureaucracy in the workplace that can hinder change and growth, with a focus on a corporate training department as well as a talk on “You’ve bought your LMS, now what?” Each session had great information around the frustrations you may experience while trying to introduce and embrace change or lead your organisation through a process of digital transformation in learning. The first session discussed the resistance to change and the roadblocks that organisations may encounter. Also presented were the many logistical questions and frustrations that can surface even after your organisation has embraced the concept of change, including the growing pains that can be experienced as you attempt to migrate processes to a new way of thinking while introducing new systems and applications. As a partner in your learning environment, we are very aware of these challenges, and it was great to talk this through with other community members that are going through similar things so that we can continue to be a step ahead and minimise the impacts of these changes on your organisation.

Days two and three were very similar: each day was jump-started by incredible talks by Marcus Buckingham and Connie Podesta respectively, who each discussed their version of work and how important it is to love what you do and do what you love. Buckingham and Podesta were equally inspiring and challenged everyone in the room to take a look at why they are doing what they are doing and to refocus on striving for great things for themselves and their employees/clients.

The sessions continued with many insightful workshops that focused on our Healthcare customers. We were able to take in some best practices that considered the transition from a traditional method of learning solely in an in-class environment, to jumping into a digital learning platform and utilising these and other applications to make life easier and provide better access to information.

These conversations were fantastic simply because at the same time I was attending these sessions and meeting with other attendees, we launched our Project Vegas #boldlp campaign!

Project Vegas is our brand new digital learning technology that we will be further introducing to the world over the next few months. Every goal we have in mind for this platform is focused on making our clients’ lives easier and giving them access to better and more relevant information. All of these conversations aligned with the direction we are headed in with our new digital learning platform. We are so excited to share more about this and how we will be able to have all the tools to really help you embrace your transformation to digital learning! More info @

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