How do I roll out the e-learning system to ensure user participation?

Most of us are familiar with the line “The best laid plans of mice and men…” meaning that even the most comprehensive plans often risk failure. The point here is that unless we follow through with the implementation of our plans effectively, we will not be able to ensure that there will be a successful outcome.

One of the most common failures in implementing new systems, or in most projects for that matter, is the lack of communication. Like the weather, everyone can complain about communication failures, but no one seems inclined to do anything about it. So the first step in any implementation should be to develop and launch a communication plan.

A communication plan generally comes from the implementation team (or its leader) and links each of the major steps in bringing on the new system to some form of communication with those who need to know. The initial communication can be in the form of an email from a senior executive, outlining the e-learning systems purpose, objectives and timeline, and requesting input be directed to the team leader if any employees have suggestions, questions or issues.  Subsequent communication generally will come from the team and provide relevant updates on what the specifics of what the system will contain, when it will be ready and how it will impact employees. Often, companies include this in their internal newsletter or through posters put up around the facilities. It is important, though, to be sure to announce the project’s initiation and actual launch in a way that reaches everyone and answers as many questions as possible.

Within the e-learning project team, it is also critical to assess key risks to the implementation right from the start, when they are likely to occur and who is responsible for monitoring them. For example, can necessary personnel resources become unavailable due to unplanned travel? Or is the development of courseware taking longer than expected? Is there a technical problem with including hands-on interactions in the courses?  (Hopefully, the system you select is as simple to operate and implement as eLeaP.) Risks that have been identified early can often be controlled or mitigated without much disruption; those that sneak up on you are often disastrous.

Once the system is in place, you should consider a limited trial run with actual users (not just team members) to test the system prior to full roll out. Users with little knowledge of the system will generally raise more questions and encounter more difficulties than those with experience. You can use these questions, along with others the team has developed, in your announcement to the full roster of employees, perhaps as FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) that will anticipate the majority of the questions.

Finally, be sure to communicate with the entire organization prior to full roll out. This communication should be in the form of an announcement letting everyone know when the system will be available, its features and benefits, why it was selected, who to contact for further information or assistance, and what will be required of them.

Following these few simple steps will greatly improve the success of your team’s efforts. Remember: Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Recessions and Learning (Management Systems)

So how is your organization holding up doing this recession? Are you investing in your most potent weapon – your human capital, your employees?

Or are you joining the bandwagon and just cutting costs because its become fashionable? Don’t get me wrong, you should always strive for efficiency, you should always ask “how can we do this better?”, How can we get more effective with our resources?”. What I don’t seem to get is why all of a sudden everyone and their brother is claiming we need to let people go bla bla bla.

Anyways back to my original point. You should be investing more in your human capital. Now is the  time to get effective with training and learning. Now is the time to be looking at opportunities and positioning your organization for the recovery and upturn. Oh and its going to be tough to compete effectively if you lack the competent employees and resources.

So have you considered online training or web based training? Have you considered using learning management systems to help you create, launch and manage and track training and e-learning.

Costs for learning management systems (LMS) are going down, technology has vastly improved and flexibility has been enhanced so an organization regardless of size or sophistication can now leverage the power of online learning management systems to conduct and track training and e-learning.

Of course like anything else, you need to know what you are doing, who are you dealing with and several other questions of effectiveness and reliability. Check out this lms article on what to consider when selecting a learning management system.

Bottom-line.

Now is the time to get creative and leverage the potential of all your resources – human, capital, marketing, technological. Use some of the systems identified in this article to get started.

Also check out eLeaP LMS & Training Software System at www.eleapsoftware.com.