Thursday, April 13, 2006

Enterprise eLearning is all about IT

Corporate training departments have struggled for years with implementing eLearning, LMS, LCMS, and other solutions because of IT as the technology gatekeeper.  Successful Learning departments have very close relationships with IT, frustrated eLearning managers do NOT.  I’ve often told audiences that a critical part of development (and implementing ANY new technology for that matter) requires that you have an “IT buddy”:  someone that can help cut through the red tape, get you a little server space when you need it for testing, etc. 

I’ve also been thinking a lot about how the learning industry, over the years, insists on creating its own enterprise software.  Read my last post, and then reconsider why you would spend millions of dollars on a system that supports .4% impact on possible behavior change…hmmm.  I’ll tell you why, because it covers the collective corporate butt.  Being able to say that everyone in the company is “ethical” because they took the course connected to the LMS that printed the report that says it is so must be right.  Sexual Harrassment probably never occurs in your company either because the OTS course you purchased plugs into the LMS that printed the report say everyone took the course.  So, it can’t possibly happen, right?  Okay, so you get the idea.

Training in the form of click2death learning is great for one thing…compliance.  And the systems that support that are well worth the money considering the consequences of NOT complying with Federal Regulations, or NOT being ISO certified, or NOT having a good safety record, etc.

But if you want to talk about Learning and Performance, we do ourselves no good trying to create our own enterprise tools.  Enterprise 2.0 is going to take care of that for us.  But we better be savvy enough to participate, support, and take advantage of these tools as IT departments begin to implement.

Our job scope will begin to change and part of our new job will be monitoring the “learning environment”, providing support by helping the connections between people happen.  The learning environment will be a collection of information fed via RSS containing all of the collective knowledge, troubles, issues, gossip, and the like.  By monitoring the learning environment we keep our fingers on the pulse of the operation and can support when actual training interventions are TRULY required.  In the early days we will also be seen as the early adopters that help facilitate the onramping of other employees into the learning environment.

We don’t create the tools, IT does.  We leverage them as another tool in our tool box for supporting the corporate goals and objectives.

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