How not to adopt an LCMS

June 2, 2009 Sarah Danzl

As the economy has forced organizations to do more with less, we’re seeing more and more interest in LCMS systems. The times of getting through the inherent inefficiencies of the old approach of having multiple copies of instructor guides, student guides, slide decks and online courses are gone. Organizations are looking for ways to streamline their processes and remove waste.

Some common mistakes organizations make when adopting and LCMS are:

  • Trying to shoe-horn your existing process into your new system.
      One of the reasons you’re adopting an LCMS is to streamline your process. You have to be open to looking at what about your existing process could and should change.
  • Rolling out a system before you’ve completely mapped your “as-is” business process to the “to-be”
      People don’t like change. They particularly don’t like change that is not well thought out. It’s important to provide your team with a map of here is how we used to do this, this is how we’re going to do it now.
  • Not investing the time up front to define a palette of options for your designers and writers to choose from that cover 80% of the things they need to do on a day-in, day-out basis
      While template is a four-letter word in some training organizations, you can gain huge efficiency by standardizing on a rich palette of screen layouts, interaction types, and content structures that your team can choose from when designing your training. When none of those really fit a particular need, then create something new. But make that the exception not the rule.

Some best practices are:

  • Create a small core team to work through the process changes and design the rich palette of templates needed for your organization
      The members should know your organization and its pain points, be technically savvy and open minded
  • Be open to doing it differently
      Just because you’ve always done it this way, is not a good enough. This is a chance to re-tool things when they no longer fit.
  • Iterate, iterate, iterate
      It’s very difficult to sit down and design the perfect solution in a vacuum. The best way to approach the process is to use a set of common scenarios and example documents to step through the process and identify how you will accomplish each case in the new system. Try to build each use-case out in the system. You’ll find lots of opportunities for templates to streamline the process and you’ll find a handful of places where something needs to change, either in your process or the system.

About the Author

Sarah Danzl

Sarah manages the public face of Xyleme, overseeing all PR and Customer Communication. She is a specialist in written communications, media relations and reputation management. One of her favorite aspects of her job at Xyleme is working with the customers on on joint initiatives, including award applications.

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