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Rapid Deployment of a new Learning Platform, 7 magical steps

In this time, companies need solutions, ideas. ONE of the answers is to upgrade your learning platform and have it work for a new, social environment. In this article, I will put together seven QUICK tips to get started or to think about in order to rapidly deploy a new LXP or any other modern learning platform.

1) Why do I want a new platform?

Simple – your people are working remotely; teams are dispersed and people need answers and connections now.

Here are your wins: Social learning was never more important.Fast answers are a basic need.Curating is the best answer for content.Communication is more important than ever.

It is more about quick answers, building networks and communicating than learning.

2) How can I possibly implement a new platform in the midst of a crisis?

Adopt a minimal viable product (MVP) philosophy, for now.

Do not worry about challenges like SSO, integrations if IT cannot help immediately. Use simple email or Goggle or Microsoft accounts and carefully maintain lists of who has access. Work on security as you implement.

In terms of content, there are two answers: Curate and integrate. One can wait: Integrate third party content using CSV files and keys for now.

The operative word is FOR NOW.

3) Stop trying to convert ILT to virtual or eLearning.

Creating long VILT and hasty eLearning will not help. Look at the gaps of today. Solve for the short term needs of today. Work with business leaders to address what they need and what strategies the organization needs today.

Bring in what I call champions: Subject Matter Experts, Influencers and Leaders and teach them to curate. Use tools like Zoom or Teams or their mobile to create short videos. Focus on the capabilities that will drive the business to the direction you need today. Look at key capabilities (like adaptive mindset, agility, emotional intelligence, leadership) for you to curate short, good pathways.

4)Find a platform and go

If you have low usage on your LMS, look at any of the new learning platforms that are out today. Do a short evaluation; get some expert help to make that even shorter.

5) How do I pick a new platform?

While each platform has its advantages and disadvantages, selecting one of the new ones is a win. At a minimum, look for:

a user interface that you like

the ability to curate content that is both internal and external

tools to create content at 2-3 levels

ways to easily manage users

easy governance

tools to communicate with diverse groups of users

Remember, this should be an MVP – not a big replacement but a new project.

Find a good partner that will work with your team to help build your new learning strategy.

That can be the platform vendor and/or a consultant.

6) How do I implement the strategy?

Full disclosure here, this is what I do – help companies to implement new, digital learning strategy. That said, I could write volumes on this one. But to me, the key to it all is developing a 4-part circle:

A) Sponsorship B) Champions C) Communications D) Content

Sponsors bring in a top down message and drives engagement and behaviors

Champions bring in bottom up messages with expertise, knowledge and social networks

Communications markets the solution (using A and B to help)

Content makes it interesting and useful

Work as you can with IT to do the hard stuff, like Single Sign On and integration with internal sites.This can be a step two, although I have had customers for whom security is always step 1 and cannot implement without “appropriate” security.

7) Where do I start with content?

This is especially relevant if you cannot integrate internal content.

Start with what is the most relevant content for your organization. Not converting what you have, but hot topics for today. I often suggest working on a pathway or two on agility and an adaptive mindset. If anything, being able to pivot, be resilient and focus on the needs of today, the current pandemic should teach us that. I also like some of the digital transformation topics that help workers adapt as well as emotional intelligence, creativity and specific communications skills.

Implementing a new platform can be done at an MVP level and be extremely useful in today’s VUCA world. It can help leaders to communicate and share ideas. It can build essential capabilities and key skills that help us to weather the storm.

You do not need to look at this as a 3-month or 6-month project that involves so much time and work. It is not magic, just practical.

Do it today. Look at how you can improve your company today.

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