A new digital learning solution can take several months to put in place, a key period that determines the success of your platform. During this time, companies, learning and development (L&D) departments, and learners alike need expert support. But what are the steps you need to take, and how can you guarantee a seamless rollout? Here’s an inside look:
When rolling out a solution that is equal parts technology and training, an effective engagement methodology has three main steps: kick off, build and launch. Different specialists come on board at different times throughout the project to offer expert support, so timing and team structures may vary depending on the complexity of the project and your information (IT) set-up.
Similar to how salespeople hold the keys to accounts, project managers hold the keys to projects. They are the ones who make sure that everything runs smoothly.
Setting up a digital learning solution generally involves:
- A project manager, who looks after team management and operations; manages the project framework, deadlines and budgets; and checks the quality of deliverables.
- A learning technology consultant, who uses his or her in-depth knowledge of the solution to advise you on how the platform’s functionalities can meet your needs and who helps support production and implementation in line with project specifications.
- An integration consultant, who is responsible for integrating the digital solution into your human resources (HR) ecosystem.
Depending on what the project needs, your vendor might also call on professionals from two complementary areas of expertise:
- A learner marketing consultant to add a marketing and communications dimension that engages learners, motivates them and wins their loyalty using business-to-consumer (B2C) and e-commerce techniques to attract an audience.
- A learning design consultant to help you design training pathways in the following ways by building training programs, selecting activities for the target audience, assessing any social dimension the platform needs for the pathways and balancing different training methods.
Step 1: Kick off
Every project should start with a kick-off meeting, which is a key opportunity to discuss the strategy for the coming months and years. During this meeting, you can decide on the actions to take to meet your goals. The kick-off meeting is also the place where you’ll meet your provider’s team; decide on the methodology you will use; and discuss the different deployment phases, what they involve and the schedule.
Just as importantly, a kick-off meeting also helps you establish the project framework and set out governing principles:
- Goals and key performance indicator (KPIs).
- Solution specifications (i.e., pathways, web design, etc.).
- Project schedule and steering committee meetings.
- L&D team training schedule.
A kick-off meeting is an important way to build trust among all project stakeholders. It ensures that everyone fully understands and is on board with your needs and project objectives.
Step 2: Build (Scope, Design, Produce and Test)
During this step, experts join the team to build out the solution, focusing on the platform, learning pathway(s) and communication campaign. During this step, depending on your provider, you can expect to interact with many different experts:
- A platform expert, who configures the parameters of the platform according to your needs, synchronizes content licenses, implements web design, creates the learning experience and more.
- The integration expert, who sets up the single sign-on (SSO) and imports HR data.
- The web design team, which works with your team on graphic design to make the platform more attractive, ergonomic and easy to navigate.
- The educational experts, who define the scope of the project and build training pathways.
- The project manager, who oversees the quality of each expert’s deliverables within the defined framework and deadlines.
Step 3: Launch
We have liftoff! Throughout the project, you and your provider’s teams should regularly analyze the KPIs defined at the kick-off meeting and tweak the platform accordingly to make sure it fulfills your expectations. You can also use project meetings to identify any new needs, such as developing new pathways or targeting new audiences. These meetings happen during the “run” phase.
Your Main Objective: Happy Learners
To determine whether your project correctly identified and met your target audience’s expectations, it’s a good idea to make learner satisfaction a KPI. One way to measure learner satisfaction is through the net promoter score (NPS), which is a popular tool companies use for gauging client satisfaction. After all, a successful project is all about learner satisfaction.
A successful project is all about learner satisfaction.