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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

LMS Selection Team and Stakeholders

As I discussed in my post LMS Selection Process, I’m preparing for my part of an upcoming session at DevLearn on LMS Selection as part of The Learning Management Systems Symposium. I'm preparing this by posting my thoughts and notes prior to creating my slides with the hope of getting feedback.

Thanks to everyone who has already contributed. There was some great feedback on my last post - see the comments. I hope you'll continue to give me feedback as I go.

In my previous post I presented my high-level LMS Selection Process. My general impression from the feedback is that there wasn't much debate around that process, but there was quite a bit of input and clarification on the details. So, this post simply captures thoughts around who should be involved in the LMS Selection.

Great article by Karl Kapp - Selecting an E-learning Solution, Part 1: Who Should be on Your E-Learning Selection Committee? He includes:
  • Training/Learning Manager or Director (Chief Learning Officer)
  • Information Technology
  • Procurement
  • Learners
  • Line Supervisors
  • Business Unit Leaders
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer Service
  • Safety/Compliance
This is a great starting point. A few quick thoughts / changes:
  • I'll change Procurement to Legal / Procurement
  • I would group Learners and Line Supervisors under an umbrella of "end users".
  • I would similarly group each of the functional areas and business units.
  • Add future LMS administrators
  • Add HR / OD
  • Add Help Desk / Internal Support
There's also an issue of identifying who is part of the different levels of involvement in the process. I normally define:
  • Core LMS Selection Team
  • Full LMS Selection Team
  • Stakeholders
The Core LMS Selection Team does the day-to-day work on the project. This is often a relatively small group of 4-5 people and should definitely include the primary manager responsible for the process and a future LMS administrator.

The Full LMS Selection Team includes the list above, but they come together during key points in the process, e.g., agreeing to the process, providing requirements, viewing demos, participating in hands-on, etc.

Stakeholders include people who are not directly involved in the decision making process, but who will be affected by the outcome. Senior management jumps to mind on this. So does whomever owns the HRIS system. They may not be directly involved in selection, but they will get involved in the process.

So my list might look more like:
  • Core Team
    • Primary manager
    • Future administrator
    • Project manager
  • Selection Team
    • Core Team
    • IT
    • Procurement / Legal
    • Business Unit Representatives
    • Functional Area Representatives
    • Learner and Line Manager Representatives
    • Additional Future LMS administrators
    • HR / OD
    • Help Desk / Internal Support
  • Stakeholders
    • Senior Management
    • HRIS owner
As I'm writing this, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to present it. Rather, I'm going to show it and then discuss things that often go wrong:
  • Politics
  • Communications
  • Process
  • Not involving IT
  • Missing stakeholders
So, I'm thinking my presentation so far is:
  • Process - flash it up, but won't spend time
  • Selection team - flash it up, but won't spend timeI
    • Issues - will spend time here
Hopefully this pattern can continue during the presentation.

I'm curious if this seems like it would be helpful or boring. I'm still a bit torn.


Wendy said...

I don't know what the environment is that you are presenting the material in - but maybe there is some way to take the process that is occurring in your blog (people contributing to the presentation, agreeing on how its supposed to go, clarification of details) and making THAT your presentation.

More interactivity! Surely SOMEONE in your audience will have suffered through at least one software implementation of some sort - or even a training change implementation. They are similar beasts with similar concerns. (stakeholders, ROI measures, etc)

Give them the "pat answers" + things learned in the discussion afterwards. Or, if you have the energy, continue the discussion on a wiki....

I'm just throwing that out there...just on the off chance it's feasible......

Knock 'em dead! I'm hoping I'll be in a position to attend DevLearn next year.....

Karl Kapp said...


I think that is a great idea, let the audience share war stories if they can and have them generate some of the content. I like the idea.

Tony, I like how you consolidated the list from the article, however, I think line managers and learners are two different beasts and would not lump together. Line managers have a huge influence on the accpetance of e-learning within an organization. They control the day-to-day process and work assignments and can put an end to e-learning quickly by not allowing time, not valuing it and seeing it as a bother. So I think that line managers need special consideration because of the key role they've got to win them over or implementation becomes painful, slow and unproductive.(Lance Dublin mentioned this in his presentation at Training 2007 which brought it front of mind for me.)

Good luck, I'll be joining DevLearn virtually.

Tony Karrer said...

Wendy - I love the idea! I'm thinking I'll walk through the steps and ask for people who've gone through selection to throw out things along the way.

Sorry to hear you won't be at DevLearn. Maybe another conference we'll get a chance to meet.

Tony Karrer said...

Karl - I agree with you that line managers and learners are different. I'll separate back out.

Not sure what DevLearn virtually looks like, but we'll share a virtual beer with you then. :)