Posted by Laura Riskus ● April 9, 2015

Solve Learning Management System Headaches with LMS Governance Team

businesscollaborationYou have a learning management system. You've identified roles, and you probably have a few standards. You may even have all of your LMS processes documented.

But when LMS updates are required, do you have a comprehensive view of how they will affect the many administrators, trainers, and learners that use the technology? And how can you ensure that the updates are understood and implemented?

Start by developing an LMS governance team or council, which is tasked with providing the information to make highly informed decisions, and then engage them in the decision-making process. Having some basic procedures in place can help you build and sustain this group.

Here are five easy steps for smoothing out the typically rocky LMS updating process.

1. Identify a clear objective for the LMS governance team.

Every decision and topic should relate directly to your overall objective; this helps establish boundaries. The objective should be something that is beneficial to all groups, so having a metric or a way to measure the team's impact can help to prove success.

2. Treat LMS updates like change management initiatives.

Identify a sponsor and seek leadership support. This provides a great opportunity to ask them to nominate a representative from their area, or validate your selection. This also provides a path for escalation, with the sponsor making the decision, if needed. Regularly report the successes and challenges to your leadership so that they can see the value and provide ongoing support.

3. Identify representatives from each process area.

Include administrators, trainers, and even learners. Chances are, you know these individuals already. They are the first people to come to you with an issue and are usually very vocal. These people will definitely provide you with feedback. Your best bet is to engage them individually, before the group meetings begin, to align on objectives and plans.

4. Identify topics to discuss over three months of meetings.

You don't want to start governance meetings with an open mic. Identify one topic to be discussed at each meeting, and stick to that topic. If other topics come up, add them to the agenda in subsequent meetings. Discuss, identify next steps, and if possible, resolve it at the next meeting so that you can move down the list of issues.

5. Engage the team to help with feedback before communicating updates.

Encourage the team to share the information discussed at the meetings with their groups. This is a great way to help with communication. While any official communication is usually in the form of an email, getting early feedback and planting the right seeds of information via water cooler discussions will provide better understanding of any changes when they occur.

Maximize the Business Value of Your LMS

While the concept of an LMS governance team may only seem like yet another tedious meeting or activity, it's really a valuable component to successful LMS administration. Requesting feedback and participation can enhance communication between learning & development and the greater organization, and it will ultimately improve the effectiveness of the LMS and the reputation of the entire learning function. When  administrators, trainers, and learners know that L&D cares about their user experience and value their feedback, it can make both small and large LMS updates much smoother to implement.

Even with an effective governance team in place, though, your LMS support could probably be more efficient. Consider which of these five common LMS pain points are preventing your organization from achieving maximum business value from the technology. Then, download our free on-demand webinar, Maximize the Business Value of Your LMS.

Topics: Managed Services, Learning Technologies