Without a learning solutions architect (LSA) on your team, companies are more apt to waste time and money developing an ineffective training program. Here’s what an LSA is and how hiring one can help your L&D team.
A learning solutions architect is a problem solver who plans, designs, and constructs learning paths and deliverables for all kinds of businesses.
At a high level, an LSA is a learning consultant who serves as a trusted advisor for their client, discovering the true problem they might have and offering the best solution.
The learning solutions architect works with various people throughout the entire process to ensure the project is successful:
Through these interactions, the learning solutions architect can determine everything that needs to be done and develop a process that turns the problem into an effective learning program—on time and on budget.
Here’s why working with an LSA is so beneficial for businesses with training needs.
Building a successful training program requires a lot of planning and coordination.
That’s why many companies have their own dedicated L&D team. And while most L&D teams have a leader of some sort, many lack the LSA role. So, as different business units bring training needs to the L&D team, it can be difficult for the training manager to figure out the true problem, scope of project, and budget while juggling several other projects at the same time.
Here’s how a learning solutions architect can help.
The learning solutions architect is, more often than not, an external partner who can provide an objective perspective on a training problem. Because of this, the LSA helps L&D teams take a step back and understand true learning needs. No internal constraints. No politics. An outside LSA helps L&D teams move from what they think they need towards what they really need.
A training program that starts with a misunderstanding of the true learning need or is delivered in the wrong way will be ineffective—and a waste of time and money.
An LSA provides that necessary perspective to set you down the right path from the beginning. Any good learning solutions architect is focused on only pitching ideas that are feasible and effective. They understand pain points, development costs, and what instructional and graphic designers go through when creating a solution. And, of course, they work with the subject matter experts to uncover the real need—all coming together into an effective training program that actually helps employees learn new skills.
Part of an LSA’s role is to stay current with the competitive landscape and be aware of any innovations in the industry. So, LSAs provide L&D teams with not only effective training rooted in the true problem but also innovative training delivered via the best methods.
Sometimes, an LSA identifies a simple communication problem. Other times, they identify a need for a certain level of training—and then they help develop it. Either way, the LSA serves a critical advisory role that helps L&D teams determine the best scenario depending on the user base.
The value of a learning solutions architect is clear. So, what should you look for when hiring an LSA?
You should look for a learning solutions architect who has an educational background in the learning industry. Ideally, this person will have multiple degrees and the technical knowledge required to look at your problem and find a solution.
In addition to understanding the theory of learning, your LSA also needs real-world experience. So whether they’ve spent time as an instructional designer or graphic designer, they should have hands-on experience delivering learning materials.
Every learning solutions architect needs to be personable. The LSA’s success is dependent on making relationships with stakeholders. Since they will be interacting with many people throughout the project’s lifespan, the LSA needs to have the right personality fit.
For example, they should be willing to listen to your problems and work with you to find solutions. Also, they should possess soft skills like communication, flexibility, and teamwork so they can make an immediate impact within your organization.
The point of an LSA is to provide a fresh and objective perspective to your training problem. For this to work, your LSA needs to be committed to your project and success—without any ulterior motives.
Simply put, your LSA should value your partnership over money. Your success should be the learning solutions architect’s primary concern because when you succeed, they succeed.
LSAs are more than a vendor—they are your partner in all things L&D. A learning solutions architect can take your training programs to the next level by helping your L&D team determine the true problem and develop the optimal project scope, budget and learning solution design.